Herb and Studio acoustics

Stephen Pickard

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I haven't been on this forum for quite a long time. Possibly more than ten years!
I was shocked reading some of the very interesting discussions that they were dated far back as 2003!
Anyway my question is, to the experts on here, how much influence did studio acoustics and microphone placement have on Herb's trumpet sound? My favorite of the studios was Gold Star on Santa Monica. Larry Levine was a brilliant mixer and the sound that he created for Herb's early albums was marvelous. Great presence and separation. Plus the sound was not fatiguing, very mellow, unlike many of today's recordings.
 

Mike Blakesley

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The biggest difference, well documented, came when he switched to Gold Star Studios on the third TJB album, South of the Border. The trumpet in particular took on a warmer sound. Herb credits that change with helping to make his "sound" more accessible, along with a broader choice of material and a more pop (and less Mexican-influenced) approach.

Later he transitioned to A&M's own studios, but (according to David Wechter, on the BBC documentary) they didn't quite get the echo that they had liked from Gold Star, but they were able to somehow simulate it with a telephone patch. I've always wondered how that would have worked.
 

Mike Blakesley

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It was on "This Guy's In Love With You: The Herb Alpert Story" which was aired on BBC2 a few years ago. One of the best Herb documentaries ever. I think there is a link here somewhere to the audio... maybe someone near a computer can chime in?
 

Rudy

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Later he transitioned to A&M's own studios, but (according to David Wechter, on the BBC documentary) they didn't quite get the echo that they had liked from Gold Star, but they were able to somehow simulate it with a telephone patch. I've always wondered how that would have worked.
What's interesting was how closely guarded Gold Star's reverb chamber was. It was all concrete, and I think the only outsider I remember who ever saw it was Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees) who got to see it when the studio was in its last days before closing down. I think you had to crawl through a short tunnel to enter it (pictured to the left).

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