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Your fave recorded guitar gear..Neve, API, Helios, Trident, MCI, etc?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Terry McInturff, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Just trying to raise awareness about the tones we chase on records being the product, in total, of far more than the guitar, the amp, the pedals. Every recorded guitar we have ever heard has been sculpted notably....often greatly...by the recording gear.

    As a guitar designer/builder it's my responsibility to learn about sound and because we use recording references when discussing guitar tones, an understanding of how sound is/has been captured is kind of...important for a guitar maker?

    The awesome recorded guitar didn't sound quite that way in the room. So.....taking the almighty recording console as an example of just one key element, what's your fave "guitar gear" as it relates to your fave guitar tones on vinyl or disc?

    In the spirit of fun and enlightenment of course! :)

    A few classic rock tones I see discussed here often:

    1) "Back In Black" MCI
    2) "Live At Leeds" Helios
    3) "VH1" API (i think)

    What desk helped to sculpt YOUR fave recorded guitar sounds?
     
  2. mdog114

    mdog114 Member

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    I like 1084s/API stuff for dirty guitars along with ribbon mics. Small D condensor mics with a Demeter Tube pre I have for acoustic, the thing I never seem to nail is my super clean, clean and just starting to break tones. I always try every different pre/mic combo I have, and it’s rarely the one I used the last time.

    Recording, and your chain/techniques, do have a major impact on what you sound like.
     
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  3. Ps28

    Ps28 Member

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    Neve. At some point the guitar barely matters because **** gets engineered and processed so much.
     
  4. rickcard71

    rickcard71 Member

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    I may need some edumacations. Please help. Helios, Bogner wasn’t around when The Who was back in the day right? How were they playing Helios?
     
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  5. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Helios consoles were the standard consoles at Olympic Studios during much of The Who's recording career until the studio changed to the Raindirk Series III in 1974
     
  6. rickcard71

    rickcard71 Member

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    I knew I was missing something. So how was he playing Bogners though? Still confused.

    No, I’m kidding, thanks for explaining.
     
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  7. Badtone

    Badtone Supporting Member

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    I really like the stuff recorded at Trident through the A range; early Queen, Mick Ronson’s tone on the early Bowie records, etc. part of it’s the artist, part the engineer, but what a console!
     
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  8. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Fact is, IMO when we talk about the great classic guitar tones (and the modern tones too!!) we should automatically realize that the recording gear had a pivotal influence. Pivotal influence!
    And BTW I own and use two of the original Olympic Studios Raindirk Series III recording desk input modules circa 1974; just imagine what music passed thru them...yes, they sound fantastic!
     
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  9. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Trident A Range was/is an extraordinary sound; from that cool sound on the early Bowie thru the outstanding clarity of the Harry Nilsonn "Nilsonn/Scmilsonn" ahhh...what a desk.
     
  10. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Note to readers, be wary of anybody trying to sell you an amp, pickups, etc touted as having the exact sound of "xxxx recording"....
    You should ask "are you selling me a Neve console with that, sir?" :)
     
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  11. champion ruby

    champion ruby Member

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  12. Tele666

    Tele666 Member

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    Cool thread Terry!
    I believe the first VH record was recorded through a UA 610 console.
     
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  13. Northerner

    Northerner Member

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    Great thread idea.
    Truth!
    What pedal will make me sound like...;)
     
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  14. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    Ah yes my bad. I thought Sunset Sound was all API back then!
    OK, so the famous "brown sound" was sculpted via a UA console and a pair of Unidyne III mics. Not certain regarding the compressor(s) but very likely a hit of 1176
     
  15. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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    What control room is that sir? Kind of claustrophobic!
     
  16. JimmyB

    JimmyB Silver Supporting Member

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  17. Terry McInturff

    Terry McInturff 40th Anniversary of guitar building! Gold Supporting Member

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  18. NamaEnsou

    NamaEnsou Supporting Member

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    Probably not the TGP Correct attitude, but other than choosing my amp/guitar rig and having a preferred vocal mic in the studio, I've just been allowing the engineer to make all these decisions and choices. I mean, like sometimes I'll ask for something specific in an effect, but once I've described what I want, I just let him mostly run with it from there. I guess I trust him quite a bit that way and it seems to be a great working relationship in the studio.
    We even do the mixing together, which I thoroughly enjoy and on my first CD we actually split the console, with him controlling vocal faders and me on guitars.

    I also know that he's got both Neve and API pres to choose from, so again, his choice.
     
  19. drewl

    drewl Member

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    Trident was where Hey Jude was recorded, right?

    It doesn't sound like any of the other White Album tracks.
     
  20. dansworld

    dansworld Gold Supporting Member

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    I worked at MCI for ten years (three of them under Sony leadership) and have to say I'm pretty biased (no pun intended LOL).

    I had many opportunities to record on MCI stuff in and around Fort Lauderdale and Miami back in the day and have always had a really soft spot for anything with "JH-" in the model number.

    Chris Mara has done an outstanding job refurb'ing both MCI multitracks and consoles under the name Mara Machines. The prices he charges are an absolute bargain for what was formerly some of the best gear on the market. Nowadays people are lining up to buy JH-110 2 tracks to run their digital mixes through to warm them up, I find the concept simply astounding!

    https://maramachines.com/


    Jeep was a really cool old dude and he was responsible for creating some serious innovations in the recording arts. Thanks to Mack Emmerman (founder of Criteria Recording Studios in North Miami) for randomly walking into Jeep's Hi-Fi repair shop in Wilton Manors on that fateful day with a rack of Ampex audio electronics for repair. Jeep handed it back to Mack a week later, saying "I made a few mods to make them sound better". Next day Mack showed up with all of the rest of his Ampex's and asked him to do the same thing to all of his machines. The rest is history.

    I thank MCI for hiring me as a dumb 21 year old guitar player in 1979 and giving me my start in electronics; I owe my entire career to Adelle Mateo who hired me as a parts clerk in the Field Service Dept., saying "I think you'll fit in back there; those guys are pretty wild." I couldn't put a dollar value on the education I got from John Shepherd (my boss), Glenn Coleman (from Coleman Audio), Gregg Lamping, Steve Beverly, Jim Schwartz and Tom Graefe (of Graefe Amplifiers) on all aspects of electronics, recording, and studio life in general. They helped me get my foot in the door in the local studios to record hours of demos and songs that never ended up going anywhere but by doing so taught me so many valuable lessons about recording techniques and procedures. You can't buy that kind of old school education nowadays.

    The best part is that all of the design engineers, department heads and Jeep himself spent a tremendous amount of time way back in our little Service Department building. They went right to the guys that installed and supported the gear for the best feedback and "field notes" available. I spent the entire time keeping my mouth shut and my ears open; I will never forget listening in on those conversations which drove development, product improvements and a great many ECN's.

    We had the top artists of the day come though our shop; I got to meet Pete Townsend and spend some time with Sir George Martin himself one day. It was incredible!

    One more story.....

    On Friday afternoons, one of us would run out to the Hurricane Lounge and Package store on Oakland Park Blvd. right up the street to cash our paycheck and buy a few 12 packs of beer. Afterwards, right around 3:00 in the afternoon, the head engineers and Jeep would start showing up to drink beers and talk about the previous week. These "board meetings" were what made that company special; organic and in touch with the real world. I just sat there, my twenty-something year old self immersed in a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the pioneers of analog recording technology shoot the breeze and brainstorm together. A lot of hit records were the result of the stuff these guys came up with and I got to witness these guys in action.

    I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of that old school.

    Unfortunately all that was lost once Sony bought the company. All the old school guys left and the heart and soul of the company was gone. I only lasted a couple of more years myself. But the gear lives on, echoing how many countless hours of amazing music that was created on it. Those days are gone forever.
     
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