R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's  (Read 22771 times)

TKay

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« on: January 31, 2005, 07:27:32 pm »

I'm looking to upgrade my front end pre's. My favorite LP of all time is the White Album. The sound of that album was so open. I realize that the pre's don't make the entire sound but I would still like to narrow it down to what was actually used on that album.

Upon doing a search in REP, someone suggested that the pre's were Telefunken's. So I went searching. I spoke to David Marquette. He said that the Telefunken's were used in the early EMI desks for the Beatles but that they had changed by the time the White Album was recorded and that the pre's were custom EMI's from the REDD 47 (hope I'm quoting him right). So I found Revolution Recording Equipment. So it seems like I'm narrowing the search but I would love any input here if there is more to be added.

Also, if there are more suggestions to as what other pre's should be considered (that are in the genre of pre's that I'm inquiring about), I would appreciate the information.

I am looking at the Chandler pieces, as well. At the moment, I'm willing to hear all opinions.  But I A/B'd the White Album against Abbey Road and, for me, there is no comparison. Different people, different techniques, different studio - I get it.

Thanks for any input.

Thomas

Oliver Archut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1125
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2005, 08:15:38 pm »

Hello Thomas,

the entire EMI/REDD question is way to large to answer in this forum, especially on the last day; there is already a related posting. Currently a gentleman by the name of Kevin Ryan is working on a book about the issue, you can contact him via http://www.recordingthebeatles.com/.

I talked to several EMI engineers, and they pointed out the consoles were always in a state of flux. What equipment was used on any given song, is quite hard to figure out these days... Nobody kept detailed infos.

In the mid 60s, V72 were so expensive that EMI made their home brewed mic pres and ended up with the REDD47 as well as other nice mic pres.
I have no idea about Revolution Equipment you might want to contact them, all I know EMI recently re-trademarked all their historic trade names to prevent any wrongful use...

You can check their application at http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=doc&state=fhd2ah.2 .4

Logged
Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2006, 04:08:51 am »

The "Recording the Beatles" book will certainly explain much of what you seek, and more. The reviews from the public (search online) have been quite good.

Be aware that
(a) MOST of the recording was done in Studio Two at EMI: This was the desk built using REDD.47 preamps (and line amps - pay attention to this factor). The Revolution mic pre is the closest available thing to this, as only one EMI desk exists with the originals.

(b) Some of the songs on that album were done elsewhere. So, maybe you have found "a sound" that exists more in one's head than in reality. Try making a list of what songs have "that tone" you like, then read about which ones were recorded outside AFTER you make the list. Read about the mixing ideas AFTER you make the list - it might be that you prefer the songs recorded outside of EMI, or that you like the ones with extreme EQ effects....?
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2006, 04:10:46 am »

I would generally agree that White Album sounds different than Abbey Road: but almost every Beatles album sounds different than the one before it, even!
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Ashermusic

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 684
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2006, 11:18:10 am »

Brian Kehew wrote on Thu, 07 December 2006 09:08

The "Recording the Beatles" book will certainly explain much of what you seek, and more. The reviews from the public (search online) have been quite good.

Be aware that
(a) MOST of the recording was done in Studio Two at EMI: This was the desk built using REDD.47 preamps (and line amps - pay attention to this factor). The Revolution mic pre is the closest available thing to this, as only one EMI desk exists with the originals.

(b) Some of the songs on that album were done elsewhere. So, maybe you have found "a sound" that exists more in one's head than in reality. Try making a list of what songs have "that tone" you like, then read about which ones were recorded outside AFTER you make the list. Read about the mixing ideas AFTER you make the list - it might be that you prefer the songs recorded outside of EMI, or that you like the ones with extreme EQ effects....?


So Brian in your opinion is the Revolution mic pre still one of the best or merely an emulation of what was the best at that time that was available to them?

And do they have a website for the Revolution?

BTW, I just finished reading  "Recording The Beatles."  I have not had that much fun in a while. Yopu guys did an incredible job.

And now "Rocky Balboa" comes out in a couple of weeks. What more could I ask for?
Logged
Composer, Logic Pro Certified Trainer, Level 2
Author of "Going Pro with Logic Pro 8"

www.jayasher.com

wwittman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7712
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2006, 04:37:55 pm »

Brian Kehew wrote on Thu, 07 December 2006 04:10

I would generally agree that White Album sounds different than Abbey Road: but almost every Beatles album sounds different than the one before it, even!



also worth stating the obvious that much of the White album was recorded by other engineers, while Abbey Road was Geoff Emerick.

Logged
William Wittman
Producer/Engineer
(Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, The Fixx, The Outfield, Hooters...)

Tdstotler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 50
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007, 02:51:37 pm »

 They were definlty Redd 47's on the White Album.
They were also doing some radically different things on that album then the prior ones. I know that on alot of tracks they took the signal output on the desk and then fed it back into another channel for more gain, then another channel etc..etc..
Best audio example of this is on Savoy Truffle (the horns were apparently done this way). I read that Emerick was afraid of blowing the tubes but nothing happened. Also they
were Direct Injecting tons of things (guitars in revolution).
I have always thought that the White Album had a very
'Tubey Distoration sound to it'.
I have been trying to get that Bass sound for years
(yes I know I need Paul here really), but the Bass sound
on tracks like Savory Truffle, Everybodys got something to hide, sound so thick and juicy with alot of attack. I bet
the Altec compressors had alot to do with that as well.
Emerick only engineered half of the White album, he quit half way through, on the day they were recording Cry Baby Cry.
Also Martin walked out (his excuse was vacation) and Chris Thomas produced alot of the remainder tracks.
From all accounts like Let it Be, these were NOT pleasent
recording sessions.
It gets sometimes fuzzy when they record elsewhere. Sometimes they would record and mix the enitre track in another studio (Baby is a rich man, great example of start to finish in one session). Other times they would just track at another studio, then bring the track back for mixing on the Redd desk. So you still get that Redd sound in there somewhere.
But yeah the sound on that album is amazing. Personally
Abbey Road is my favorite sonic gem.

Todd
Logged

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007, 11:25:05 pm »

What was in the Saville Row studio?

I was in there one time, but don't remember specific equipment.
Logged

Tdstotler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 50
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2007, 07:49:11 pm »


We'll with Saville row you really had three era's of studios in a short time.
First you had the Magic Alex studio, if you could call it a studio.
Then you had all the mobile gear that was brought in for the Let it Be sessions since Alex's setup was total crap and unusable.
Then you had the 'proper' studio afterwards. I dont know exactly what they had gear wise but I have alot of good promotional pictures that were taken in there around winter 69 that has some good shots of the control room. I will have to go check and look at those. They also had there own mastering room in there as well.
Didnt that all close down sometime around 1973???

Todd
Logged

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2007, 07:17:20 am »

I would say "the mic pre" is not responsible for "the sound of the White Album". Especially since they used this mic pre on almost every track since 1964, and they do not sound the same to us.

Even the Altec compressors were there, and more etc etc from previous years - not much changed in the gear; it's the WAY they used it. Look closely at the eq done on some tracks (full treble/bass on ALL tracks when mixing.) That would be more significant, as might the use of 1" 8-track 3M vs. 1" 4-track Studer J37.

The Revolution mic pre is as close to a clone of the original as we may ever see, and it is expensive for this reason. Other companies may try to make one, but would likely skimp on parts to save $. It would still sound great but likely no one will ever make the exact REDD47 ever again.

However, I am still waiting to hear from the Revolution company on equiment I (and others) sent there ages ago with payment - no emails, no returned phone calls.
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Tdstotler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 50
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2007, 08:10:51 am »

 I agree 100% with Brian. Really the equipment did not change up that much from the previous albums. But like Brian said it
was in the way they used it on the White Album.
Take the extreme compressor settings on Helter Skelter
for example. They really pushed the studio techniques on this album in ways that were probably completly unimaginable before.
It's amazing that almost 40 years later, questions from engineers trying to get that 'White Album' sound still pops up all over the place on forums. That right there is a huge
testament to the Abbey Road crew.
When someone can duplicate that bass sound without Sir Paul please let me know.
Thanks for the word of warning about the Revolution company!

Todd

Logged

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2007, 09:34:31 am »

Tdstotler wrote on Sun, 14 January 2007 19:49


Well with Saville Row you really had three era's of studios in a short time.
First you had the Magic Alex studio, if you could call it a studio.
Then you had all the mobile gear that was brought in for the Let it Be sessions since Alex's setup was total crap and unusable.
Then you had the 'proper' studio afterwards. I dont know exactly what they had gear wise but I have a lot of good promotional pictures that were taken in there around winter 69 that has some good shots of the control room.


I didn't mean the Magic Alex junk, of course.

It was Sept-Oct of '69 that I was there, so those pix probably would show what I saw.

Could you post a couple?
Logged

maxdimario

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3811
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2007, 06:35:43 am »

Brian Kehew wrote on Mon, 15 January 2007 13:17

I would say "the mic pre" is not responsible for "the sound of the White Album". Especially since they used this mic pre on almost every track since 1964, and they do not sound the same to us.

Even the Altec compressors were there, and more etc etc from previous years - not much changed in the gear; it's the WAY they used it. Look closely at the eq done on some tracks (full treble/bass on ALL tracks when mixing.) That would be more significant, as might the use of 1" 8-track 3M vs. 1" 4-track Studer J37.

The Revolution mic pre is as close to a clone of the original as we may ever see, and it is expensive for this reason. Other companies may try to make one, but would likely skimp on parts to save $. It would still sound great but likely no one will ever make the exact REDD47 ever again.

However, I am still waiting to hear from the Revolution company on equiment I (and others) sent there ages ago with payment - no emails, no returned phone calls.



this has happened a few months back and they said they were going to send your stuff back..

I would not expect service from them in case of warranty or otherwise at this point..

...as far as the beatles, if you look at the videos the rooms were different, and the 8 track meant there was less machine-to-machine overdubbing like previous albums..

that and the beatles not overdubbing as much in general (as well as the solid-state 8 track amps) is already enough of a change..

I peronally think the white album sounds a bit whimpy sonic-wise, but everyone has their own tastes I guess..

it also depends on what playback system you use..

the best recordings to me from a hi-fi point of view were the early ones.
Logged

maxdimario

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3811
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2007, 06:37:28 am »

I would not worry about redd 47's going out of production..
they are relatively easy to manufacture compared to V72's for example, which are incredibly difficult to reproduce BECAUSE OF THE TRANSFORMERS AND INDUCTORS.
Logged

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2007, 07:13:23 am »

Yes, it's attention to those details that will make it tough to do a REDD47 the way John Hinson has. I have called him again today and left a message.

Note that it's an incredible challenge when the artist (as several songs were mixed on the White Album) were treated to full bass and treble at the mix stage. It no longer becomes about sonic "niceness", but level and panning balances to make the mix work. An odd challenge, but you hear the results... and it IS fun to work with such limitations sometimes.
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2007, 07:16:01 am »

>>the best recordings to me from a hi-fi point of view were the early ones.<<

Agreed, in fact, most of the PRE-Beatles Abbey Road music is superior, sonically speaking.  Try to find and hear "Goodness Gracious Me" with Peter Sellars and Sophia Lauren: absolutely amazing sonic quality.
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Sarusan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2007, 12:58:26 pm »

I think the same is true for the pre-rock recordings done in Hollywood as well:  RCA, United and Western, Columbia, etc..  I heard a bunch of my father's records from that era over the holidays (Bobby Darin, Sinatra, Mancini, etc..)and was simultaneously amazed and bummed out.  None of us will ever get the chance to do records that will sound that great.

Steven

Brian Kehew wrote on Tue, 16 January 2007 04:16

Agreed, in fact, most of the PRE-Beatles Abbey Road music is superior, sonically speaking.

Logged

Sarusan

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 245
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2007, 01:01:25 pm »

I was told that there was a green(!) Helios at Seville Road but maybe that was after Terry's visit.  Would that have been when they were still borrowing consoles from EMI?
Logged

vernier

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 809
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2007, 12:19:32 pm »

Quote:

None of us will ever get the chance to do records that will sound that great.

All you need is a good room -and the equipment they used back then, which is still around.
Logged

maxdimario

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3811
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2007, 12:34:44 pm »

AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF ALL:

REPLACEMENT OF ALL WORN OUT COMPONENTS!

vintage gear today will NOT sound the same as it did 50 years ago EVEN IF IT'S NEVER BEEN USED..unless restored.

no ifs and buts..
Logged

Tdstotler

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 50
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2007, 10:16:42 pm »

 
What I am always suprised is when someone gets a piece
of 'vintage' gear, and hooks it into new high end digital
convertors and proceeds to hear every little sonic blemish.
I belive back in the day all of this stuff was well
masked with all the other 'vintage gear'.
Case in point, in the Recording Beatles book, they talk
about hearing distortions on the new transitor desk
that was in the expirmental room circa 66 from the mix tapes
that were recorded on the Redd.
But when played back on the Redd they couldn't hear any distortion.
I think this is somewhat relavent to today when you try
to interface something vintage to modern.

Todd

www.echoesrecordingstudio.com
www.myspace.com/echoesrecordingstudio
Logged

vernier

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 809
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2007, 02:06:13 pm »

I was so disappointed  when the white album came out ..solid-state was the mistake.
Logged

Marlowe

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2007, 11:56:42 am »

The solid-state console wasn't used until Abbey Road.  The White Album was recorded using the same tube console they'd been using since 1964.

vernier wrote on Fri, 23 February 2007 19:06

I was so disappointed  when the white album came out ..solid-state was the mistake.

Logged

Andy Simpson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 714
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2007, 02:02:10 pm »

Solid-state tape machine.....
Logged

Brian Kehew

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2914
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2007, 11:02:52 pm »

Actually, all Beatles records were mixed on valve (tube) machines, and the White Album was partially tracked on valve machines and partially on solid state, but I challenge anyone to spot the differences in the tracks just by listening.

In other words - a chunk of the White Album was done on the same gear as Revolver, Pepper and MMTour. Yet they ALL sound different - because the Beatles wanted them to...
Logged
Relax and float downstream...

Oliver Archut

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1125
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2007, 11:39:19 pm »

Hello Brian,

I agree with you about the tape sound, but if you check the same record from the different record pressing plant you do hear a big different. I check a couple of years back the german, dutch, italian as well as two different US versions and all of them had differences... It would be quite an interesting venture to outline the different record pressing/mastering set ups for the historic vinyl pressing plants.

Best regards,
Logged
Oliver Archut
www.tab-funkenwerk.com

We are so advanced, that we can develop technology that can determine how much damage the earth has taken from the development of that technology.

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2007, 10:27:51 am »

Brian Kehew wrote on Tue, 16 January 2007 04:16

Agreed, in fact, most of the PRE-Beatles Abbey Road music is superior, sonically speaking.




Sarusan wrote on Tue, 16 January 2007 12:58

I think the same is true for the pre-rock recordings done in Hollywood as well:  RCA, United and Western, Columbia, etc..  I heard a bunch of my father's records from that era over the holidays (Bobby Darin, Sinatra, Mancini, etc..) and was simultaneously amazed and bummed out.  None of us will ever get the chance to do records that will sound that great.


Steven,

Yes, all of those records you mentioned were great, BUT there was still a BIG difference between the Sinatra recordings (at least those LA recorded Capitol ones, Arranged by Nelson Riddle and Produced by Voyle Gilmore, best case in point being "Wee Small Hours") and the Bobby Darin New York recordings (Produced by Ahmet and Neshui, Engineered by Tom Dowd).

The Sinatra recordings mentioned were amazingly full and warm, and beautiful.  The Bobby Darin ones, whilst awesome, and amongst my very favourites, were in comparison more strident, and showed a few engineering flaws.  I spoke to Tom Dowd about this very thing in 1968, and he lamented about several vocal rides he had "missed," and spoke with huge admiration for the warmth of those Sinatra recordings.

Even then, all things were never equal.



As for The Beatles' vinyl, I always thought that that by far the best were the original UK mono pressings on Parlophone.

Logged

Glenn (Jakeandthephatman)

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 93
Re: Asked but still not answered - White Album Pre's
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2007, 07:06:35 pm »

Well.... I can't say I was not warned about this.. BUT... Damm you Brian for writing  that RECORDING THE BEATLES BOOK. lol..I wanted a RS124 Soooo bad that I went ahead and gave Jim my money and compressor.. What a mistake. Just as Brian had stated in a prior post, Jim was great in the beginning. Sending me PDF's etc. Now nothing for over 3  months.. Various emails, calls, voice-mails. I refuse to be ripped off by a guy who attends Namm and AES w/o fear of repercussions. I don't know about you guys but for me, this is too much. JIM if you read this. Call me, its better to face this head-on than to run into me. (Sorry for taking the time to let Jim Have it) Also for those of you that do have 636c's and would like them to have the modifications done, you can call Tom Herzer here in LA. He does his own set of mods to the 636 which are beyond fantastic. Aside from recapping etc. he adds variable attack, the ability to balance the tubes + adding knobs to release and threshold. I do have to say that his modded 636c is my favorite compressor right now....
Logged
Producer-Engineer for  Jake and the Phatman. Credits include..
Raphael Saadiq / D'Angelo / Stevie Wonder / Eryka Badu / Tupac / Isley Bros. / Joss Stone / Angie Stone / John Legend / John Mayer / Beyonce / Earth Wind and Fire
Pages: 1 2 [All]   Go Up