Book your flights to Cleveland now. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is getting ready to unveil a new exhibit that will feature one of the 4-track recorders used to record the legendary Beatles' classic, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Studer, the manufacturer of the recorder, is loaning the J37 to the music museum, timing it with their own 60th anniversary of being in the pro audio business.
The J37 is one of a pair used in the sessions at the studio now known as Abbey Road in London. The Beatles spent 129 days in the studio working on this machine. At the time, it was the first studio quality recorder with four channels, allowing the Beatles to easily layer and bounce tracks. The album was released on June 1, 1967, the eighth studio album for the lads.
Studer is now owned by Harman, Int'l. Back in the day, Studer tape decks were legendary in the recording business. Any studio would achieve instant street cred if they had a few Studers lining their walls.
More recently, two of the original J37s by Studer were used to re-engineer a tribute album for the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's. The engineer on the original sessions, Geoff Emerick, was asked to run the console again, 40 years later. Two of the original EMI mixing boards, now owned by Mark Knopfler and Lenny Kravitz were also used for this session.
While this might only be of interest to true Beatle-holics and audio geeks, a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should be on everybody's 'Must See' list. We hope you will enjoy the show. —Leslie Shapiro
Photo of museum by Andrew Hitchcock
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