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Console used to track MJ's "Thriller"?

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by _Mikael, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. _Mikael

    _Mikael Active Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Here's the scoop: an otherwise VERY reputable broker is trying to sell me a Trident 80C they say was used to track Thriller.

    By all acounts I've read, Bruce Swedien recalls it was API and Harrison desks at Westlake Sound during the making of that record.

    I can't imagine this well-known pro audio retailer would flat out lie (or even be mistaken) about such a thing.

    Anyone know for sure? Have resources? Mr. Swedien, do you read this forum?

    I'd ask the Gearslutz too, but that site seems to be down.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I've seen and talked to Bruce at the AES convention a few years ago. He absolutely tracked and mixed on the Harrison at Westlake. Not sure what kind of reputable broker would tell you it was a Trident 80C?? Most people also don't realize that "Michael was tracked on a Shure SM 7. That's a beautiful microphone". As told to me by Bruce. A luxury SM58, is what that is. Recorded and mixed on an offshoot from MCI, as that is to Dave Harrison used to work for before he started his own console Company.

    Now if you're thinking about buying that Trident 80C, I've known many people to enjoy that consoles sound. It's the same console that Record Plant Mobile use to use before they purchased their API. It's supposed to be a very nice console albeit I've never used one. Not sure what their shortcomings may be? Hey! It was made in Great Britain. How bad could that be? You do the math.

    British blokes know their stuff
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Westlake was only 1 of a few studios that Thriller was tracked at.
    Bruce was only 1 of a few engineers that tracked Thriller.
    One of the studios, I watched a certain guitar player do a solo for Michael, was Cherokee Studios. Cherokee, if I can remember back 30 years or so did use a Trident 80, I do not remember if it was a B or C.

    REMY, dont forget, Bruce has always been the biggest endorsement whore in Hollywood.

    Anyway, does it really matter who was recorded through that console???
    Most consoles used in the 80s out here have so much smoke damage, and cocaine remnants, they need major refurbishing.

    A Trident 80 is a wonderful desk, Ive tracked many a hair bands on one.
  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    OK, I just made a call.

    Westlake Studio D was built for MJ, the console a 72 input heavily modified Neve VR, was installed, and has never left the facility!!!!
    audiokid likes this.
  5. McLaughlin

    McLaughlin Active Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Hey I just thought I would respond to this. It is actually very likely atleast something from Thriller was tracked on it. I know that when a major label backs a major act they can easily send people to the musicians they need, or send people to certain rooms for certain things, especially when money is no question.

    On a side note, I have spent quite a bit of time on the Trident 80B Limited Edition, I'm not usually a fan of the split consoles, but I gotta say it sounds amazing.
  6. danasti

    danasti Active Member

    May 15, 2006
    Cherokee doesn't have an 80 but has always had one of the only Trident A range consoles. There were only 13 A range consoles ever made and Cherokee's website states that only 5 are left (although many claim to have one now there are only a short few actual A range consoles). Individual channels and A range series pres fetch ungodly amounts of money (no - not the new MTA - the real A range!). No 80 really comes close to the sound of an A range. A closer sound to the pre would be a Daking in my opinion - it has more in common electronically than an 80 without question.

    Remy is correct. Bruce has answered this question alot. (It's a shame gearslutz is down.) Most of Thriller was tracked by him on a Harrison which he still owns. Bruce is credited as the engineer and I believe what he says about what he did and what he did it with.

    I'm not sure if any of Thriller was tracked at Cherokee or not. There is a TON of misinformation on the web. Cherokee doesn't list it on their own site - good indicator IMO.
  7. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    it's true, cherokee had 2 A range consoles.....one in their main tracking room and one in their od room.i've done many a project at chrokee and always loved the sounds i've gotten. i've heard that they sold their main A range which is a very sad thing to me and a dumb business decision, what a great board it was. the only other studio i recall mj working at was enterprise and they didn't have an 80c either. they had ssl and neve.
  8. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    by the way. the 80c is a great board.....used it many times and never had one minute of down time on any of them. pink floyd's the wall was tracked and mixed on one.
  9. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Were you there 20 years ago???
    I was!!! :shock:

    Do you believe everything you read on the web???
  10. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    that is true but it has nothing to do with thriller. considering that thriller was made in 82 and the v series didn't come out till 85 and the vr i believe was 88 or 89. i worked at chrokee in the 80's as well as other studios around town and their main consoles were trident A range. but that's neither here or there. if the console sounds good, works good and is priced right.....buy it.
  11. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    and yes......some of the tracks for thriller were recorded at cherokee. i believe umberto gattica was the engineer for those particular sessions.........
  12. cramseur

    cramseur Active Member

    Mar 4, 2002
    New York
    Home Page:

    Bruce Swedien is guest hosting a forum on Gearslutz this month and is answering all kinds of questions regarding recording with MJax and "Q".

  13. ReelMusic

    ReelMusic Active Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    If your curious about Cherokee's Tridents, here is some info:

    Cherokee Studios and Trident A Ranges have a long history together. Cherokee was one of the first customers for the new console, and the first recording studio in the United States to take delivery and begin recording with one. Cherokee Studios became synonymous with the Trident A Range console as the boards recorded over 300+ gold and platinum records while working at the world famous studio during its 35+ year run.

    In the 1970’s, Cherokee’s owners the Robb brothers (The Robbs) had been looking for a console when they heard Harry Nilsson and The Beatles “Hey Jude.” The recordings sounded so different from anything else at the time that they hunted down the common denominator – the recording console at Trident Studios in London.

    The Robbs were transitioning from their ranch studio to the former MGM records space on Fairfax. While they were making their very important console decision, they had received 2 channels from Neve, Helios and Cadac. At the last minute, 2 Trident A Range modules arrived from England in an inelegant mess inside a box. They mic’d a set of drums, pit the modules against each other and the Tridents made such an impression that it was no longer a contest. They ordered their first console, and ultimately purchased four (3 new directly from Trident Audio Developments and 1 from a broker).

    Of the four A Ranges Cherokee owned, they still own two (the first console ever purchased which became their Studio 3 console and the one purchased through the broker with the additional inputs added which became their Studio 1 console.)

    As far as rumors about "Thriller" go, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 did do a lot of recording at Cherokee Studios, and it is more likely true than not true that the "Thriller" information is accurate.
  14. RonanChrisMurphy

    RonanChrisMurphy Active Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    I don't know much about Thriller, but a Trident 80C in good condition is a very cool console.
  15. jrod9900

    jrod9900 Active Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    I always heard it was a Harrison for most of the tracking.
  16. Pomello

    Pomello Active Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    long ago I assisted Humberto Gatica mixing some tracks and he told me was a "Spectrasonics piece of s***t console"...
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