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Pathway Studios, London?
Old 30th November 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Mattsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Pathway Studios, London?

Whuiie!

I asked earlier about the recording of Elvis Costello's Brutal Youth. However, I also looove the sound of Costello's first album, My Aim is True (containing Alison)!

I managed to figure out that it was recorded during 1977 in a studio called Pathway Studios, a studio in north London. However, I have not been able to find any info about the Studio as it seems to be no longer around.

But does anyone know anything about Pathway Studios, and what console they were using back in those days?

Any info would be greatly appreciated! Just trying to figure out what gear was behind that sound...

/R
Old 30th November 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
nobtwiddler's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Elvis will be in the building, next week.

Elvis will be at Piety Street Studios in New Orleans next week....
Send them an email, they could always ask him for more info?

Ya never know.
Straight from the horses mouth!
Paul
Old 1st December 2005
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Pathway

The studio closed a few years ago. I am a guitarist and I recorded three albums there in the early 1990s, one with my power trio Groon, the others with Geoff Serle and King Crimson violinist David Cross. The studio was owned by Mike Finesilver and the engineers we used were Justin Underhill and Jim Coustance. It was a very low key place, a bit cold and damp with a unique sweet musty smell that clung to your clothes and equipment for days afterwards. The studio was very small, about 8 x 8 metres with a 2 x 2m control booth in the corner and an upright piano next to it. You could just squeeze three people into the control booth! The tape deck was a Brennell 1 inch 8 track. The monitors and desk were custom made, and they had a pair of Auratones as well, fed from Quad power amps. The desk was quite small, pushed hard against the front wall with the custom monitors hung above and the Auratones on the meter bridge. Outboard was very basic: a Bel delay line, an Alesis digital reverb and Drawmer gates, but they had a nice plate reverb in a cupboard in the office upstairs. I can't recall all the mics but they were the industry standard stuff. We got big warm sounding mixes and despite the cramped conditions the mixing process seemed effortless compared to the difficult digital learning curve I have been on in the last two years.

Tim Crowther
http://www.visionlogic.demon.co.uk/
Old 1st December 2005 | Show parent
  #4
News Desk Editor
 
The Press Desk's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
I think madness did their first singles there..
Old 1st December 2005 | Show parent
  #5
JTR
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
try another approach;

Nick Lowe

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=...e+Search&meta=
Old 1st December 2005
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Pathway desk

I spoke to Geoff Serle and he also thinks that the desk was custom made for Mike Finesilver, possibly by an ex-BBC engineer. It was physically a very small item, I think about 4ft x 18 inches. Sorry I can't remember the channel configuration. Geoff also remembered that they had an Eventide Harmoniser and a Yamaha D1500 delay.
Old 1st December 2005 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
Mattsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow!

Thanks Tim and everyone else...very helpful and interesting info!

It seemed to have been a very simple studio, not to, mention the small spaces heh But the recordings I've heard that were tracked at Pathway still sound amazing!

Wish someone had some photos or more info about that console though...;=)

Many thanks!

/R
Old 1st July 2008
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Pathway Studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattsson ➑️
Whuiie!

I asked earlier about the recording of Elvis Costello's Brutal Youth. However, I also looove the sound of Costello's first album, My Aim is True (containing Alison)!

I managed to figure out that it was recorded during 1977 in a studio called Pathway Studios, a studio in north London. However, I have not been able to find any info about the Studio as it seems to be no longer around.

But does anyone know anything about Pathway Studios, and what console they were using back in those days?

Any info would be greatly appreciated! Just trying to figure out what gear was behind that sound...

/R
In case you didn't get any info on Pathway (aka Pathditz / Electric Landlady - a joke from Jake Riviera, from which Kirsty McaColl got the title of her Album) I built the desk for Mike Finesilver and Peter Ker back in 1974 or 5. It was a bit bigger than one of the contributors mentioned but not much - ther wasn't room in the contol room. The desk was 16-input with transformer coupled mic amps designed by David Robinson and descibed in his series in Studio Sound Magazine. EQ was originally from the same source and was based on an LCR network and used dicrete transistors. These were later replaced by a more controllable (but in my opinion not as interesting) IC based design.
I did a lot of the engineering at Pathway and did almost all of the early Stiff repetoire, including "My Aim Is True". Most of the distinctive sound on that album is achieved through the use of a single, fixed delay from the sync head of the multi-track, which I suggested to nick Lowe as an option and which he subsequently stuck on just about everything!
Great record, wonderful musicians.
If you want anymore infor, drop me an email and I'll try and dig out some details.
(by the way, I never worked for the BBC).
regards, Bazza
Old 11th November 2008 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Head
 
studiochap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just noticed this thread now, so I thought I would add that their were 2 Audio and Design limiter/compressors at Pathway. I know because I recapped them for Mike Finesilver in the '90s...

Trivia: Mike (BTW an extremely nice guy....) co-wrote "Fire" for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" ...

Cheers,

Gwyn
Old 28th January 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by apoguypoe ➑️
I recorded at Pathway in the early 80's, met Mike a few times...nice guy. Our engineer at the time was a chap called Richard, and we also had a freelance guy from Belgium once, named Pascall. The finished masters for a such a small studio, were excellant.
Old 29th January 2012
  #11
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I worked at pathway in the late 80's. Mike Finesilver was indeed a fine gentleman who gave me an opportunity to learn the trade at his small north london commercial studio. They had eight neuman mics a couple of calrecs and a small collection of good sounding dynamics collected over the years. The main monitors were a pair of tannoy dual concentrics corner mounted with a diy baffle. otari 1" eight track ,the custom desk (very nice) with an ex-G.P.O. bantam jacked patchbay, two revox mastering machines and the other stuff mentioned above.

sessions were very varied, from spoken word (John Cleese used the studio for his training film overdubs). lots of local musicians (john etheridge, dick heckstall-smith) T.v overdubs, Busker tapes, ethnic stuff(I remember 18 indian musicians from luton turning up one evening to make a tape. They just managed to squeeze them all in). I have L.P.s by lena lovich and alternative T.V made there. I'm also led to believe that the 7" version of dire straights sultans of swing was recorded there also.

It was here that I learned that a studio does not have to be large ,shiny,full of endless racks of expensive gear and expensive. Just a short high quality analogue path to capture the sounds made by the musician.
Old 30th January 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Here's a link to history on the studio

Strangely just saw the studio today in an old episode of Bergerac...

http://www.philsbook.com/pathway.html

Also Madness recording footage at 7 minutes onwards..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwAC6...eature=related

Wonder if the mixing desk was binned ??
Old 27th March 2013
  #13
Kus
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Pathway

Just stumbled on this threat. Thanks for the link on Pathway studio. I started my career in sound at Pathway in the late 80s, sharing the duties with Jim Coustance. I was only a youngster then and eagour to learn. So many great records had been made there. I was fortunate enough to have been given the task of recording 2 of Link Wray's album, "Apache" and "Wild side of the city lights". There certainly was a great sound at Pathway.
Old 24th February 2016
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
You can see Pathway Studios in the film "Take It or Leave It" (1981) about the ska band Madness. I made this screenshot from the film, I assume that here they're recording on an 8-track Otari MX-7800. Before that, they have used an 8-track Brenell and I assume that it was Type 19. It is mentioned that they got an Otari at some point, but with no further details. Can someone confirm all this, please?

I'm also interested at what time they switched from Brenell to Otari?

This studio was quite modest, but still, it is very interesting to me, because some very famous artists began their career there (first demos, singles or albums by The Police, Dire Straits, Elvis Costello, Damned etc.). Thanks for the info in advance.

Photos below:
- From the Madness' movie "Take It or Leave It" (1981)
- From the website dedicated to the band Squeeze. I assume that this is the Brenell machine, but which model exactly? This is 1976, recording of Squeeze first album "Packet of Three", I guess.
Attached Thumbnails
Pathway Studios, London?-madness_take_it_or_leave_it_pathway_studios.jpg   Pathway Studios, London?-pathway.jpg  

Last edited by vbsh; 24th February 2016 at 10:37 AM.. Reason: typos
Old 22nd December 2019
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I worked in pathway as a tea boy tape op, repair man,musician and general dogsbody. I worked there so that I could record in the downtime. All that aside, the desk was hand made by Barry (Bazza) Farmer and was a total one-off designed specifically for the tiny control room. I think the speakers were 12" Fane and again they were custom made cabinets that fitted snuggly into the top corners of the small control room. Bazza left the studio to work with Stiff records where he got some quality production credits. I helped him a little with the building of the stiff records mobile studio and again he built them some quality bespoke analogue kit. Good times, that studio had a great down to earth feel about it. At the time all of the now established artists were on the way up and we're mainly unknown.
Barry is still around and I'm glad to say we are still in touch. Hope that helps.
Old 12th June 2021
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Just found this thread after a search. I'm in the process of mixing a session originally recorded at Pathway in the spring of 1980 so I was interested to find out what effects might have been available in the studio at the time. I was also wondering whether the multitrack machine slowed down slightly towards the end of the tape? It certainly sounds like it does from the songs on the tape.
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