Goldstar Studios - How Records Used To Be Made

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DonnyThompson, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    This is a cool video that probably only engineers, producers and musicians would find interesting, as it acts as a sort of "fly on the wall" as to how records were once made...

    A room full of musicians, engineers sitting at a console (likely a tube model in those days), with AE's placing mics on real instruments, setting up go-bo's, rolling tape; with a producer calling all the shots...

    The first vid below shows out takes for one of the most iconic pop records ever made, from 1963, "Be My Baby", by The Ronettes, produced by Phil Spector, and an early hint of what his "wall of sound" would eventually become. You can hear Spector giving directions, along with the engineer (most likely Stan Ross, Goldstar's house engineer and part owner) "slating" the tape with an audible take number.

    The second video is the commercial release of the song, as it was intended to be heard, in mono.

    While Spector worked at several different studios, Goldstar was his "home base" studio; he loved the echo chambers there, and these were to become a very big part of his "sound". Dave Gold, one of the partners of the studio, designed the chambers himself:

    From wiki:
    "The studio was renowned for its echo chambers. according to Gold, who designed the chambers after years of research and experimentation, they were built in an area of about 20 ft (6.1 m) x 20 ft and were complementary trapezoids 18 ft (5.5 m) long. The walls were thick, specially-formulated cement plaster on heavy isolation forms. Entry into the chambers was through a series of 2 ft (0.61 m) by 2 ft doors, and the opening was only about 20 in (51 cm) wide and high.[2]"

    Goldstar is also known as the first studio to use intentional Flanging (for effect) for the first time on a commercial recording, as well as implementing the first use of a radio transmitter in the control room, so that mixes could be broadcast to car radios just outside, so engineers and producers could check for "radio sound":

    "Gold Star was responsible for what is believed to be the first commercial use of the production technique called flanging, which was featured on the single "The Big Hurt" by Toni Fisher. Another of Dave Gold's innovations was a small transmitter that allowed him to broadcast mixes so that they could be picked up on a nearby car radio, which was especially important to recording artists in the era when AM radio was the dominant broadcast medium.[3]"


    Goldstar was famous for hosting many other famous recordings, too - The Beach Boy's Pet Sounds album, The Righteous Brother's "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", most of The Monkees recordings, several lbums from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Sonny and Cher's "And The Beat Goes On' and "I Got You Babe" ...

    The engineers here on RO will notice the classic pieces of gear; the Pultec EQ's, the now vintage custom-made tube recording console ( also designed by Dave Gold), the Ampex tape machines...

    Musicians will notice the session players - the now famous Wrecking Crew; Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye and Tommy Tedesco are shown in several shots.

    Goldstar hosted countless sessions for huge hits and artists during its 34 year run (1950 - 1984), having the same location on Santa Monica Blvd near Vine St. in Hollywood the entire time it was operational.
    The Who, The Band, The Ramones, The Association, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Tina Turner, Neil Diamond, Meatloaf and Neil Young were just a few of the many famous artists to have recorded there over the years.

    Alas, as with so many of the big studios of their time, Goldstar is gone now.

    "Shifting economics caused Gold Star to close its doors in 1984, as newer technology allowed bands to make their own recordings. Several months after the studios were vacated, a fire destroyed the building. A mini-mall was later constructed on the site."

    Enjoy. :)


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