Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SOME STUFFS: Echo chambers at Capitol Records in danger

Image Hosted by It might sound like a laughing matter to some, but it's not. Before it was possible to alter any and every song digitally with plug-in's and external gear, one way to make a vocal or guitar in the recording studio have a distinct sound would be to run it through an echo chamber. EMI Recording Studios, now known as Abbey Road, had their own echo chambers that helped The Beatles a number of times throughout their recorded history. Phil Spector is of course known for his "Wall Of Sound". But if one is to think of Pet Sounds or some of David Axelrod's productions in the mid to late 60's, then one has to think about how those songs and albums were done, and most likely they were run through Capitol's echo chambers, created by legendary guitarist Les Paul.

Back then, every recording studio had their own way of recording and documenting sound, some of it was secret until recording nerds were curious and made it possible to share the secrets with the world. Due to a developer who plans on building a high rise right next door to Capitol (dollar dollar bill, y'all), the record label feels that those cherished underground echo chambers will be damaged. There's an argument which claims that one can digitally simulate any form of echo and reverb, so even if the echo chambers were damaged, it would not be that much of a deal.

Unfortunately, the world of audio gets the shaft once again, and yet if this had something to do with the archiving of Hollywood's motion picture industry, one phone call from George Clooney would stop the building from being erected. This is music history, recorded history, and the threat of the echo chambers is not to be ignored. To read the full article, head on over to the L.A. Times:

Capitol Records says recording quality at its Hollywood building is at risk (link to L.A. Times article, written by Bob Pool)


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