Soulful Detroit Archives - July 2004 Eli- Recording History Previous Next

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Garo (gary_james)
2-Debutant
Username: gary_james

Post Number: 24
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 68.162.74.236
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 3:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Eli,
Can you discuss the milestones and changes in your studio experience-- such as the change from 4 to 8 to 16 tracks and how the recording of your guitar changed? At what point did your guitar become isolated on it's own track? Were the Gamble/Huff TSOP sessions 16 track?
Can you give song examples and years?
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1143
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.163.46.22
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 6:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Geez Gary, where do I start!

The very first session that I played on was When we get married by the Dreamlovers.
I was a kid and i was in awe of actually being in a real recording studio with TWO tracks!
My guitar part was very up front with tremolo from a pre historic tremolo unit that was so noisy, they had to put a quilt over it!

Bobby Martin was the vibe player on that record.

Not long after, i started producing my first records, the first one was called You'll always know, by the Sweethearts(mono) on Harris records.
After that I produced Colly Williams, Rocky Brown and some other very early Philly singers,(two track)all the while being a junior in High School!

About a year later, I started playing on a lot of sessions at Virtue studios, mainly for Harthon and Arctic, such as Yes Im Ready by Barbara Mason, the Volcanos,Gene Faith, Eddie Holman , Cliff Nobles, Johnny C. and MUCH more.
All of those were four track sessions.

Right around this time, Gamble and Huff and Thom Bell started to produce their early things and I started working with them over at Cameo/Parkway studios which ahd two four track machines that they would bounce between.

Some of those records were, Cowboys to Girls, Together, United, Love is like a baseball game, La la means I love you, Youve been untrue etc.

In August of '68 Joe Tarsia opened Sigma at 212 n.12th street.
At first in was eight track, and the first sessions were We dont need no music by the landslides and Rover Rover and ghetto Woman by Ruth Mc Fadden, which were all recorded on the same day and it was essentially a session to test the new facility, after which Kenny said" sounds good Joe, we'll use the place"!

The next sessions were The intrigues In a Moment and their album as well as a lot of Johnny madara produced things.
In October of '69 we did Didnt I blow your mind by the delfonics and their subsequent album.

In 1970 Sigma went 16 track and in '72 they were the second studio ever to go 24 track, the first one being the Record Plant in NYC.

And after that the list becomes endless!!!
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phil hurtt (phillyfossil)
2-Debutant
Username: phillyfossil

Post Number: 15
Registered: 8-2004
Posted From: 68.37.87.187
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 9:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Bobby, you never cease to amaze me with your power of recollection. You just stirred up a few things in my memory banks.I know you recall the stuff we did with the Swinging Phillies,well Here's where i prove what a fossil i am. That stuff was cut direct to disk with the cutting machine he artist and the musicans in the same room circa 1957-58. Only one baffle in to separate us. I believe it was bell or belltone studios. I wish i could get my hands on that baffle, it had
everybody's signature on it, the Monotones,The Flamingos, del-vikings a whole bunch of Folks.
So.... we signed it too.
Thanks for taking me back, it's not over my friend.
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1149
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.163.46.22
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Geez Phil,

Holy cow, you've got me beat by a longshot!

Was the stylus actually a toucan with a sharp beak?
Did y'all sing into a horn?
So much for technology.

But..the record sounds decent considering.
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~medusa~ (~medusa)
6-Zenith
Username: ~medusa

Post Number: 445
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 68.79.114.54
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It aint over , 'til it's over.
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1150
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.163.46.22
Posted on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Tell 'em Medusa!!
Got that right!!!

Now, how about some of them groceries you were fixin??
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Robb_K (robb_k)
6-Zenith
Username: robb_k

Post Number: 431
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 217.232.145.81
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 4:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for filling us in Bobby. It's nice to know that you worked on several great records. Now when I listen to them, I'll focus in on the guitar.
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David Meikle (david_meikle)
5-Doyen
Username: david_meikle

Post Number: 295
Registered: 3-2004
Posted From: 81.130.211.124
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 11:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nice thread Bobby.

I bought "In a moment" when it was released in the UK. A great record.

Robb is correct, the discussions on this forum make you think more of the instrumentation on the recordings.
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Garo (gary_james)
2-Debutant
Username: gary_james

Post Number: 25
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 192.234.106.2
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 12:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Bobby!
Was there a point when they started putting your guitar on it's own track when more tracks were available? Did that become standard practice in the 70's?
I ask this because I have a nice VHI documentary on Steely Dan's Aja album. Becker and Fagan sit at the mixing board and isolate the instruments on the tracks. Great stuff!
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1160
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.163.48.65
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Gary,

When Sigma opened, the guitars each had their own track, the drums on two, tracks,
keys on two tracks, percussion on one track, and one left open for a ruff vocal..
Seven tracks were very carefully, then premixed to a two tracks of another machine and then bounced back to the eight track leaving five open tracks, for horns, strings and backing vocals.

When we upgraded to 16 tracks we then had the luxury of seperating our sound even more, and then when 24 tracks came into play, al of the rhythm guys had their own track, including the drums being spread out as such:
kick, snare(two channels top and bottom), hi hat, one track each,
toms, two tracks, over heads, two tracks

bass one track(two channels live and direct)
guitars one track each live(sometimes I would have two channels, live and direct)
electric keys one track each (direct)
vibes, one track, percussion one or two tracks
horns two tracks, strings two trccks then doubled to two more tracks and pre mixed to a stereo pair, backing vocals same tratment as strings.
lead vocals on as many tracks that are left and sometimes comped to another open track for the final performance.

Of course, these days with digital recording the tracks are virtually eneless only dependent of your computer's memory capability and hard drive space.
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bigdaddyg2k4 (bigdaddyg2k4)
3-Pundit
Username: bigdaddyg2k4

Post Number: 55
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 63.102.169.8
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 4:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Another reason why I should become a recording engineer, and will attend school sometime in '05. It will be a treat and a honor to finally sit in front of a SSL or Neve console and being able to operate all of these very important and revelent pieces of machinery and technology, because in this day and age of digital, analog still plays a very big part in the recording process for consoles like the ones mentioned above are seamlessly compatible with so many digital devices, and the warmth is truly amazing when it shines through many recordings both new and old. It's no wonder so many Djs and music connoisseurs choose analog for superior sound quality. Too bad Studer stopped making its analog machines a couple of years ago, it is regarded as one of the finest reel-to-reel machines ever made. I know there is at least one I saw in Nashville at the SAE Institute (School of Engineering).
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Destruction (destruction)
5-Doyen
Username: destruction

Post Number: 256
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 199.173.225.24
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 5:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I just found out last week that there were schools to teach you turntable skills.
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Davie Gordon (davie_gordon)
4-Laureate
Username: davie_gordon

Post Number: 149
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 195.93.33.10
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 5:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I suppose they'll have classes on how to scratch your records - call me old-fashioned if you like but I could never get to grips with that concept -- it goes against the whole grain off taking
care of records. If anybody did that to records of mine there would be trouble :-)

Davie
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Eli (phillysoulman)
6-Zenith
Username: phillysoulman

Post Number: 1169
Registered: 4-2004
Posted From: 68.163.48.65
Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 5:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Big Daddy,
Im happy that you have the desire to take classes on recording engineering and your desire to involve the analogue world of recording.

Its a long and tedious process if you have no experience in the field and it helps to be a musician or a have an understanding of music and musical terminology.

Schools are great, but hands on experience and a good internship are the best way to learn.
With the advent of digital technology and its enormous a myriad of software and hardware manufacturers that seem to come out on a daily basis.

So having said that, I with you luck in your endeavor but its gonna be a long and winding road to the top, so get ready for the ride!
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Garo (gary_james)
2-Debutant
Username: gary_james

Post Number: 26
Registered: 5-2004
Posted From: 192.234.106.2
Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 - 11:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Bobby, much appreciated!
I love this site!

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