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Abbey Road Control Room Just A Box?!?
Old 25th February 2010 | Show parent
  #31
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narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ck1r0ck2 ➑️
then why oh why all the trouble with making accurate control rooms today?

these replies seem way too flippant with the question.

look at the attempts they made at making the control room more accurate over the years..

i would really like to know what the authors thought about this question..

surely there was something said about the inaccuracies of these rooms....

actually if memory serves..it was mentioned in the beginning of the book..

ala "we're not making records for anechoic chambers!"

but still..

did they percieve any problems?
what steps were taken to deal with the inaccuracies?
The original rooms weren't innacurate. They were also a little bigger than stated!! Room 2 control room is bigger now than it was - but not much. Ceiling is a little over 12 foot
Old 25th February 2010 | Show parent
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
11 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I think one thing that's being overlooked here is the fact that during that era, engineers, assitants, tape-ops, etc were trained. You didn't touch the desk or a microphone until you had reason to be there. Those guys could mix in any room and make it sound incredible, because they were taught how to do that.

Same went for the musicians, you didn't set foot in a studio until you deserved to be there. This has been completely lost. Today any mediocre hack can be called an engineer or a musician, but few actually earn these titles, IMHO.

The funny thing is, the Beatles were the bridge between these two mentalities. They came in in 1962 as a tight as hell live act who could crank out a classic album in 10 hours. By 1967 they were noodling around in the studio for months on end, overdubbing ad nauseum. They made it possible for artists to use the studio as a workshop. Ob la di, ob la da.
Old 26th February 2010 | Show parent
  #33
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andsonic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think something that is being missed here. Acoustic science and studio design has evolved considerably since Abbey Road was built.

The recording spaces would sound good. There is a lot of cultural knowledge about how to make a room sound good for performance. Exhibit A for me would be Buena Vista Social Club, recorded in another "old" studio that had been designed for big band music. Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" is another example of a "modern" record done in an old room.

But as far as control rooms go. Beatles were working in mono. Control room design has evolved greatly as delivery formats have changed. Time-based analysis of control room acoustics only became available in the early '80s. I think Tarpan in San Rafael, CA is the first CR designed with computer-aided acoustic design.

...and one last bit of historical trivia on this overlong post: At a talk I attended years ago, George Martin stated that when he started at Abbey Road, engineers wore lab coats, and the lathes were still gravity powered.
So yes, they were "cutting" records and electrical motors weren't reliable enough to maintain constant speed.
this is why Abbey Road is a landmark.
Old 26th February 2010 | Show parent
  #34
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hambone ➑️
The funny thing is, the Beatles were the bridge between these two mentalities. They came in in 1962 as a tight as hell live act who could crank out a classic album in 10 hours. By 1967 they were noodling around in the studio for months on end, overdubbing ad nauseum. They made it possible for artists to use the studio as a workshop. Ob la di, ob la da.
Old 26th February 2010
  #35
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larry b's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet ➑️
....Do this mean that throughout most of the Beatles existence, critical tracking and mix decisions were made in what amounts to a box?!? One that's more or less the dimensions of, say....err....your average bedroom?!?



What am I missing here?


Cheers.

No offense here, but, well, things get more complex in the field of recording music as time goes on. Why would one expect AR to have something even approaching a symmetrical, non-square, uber-tuned, modern-day control room when (in the early days, at least) they were listening in mono, their console EQ consisted in total of LOW and HIGH controls, and they were recording to two tracks?

I'm not saying they didn't make "critical tracking and mix decisions" back then, im simply suggesting that such decisions concerned different concepts and practices than they do today.

thumbsupthumbsup
Old 26th February 2010 | Show parent
  #36
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taturana's Avatar
 
12 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I judge studios the result that comes out of them.... and the stuff that came out of that square room is awesome.
Old 27th February 2010 | Show parent
  #37
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper ➑️
They were mostly listening for performance.
WTF? You can do that?!?!?!?!?
Old 27th February 2010 | Show parent
  #38
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oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As some of you may know, I recorded an album there in 1969 and was there for about 3 months. About 98 per cent of our album was cut in Studio 2, with a few bits done in 3. Geoff Emerick and Alan Parsons, as well as Jeff Jarratt did the recording and mixing, as well as some tracks by Norman Smith.

Studio 2's control room sounded really great.. things had a really cool "in your face" sound to them in that CR. It could get LOUD real fast. We listened to The Beatles "Oh! Darlin'" off the 3M 8-track machine in there and it about knocked your socks off with clarity and punch. The TG console was there at the time. And oddly, I never remembered feeling cramped in there, even when EMI execs came in for a listen from time to time. The combination of that CR and THAT studio room was just magic.

The monitors were Tannoy (inside cabinets marked LOCKWOOD on the outside) but I don't remember what size speakers they were. I believe the amps for the monitors were only about 60+ watts but Recording The Beatles probably has all that info.

Studio 3s control room was a little less impressive, it was (for me) rather hard to find a sweet spot, or any kind of spot, that felt right on playback. The Beatles did many tracks in Studio 3, as did many other British Invasion bands of the time, such as The Hollies "Look Through Any Window." Studio 3 had a nice sound to it, more compact of course than 2....which had and has today a very unique ambience to it, that doesn't come off as overwhelming but just gives everything a wonderful dimension to it.

So, I don't know about the science, but as a working CR, Studio 2 had a great vibe, though probably not by today's "technical" standards.

TH
Old 27th February 2010 | Show parent
  #39
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doorknocker's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by andsonic ➑️
I Exhibit A for me would be Buena Vista Social Club, recorded in another "old" studio that had been designed for big band music. Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" is another example of a "modern" record done in an old room.
And since these are two of the best sounding records ever I think there's a lesson in there!
Old 27th February 2010 | Show parent
  #40
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oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mappee ➑️
I've seen pics of Control 2 and often wondered what was behind or intregrated into the walls. Traps or resonators may be a part of the room?

In all the pics the only monitor I've seen appears to be an altec utility cabinet which may house 604E. 15" coaxial that are famous for not sounding great until the mix is right, also they require little power so 60watts would be tons.

When Paul McCartney sings we all know the sound and when control 2 plays I'm sure there is the same recognition within us.
Many of the old studios are laughable by today's designers and I imagine the older engineers are laughing at our approach.
The Altecs were used early on and continued to be used in the other studios but by sometime in the late 60s (check RTB book), and certainly during "Abbey Road" and our time there, they had been replaced by the Tannoys in the CR of Studio 2.

TH
Old 27th February 2010 | Show parent
  #41
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Subversounds's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
They were mostly listening for performance.
wow... music... it's all about performance of the musicians?

i'm shocked.
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #42
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superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
sounds pretty high tech compared to motown!
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #43
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks ➑️
As some of you may know, I recorded an album there in 1969 and was there for about 3 months.
Wow, I just l looked at your profile and your website. Awesome sounding stuff! Going to order that on Amazon right now.
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #44
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oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hey thanks. Be tolerant. I was 17 But what a great crew around us and a heck of a place to start out in studios

Tom
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #45
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The very best control rooms have gotten better but studios, i.e. the performance spaces have been going steadily downhill since the early '60s.

The best studios were designed for people to be able to easily hear each other acoustically and for things to sound really good in the room without excessive coloration of the inevitable bleed.
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #46
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks ➑️
The Altecs were used early on and continued to be used in the other studios but by sometime in the late 60s (check RTB book), and certainly during "Abbey Road" and our time there, they had been replaced by the Tannoys in the CR of Studio 2.
I was told when I visited in '68 that most people used the Tannoys but Emerick was really into the Altecs which had normally been used out in the studio for playback to the musicians. They told me he wanted that "American Sound." We had a good laugh about it as I told them about what we had been doing in Detroit.
Old 28th February 2010 | Show parent
  #47
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
to the OP,

YES they did monitor in a box, if thats what the dimensions are then thats it, ..you can imagine all kinds of stuff that would make it equal to todays rooms but it isnt, ..dont forget , in the era of the beatles they just started to build something we can call a console but it was all VERY premature, acoustic design matured in the 80's not the 60's, but as long as you listen close to your speakers you can controll what your doing and thats what they did in there + they had the advantage of some brilliant people working there at that time including the band
Old 1st March 2010 | Show parent
  #48
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narcoman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan Cappy ➑️
to the OP,

YES they did monitor in a box, if thats what the dimensions are then thats it, ..you can imagine all kinds of stuff that would make it equal to todays rooms but it isnt, ..dont forget , in the era of the beatles they just started to build something we can call a console but it was all VERY premature, acoustic design matured in the 80's not the 60's, but as long as you listen close to your speakers you can controll what your doing and thats what they did in there + they had the advantage of some brilliant people working there at that time including the band
The acoustics in the control rooms were good sounding rooms even back in the day. Yes things have changed - but monitoring and studios weren't the shoebox constructions that many imply!!
Old 5th March 2010 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Don't forget that mixing wasn't done in the control room, they had mix rooms for that.
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