Building a Recording Studio is an exciting venture. Starting with the design of the building, ending with the recording process, equipment and marketing, a studio is also a huge undertaking.
For years I have loved music and admired musicians. My best friend in high school, Michael Alsup, went on to become the lead guitarist for Three Dog Night, he is a great musician.
In 1968, I moved to Los Angeles to seek fame and fortune and quickly came to the realization: I have no musical talent! My pets hide in fear when I sing and my attempts to play various instruments throughout the years have failed. I spent a few years working as a roadie during the early 70’s for Three Dog Night, and traveled the world, building a career as a lighting and sound technician.
The experience of doing live sound for concerts, and days-on-end in the recording studio with Three Dog Night left me with the knowledge of how music should sound. But one can only take so much ‘Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll’, so I left the music business to pursue other mundane dreams like ‘family and responsibility’. Eventually I got my Electrical Contractor and General Contractor licenses in the State of California.
I always wanted a high-end home sound system. In the 70’s you could purchase a ‘state of the art’ home sound system for between $5,000-$10,000, but due to the cost I put that dream on hold until better times.
In 2004, business was good, so I started surfing the web for the components that would make up my dream home sound system. Three months and $10,000 later, my wife Lynn, said if I was going to spend that much money that I needed to turn it into a business which meant building a recording studio. The concept of Albro Analog Audio was born.
Throughout the years (2005 – 2008), the idea of building a recording studio has been growing along with my vintage equipment inventory. In 2006, I had an opportunity to continue building that inventory with about $10,000 in equipment from Bill Race Productions in Sacramento, CA as the owner was retiring. The items I purchased included a 6′ grand piano, two Audio Art recording boards (24 and 16 tracks), (2) RCA 77DX Ribbon microphones, Altec 9844A studio monitors, some vintage rack cabinets circa 1950’s, and a “Cyclorama” curtain.
Today, my equipment inventory includes: An Echoplate II plate echo and AKG BX20 spring reverb, a pair of RCA BK5b and a pair of Sennheiser MKH404 microphones. And let’s not forget the analog tape machines: an Otari MX70 1″ 8-track, (3) Otari 1/4″ machines, an Ampex AG440a-2 1/4″ and an Ampex AG440b-4 1/2″. And I am currently looking for an Otari MTR90, Ampex MM or Studer 820 in 2″ – 16 track format.
Although this equipment is 20 to 50 years old, it represents the best of analog equipment at the time of manufacture. This is the type of equipment used to record some of the greatest artists of our time, including the Beatles, Elvis, the Beach Boys, and all of the other musicians of the 60’s and 70’s.
Most industry experts now admit that while digital is more accurate, it is no match to analog when it comes to quality of sound and ease of listening. Analog has a “warmth” that digital does not.
The middle of 2008 it looked as though I had enough of the basic vintage analog equipment to open a recording studio. It’s now time to use my construction skills for building a recording studio.