This was one of the
oldest recording studios in Sydney.
In the past it was also known as ATA studios and Studio 96.
This studio evolved
over a long period of time. The
original studio had a special reverb chamber built under the control room
with a speaker and microphone mounted on tracks to adjust the delay.
They built their own mixing console. They also built Australia's first
16 track recorder out of an old Univac computer deck. The tape had to
be wound with the oxide facing out to work with this machine. An
assistant had to stand next to the machine and help turn the spools when it
got close to the end of the reel! Many hit records were recorded on
this machine, including Kevin Johnston's "Rock and Roll I Gave You The
Best Years of My Life".
console manufactured in 1979 and fitted
with 36 I/O modules with 3 band parametric EQ and integral tape-based
automation system. This console was one of an initial run of six
JH-600's which were shipped to Australia at a very good price.
Another one of these consoles went to Alberts Studio 4, King Street
Sydney. Initially this console was shipped with only 28 modules
and the remainder were fitted later. Apparently, this one had a
lot of problems when first delivered. The automation system
initially had problems. The original modules had board layout
problems which caused crosstalk. These were replaced with new
revised modules at no charge by MCI. The original modules were
fitted with tantalum decoupling capacitors. The newer modules
had high quality bipolar coupling capacitors double the size of most
other consoles and standard electrolytic decoupling capacitors.
One feature of all MCI products was that each audio stage was
individually decoupled with its own pair of isolating resistors
designed to burn out safely in the event of a short circuit - a technique
which other audio manufacturers would do well to take note of.
This tranformerless electronically balanced console was capable very
high quality sonic performance.
1982 vintage 2" 24 track tape machine running
Ampex 456 tape at 30ips, 320nWb/m with no noise reduction.
MCI had been making JH-24's for several years and this was a mature
machine with high quality coupling capacitors similar to those used in
the JH-600. (Earlier JH-24's used standard electrolytic coupling
capacitors and tantalum decoupling capacitors.) However, this
machine was one of a bad batch which used a new type of IC socket in
the audio electronics cards. Rinoceros Studios also had a JH-24
of this vintage with similar problems. Eventually after replacing
ALL the IC sockets, this machine became extremely reliable.
At 30ips, you could get a frequency response from 35Hz - 20KHz
±1dB, with a ruler flat response in the midrange. At 15ips,
you could get down to around 25Hz. The low frequency response
on JH-24's was flatter than most other machines, including the Studer
A-800. With its separate FET bias and erase amps, its bias drift
was very low. It could hold those specs for up to six months of
heavy use. At that time, Ampex 456 was used exclusively and was
very consistent - I never saw that kind of stability on this or any
other machine once Ampex 499 and its counterparts appeared on the
wiring on multipins ready for a noise
reduction rack (which never was purchased but occasionally one was
½" 8 track tape machine.
MS-16 1" 16 track tape machine.
As well as enabling the studio to run up to 48 tracks, the 8 track
and 16 track machines allowed the studio to accept tapes from other
studios in virtually any format.
1981 vintage ¼" 2 track
mastering machine fitted with Dolby M361 units with Dolby A and
Dolby SR cards. This machine had similar audio electronics
to the JH-24 machine.
1976 vintage ¼" 2 track
mastering machine. This old timer was a very reliable machine,
although not quite up to the sonic performance of JH-110B.
PCM 2500A DAT machine.
SV-3700 DAT machine.
U-matic video machine.
Kinetics Cue-Lock for synchronising up to three
machines. Included interfaces for Sony 5850, MCI JH-24, MCI JH-110,
Tascam 58 and Tascam MS-16.
for 3 stereo cue sends although most of the time only 2 cue amps were
JBL bi-radials driven by two Pereaux 3150
amplifiers, pumping out an awesome 1400W! I had always been
sceptical of electronic crossovers, but the JBL crossover improved
these monitors dramatically, almost eliminating that dreadful bark
that the "bums" were famous for. With the amplifier
grunt behind them, these monitors could produce gut - wrenching
switching system custom built by John
Mulligan provided for 3 nearfield monitors, plus a fourth set of outlets
at the front of the room for additional monitors! This system was
powered by a Perreaux 1850 amplifier (180W per channel into 8
ohms). The nearfield monitors were Electrovoice Sentry 100A,
JBL Control 1 and the obligatory Yamaha NS-10M.
delays included an EMT140 plate with
remote control, Lexicon 480L fitted with memory options, AMS DMX fitted
with 6.5 seconds of stereo sampling options, Eventide SP2016, 2x Yamaha
REV 7, 4x Yamaha SPX90, 3x TC Electronics TC2290 (two fitted with 1.5
second sampling options), Lexicon Prime Time, Lexicon PCM51, the old
Eventide flanger, and an Eventide H949 harmoniser.
included the Drawmer 1960 2 channel
"valve" compressor (I say "valve" because it
actually had a solid state VCA with a couple of valves thrown in to
make people think it was cool), Drawmer DL221 2 channel
limiter, BSS DPR402 2 channel compressor limiter de-esser, DBX 166,
DBX 163, 3x DBX 160, 4x Urie 1176, Eventide Omnipressor, Allison Gain
Brain I, Allison Gain Brain II, 2x Dynamite and an Orban 3 channel
and filters included BSS DPR504 4 channel
noise gate (this thing got very hot), 2x Drawmer DS201 2 channel
frequency selective noise gates, 2x Allison Kepex I, 2x Allison Keypex II,
and 2x EMT 258 noise gate/filter/expanders (which were truly unique and
included Neuman U87, U47 FET, U47 Valve,
TLM 170, AKG 414, 451, C12, C28C valve with CK1 head, Sennheiser MD441,
MD421, Electrovoice RE-20, Shure SM57, SM58 and 2x RCA ribbon