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Author Topic: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?  (Read 15332 times)

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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2009, 10:55:03 AM »

I believe that overhead picture is from the Palais du Sport in Paris.. If you watch the Paris video, the piano is in the same spot and the instrumentation and amps are the same..  It would also explain all those extra mics :)
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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2009, 11:03:53 AM »

I think this clip might show how bad the sound problem was  at a Beatles concert!

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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2009, 11:10:07 PM »

Found out some interesting news today...I wrote to Michael Neal of McCune sound. They were the ones that provided the sound equipment for the Candlestick Park concert:


There's been a lot of interest in the Candlestick Park concert. Here's an email i received two years ago:************************************************Hello Mike I found this text on the web... as VP of technology this might be of  interest to you as it is to me!  


"When The Beatles played their last concert, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park in 1966, the mics were Shure SM56s, the speakers were modified Altec A-7s powered by Altec 1569 80-watt tube amplifiers, and McCune Sound's Mort Feld mixed the show on one or two Altec 1567 five-input rotary pot tube mixers. By modern standards, the sound system was a bare-bones setup-no monitors, no graphic EQs, no delay lines, no dynamics processors and no effects. More noteworthy, from a modern perspective, is the fact that the sound system did not include any equipment made by a UK-based manufacturer, unless you count the Vox guitar amps onstage"

Interesting it states no monitors - yet film and photographs from the concert may suggest otherwise. Hopefully when time permits you will be able to track down Abe - it would be nice to confirm the overall spec but in particular if some form of early monitoring system was used. With Kind Regards

More from Mike:

Unfortunately (to my knowledge) there's only one person still living who was involved in the audio for the show, and that's Abe Jacob. Abe is currently working in New York (for the NYC Opera, I believe), and I did have an email address for him but a hard drive crash seems to have lost it.
There are some photos floating around on the web showing the staging, and the band during the concert, but they're hard to find.
Anyway, sorry I can't be more helpful.
Mike


Mixer:


The email states one or two mixers, I assume if he had two it would have looked similar to this...

Power Amps:


Speakers:




Im assuming they went with the A7's with the horn inside for stacking purposes, but I haven't looked at Candlestick Park pictures recently, so it could be the other ones, with the horns mounted on top.
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Bobber

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2009, 07:05:16 AM »

Nice job!
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2009, 05:44:28 PM »

Brilliant!
Thanks so much for sharing that information.
It's more information in a single post than I've found in a dozen books.

(I have an "in" once removed with Abe, and have begun the process of getting in touch with him).

Cheers
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Xose

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2009, 09:48:35 PM »

Excellent info!! ;)

Congratulations for the research!! ;)

Xose
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2009, 12:21:44 AM »

Some footage of the Candlestick Park concert.

http://travelsfvideo.com/beatlesmovie.html

The Altec main PA boxes are clearly visible in numerous shots, as are what appear to be two monitors in each of the downstage corners, and facing the band.

If the boxes in the corners are in fact monitors, note that they point slightly upstage and away from the vocal microphones. This makes total sense considering there was no EQ available, and pointing the speakers away from the microphones (in this case upstage of them) would be the only way to get any level at all without getting feedback first.
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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2009, 03:30:50 AM »

Quote from: 2032
(I have an "in" once removed with Abe, and have begun the process of getting in touch with him).

Cheers

Hey if you could get a scoop from Abe that would be ideal. I checked up on him online and he's clearly someone who knows his stuff.  What a resource that would be.

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FourMiles

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2009, 04:41:42 AM »

Hi guys,
I was lucky enough to see the Beatles twice here in Chicago.. once at Comiskey Park 1965 and the International Amphitheatre 1966. Started playing guitar at age 7 in 1958, so I was ripe to be influenced at 13 in 1964 and formed my first band the summer of that year.
I would think that in the days at the Cavern Club, they were probably using their own mics and the sound engineer probably pressed the record button
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Bobber

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2009, 07:08:55 AM »

Quote from: 2021

And there aren't many that could do a ballad like Paul with "Yesterday" and then belt out something like "I'm Down". His voice was a trademark of that group and a benchmark for others to chase.

Len
FourMiles

And even more remarkable that both songs were recorded in the very same session.

By the way, welcome Len and thank you for your input.  :)
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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2009, 05:31:04 PM »

I just found this online...


Bill Hanley is the guy who did sound for the Beatles at Shea for their 2nd US tour and parts of the eastern Tour...

The rest of this is taken from the article listed below...


But a gig for local Boston band The Remains, playing in Chicago, lead to something very big. The Remains member Barry Tashian has written about the experience:

"Our sound company from Boston, Hanley Sound, drove to Chicago to do the show [opening for the Beatles] with us. They pulled their truck right into the Amphitheater and set up their state-of-the-art sound equipment right beside the in-house P.A. system. What a joke! The in-house stuff was so archaic next to the powerful amps, good mics, and Altec speakers. Right before the show, Brian Epstein looked at the two sound systems and decided that the Beatles should go with our system. So the Beatles hired Bill Hanley to do the sound for the [eastern part] of the tour!"

And thus Hanley next found himself behind the board at the historic Beatles concert at Shea Stadium. He distributed Altec- Lansing speakers all around the stadium, doubled the sound typically used, doubled the power with an impressive (for the time) 600-watt amplifier system� and then when an armored car drove onto the field and John, Paul, George and Ringo stepped out, his sound system was pulverized by the power of 42,000 screaming teenage girls.

"I didn't have a snowball's chance in hell," he laughs. "It was sheer pandemonium. I had the band on the pitcher's mound, the speakers on the first and third base line, and I made this big circle of sound, all facing up, so the speakers didn't cross� but it was going against 135 dB of screaming. I couldn't approach that."


From this article...

http://fohonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=579&Itemid=1



One more link,

http://www.billhanley.org/

There is a picture of the cabinets he used on the Beatles tour on his front page...

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alexis

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2009, 08:43:33 PM »

Gotta say, this is one of the more aweseome threads in a while - thanks all of you!!
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2009, 03:43:11 AM »

Hanley was also the guy who did all the sound at Woodstock.
He invented floor wedges (monitors) so artists could actually hear themselves sing, and he also was the first person to take a CM Loadstar construction winch, turn it upside down, and use it to fly concert speakers (until then, all speakers just sat either on the corner of the stage, or on the ground).

That's a great post Casbah, and one more important piece of the puzzle.
Searching for Shea Stadium concert #2 as a result of reading Casbah's post has brought up a few pictures that show the field with Hanley's PA system sitting there clear as day, all 8 stacks of them!

Looking at the 8 stacks of Altec 210's that show up in the pictures Shea Stadium #2 (and in Casbah's post above), a few things start to come into focus as this thread progresses:

1) I've used Altec 210's in my very (very!!) early mixing days, and I can attest that 8 stacks of 210's would be extremely loud, even with the amplifiers common in the day (which means the screaming must have been absolutely unbelievable in terms of acoustic level).
2) 8 stacks of Altec boxes and horns is getting very close to what some folks (even today) would call a full blown PA system, something not commonly associated with Beatles live shows.
3) My belief that there was much more to the technical support of the Beatles live shows than the current record might tend to indicate seems much less far fetched than it did a couple of months ago.

It's great that folks are enjoying this thread, I certainly am!
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2009, 06:07:53 PM »

This below from Glenn D. White, who was an employee at the Seattle Center on the day the Beatles performed there in '64.
(paraphrased from an original article).

"I was there for five years, and my most memorable experience was when I was doing sound for the Beatles. First of all, in 1964 bands like The Beatles and all the other bands didn't travel with their own PA systems. They relied on what was in the venue or available locally.

The Beatles sent two guys from New York ahead of them. They wanted to talk to me about sound, and the security people about security. They asked me about the sound system at the Seattle Center and asked if I could augment it to make it as loud as possible. I said "yes" we have a lot of equipment around the Coliseum. All of our amplifiers were tube amps and were about 80 watts RMS each. I added three Altec 300hz two cell horns (moden 203, on 288C Altec drivers). I put two of those, one on top of the other facing one of them back to cover the far end of the auditorium, the other one facing down a little bit to cover the far end of the main floor.
Then we had some 800 Hz. horns that were also Altecs. They were 805's, two rows of 4 cells each, and I had one of them pointed right down on the stage so that the Beatles could hear themselves and also cover the audience close to the stage. The speaker cluster was right above the stage.

I had to scrounge amplifiers from around the Seattle Center, each horn had its own 80 watt amp, and the woofers were JBL 15" models.
I used EV655C microphones for the 4 Beatles. I used 1 mic for Ringo and his drums. The Beatles had never used or seen EV655C's before, and asked questions about them, commenting on their small size. They told me that they could hear themselves clearly though my monitor system".



It appears from Glenn's recollections above as if attempts were being made as early as 1964 to put some sort of monitor system in place for the Beatles. It also is clear that in this case, the Head of the Sound Department at the Seattle Center (Glenn White) actually mixed the Beatles!
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fendertele

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2009, 08:33:08 PM »

Quote from: 63

They just used the sound system in the bigger stadiums that were used to announce the players. They didn't have monitor system to hear themselves sing. Ringo's drums were sometimes amplified with a single microphone hanging on top.

i should have wrote the full words i was being lazy PA as in players announce
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2009, 03:42:49 AM »

I've not heard PA used as short form for "Player Announce", but rather always "Public Address".

Is Player Announce common elsewhere?
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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2009, 04:22:18 PM »

Hey that was a great find! Here are some pictures to go along with what Glenn was describing....


The 203's



The 805's

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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2009, 06:56:05 PM »

Casbah, you've got the best Altec pix!!
Do you own this stuff?
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Casbah

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2009, 03:31:43 AM »

Yes, I have to confess, it was ME! I was the Beatles live sound engineer!!

No, actually, I just look up the model #'s online and find pictures of them, so I post em up.
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REDD51

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Re: Who was the Beatles live sound engineer?
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2009, 04:09:24 AM »

Quote from: 1687
Yes, I have to confess, it was ME! I was the Beatles live sound engineer!!

 
I knew we'd find you eventually  :)

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