Arjen and Aram of Audio Ease went by Frank Zappa’s studio, the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, to meet with Dweezil Zappa and together record the acoustics of both the tracking room and the famous Zappa echo chamber. Microphones and speaker in the echo chamber were set up just the way Frank had left them.
You can read the full story on Dweezil zappa’s blog, at http://www.dweezilzappaworld.com/posts/71. The resulting impulse responses can be downloaded for free for use in Altiverb, Audio Ease’s convolution reverb plug- in.
Arjen: I remembered an interview with Frank Zappa in Keyboard Magazine back in 1986. I was 16 then and basically divided my time between playing Zappa records, and waiting for the next one. In the interview he talked about an echo room in his house, a narrow but long and very high concrete room dedicated to reverb:
Frank Zappa: “One reason we use the echo chamber is that certain types of percussive sounds, when introduced into a digital reverb program that may be a long program, don’t sound right. That program may be good for everything else in the composition that is not so spikey. But the spikey stuff in there tends to sound bogus. So what we do is use live echo quite often for the percussion-type things, and use echo programs with more harmonic content on the strings or brass or things whose duration you want to increase.”
Arjen: “So 22 years later, when I saw a tech support email from Dweezil in the Audio Ease mail box I took the opportunity to ask him about that room. A couple of months later Aram and I took the day before the NAMM show and went up to the house to team up with Dweezil and Richard. We recorded the studio live room with our DPA 4006 TL’s and the adjoining echo chamber using the speaker and microphones that were in there. Luckily they were set up exactly the way Frank had left them, showcasing Dweezil’s dedication to authenticity.”
A very happy Christmas from Audio Ease and Dweezil Zappa.