SH Spotlight Vintage photos of our favorite recording engineers. Have any?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 6, 2014.

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  1. jtaylor

    jtaylor Senior Member

    Before moving to the Walton St. studio sometime in late '55 or early '56, Universal was located at 111 E. Ontario St., where the Cole session (post #178) was recorded.
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  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Such a good sounding room. They should have stayed there.
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  3. Yeah probably Chris Nagle's arm - he's in the video with Hannett that I posted.

    It was Nagle's wife Julia who a while back revealed she had a stash of old JD tapes :-

    I am considering getting this DVD and Book on Hannett for Xmas (but I am hesitating due to the dodgy quality of some previous items from Ozit) :-

  4. Ben Sinise

    Ben Sinise Forum Reticent

    Decca UK's Kenneth Wilkinson, seen here with Sir Malcolm Sargent in the first picture, and working in the background at a listening session with Rene Leibowitz and Charles Gerhardt in the second photo.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Everyone loved and respected Wilkie, but during a session he could be exacting when it came to small details.
    He would prowl the recording stage with a cigarette, half-ash, between his lips, making minute adjustments in the mike set-up and in the orchestra placement.
    The seating arrangement was really one of the keys to Wilkie's approach and he would spend a great deal of time making sure that everyone was located just where he wanted them to be, in order for the mikes to reflect the proper balances.
    Of course, most musicians had a natural tendency to bend toward the conductor as they played.
    If such movement became excessive, Wilkie would shoot out onto the stage and chew the erring musician out before reseating him properly.
    He wanted the musicians to stay exactly where he had put them.
    He was the steadiest of engineers, the most painstaking and the most imaginative.
    In all of his sessions, he never did the same thing twice, making small adjustments in mike placement and balances to accord with his sense of the sonic requirements of the piece being played.
    The most remarkable sonic aspect of a Wilkinson orchestral recording is its rich balance, which gives full measure to the bottom octaves, and a palpable sense of the superior acoustics of the venues he favored, among them London's Walthamstow Assembly Hall and The Kingsway Hall.
  5. Rne

    Rne weltschmerz

    Unfortunately, I can't find any photographs of Dick Kunc.
  6. ZEP77

    ZEP77 Houston/Pontiac '77 Video. Where are you?


    The great John Leckie!
  7. sixelsix

    sixelsix Forum Resident

    memphis, tn, usa
    Great profile of Sigma and Joe, as well as several other mentioned in this thread, here:
  8. danielbravo

    danielbravo Senior Member

    Caracas. DC

  9. danielbravo

    danielbravo Senior Member

    Caracas. DC

    David Hentschel
    (at Trident's Sound Techniques console)
  10. Tex_Writer

    Tex_Writer Well-Known Member

    Houston TX
    Easter Everywhere
    13th Floor Elevators

    Lelan Rogers – production
    Frank Davis – engineering
    Walt Andrus – engineering

    Andrus opened Andrus Productions in southeast Houston in 1964. Among the groups he produced and/or recorded were the The 13th Floor Elevators, The Red Crayola/Krayola, Fever Tree, The Clique and The Children. He closed the studio in 1971.

    Here's Walt Andrus:

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  11. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist


    Personnel shown:

    Live room: Hank Garland (electric guitar), Ray Edenton (guitar), Buddy Harman (drums), Floyd T. Chance (bass), Phil and Don (guitars/vocals).

    Control room: Selby Coffeen (engineer), Archie Bleyer (producer) [just peeking into frame on the right]

    Having looked through my Everly collection again, I think this photo can be pinned down to either October 13th, 1958 or March 2nd 1959.

    For their '57 sessions, RCA was still at McGavock Street. There are more photos from the same session which show Boudleaux and Felice Bryant present, along with Archie Bleyer, Wesley Rose and Ike Everly.

    Songs recorded at these sessions:

    October 13th, 1958
    "Love Of My Life"

    March 2nd, 1959
    "Poor Jenny" (one o'clock version)
    "Take A Message To Mar
    "Oh, True Love"
    "Poor Jenny" (ten o'clock version)

    All songs written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant (I've read that Boudleaux played the bottle / screwdriver percussion on "Take A Message To Mary"). If the photo is from either of these two listed sessions then Chet Atkins (electric guitar) and Marvin Hughes (piano) were also present.

    Now, for the first of these sessions, they were recorded in mono. The second one is a 2-track session (with nothing balanced in the middle).

    Any clues in the photo as to whether this was a mono or 2-track session?

    I think Bill Porter came on board for the next Everlys session on July 7th 1959, which is 2-track but has vocals, acoustic guitars, drums and bass centred with piano and electric guitar off to the sides ["('Til) I Kissed You" and "Oh, What A Feeling"].
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    One meter, one channel.
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  13. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Yep, figured that it looked like a mono set-up but wondered if we weren't seeing everything.

    Did they have a different/modified console once they went 2-track?

    The one in the picture is interesting with the symmetrical pairs of controls - could it be a 2-channel console with mono monitoring? Where's the mic input control board? Or, is that what we are looking at?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  14. bekayne

    bekayne Senior Member

    Dave Hassinger during the recording of the first Collectors LP
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  15. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Here's Bill Porter's 3-track console from RCA Studio B (what year did they get 3-track?):


    Did they have a 2-track console between running in mono and 3-track?

    [apologies for thread diversion - been wondering about which session that Selby Coffeen / Everlys photo is from for years!]

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  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Beautiful, isn't it? 1959, wasn't it? Ran with a two channel tape as well, no mono.
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No one really seems to know much about their "twin-track" capture. There IS something down the middle in "Message To Mary" though, the little percussion thingies. Nice sound from the old RCA Studio. Personally I think they had a BETTER sound there than when they went all high-tech in moving. The sound got thicker, slower, etc. Great music though.
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  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    I'm sure the console was modded in some way for that MARY/JENNY session. Lasted so short a time that no one really knows how it was done. Two track, yes.
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  19. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Of course - I was thinking that with the vocals being off to the side they were twin-track but as you say they have the middle covered too.

    Listening to your DCC release, I agree that the old RCA was amazing - never sounded that way on other re-issues (screeetch) :cheers:

    This is the nub of it - does the console Selby Coffeen is seen using in the photo rule out the March 2nd 1959 session ["Poor Jenny" (both versions), "Take A Message To Mary", "Oh, True Love"] which was recorded on 2-track.

    If so, it's Selby Coffeen's penultimate Everlys session on October 13th 1958 ["Problems", "Love Of My Life"], recorded in mono.

    Otherwise, if they used the original mono console with modified signal routing somehow for the early 2-track, then it could be either session.

    Lost in the mists of time, perhaps.

  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    No one knows (or cares) but I can say this: The sonic signature of the mono console that he used is quite recognizable (a leaner sound, possibly a bit over the top). This same sonic signature is on the stereo two track stuff as well so my guess is that they modded the console in some way to get a second channel going.

    The thick sludgy sound started at the new place on the new gear.
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  21. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    For some reason, most re-issues make it even leaner judging by the Cadence session reels that are available on CD in the EU. They seem to be flat transfers - at least, they haven't ironed out the balance or tonal adjustments made during the early takes and they have a fuller, duller sound overall compared with the Bear Family or Rhino releases of the same material). They could do with some help for a polished release but it's great to hear what the tapes may actually sound like, warts and all (if they are indeed flat).

    I remember you saying that "Let It Be Me" sounded great flat when I complained it sounded thin and screechy on the re-issues at the time (of course, this was a Bell Sound recording).

    Your DSD master must have been incredible.

    I know what you mean about the "sludge" on the Bill Porter tapes (Everlys, Orbison, Elvis, circa 1960-63) - quite a bit of noise and grunge beneath the music with a softening, slightly spongy effect. I guess that's also what makes the magic :cool:

    Are the tapes damaged too, or is it all in the recordings themselves (ie from the new console and other gear)?
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    The RCA Optical compressor that Bill Porter favored is the sludgemaker in this case. He set it on stun.

    There are Cadence session tapes for Everly stuff? Can you tell me what the songs are?
  23. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Recordings sparkling with life - those were the days :)

    There are two CDs available:


    The Cadence Sessions 1957-1960

    Topp Records (2013)

    Cat: TR 01

    1. Bye Bye Love (Take 1)
    2. Bye Bye Love (Takes 2, 3, & 4)
    3. Be-Bop-A-Lula (Takes 1 & 2)
    4. Be-Bop-A-Lula (Takes 4 & 5)
    5. Hey Doll Baby (Takes 1, 2, & 3)
    6. Hey Doll Baby (Takes 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8)
    7. I Wonder If I Care As Much (Takes 1-3)
    8. I Wonder If I Care As Much (Takes 4-6)
    9. Kentucky (Takes 1-7)
    10. Kentucky (Takes 8, 9, & 10)
    11. Kentucky (Takes 11-14)
    12. Like Strangers (Takes 1-3) *
    13. Like Strangers (Takes 4-6) *
    14. Like Strangers (Takes 7-10) *
    15. When Will I Be Loved (Takes 1 & 2) *
    16. When Will I Be Loved (Takes 3-6) *
    17. When Will I Be Loved (Takes 7-10) *
    18. When Will I Be Loved (No Vocals) *
    19. Since You Broke My Heart (No Vocals) *

    The Cadence Sessions 1957-1960 Volume 2

    Topp Records (2013)

    Cat: TR 02

    1. Wake Up Little Susie (Takes 1 & 2)
    2. Wake Up Little Susie (Takes 3, 4 & 5)
    3. Wake Up Little Susie (Takes 6 & 7)
    4. Wake Up Little Susie (Takes 8, 9, 10, 11)
    5. Keep A-Knockin' (Takes 1 & 2)
    6. Keep A-Knockin' (Takes 4 & 5)
    7. Keep A-Knockin' (Takes 6, 7, & 8)
    8. Leave My Woman Alone (Take 1)
    9. Leave My Woman Alone (Takes 2 & 3)
    10. Leave My Woman Alone (Takes 4 & 5)
    11. Rip It Up (Takes 1 & 2)
    12. Rip It Up (Takes 3 & 4)
    13. Down In The Willow Garden (Takes 8, 9, 10, 11)
    14. Down In The Willow Garden (Takes 12, 13 & 14)
    15. Oh What A Feeling (Takes 1, 2, 3) *
    16. Oh What A Feeling (Takes 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8) *
    17. Oh What A Feeling (Takes 9, 10, 11) *
    18. Oh What A Feeling (Take 12) *
    19. ('Til) I Kissed You (Takes 1 & 2) *
    20. ('Til) I Kissed You (Takes 3 & 4) *
    21. ('Til) I Kissed You (Takes 5 & 6) *
    22. ('Til) I Kissed You (No Vocals) *

    MONO except * STEREO

    The best part is that they sound like unfutzed-with transfers from the original masters :thumbsup:

    First all those Cadence demos surfaced, now this. There's more than double the Cadence material there used to be available. With all the later material out too - happy days for Everly fans.

    Of course, I'm hoping whoever put these sessions out has the rest...

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  24. Beech

    Beech Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Chet Atkins may not have been a recording engineer but I bet he spent plenty of time helping with the mixing. Here pictured with Emmylou Harris and and unknown person in the centre.

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  25. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Lodi, New Jersey
    Is that in preparation for a Chet Atkins TV special?
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