Meeting Topic: Viewing of the film, "Sound City"
Moderator Name: Kevin Dwyer
Meeting Location: Durgin Hall 114, Lowell, MA 01852, USA
This week was a fun meeting to start the semester off. We gathered in our premier listening space, room 114, to watch (and listen to) Dave Grohl's recent music making documentary, "Sound City." The film is an interesting piece, focusing on Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, telling the story of the studio and its custom built Neve console. The documentary follows the studio from its humble beginnings, through its glory years in the 1970's recording classics such as Fleetwood Mac's, "Rumours," falling out of favor in the 80's, and eventual revival in the 90's after tracking Nirvana's, "Nevermind."
The movie is a perfect selection for UML Sound Recording students to watch, since the message of the film totally encapsulates the ethos of the program. Sound City is a studio where much of the sound on record came from great performances being captured in a great sounding space. The signal flows through an analog console onto 2" tape, much like the workflow of our flagship studio, Room 213. These techniques are often stressed by our faculty, to get the music to sound good in the room first, then get it to sound good through the mics, and the rest will fall into place. Sound City, much like UMass Lowell's studios, is focused on capturing great sounding musical moments first, rather than using external processing to "fix it in the mix."
Watching the story of Sound City was definitely inspiring to both under and upperclassmen alike.
Written By: Kevin Dwyer