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Author Topic: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger  (Read 48102 times)

tombola

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Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« on: March 22, 2005, 03:09:01 am »

Hi Terry - This is my first post on REP and I'm a little bit in awe - 'I'll Take You There' is one my my favourite-sounding records ever, perhaps second only to Chris Blackwell's work with Grace Jones at Compass Point.
I recently read this story: http://www.pastemagazine.com/action/article?article_id=1467 about the Flickinger console built for Sly Stone. It's pretty hyped up, but got me really interested in Dan Flickinger - but there's only a tiny amount of information on the web. (Although I did read that he bought five of the first batch of ten minimoogs!)
In another post on this site, GM said that Flickinger has "been out of audio since somewhere around the time of the Ike Turner/Bolic Sound debacle" which doesn't mean much to me.
Does anyone have any stories about him or his work? It sounds like he did some great things (I read that a Flickinger 2269 was used by Robert Margouleff to record Stevie Wonder's vocals in the 70s), then disappeared.
Thanks!  
Tom

RMoore

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2005, 04:17:59 am »

Sorry to chime in here - but the folks from Key Club / Skibbe Electronics have a 'Sly Stone' Flickenger console & are apparently planning to issue a preamp based on the Flickenger - could be interesting: http://www.keyclubrecording.com/

<quote from site>

"Gear in the works

Remote gain preamp inspired by Flickinger mic pre monolithe OP                   Amp

All Skibbe Electronics products are hand built and tested at The                   Key Club Recording Co. in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Please e-mail                   skibbeelectronics@keyclubrecording.com                   or call or call 269.926.7553 for more information or to order."
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People's Republic of Ryan

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RMoore

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2005, 04:29:16 am »

BTW I just read the link above about the Kills recording & Key Club almost certainly must be the studio they found w Sly Stone Flickenger
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People's Republic of Ryan

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cgc

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 07:44:56 am »

Yeah the Kills did that album at Key Club about a year ago.  Bill has tracked down a ton of info about Dan Flickinger and his consoles and he really should publish it.  I went out to Key Club to pick up a tape machine and got the whole story over about 4 hours.  It's a must hear for studio geeks.

The description of Sly's desk is pretty accurate: it does have black light paint, the meters are beyond psychedelic and the board itself is just a controller for racks of amp card based electronics.  It's also pretty temperamental according to my friend who has worked on the circuits - the EQs will blow up and oscillate!  That board is apparently the oldest parametric EQ around.

I would recommend anyone looking to do a project and wanting to get away from the city to give Bill and his studio a look.  
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wwittman

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 12:47:13 pm »

We had some huge, tube compressors built by Flickinger at the Record Plant... they were very Fairchild-like (more than any other that CLAIMS that) and good sounding.
But BIG.

The one time I worked on a Flickinger console however I was underwhelmed.


Was it Fame that had one, Terry?
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William Wittman
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compasspnt

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2005, 02:07:53 pm »

Dan Flickinger was to me a very odd duck.  He was two things at once:  1) a brilliant audio technician who was in some ways quite ahead of his time (or at least he had someone somewhere who was); and 2) a snake oil-selling con artist.

At least one of his consoles was installed at Stax for some period; I don't remember if it was more than one, and for how long it stayed.  One may indeed have been at Fame, but I'm not actually sure about that.  They did have a pretty decent sound, as I remember.  But there was always something too showy and odd about them for me.

Then Dan came to our old, original Ardent Studio on National Street, probably in about '67-68 or so, and cornered me privately.  He offered me a large bribe if I would go to John Fry and talk him into buying one of the Flickinger consoles to replace our SpectraSonics/Auditronics.  I was quite taken aback by this; and it left a very bad taste in my system.  Of course the money would have been great to have, especially back then as a very young, struggling musician/engineer/producer.  But I threw him out, and went to tell John the whole story.  This then "got around" in the Memphis community, and Dan's presence there diminished somewhat.  I heard a few years later that he was sent to prison for some fraudulent activities.  Now this whole offer thing may not have been as bad as I thought at the time; I guess a "finder's fee" bonus might not have been such a bad idea, if everyone knew all the facts, and made their decisions based upon them.  But that wasn't how Dan approached it.  He was secretive, and implored me to be so, and to lie if necessary for money.

So since then, I have kept the same thoughts; I don't care how good his equipment is, or was, I wouldn't use it.

Terry
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Fig

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2005, 03:41:31 pm »

Hi there,

I saw the name Flickenger and had to read the thread.

Just wanted to note that I grew up on a Flickenger 20X20X44 at 9 East Huron in Chicago.  I really enjoyed learning on it and using it.

The equalizers were quite amazing (even if the detents pointed down - toward the operator - pan knobs were like this, too).

It was built in the days of 2" 16 track and was very proud of the fact that it had 20 inputs (four more than you need).  Of course, the 2" 24s came out and then you were four short.

The tape return section (which had 24 returns, BTW) had panning for quadraphonic and gates on the inputs.  Even the input, selsync/repro selections per track were avaialble on the console.

Its my understanding he made 'em one at a time and would custom config them as the buyer wished.  I guess that's true of many a console maker, though.

That device got moved to Fulton Market, in Chicago, where it still resides - if I'm not mistaken.  Its been a while since I have visited.

Here's a pic of the beast:



index.php/fa/876/0/






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fclayton

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2005, 03:46:39 pm »

Just curious.... does this sort of thing happen often?

And what about simple endorsements?

BTW Although it's belated.... hope you can stick around as moderator.

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electrical

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2005, 04:21:27 pm »

I will go to my deathbed claiming Flickinger consoles are the best sounding mixing desks ever made. Period.

I have worked on several, and in good repair, they have the best bass and the best high-end of any desk of their era. They crap all over anything built since. Slightly noisy, but that's a small price to pay.

There is a perfect-condition 24x8x24 at Black Box, a remarkable studio near Angers, France. I have made several dozen records on it, and I would gladly make all records on it.

The best.
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steve albini
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RMoore

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2005, 05:28:23 pm »

Funky looking console - very 'Star Trek', 60's style..
Gotta love that push button routing matrix off to the side!
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People's Republic of Ryan

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By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
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brewsbee

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2005, 05:30:09 pm »

Two other 70's studios with Flickengers were Nashville's Cinderalla and Muscle Shoals Sound  -- between their Universal tube and and MCI in about 78, as I recall.  Nice sounds from both during that era.
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jwhynot

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2005, 09:20:49 pm »

Quote:

and I would gladly make all records on it.

Wow that's a serious endorsement.  Steve - do you know of any of these machines in California?

Cheers
JW
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Fig

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2005, 12:19:46 pm »

Ryan Moore wrote:

"Gotta love that push button routing matrix off to the side! "

It was certainly cool, until you had to change out the lightbulbs.  Thank g*d for interns!

Mr. Albini, you could contact Paragon Recording about their Flickengers, if you are seeking one.  They had two, the one in the picture (black writing on stainless silver) and another clone which was black metal with the writing in stainless silver.  My understanding is that the black one was a prototype, and ended up being built for Sly Stone.

Their CR "C" had a small, broadcast-type Flick that was pretty cool, too.

Last time I was there, on Fulton, they were employing an Amek BIG (or some such) and the Flick was just sitting idle - I wanted to use it but the house engineer was "patched-in" and didn't want to reconfigure.  I was on a discount rate so I didn't argue - but regret it now.

Being the guy that physically moved it from 9 East Huron (four flights of marble stairs - no elevator) to Fulton Market, that Flickenger and I got to know each other pretty well. Rolling Eyes

I do agree with you, it allowed even a hack like me to make some damn good recordings in those days.  I wish I had some of the pres and eqs in my rack today!

Osci-later,

Fig  
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wwittman

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2005, 02:11:42 pm »

It's interesting, Terry, that he was trying to talk you into replacing a Spectrasonics with the Flickinger...
my recollection is that they were actually very similar sounding desks.
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William Wittman
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compasspnt

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Re: Please tell me about Daniel N Flickinger
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2005, 02:35:29 pm »

wwittman wrote on Wed, 23 March 2005 14:11

It's interesting, Terry, that he was trying to talk you into replacing a Spectrasonics with the Flickinger...
my recollection is that they were actually very similar sounding desks.


I agree...same general approach, sounded similar.  He was going for the money, not caring about our sound.  But the build quality was much higher on the Spectra...at least ours, built by Auditronics.
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