A very vintage studio
My very vintage (and very orange) studio mood-board.
When it comes to recording studios, I enjoy looking at more traditional set-ups. Something about authentic Persian rugs and stacks of analogue equipment just transports me back to an era of music where you can imagine musicians experimenting with classic guitars and swinging the most delicate microphones around without a single care of the impact.
In my mind, the most innovative music came from the 1960’s-1970’s where you can envision bands of all genres heading into these fantastic colourful studios, bursting with life and creativity.
Many bands from this era have even given credit to these amazing studios in interviews and even naming entire albums after them (‘Abbey Road” by The Beatles - 1969), allowing the studios themselves to bask in glorious popularity.
I decided to create this mood board (above) detailing some of my favourite pieces of equipment which honour both a vintage look as well as a vintage sound. In this post, I'll be writing about the equipment you see here, as well as supplying some links towards demos of the equipment so you can really hear that vintage sound.
Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII combo
With the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII combo you're in for a fantastic whirlwind of beautiful authentic tones that can be heard in so many different genres and ages of music. A lot of the tones that have been achieved from the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII combo are able to fully transport anyone to places like ‘Electric lady studios’ where music really came to life in a beautiful environment.
Not to mention, the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII combo has an absolutely fantastic sounding spring reverb which is super customisable and allows the user to play around with a range of retro sounding reverbs.
Orange ‘Fur Coat’ pedal
The Orange ‘Fur Coat’ pedal is a fantastic fuzz pedal which provides alone the most awesome tones known to any of us in the music industry. This pedal is so dynamic within its functions that you’ll never want to stop using it. Theres so much you can achieve with this pedal that the options seem limitless. When listening to the demonstration videos of this pedal, I was completely blown away and although I don't actually play guitar (good enough, anyway), I immediately wanted to spend all of my money buying this pedal.
You can create tones that will take you to the psychedelic realm of Hendrix and then in the turn of a dial you can be in the electric chair of 70’s hard rock legend, Alice Cooper.
Theres four dials which control volume, fuzz, octave and EQ, then two buttons which allow you to switch between fuzz and octave or even operate both at once (which is where you'll create those amazing heavy tones).
Not to mention, the design of the two Orange pedals I've listed here are just gorgeous. The graphics on the front of each pedal just completely tie in with my vintage studio theme and would be a perfect edition to even the most complex of pedal boards.
I'm completely in love with this pedal and if you need further persuasion on it's greatness, then you should watch the video demonstration that I've linked below :
Orange 'Getaway Driver' Pedal
The Orange Getaway Pedal Produces some fantastic gritty guitar tones which can be used to replicate so many songs by bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. They really transport the listener into a world of gritty rock when it was first being introduced.
This pedal comes with three dials to control volume, bite and gain which is perfect for creating those heavy sabbath-esque tones and even for creating more mellow rock tones that suite the user better.
Below is a link to a video that demonstrates the use of these fantastic tones (Its a definite must watch and also demonstrates another one of Orange's fantastic sounding pedals, 'Fur Coat' :
PRS (Private Stock) Custom Tiger Eye Burst
Okay, so I’m not going to tell a lie, I'm a huge fan of Paul Reed Smith Guitars and how beautifully they're made. This model in particular really caught my eye when I was selecting instruments for my mood board. You really can’t fault this guitar when it comes to aesthetics and beauty - the tiger’s eye patterns of the blistered maple and the beautiful madagascan rosewood fretboard with the majestic flying Abalone 'J' Birds.When looking at this guitar not only did I think of beauty, but I also thought of all the amazing guitars that rock and roll legends would indulge in for no purpose whenever their records would go gold or platinum… Eric Clapton comes to mind.
Tama Superstar Classic - Maple shell pack in Tangerine lacquer
The Tama superstar classic kit that I have displayed in the mood-board is the pinnacle of authentic style. With its maple shells, the tone of the kit resonates brightly with a tight sounding mid-range punch. Although Tama isn't a brand I'd specifically buy for myself to play, I still rate them quite highly for their durable kits and production value.
Kits with popping colours could be seen in so many recording studios in the 1970's as it would often be an instrument that would live in a live room if musicians couldn't bring their own. Flashy kits were essentially born in the 1970's because thats when musicians discovered the art of making music videos, so having instruments that stood out in a blurry, fuzzy video was really essential.
The Nord Lead A1
Much like PRS guitars, I’m a huge fan of Nord synthesisers (expensive taste, I know). Honestly its almost in-comprehendable what these things can do. They're absolutely fantastic even just on the presets!
They've earned their place on my vintage moodpboard purely for existing. These beauties blow me away with their capabilities. Although this bit of kit wouldn't be available back in the day to the likes of music innovators like Pink Floyd and The Beatles, I like to think of what they'd achieve if their crazy minds were able to get a grip of these bad boys. You can really achieve some incredible retro sounds with this thing, from Fender Rodes to a Hammond Organ it really does cover everything.
Just take a look for yourselves in this really funky video that I've linked below :
The Neumann KM 185 Nickel stereo set
The Neumann KM 185 Nickel stereo set is a beautiful pair of condenser microphones that would be fantastic in recording really big sounding drum kits (amongst many other things, of course). These stunning microphones have a frequency response of 20 Hz-20 kHz allowing them to pick up a very broad frequency range that stretches to the limit of human hearing. Neumann are specifically known for their advanced technological advancements within the music industry and have been working on picking up a beautiful crystal clear sound with their microphones since 1928 when their company was first founded.
Although its more likely that vintage studios would've had use of microphones such as the Neumann U-47 (developed in 1949), the use of Neumann KM 185’s on a kit results in a fantastic clear drum recording with both bright overheads and powerful kicks.
Feather Microphones - Red Head (Cocobolo wood) Ribbon Microphone
After seeing this gorgeous microphone on a vintage equipment site while doing my research for this post, I couldn't help myself but to include it. Feather Microphones is a brand that doesn't really pop up much in the music industry but by looking at their divinely created microphones I think they deserve way more recognition. In reviews, I've read that this microphone excels in recording acoustic instruments and vocals, after all it is a delicate ribbon microphone so using it for anything else would cause a bit of a risk to the mechanics of the mic. For those of you who may not know, ribbon microphones are a more traditional style of microphone that were used in pioneering modern microphones such as dynamics and condensers that we use today, so I did have to include one on my vintage studio mood-board as the big microphone nerd that I am. Essentially I could have gone for a Royer R-121 ribbon microphone, but the sheer beauty of this microphone really sealed the deal for me. I mean, Just look at them !
Senhieser e606 Microphone
The Sennheiser e606 is a microphone that in my experience, is great for recording sound from amps. The microphone is of a dynamic type and has a really wide frequency response of 40Hz - 15kHz which is perfect for picking up the bass/mid range frequencies of electric guitars when put through an amp or a stack.
Whenever I’ve used this microphone for recording guitars through amps, I’ve always been pleasantly surprised at this microphones performance.
Also before I forget, the beautiful authentic style rug that is included in the mood
board can be found by clicking the following link :
Because no professional studio is complete without a really cool rug!
This concludes my post on my very vintage studio mood-board. I do hope to do more posts like this as it was something I really enjoyed doing.
Feel Free to get in touch if you enjoyed this post or if you’d like to share your ideas!