How Perry and Tubby record?

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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:14 pm

Here is Jammy mixing a dub @ KT studio - watch closely!:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhDtlFmiS2U
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby MulatuAstatke » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:42 pm

iosumarti wrote:Ok, im aproaching to understand how LSP can do it, but in KT case?

We have saied that he used to record most of the things, except voices and some other things in other studios, ok. But after that, when they take the tape, they have only the 4 tracks, no? Im speaking about the early Tubby times, 75-80 more or less... I know that they do real magic with not much, is amazing!


its seems you are suprised by what you hear in a king tubby mix can be done with just 4tracks. if you liseten carefully to the dubs you will realise it is completely possible. You also have to remember that they could control the eq's on the effects returns. So for instance when you here reverb just on the snare, it is not because there is a seperate track for the snare drum, just that they have rolled off the relevant frequencies to only let you hear reverb on the snare drum frequencies..
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby underated » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:05 pm

I always enjoy reading about these topics,
some great video's & pics posted as well.

Great stuff.

The old 'more is less' thing comes into play as always.
Minimal gear & learn it well never fails.
Those Dub masters still inspire so many people.

Were those studios / rooms acoustically treated ?
Did those places use state of the art studio monitors ?

The sound is truly amazing.
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:28 pm

MulatuAstatke wrote: So for instance when you here reverb just on the snare, it is not because there is a seperate track for the snare drum,


Also: If you have say drums & bass submixed to one channel, if you quickly 'open & shut' your effects send knob at the right moment then you can catch for example the snare, seemingly on its own.... (see video clip of Jammy mixing at KT's )....

As mentioned - at KT's they'd for sure be returning the reverb to the desk & perhaps EQ'ing or using a filter to cut low end frequencies
Last edited by Chocolate Soldier on Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:31 pm

underated wrote:
Were those studios / rooms acoustically treated ?
Did those places use state of the art studio monitors ?

The sound is truly amazing.


If you are talking KT's studio - no, just take a look at the place, its a back bedroom with masonry walls...

Maybe they used a curtain for some frequency control... and assumedly all the stacked tape boxes, equipment and people standing around would act as random diffusors (!)...

If you really know your room, speakers & how mixes translate...

Don't forget that KT also had his own sound system & could hear how his mixes stood up in the dance...
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:42 pm

underated wrote:
The old 'more is less' thing comes into play as always.
Minimal gear & learn it well never fails.


I don't think it was by choice but the best they could afford / find at the time (!)...

Lee Perry's TEAC is a strange choice though, considering he must have had the $ to build the entire Ark building from the ground up., though I can imagine labour & materials would have been cheap in JA...... perhaps he ran out of $ by the time it came to get a tape machine & desk (!)....

Back in the old days studios (not just JA) might have had limited tape channels but the sound quality, design and build of the professional gear, mics, tape machines, desks etc was generally superb....... and also you had musicians for the most part laying down the tracks live with little or no overdubbing - that's how you get vibes if you have really good players who have a chemistry...
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby iosumarti » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:30 pm

Thank you all, i´m enjoying too much with this post!
Chocolate and Mulatu: I also use, more ore less, in my little studio this routing; p.e I put in the same track kik and snare, and wen the moment comes, I open the aux. pot to the vestax spring reverb and.... splash! Magic comes.

Im upgrading my studio, not only in equipment, but yes in concept. A mean, changing the "work concept". Until now I used to record a bassline in a loop, and more or less all the rest of instruments in the same way, but now, that i have a much better computer, i can make very long loops, or the entire song, excepting, by the moment, the drum, that is still programed. The "flow" is obviusly, better. And that is one of the keys, the music is starting to sound more "live". Of course, you need to play better, :wink: So now im not trying to think in plugins, RAM or wich DAW is better, im just trying to Jam with my friends, play, play and play...
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby iosumarti » Tue Nov 13, 2012 11:20 am

I suggest you, all the readers of this post, to make a little game;
Can you identify a song wich is mixed in 4 groups?
It doesn`t matter if is not Tubbys or Perrys song, my objetive is to enjoy this dubbing sound, that comes and goes...

Who starts?
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:04 pm

It seems to me that lot of what makes the 70's and early 80's dub so great is the 'raw material' they had to work with eg: the fantastic sounds, performances, vibes and even technical recording quality on the tapes...

It goes beyond a technical process, equipment, the amount of tracks etc..

Another element of what makes a Tubby's mixes generally so brilliant is the approach / way of hearing / mind of the person behind the desk - its more than randomly pushing faders & twisting knobs, the approach is musical. the events that happen make sense in the flow of the track...its musical alchemy, transformation...

Someone could sit there today with a 4 track set up & never get anything close to KT power.

There is a thing known as vibes.

Vibes is the human factor.

VIbes is the way a drummer will place the snare hit slightly behind the beat,

Vibes is the way the bass strings are slightly out of tune & covered in a layer of chicken grease from KFC lunch 20 years ago and sweat from countless hours of playing....

What is soul? According to Funkadelic - soul is a hamhock in your cornflakes... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgPIqOh9uTU

Watch the LP/KT footage from the Channel Four documentary (rescued from the vaults by one of our own!) - it doesn't get much better than that, a time travel lens in these studios of legend during the 70's heyday...

I advise anyone these days working with a DAW setup as an experiment (if your set up allows for this) to turn off their PC monitor while mixing, just mix listening to <sound> and not by looking at waveforms render on a screen / coloured blocks!

The human brain can only take in so much information at once, this way you are freeing up more brain power to focus on and be in tune with the music, not a light show...
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby MulatuAstatke » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:18 pm

iosumarti wrote:I suggest you, all the readers of this post, to make a little game;
Can you identify a song wich is mixed in 4 groups?
It doesn`t matter if is not Tubbys or Perrys song, my objetive is to enjoy this dubbing sound, that comes and goes...

Who starts?


can pretty much guarantee any dub between 74-80 is mixed with 4 channels, with another two channels controlling the eq's/feedback of the delay and reverb.

something i'd like to know is i hear a lot of people on this forum talking about feeding back reverb while doing a dub.. From my experience feedback with reverb does not sound any good (uncontrollable high pitch feedback) whereas feedback from delay, when used with moderation, sounds banging..
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby iosumarti » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:24 pm

Another interesting thing is that, for example, KT had a Soud System, so he used to mix in the studio, and after check it in the Sound. I imagine that they know, in the same way we know how our studio monitor sounds, how to sound in the studio to later sound well in the Sound!
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby underated » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:07 pm

Chocolate Soldier wrote:It seems to me that lot of what makes the 70's and early 80's dub so great is the 'raw material' they had to work with eg: the fantastic sounds, performances, vibes and even technical recording quality on the tapes...

It goes beyond a technical process, equipment, the amount of tracks etc..

Another element of what makes a Tubby's mixes generally so brilliant is the approach / way of hearing / mind of the person behind the desk - its more than randomly pushing faders & twisting knobs, the approach is musical. the events that happen make sense in the flow of the track...its musical alchemy, transformation...

Someone could sit there today with a 4 track set up & never get anything close to KT power.

There is a thing known as vibes.

Vibes is the human factor.

VIbes is the way a drummer will place the snare hit slightly behind the beat,

Vibes is the way the bass strings are slightly out of tune & covered in a layer of chicken grease from KFC lunch 20 years ago and sweat from countless hours of playing....

What is soul? According to Funkadelic - soul is a hamhock in your cornflakes... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgPIqOh9uTU

Watch the LP/KT footage from the Channel Four documentary (rescued from the vaults by one of our own!) - it doesn't get much better than that, a time travel lens in these studios of legend during the 70's heyday...

I advise anyone these days working with a DAW setup as an experiment (if your set up allows for this) to turn off their PC monitor while mixing, just mix listening to <sound> and not by looking at waveforms render on a screen / coloured blocks!

The human brain can only take in so much information at once, this way you are freeing up more brain power to focus on and be in tune with the music, not a light show...


Superb post,
full of great knowledge.

The key word being SOUL.
Some studio's nowadays seem to be valid of that soulful feeling.
Expensive gear with top of the line everything,pro engineers & producers, top class musicians & singers, yet that elusive soulful feeling that existed back in the day seems to be long gone.
Too much music is throw away & cold sounding .
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby blakbeltjonez » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:08 pm

i'm pretty sure at least one of the 4 track machines were MCI, like the console - early MCI tape machines often used Ampex transports, as much of MCI's early business included electronics to improve the performance of Ampex tape decks of the early/mid 60's.

in a post above, someone has a picture that's incorrectly implying that Tubbs had an 8 track deck. there was no 8 track at the old Tubby's studio - the electronics of one of the 4 track decks had a meter for each of the 4 "record" modules, and a meter for each of the 4 "playback" modules, so that's probably the source of the confusion...... old, big and clunky compared to the commercially available JH-series stuff MCI was making at the time; a 16 track JH-16 had about the same footprint as that big old 4 track!

Tubby's Hi-Fi was mothballed sometime in October '75, after being shot up by the police in Morant Bay, so the sound system was only of use for in-house testing a couple of years during the operation of the studio.... dunno how important it really was for the studio.

i think the real explanation is that Tubby and whoever his apprentices who worked in there at the time (Philip Smart, Pat Kelly, etc.) knew the room, had reasonably well recorded tracks to start with, and had good solid pro gear - simple, but effective.

with only 4 tape tracks to deal with, they got as creative as possible with the other 8 available console inputs, a reverb, delay, and Altec high pass filter.
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby Inyaki » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:25 am

this thread reminded me of this one

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=37422&start=0

( did you do a search before starting the thread young Iosu? )

Choc Soldier: fantastic info (once again)!
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Re: How Perry and Tubby record?

Postby kingj » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:29 am

You also have to remember that they could control the eq's on the effects returns. So for instance when you here reverb just on the snare, it is not because there is a seperate track for the snare drum, just that they have rolled off the relevant frequencies to only let you hear reverb on the snare drum frequencies>>>>>>>>>

parametric eq for that to come out sounding so good!!
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