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Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's
Old 16th September 2011
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oudplayer View Post
Just a minor point, but while Jamaica does probably have more studios per capita than other countries in the Americas or those in Western Europe, I'm not sure it surpasses some countries like Turkey, which has thousands of studios and has consistently released several thousand new albums per year (per capita sales are nearly five times higher in Turkey than Jamaica as well, at least based on sales stats from the late 90s-early 2000s).
Jamaica has a measly population of 2.5 million and local artists produce and release an average of more than 4000 new titles per year! With such a relatively small population they obviously cannot buy as many records as the Turkish (or many other countries) populations and so that was never mentioned. On the international scene however I'm convinced that the situation is very different.

I think I have strayed way off course with the last few posts so maybe we should nudge things back a little.
Old 16th September 2011
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...wow dude...do I have to give the Gold Records back too?...
This is what I really hate about these types of threads, they invariably become some sort of dick swinging contests. People are sometimes more interested in posting up their version of the truth rather than hearing the truth. I was not just a casual bystander to this history I was and still am an active part of it but if I start to name drop and reel out my experiences I will look like a showoff and an asshole.

This Is a running joke with Jamaicans in this business; a foreigner comes to Jamaica once or even a few times, probably meet and talk to a few people and he/she immediately becomes an authority on the subject of the music and culture. Not saying this is what is going on here but come on man...

Quote:
Rob Kenner, Editor At Large (and respected reggae aficionado)
Again, you know this is great and all but I don't need a review from this guy to tell me about a reggae record, the truth is that I've probably forgotten more stuff than he will ever know about this music and culture and I'm not doing so by second hand...so there...Plus wasn't he paid or at least 'asked' by the record label to write this review?

Anyway, we only started down this road after you made the claim that an 'innovative' production technique you used on this record changed the Jamaican music industry...I call BS on that statement because I know different, that's all.
Old 16th September 2011
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvybes View Post
...wow dude...do I have to give the Gold Records back too?...
This is what I really hate about these types of threads, they invariably become some sort of dick swinging contests. People are sometimes more interested in posting up their version of the truth rather than hearing the truth. I was not just a casual bystander to this history I was and still am an active part of it but if I start to name drop and reel out my experiences and involvement I will look like a showoff and an asshole.

This Is a running joke with Jamaicans in this business; a foreigner comes to Jamaica once or even a few times, probably meet and talk to a few people and he/she immediately becomes an authority on the subject of the music and culture. Not saying this is what is going on here but come on man...

Quote:
Rob Kenner, Editor At Large (and respected reggae aficionado)
Again, you know this is great and all but I don't need a review from this guy to tell me about a reggae record, the truth is that I've probably forgotten more stuff than he will ever know about this music and culture and I'm not doing so by second hand...so there...Plus wasn't he paid or at least 'asked' by the record label to write this review?

Anyway, we only started down this road after you made the claim that an 'innovative' production technique you used on this record changed the Jamaican music industry...I call BS on that statement because I know different, that's all.

Chris Blackwell is not very appreciated in all corners of the industry for always making grand claims, if you listen to him you get the impression that he is totally responsible for all that's good about reggae...and Bob Marley. He does not even give credit to the original founder of Island Records Leslie Kong a Jamaican businessman and record producer. From Millie Small, Toots and the Maytals and Bob Marley came out of Kong's stable of artists but Blackwell never talks about that.

It's all good...
Old 16th September 2011
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Yeah well, chances are it is a load of **** and I'm being nice when I put it that way. I've heard (and read) so much BS about working in Jamaica or with Jamaican artist that it has become boring now.

Here are some of real facts; Jamaica has more studios per capita than anywhere else in the world. They also produce more new titles per capita than any other country in the world, and since the start of the crisis in the industry which has seen many large studios close their doors, I don't know of one major studio (in Jamaica) closing it's door.

In fact, more have been built, and you might (or might not) be surprised at some of the rock bands that have made very successful (non-reggae) records there.
Sorry, didn't mean to be offensive. I forgot to mention that this was supposedly a looong time ago, 1960's or so, back in the days where having one mic could have been believable.

I have absolutely no doubt that Jamaica has an amazing scene.

Edit: just did a google. The first recording studio in Jamaica was quite famous for only having one mic, it was built in 57. It was started by Stanley Motta and it was at 93 Hanover Street, I'm guessing this is where the alleged ( and possibly non existent) event took place. I can't find which artist is was that I heard about.

matt
Old 16th September 2011
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt thomas View Post
Sorry, didn't mean to be offensive. I forgot to mention that this was supposedly a looong time ago, 1960's or so, back in the days where having one mic could have been believable.
No offense was taken Matt.
Old 28th September 2011
  #126
hey sam, thanks for sharing you knowledge here.
any idea what console this is?
THE GLADIATORS - Jah Works / Hearsay - YouTube
it's from joe gibb's, early 80's i believe.
cheers, jeremy
Old 30th September 2011
  #127
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Can't really see the console very well in the video but if memory serves me right I think Joe Gibbs studio had an Electrodyne console.

I'll try to confirm this in the next few days buy asking someone who worked there a lot during that era.
Old 30th September 2011
  #128
Gear Maniac
A relative of mine Graeme Goodall was one of the major engineers out there in the early period (and a co-founder of Island Records) I will send this through to him too and see what he comes back with

I remember him telling me at one point he had the only neumann on the island, and used to sleep with it under his pillow. So there you go...
Old 30th September 2011
  #129
Gear Addict
 

Forgive my ignorance on the subject. I can talk about Dub records all day, but I'm still learning about the equipment and the process behind making them!
I'm sure I read somewhere that Helios consoles and Pye compressors were quite popular with Dub producers - can anyone dispel/confirm/elaborate on this?
Old 30th September 2011
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I'll try to confirm this in the next few days
thanks sam, that would be great.

i really like the sound of his late 70's early 80's productions.

cheers, jeremy
Old 30th September 2011
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Dance View Post
A relative of mine Graeme Goodall was one of the major engineers out there in the early period (and a co-founder of Island Records) I will send this through to him too and see what he comes back with

I remember him telling me at one point he had the only neumann on the island, and used to sleep with it under his pillow. So there you go...
Although I didn't know him personally I do know that Graeme was one of the founders of Island Records and was highly considered as an engineer in Jamaica during the 50's and early 60's recording classic tracks for the likes of Duke Reid and Coxon Dodd (Studio 1).
Old 1st October 2011
  #132
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mastermix's Avatar
Man, this thread is so full of win that it's ridiculous.

Keep it going!!!
Old 1st October 2011
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I assisted recording a Reggae album by the band Native at Dynamic Sounds in 1981. The engineer was Chris Kimsey. They had all MCI stuff and I recall seeing/using U-47's, U-87's and 414's.

They had the air con cranked up in there, I froze my ass off. I remember Chris telling me "I bet you didn't think you would need a sweater here in Jamaica, did you".

He had one. Try and find one in a store there. No luck. I would take my ganja breaks outside just to warm up.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
great story!
Old 1st October 2011
  #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projuice View Post
Hehehehe freezing cold in Jamaica Yeah I guess around the 80's they already got more hightech over there! There is a real difference between the 60's reggea sound and the sound of reggea productions from the 80's.
Agreed! but also with their own sound signature!
Old 1st October 2011
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Cheers to that!
+1 on that!!
Old 1st October 2011
  #136
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermix View Post
Man, this thread is so full of win that it's ridiculous.

Keep it going!!!
Really.
Great to hear all these stories from guys who were actually there.
Thanks to all!
Old 1st October 2011
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
thanks sam, that would be great.

i really like the sound of his late 70's early 80's productions.
Yes, my contact confirms that they had an Electrodyne console over at Joe Gibbs.

NOTE: "The Professionals" Band and (the late) Errol Thompson engineer/producer were largely responsible for the sound of those productions than the console.

That band included luminaries like Sly Dunbar, Robby Shakespeare, Radcliffe "Dougie" Bryan on guitar, Ossie Hibbert, Errol "Tarzan" Nelson, Robert Lyn or Ansel Collins on keyboards, Uziah "Sticky" Thompson, Noel "Scully" Simms on percussion, Tommy McCook, Herman Marquis on saxophone, Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin Gordon on trombone. This is the same groupe of musicians who later moved to Studio One as "The Revolutionaries" and created the 'Rockers' sound.

A lot of people might not know who Errol Thompson was and his contribution to Jamaican music, Thompson engineered tracks by Bob Marley, The Abyssinians, Augustus Pablo, Big Youth, Prince Far I, Culture, Dennis Brown, Yellowman, Frankie Paul and Burning Spear. He and Sylvan Morris were the originators of Dub, Morris mixed the first dub song and Thompson was the producer and engineer of the first dub album, before King Tubby, Lee Perry or anyone else were even in the game.
Old 5th October 2011
  #138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
He and Sylvan Morris were the originators of Dub, Morris mixed the first dub song and Thompson was the producer and engineer of the first dub album, before King Tubby, Lee Perry or anyone else were even in the game.
thanks for the info on the console.

what dub track are you talking about?

thanks.
Old 6th November 2011
  #139
DAH
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It is one of the best threads at GS!
Samc, would you mind to be a guest moderator for a week or so?
those are the gems what you are dropping here!
Old 6th November 2011
  #140
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Yeah I have been banging on about AKG D12 for years but people "hear" D112 when you say D12, which of course is a whole different mic.

I still love D12 on bass guitar cab and bass drum and I too have used it on the odd vocal when all else failed...
Old 7th November 2011
  #141
bee
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Great thread! I'm subscribing.
Old 7th November 2011
  #142
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Here are a couple of photos of the custom built Helios console that recorded all but the last two Bob Marley albums at Harry J studios. In fact the vast majority of classic songs that came out of Jamaica during the 60's were recorded in Harry J studios on this console.

Burning Spear, The Heptones, The I trees, Jimmy Cliff, John Holt, The Paragons, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller.....the list goes on and on plus a host of international stars also recorded there, the room is just magic and was one of, if not the first ground-up purpose built studio in Jamaica.

You can put any instrument and a microphone anywhere in this room and it will sound good. Moving the mic around will give you different sounds but it will never sound 'bad'. I have successfully recorded a drum kit in that room with only a single room mic.

Obviously, the quality of the drummer and both the quality and preparation of the kit must be of the highest order. But I don't know of too many rooms (regardless of cost) around the world where I can just throw up a kit and a mic in the middle of the room and have it sound good without fussing about with it.

Anyway, the console is a little dusty but it has been in storage for over 20 years now and it still works, and yes, it was manufactured with the four comps in the meter bridge which was a custom request. It's a 20x20x4x2 configuration; 20 channels with mic pres and EQ (on the left side) + a 20 channel line-in mixer to monitor the recording from the tape machine.
Attached Thumbnails
Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hjhelios2.jpg   Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hjhelios1.jpg  
Old 7th November 2011
  #143
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Here are a couple of photos of the custom built Helios console that recorded all but the last two Bob Marley albums at Harry J studios. In fact the vast majority of classic songs that came out of Jamaica during the 60's were recorded in Harry J studios on this console.

Burning Spear, The Heptones, The I trees, Jimmy Cliff, John Holt, The Paragons, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller.....the list goes on and on plus a host of international stars also recorded there, the room is just magic and was one of, if not the first ground-up purpose built studio in Jamaica.

You can put any instrument and a microphone anywhere in this room and it will sound good. Moving the mic around will give you different sounds but it will never sound 'bad'. I have successfully recorded a drum kit in that room with only a single room mic.

Obviously, the quality of the drummer and both the quality and preparation of the kit must be of the highest order. But I don't know of too many rooms (regardless of cost) around the world where I can just throw up a kit and a mic in the middle of the room and have it sound good without fussing about with it.

Anyway, the console is a little dusty but it has been in storage for over 20 years now and it still works, and yes, it was manufactured with the four comps in the meter bridge which was a custom request. It's a 20x20x4x2 configuration; 20 channels with mic pres and EQ (on the left side) + a 20 channel line-in mixer to monitor the recording from the tape machine.
You know Dear Mr. Clayton (beg your pardon for disclosing if I am not mistaken)) we reggae\dub-heads here in Northern Russia can have too little first hand information about the beloved Jamaican styles of music that influenced all the modern dance music so much. So I will try to pull out any information off you here on Gearslutz whenever I get a chance.
Your opinion on the importance of the room acoustics warms up my heart because I have learned (thanks to GS in a way, too) the role of a recording and mixing room acoustics. many (young) people change monitors without realising their room`s acoustics is what does not allow their mixes to translate.
Thank you once again for your contribution. Could you share soe onformation on recording a bass drum and "cooking" it in the mix? You know, like that powerful kick in Sons of Slaves by Junior Delgado.
Old 7th November 2011
  #144
Gear Guru
Samc- Firs off, thanks for helping to make this one of the best GS threads ever.

And second, being the greedy guy I am, how about some pictures of the room!
Old 7th November 2011
  #145
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Room photos:
Attached Thumbnails
Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hj1.jpg   Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hj2.jpg   Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hj3.jpg   Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hj4.jpg   Jamaica's Microphones in the 60's-hj5.jpg  

Old 7th November 2011
  #146
Old 7th November 2011
  #147
Gear Guru
Samc- you totally rock. Thanx!
Is that a Mento session?
Old 7th November 2011
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
Samc- you totally rock. Thanx!
Is that a Mento session?
Yes, I produced and recorded that session. I was able to use the recording from the two room mics with just a little from the spot mic on the Rhumba Box.

The second picture shows Sly Dunbar at a multi-miced kit which is setup in one corner of the room and with gobos around the kit. This was done to achieve a very tight and focused sound for a 'stepper' song I was recording.

It is important to note that this room is not very big (it's by no means a tiny room either) but it does have a very high ceiling. From what I understand, the room size was determined by the desired acoustics, not for a lack of budget or real-estate.

There are no bass traps or other types of absorbers in this room only diffusion.
Old 7th November 2011
  #149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyglover View Post
YES!
+1!!!!
Old 8th November 2011
  #150
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Yes, I produced and recorded that session. I was able to use the recording from the two room mics with just a little from the spot mic on the Rhumba Box.

The second picture shows Sly Dunbar at a multi-miced kit which is setup in one corner of the room and with gobos around the kit. This was done to achieve a very tight and focused sound for a 'stepper' song I was recording.

It is important to note that this room is not very big (it's by no means a tiny room either) but it does have a very high ceiling. From what I understand, the room size was determined by the desired acoustics, not for a lack of budget or real-estate.

There are no bass traps or other types of absorbers in this room only diffusion.
What was on the kick drum? I see there is some muffling blanket inside but no mics are visible.
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