R/E/P > Recording - Engineering & Production

Big Star doc- Ardent- such great aocutic sounds!


the brill bedroom:
Yeah, I'm trolling for Terry here, but I bet some others here iwll have good opinions. I have been recovering from a stroke in January. It's no big deal, just completely wiped out my ability to sing or play guitar (which is how I make a living). I'm fighting my way back slowly, getting my left hand fingers to do as they are told and starting speech therapy in two weeks. It's a major drag, of course, but also a good chance to go back through some of the building blocks of my own musicality: Beatles, Badfinger, Big Star, Squeeze, etc.

I have been re-watching the Big Star documentary "Nothing Can Hurt Me" with headphones and (again) marveling at what wonderful acoustic guitar sounds they got at Ardent. Particularly on the first two albums, I guess. Even Chris Bell's single and eventual album "You And Your Sister" for instance. There's something really special going on there: some combination of very sensitive playing, the specific mics and compression. I think it's Gibson acoustics, generally, Electrodyne console if I'm not mistaken- lots of body, but what do you all reckon accounts for the extra high end sparkle?

Also, feel free to hit me with any stroke recovery success stories you all may have. I sure can use them right now.

Bummer about the stroke -- that has got to suck!!   Terry hasn't been on these forums for a few years now.  Normally, I wouldn't bother to mention it but seeing as you've got enough "not fun" shit going on in your world -- you can find Terry at the PRW [that was original -- wasn't it!!] forums.  http://prorecordingworkshop.lefora.com

Hope you make a full recovery soon.


Interesting... I was always curious about the same thing with the acoustics. They were brilliant.

I asked Jody Stephens about it; and he referred me to Adam Hill, who is an Ardent engineer and Big Star archivist. He told me that as soon as he got comfortable at Ardent, he asked John Fry the very same question about the acoustic guitars.

Alex had a Martin, and Chris had a red label Nippon Yamaha. Fry usually used a single KM84. But they feel the biggest contributors were probably the Spectrasonics preamps and EQs. Cranking the high end at either 10k or 15k on those inductor-based EQs would do the trick. Sometimes they would mic up in stereo, as Andy said they had heard the Beach Boys did that.

John kept the console, and they have a number of channels from it racked up and they are still in use.

All this originally from John Fry back in the day according to Adam. I'll be doing some work at Ardent later in the year and will put this to the test. BTW, Jody is a lovely guy and the studios are killer.

I'm quite sure the room had a bit of a role in all as well... though nothing sounds better than a superior player!!


Yes, it goes without saying that both Alex and Chris were exceptional players, and Jody and Adam said the very same. At that's the bulk of it.

As far as the room... I'd have to go back and look at some of my exchanges with Adam and Jody. But IIRC, the first record was recorded entirely at the original Ardent location... And I believe a good part of the 2nd record may have been, as well. So by the time the studio was relocated to its current location, it was not too far off from Chris leaving the band. I don't have any info on the original Ardent rooms, but that surely would have been a factor in the guitar sound.

So many good rooms of the past are gone now...


[0] Message Index

Go to full version