I recently had a chance to see the movie, Sound City at the IU Cinema. Here’s an NPR story about it (Read it). It’s a fun documentary that chronicles the life of a recording studio by the same name in LA (Sound City Studios). It’s a neat story of a studio that seemed to have played a major role in the careers of some well-known pop/rock acts – the bits about Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, and Nirvana were particularly fun for me. The movie also covers the stories of the people ‘behind the scenes’ who operated the business and technical elements of the studio – which in lots of ways were more interesting than the musicians’ stories.
The centerpiece of the documentary is a Neve 8028 Console, a vintage piece of analog recording equipment that was integral to the studio’s success. There’s a hilarious scene where the designer of the board, Rupert Neve, is sitting with Dave Grohl explaining the electronics that allows for the console to capture such a great sound. The scene is hilarious because Dave Grohl is grinning like a clown and is in full admission that he has no idea what he’s talking about.