Trident Studios - technical details?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vonwegen, Sep 20, 2007.

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  1. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've really grown to love the sound of albums recorded at Trident Studios in London, and I am wondering how that particular studio sound was achieved.

    The drums sound is unique - clean but never heavy, and never overloud. The piano sound is like no other studio. The echo chamber sounds fabulous - was it a big concrete-walled room or something curved? How were acoustic and electric guitars mic'ed up?

    I assume the studio was already 16-track when Hunky Dory was done there - and Trident had its own unique mixing console. Any input, folks? And photos are always welcome!
  2. GT40sc

    GT40sc Forum Resident

    Eugene, Oregon
  3. Ken Scott

    Ken Scott Recording Legend

    The short and sweet answer.
    The sound was achieved because of Roy Thomas Baker, Robin Geoffrey Cable and myself.
    The drum booth was certainly nothing out of the ordinary. Dead , but not too dead.
    The piano was probably the best rock and roll piano ever. A Bechstein that had had something done to it to make it really hard. It apparently never sounded the same after being restrung.
    No chamber. Just an EMT plate.
    Guitars recorded using the same kind of gear as everyone else. It was the ears that made the difference.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that we started Hunky Dory 8 track, but then moved to 16 to complete the album.
    And lastly, 2 Sound Techniques boards and then the Trident A Range.

  4. Ken Scott

    Ken Scott Recording Legend

    I forgot.
    I have tried to find pictures but it appears very few were ever taken there. The same 4 or 5 are always used.

  5. vonwegen

    vonwegen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks, Ken!

    A question about Mick Ronson's piano tracks on Ziggy and Transformer - were they pieced together from multiple trackings? The reason I ask is because you posted elsewhere that he was not much of a piano player. If so, heck of a repair job you did on that, because it's impossible to hear any 'amateurness' in the playing, at least to my ears.
  6. The piano intro on Oh You Pretty Things..there is nothing like that produced since. The sound of Rick Wakeman's style and that sort of hard bad quality but great sound for what it was trying to be, amazing. I also love the fake or mistake intro to Andy Warhol. It sounds like you guys had a great time making Hunky Dory, is that right Ken? Could I ask which album was more complex and difficult to make Hunky Dory or Ziggy?
  7. globule2

    globule2 Member

    Ken Scott - The Recording of Ziggy Stardust

    @ Mr. Scott (if I may): Speaking of the Trident piano, can you say anything about the two different mixes of "Starman" ? The UK single and the earliest UK LP pressings (I'm told ) have a loud "Morse code" while most UK LPs and all CD versions have a subdued "Morse Code". Do you remember a decision to change versions on the LP?
  8. vinylman

    vinylman Forum Resident

    Leeds, U.K.
    I don't think it's any coincidence that, after using Trident, Freddie Mercury never used anything but a Bechstein, even live.
  9. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    Anyone know if Sound Techniques is still around?
  10. bhazen

    bhazen I Me Mine

    Newcastle, WA
    I did a lot of sessions through a Trident console at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA in the '80s; I can't recall precisely, but it may have been the one (or the same model) that the early Queen albums were recorded through. I remember the desk having individual channel e.q. that the engineers were excited about, turning the knob really did something...
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