Studio Two Echo Chamber #GearThatMadeUs

13th January 2022

In a time before plug-ins and digital reverb, echo chambers were developed by pop engineers to add a sense of space and depth to their recordings.

Originally used as an air raid shelter for staff during the second world war, this small room was converted into the Studio Two Echo Chamber in the mid-1950s.

 
 

The chamber was designed by EMI technician Henry Clark and Abbey Road engineer Stuart Eltham. Its sound became a big success thanks to early use by The Shadows, Peter Sellers, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Most famously heard on John Lennon’s vocal for A Day in the Life.

Stuart Eltham - Studio Two 1954

Stuart Eltham - Studio Two 1954

Eltham with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers, 1962

Eltham with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers, 1962

by EMI staff photographer Ken Palmer

Eltham with Sir George Martin and Shirley Bassey, 1960s

Eltham with Sir George Martin and Shirley Bassey, 1960s

by EMI staff photographer John Dove

 

Here’s how it works: A recording is played through the speaker and recaptured by the microphones after having bounced around the hard reflective surfaces within the room, including these large pillars. The resulting sound is then mixed back into the original track adding a warm echo.

Present day

 

This chamber is still utilised on a variety of sessions today and has even been faithfully reproduced as a plugin by Waves Audio, allowing anyone to harness its unique sonic qualities!

#GearThatMadeUs #AbbeyRoad90 #EchoChamber
 

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