This thread concerns historical recording studio gear and how it was used. It is prompted by my running across information about an exhibit at the 2000 AES (Audio Engineering Society) convention in LA called "When Vinly Ruled." The exhibit is a 1960's era studio control room and associated gear. I'd like this to be in Music Corner - it does involve hardware, but it is my hope that the discussion evolves into areas of production techniques and specific recordings - maybe, many things that go beyond just the attributes of different pieces of gear. Some details (and many great pics) about the exhibit can be found at http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/mtgschedules/109conv2000/109th-vinyl-report-1.html I am asssuming Steve was probably there, since this convention was in Los Angeles. I hope so, and even if not, I feel sure he can contribute a lot to the discussion, if it interests him. I hope it will interest plenty of other members too, some of whom can relate their direct experience to using this stuff, and similar setups of this era. Apart from its utter coolness, the exhibit raised a lot of questions for me about how and when this gear was used. I figure SH Forums is the best possible place to get answers, right? I mean I don't know any other group as into recording and popular music history as you people. Please forgive me ahead of time if I ask things that are well known to a lot of you pro's that were there - I'm just here to learn. I have a lot of questions, so I'm not going to just start with a huge laundry list - if the thread generates interest and/or answers, I will post more questions - and please post your own. My first set of questions is somewhat general, and concerns the "guts" of this studio - the Ampex 1/2" 3 Track machine and the smaller Ampex 1/4" 2 track. During what approx. time period was this model most prevalent in pro studios - and how prevalent, in fact, was it? Were there similar machines from other manufacturers, or was this sort of "the standard?" I am trying to imagine myself as an engineer charged with recording a typical rock/pop combo (drums, bass, guitars, lead and bg vocals, keys) with a 3 track machine - leading to several quesions: My immediate thought is I am going to have to do a lot of this live, with everyone playing together and that eventually I am probably going to have to bounce tracks around, especially if this is supposed to end up on a stereo master. Was the 3 track, in fact, mostly used for mono? Every producer/engineer had their own methods, I would say, but is there sort of an overall method for creating a backing track, adding lead vocal and harmony vocals, and whatever "extras" were needed? What speed was generally used on the Ampex, was this a 7.5 ips machine? More, less? Finally (just to get this thread started without too many initial questions), how do/did these things sound? There's a tendency for many of us to almost automatically see vintage equipment as better and more musical, was this really the case? I have plenty more questions, but I hope there will be enough interest and comment to get to them later.