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MCI JH 500 Consoles
Old 18th July 2017 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by kikedrum ➡️

the original QuadEight lost story, sadly most people care more about a "name". MCI consoles recorded 60% of the classic albums, there should be no doubt on it's sound, but this reference still doesn't get the recognition that MCI should have. Maybe if it would have had a higher price, it would have had a higher worth. Not even mentioning the unknown Grover C."Jeep" Harned...
I can only speak for myself..... the LOGISTICS for me in 1975-77 were that I absolutely HAD to have fader automation. I was running two or more synchronized 16trk or 24trk machines 24/7.

I was gonna buy a Pacifica a couple of different times. To this day I DUNNO WHAT IT WAS WITH QUAD EIGHT. I stood there in NY two or three different years with them.... one of those years with the newly hatched SSL booth cadecorner from Q8.

Quad Eight just could NOT get it together with built-in automation. I don't care what 3rd party stuff could've been cobbled in 1976, but imo.... Quad Eight failed pure and simple because EVERYONE (not everyone but...yeah everyone) was running a BAZILLION tracks with synchronized machines and.... I'm sorry... no matter how much you like the story of a bunch of people manning faders at mix.... AUTOMATION was necessary.

MCI did it. Quad Eight CONTINUALLY gave me the weirdest stories at Aes on why they were behind on getting it together. Very very weird at the time..... I think they were pouring too much attention into the digital reverb that they kept showing but never got off the ground.

Q8 failed because they just couldn't get their act together with fader automation. Sound?.... Everything sounded fine with every console at that moment. one on the planet was standing at AES in 77 etc saying, Well gee, ssl stuff doesn't really sound good....

Different era... different logistics.

Q8 wasn't a lost secret. They were just standing there in the midst of reality (at aes) and for whatever reason.... not listening. At least they didn't listen to me.... I really liked the idea of the Pacifica and Coronado. But I wasn't going to write a check with those consoles being basically...crippled for workhorse use in those particular years.

All my opinion of course.
Old 28th July 2017 | Show parent
Gear Nut
Sandersonic's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Mci jh 536 d

Hi all,
Installing a JH 536 D and am uncertain about the connections on the screw-terminal block on the rear panel. The single page in the documentation doesn't really detail what goes to each screw terminal. All the PS units and respective cables are connected and ready to go. We just need to find out exactly what goes where. Below is the list of PS units and cables we have if that's any help. Best would be if someone could send a photo of a connected terminal-strip.

JH-46 power supply > cable PS3324-CCE
L/M Power Supply > cable P3315-CCT (high voltage) and cable P3308-CCT (low voltage)
Audio Power Supply > cable P3324-CCT
Lamp Power Supply > cable P3318-CCT

The terminal block has 24 screw connections. The page in the manual (13-1) shows the connections for a 500C which probably explains at least partially why it doesn't match the cable diagrams.

Any help would be well-appreciated!
Old 11th December 2017
Here for the gear
You can also add Jane's Addiction, Nothing's Shocking to the list of albums recorded on a MCI 500 per the comment by Dave Jerden on this forum.
Old 11th December 2017
Lives for gear
Sigma's Avatar
🎧 15 years
our mci 400's had allison research memories little helper VCA automation [we had one of in not the the first commercial automation that worked..paul buff came in and got it running] .. we had a few 400's and 500's in our 11 rooms and borderline [madonna] was cut and mixed on 500… ain't no stopping us now [mcfadden and whitehead]… lou rawles, patti labelle ..a ton of stuff cut and mixed on the 400's
Old 11th December 2017
Old 11th December 2017
Lives for gear
Sigma's Avatar
🎧 15 years
this 500 had optical faders …lol a clear plastic strip with black bars and an opto readerDropbox - Sigma NY MCI Console .jpg
Old 24th September 2019 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
MCI 416 console

I ran console checkout at the factory. Never liked the Beyer xfmrs.; too easy to saturate the core, hence 20db pad. The 2001 opamp was a Harris 911; it only had slew rate of 7uv per second; not my favorite. Dave Harrison owned Studio Supply, the Nashville dealer for MCI. Jeep Harned licensed the track assign switching from Harrison. Dave H. had conceived the track assign while chief engineer at King Records in Cinncinatti.

Dave came to factory & designed his vision of a super console input module w 27 amplifiers. Jeep was not impressed & rejected it as too complicated. When Jeep found out Dave was building his first console, he terminated Studio Supplies MCI's Dealership agreement. They changed the panel color to cream & it became the 428; this way he voided the license agreement w Harrison.

The 500's had fewer amplifiers per module & used 5534's as 2002's, the 2003 was harris opamp rated at +- 45vdc; the main reason the 500 sounded cleaner & faster than the 400 series. All of the 400's modules were hand soldered by the assemblers, so did not have the solder joint problems brought about by the wave solder machine.

The line in & line out transformers were custom bifilar wound by Southeastern Transformer; I knew the owner of the company. Later I became service mgr. at Audio Consultants, successor MCI Nashville dealer.
Old 22nd June 2020 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
EvLoutonian's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by thenoodle ➡️
I can only speak for myself..... the LOGISTICS for me in 1975-77 were that I absolutely HAD to have fader automation. I was running two or more synchronized 16trk or 24trk machines 24/7.
Different era... different logistics.
It's just amazing to think that now (in 2020) we have this whole layer of incredible control built into our (even basic consumer-level) computers, for automation of many parameters, with totally user-friendly interfacing, assignments etc etc, whereas in the mid and late 70's this was really a huge challenge (and indeed, it makes sense that for professional users, this was a make or break for the choice of console).

Just interesting to think now, with most of these automation tasks being handled largely within DAW's, I imagine most people with an interest in (new or vintage) analogue consoles, prefer not to find any of that old automation technology to be present (?)

I guess that would relate more specifically to older consoles, where it could be preferable to just have less complex circuitry to restore/maintain - but also perhaps a simpler signal path.

I may be jumping the gun there with some of that, I'm not sure... but yeah it was just really interesting to be reminded that back in '77 you weren't just looking at whether say a Quad 8 console might have some great sounding EQ's, or whatever (as we may do more-so today, with a lot of people just racking up modules for stand-alone use).. You really had the console and a tape machine as the working heart of your entire process, and it had to deliver on every level.

Now we can pick and choose from a gazillion signal processing options in the DAW, where needed, and for some people the console can be involved in as much or as little of the process as we fancy, based on what we're doing and the workflow. But it certainly doesn't need to do the be-all, end-all thing, unless you're intentionally doing a sort of 60's super-traditional hands-on style tracking or mixing approach, where simplicity may be the choice of approach with low channel count etc.

ramble on..

Anyway, great to have a place to come and be reminded of where the broader arch of recording technology and approaches have come from, directly from the folks who were there doing it, and continue to be doing it!

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