Quantcast
"The" Jackson Browne Album - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
"The" Jackson Browne Album
Old 22nd February 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
"The" Jackson Browne Album

Does anyone have any information or history on this great debut album recorded in 1972? Produced by Jackson and Richard Sanford Orshoff it still has a fantastic sound today. Probably due in large part to those LA studio cats of the 70s that helped "hold down" so many great tracks Lee Sklar on bass Russ Kunkel on drums.

Jackson's vocal on "Doctor My Eyes" sounds better today than anything on the radio. I would love to know what mic, desk, and comp that was through. Any ideas guys?
Old 22nd February 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
His engineer and producer Richard Orshoff (James Taylor, Poco, Jackson Browne, serious discography) is a therapist now in Burlington Vermont.

Something I suspect the record business gave him a lot of experience in

"Doctor My Eyes" sounds like a vintage 251 or C12 to me on vocals.
Old 22nd February 2012
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
IIRC there was a fair amount of info about this record in the book "Hotel California" but i don't think they got down to the recording nuts and bolts.
Old 24th April 2012
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by REX ➑️
Does anyone have any information or history on this great debut album recorded in 1972? Produced by Jackson and Richard Sanford Orshoff it still has a fantastic sound today. Probably due in large part to those LA studio cats of the 70s that helped "hold down" so many great tracks Lee Sklar on bass Russ Kunkel on drums.

Jackson's vocal on "Doctor My Eyes" sounds better today than anything on the radio. I would love to know what mic, desk, and comp that was through. Any ideas guys?
Hi--Richard Orshoff here. Jackson's first album was recorded at Crystal Studios in Hollywood in mid 1971. Jackson sang entire album using a Neumann U87 mic. The console was a custom designed and built console by Andrew Berliner, the owner of Crystal Sound at the time. Excellent to work on! We never used any compression on Jackson's vocals. Echo was almost always Crystal's natural echo chamber. Glad to answer any other questions.
Old 24th April 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Richard!!! What an honor to have you here. Thanks for joining up. I'm sure there are so many people here who would love to hear from you. I will mention to Jules the moderator that you are a member. Perhaps we can organize a Q&A with you as has been done here with other accomplished producers.

You have worked on some of the records that I think shaped that quintessential "sound of the 70s" an era now viewed as a watershed moment in time for music production. Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Poco etc, etc.

So "Doctor My Eyes" that absolutely killer vocal that still sounds more forward and full than anything on the radio today was a good old U87 and no compressor? Just fader rides on a great desk? Wow!

So it was tracked dry using just a U87 into the Crystal console? And then what else is on it in the mix? Just an echo and some EQ? It's an "all time" vocal, granted Jackson has a special voice. Did he sing in a booth or out in the room?
Old 24th April 2012
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
This is fantastic! Welcome Richard.

I think Jackson Browne and James Taylor are two of the greatest singers in contemporary music.

I've always loved James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend". Do you recall what you used for a vocal tracking chain on that?

Thanks.
Old 24th April 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Welcome, Richard, and thanks for answering some questions.

I was just wondering if you ever worked with Clarence White in the studio. If so, what was he like in the studio? Gear? Anything you could relate would be fantastic.

Thanks,
--
Don
Old 24th April 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow, so cool to have you here!

Thanks for joining us,

XJ
Old 25th April 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
glenn Taylor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There was a filM about soMe photographers who took Many California bands albuM pictures. Doors,Eagles,Jackson Browne. The guys said they went to Jackson Brownes house and he got theM a beer and he played his 1st albuM on his baby grand in his living rooM. The photographers saw a burlap radiator bag on the wall that said "saturate before using". They ended up using that phrase for the albuM. I think David Crosby sang on the albuM also. GT.
Old 25th April 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Amazing!

I was just starting to write songs then......in Burlington, Vermont.

That album was absolutely seminal to my music. Amazing sound and feel.

Old 25th April 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
That album is definitely one of my all time favorites.

Was it 8 or 16 track? I would think it a bit early for 24, but certainly could be wrong.

It's cool as hell to have you here Richard!
Old 25th April 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
brill bedroom's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Now, you all know this going to be one of those frustrating tales of an artist who could really write and sing and he's going to tell us that he just put some mics up and pressed record, right? It's going to be another one of those cases where we realize there isn't a piece of gear we can buy to simulate talent. When, oh when is someone going to develop a songwriting plug in?
Old 25th April 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
"the" JB album would be Late For the Sky, Pretender, or Im Alive...

Can I just say, re the mic, though...it doesn't matter. Why? You're not recording to tape. And what sounded one way to tape no longer sounds that way.

However...if an OLD 87i doesn't yield a good pop vocal tone...the problem is in front of the mic. Still, though-it won't sound like THAT. He still sounds great with his nice C12s, IMO.
Old 25th April 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'm not sure I completely agree with that Pop. Its a really good point, but the capsule you use is going to have the greatest impact on how the vocal sounds and what part of the register is in focus.

In other words in my experience when a first tenor like Jackson sings through a C12 vs a U47 there will be a more noticeable difference in his voice than that generated by the recording medium used (tape vs DAW).

But I do think tape obviously had an impact on presence, natural compression, warmth etc. And wouldn't it be funny to hear that the U87i was a bright mic when it first came out!
Old 25th April 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
but but but.... the u87 sux??????
Old 25th April 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
LOL!!! Don't you love that?

Try telling that to Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Bill Withers. And close to half of the records put out in the seventies.

If you can't make a good recording with a U87i then you need to go back to the Devry Institute
Old 25th April 2012
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Cool article here about Crystal Studios and a lot of the cutting edge things they were doing with gear.

Is this the console you were speaking of Richard?

http://www.soundoctor.com/crystal/index.htm
Attached Thumbnails
"The" Jackson Browne Album-imageuploadedbygearslutz1335328450.370666.jpg   "The" Jackson Browne Album-imageuploadedbygearslutz1335328463.875161.jpg  
Old 25th April 2012 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny ➑️

That album was absolutely seminal to my music. Amazing sound and feel.
Same here. It was the soundtrack to that period of my life.
Old 25th April 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard O ➑️
Hi--Richard Orshoff here. Jackson's first album was recorded at Crystal Studios in Hollywood in mid 1971. Jackson sang entire album using a Neumann U87 mic. The console was a custom designed and built console by Andrew Berliner, the owner of Crystal Sound at the time. Excellent to work on! We never used any compression on Jackson's vocals. Echo was almost always Crystal's natural echo chamber. Glad to answer any other questions.

Hi Richard... Welcome. Just wondering, did you ever work with Jackson up at the Indigo Ranch?

Burlington is beautiful, I'm a couple hours south in Saratoga Springs myself... if you're ever over this way please feel free to look me up. Would love to exchange war stories.
Old 25th April 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Just another in the long line of amazing GS threads. It's like history and real people popping right out of the Internets.

I still play this album, and other early Jackson Browne discs because they made the troubled early 70's feel better - and they still soothe the soul. I often use Redneck Friend as a FOH tuneup tune.
Old 25th April 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
And he and JT are both still going strong, unbelievable.
Old 25th April 2012
  #22
Gear Nut
 
SAnthony's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For several years during my tour of duty with "Cypress" we broke down the rigging with "The Load Out" over the monitors and PA until it was time to disconnect the Sound System..... Good Bless our Sound Engineer Curt Wainwright! who passed away last year....
S.
Old 25th April 2012
  #23
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Great thread. As an OC boy myself, I'd been tracking Browne since even before the "Orange Country Three" article in slick counter-culture magazine, Cheetah,* which featured Browne, Steve Noonan, and Steve Gillette, as I recall.

I finally saw Jackson -- whose fame had preceded him for years, probably driven by the affair with Nico when he was 17 or so -- at Long Beach State (in the same multi-purpose venue where I drunkenly disrupted many a poetry reading heh -- I was on my good behavior for the Browne show). I don't think the album was out yet at the time, but it came out not too long after -- and it sounded great!

Heck, I'm'a put it on right now!

[EDIT: Whaddyaknow? It still sounds great. heh ]




* Which was sort of Esquire or Playboy for hippies, a number of big name writers and a cheeky editorial attitude... I could never figure out how they got the budget to put it out.
Old 29th April 2012
  #24
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
more re Jackson and James

Hi All! Nice to read your notes. I'd be glad to answer any questions, though haven't made records in many years. I'll try to answer the questions you've posted so far....

First, re the mic--don't knock the U87. It was one of the two or three vocal mics of the day. U67 or U87s were used on probably 60 or 70% of the vocals recorded in Los Angeles at the time. One correction...as I think about it, we had both U67 and U87s available/at hand. Doctor My Eyes may very well have been recorded using a U67--definitely one or the other.

Yes, just EQ, echo and fader rides. : ) In mixing, we used to do a lot of EQ "carving." That is, in addition to adding EQ to the vocal to "fill it in," we would also "carve" a space in the middle of the mix for the vocal by just so barely cutting back on some of the same frequencies in the surrounding instruments so the vocal would essentially occupy a "space" that was carved out for it. We did a lot of "tuning" as well. For example, one of the things I can still hear when I listen to Doctor My Eyes is we tuned the conga drums. If you listen carefully, they are tuned in the key of the song. As well as the low conga and the bass drum were "tuned" together to create a sound almost like a basketball bouncing. You can hear that most clearly in the first verse and the conga tuning in the intro and guitar solo.

Crystal had a BIG studio. Jackson sang out in the open with 3 tall sound baffles in an angled "U" behind him, like this. \__/

I recorded James at Crystal as well. That was in 1970. Same with James vocals--all done on either U67s or U87s through the Crystal console with Crystal's natural echo chamber and fader ridden vs compression. Difference is, James often would sing live as he recorded the track--probably half his vocals were recorded as they laid down the tracks--and then we might overdub a phrase or two or a verse, etc. Sometimes he would like one verse from one take and another from another. We would literally edit an entire passage of the 2" tape and insert a verse or such into another take!

A little piece of trivia for you--in February of 1970 (approximately) we took an evening and did a mono radio mix of Fire and Rain from Sweet Baby James. Warner Brothers wanted to run quick with another single, as Sweet Baby James (the single) wasn't quite making it. Two weeks later, as we were recording You've Got A Friend, Fire and Rain was soaring up the charts. One day we were just guys recording in a studio. The next week James had the biggest single in the country!

I did not work with Clarence White. He worked with Jackson later. Albert Lee did the Doctor My Eyes guitar solo. One take. Yep.

The original album DID have a burlap texture to the cover--like a water bag! That was what Jackson envisioned--and David Geffen (owner of Asylum Records at the time) was extraordinary to work with. He went out of his way to make us all comfortable and wanted to make sure Jackson had the album he wanted. David Geffen was a really good guy--good to me and extremely supportive of our recording process.

16 track 3M 2" tape. Both Jackson and James.

Another nice piece of trivia. Jackson STILL records today onto TAPE! He has Neumann mics, a Neve console and Studer 24 track tape recorders--then mixes to digital.

Yes, it's true. Jackson could REALLY write and REALLY sing. (Still can!) James too! James wanted the tape to be running at all times! Just in case he got a good vocal even when he was running down the song!

Yes, that is what the street side of Crystal looked like. (It's still there--privately owned and used today.) The console in that picture is the second console Andrew build. That is the later, much newer console in studio B. Studio A was behemoth! And the console much bigger (yet more primitive).

Andrew Berliner was somewhat of a mad scientist genius. The console in Studio A was a pure pleasure to work on. And if something went wrong with it, it was fixed the next morning, usually with Andrew doing the fixing himself! We worked together for years. I really liked Andrew a lot. I left Crystal as he was beginning to design studio B. Never worked in it.

Never worked with Jackson at Indigo.

Well, I think that does it. I wish you all a good night--and good music in your souls and your ears!

Richard
Old 29th April 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Wow Richard this is a fantastic glimpse into history and two of my all time favorite artists.

It's so telling how these incredible vocal performances like many from that period were done with no compression and U67s/U87s. Just good old fashioned engineering.
Old 29th April 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
brockorama's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you Richard for taking the time to give such an awesome account. I love GS for moments like this.
Old 29th April 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
First, re the mic--don't knock the U87. It was one of the two or three vocal mics of the day. U67 or U87s were used on probably 60 or 70% of the vocals recorded in Los Angeles at the time. One correction...as I think about it, we had both U67 and U87s available/at hand. Doctor My Eyes may very well have been recorded using a U67--definitely one or the other.
Since I'm the only one that mentioned it, I'll assume you misunderstood me...I'm not knocking a U87...I'm knocking the idea that a U87i to tape in the early seventies has any resemblance to the sound you'd get from a U87AI plugged into a FireFace to 24 bit digital.

That said, a U67 will come much closer.

Anyway-just wanted to clarify...I love the old 87i...and U67s MORE...TO 24 bit digital...but they won't sound like THAT to digital. That was my only point.
Old 3rd May 2012
  #28
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
clarification

Regarding the credits previously attributed to me here--I engineered and mixed the James Taylor "Mudslide Slim" album (w/"You've Got A Friend"). I did NOT produce the album. It was produced by Peter Asher, one of the brightest and most skilled producers of the day. I did five albums with Peter and loved working with him. My experience with Peter laid the foundation for my later production work.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 60 views: 18321
Avatar for dibravibra
dibravibra 19th October 2020
replies: 73 views: 24257
Avatar for monkeyxx
monkeyxx 24th May 2013
replies: 6348 views: 801071
Avatar for MandoBastardo
MandoBastardo 1 day ago
replies: 5907 views: 768705
Avatar for bassmurderer
bassmurderer 2 weeks ago
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump