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Abbey Road Studios Tour (pictures)

A tour of the iconic and historic Abbey Road Studios in London.

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Geoffrey Morrison
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Studio One

Behold! The huge Studio One. Originally that far end of the room had a stage to record big bands. The day I visited they were set up to record a small orchestra. A lot of film scores are recorded in this room.
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Headphones, anyone?

It takes a lot of 'phones to get everyone wired up in an orchestra.
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Studio One

Studio One is large enough to host small concerts, which it has done many times.
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Upstairs

Above the control room is a sort of lounge/break area that can also double as a staging area for composers to work/make edits during the recording of film scores.
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Analog Hallway

The main hallway holds myriad analog recorders. Though not used much for recording anymore, they're regularly used for remastering old recordings to digital.
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Behold!

Behind these doors...
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Studio Two

Look familiar? It should. This is the iconic Studio Two, where the Beatles did their magic.
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Drapes

In an effort to keep the reverb under control, these thick drapes were put up. What's amazing is you can see these drapes in the old Beatles photos.
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Get on the mic

Abbey Road has an impressive collection of vintage microphones (along with new ones too, of course).
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Stairs

A midsize chamber orchestra was set up to record later that day.
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The back room

Behind Studio Two is a small room that leads you to these thick doors, which bring you to...
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Analog Reverb

These days, an artist can add reverb just by turning a knob or clicking a mouse. In the early days of Abbey Road, it wasn't so easy. To get the desired amount, the speaker in the center of the room would play back a track, and the microphones would pick up the echo in this concrete box. The pillars "tune" the sound.
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Just a piano?

Pushed up against the wall in Studio Two, tucked behind some other uprights, is one of the most expensive pianos in the world. Yep, that ugly light-brown thing is worth about $1.2 million. Why? Because that piano is this piano. And this. I touched it. Rent the room to record, and you can just use it.
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Oh, and this one

And in the hallway outside Studio Two is this piano, which, you know, is just this piano. Mind blown. Speaking of that band...
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Studio Three

As if Studio One and Two weren't enough history for one building, here's Studio Three, where Pink Floyd did most of their magic up until the late '70s (up to and including "Wish You Were Here"),
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Studio Three

As a huge Floyd fan (more than the Beatles, I have to admit), I adored being in this space.
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Studio Three

On the left you can see an isolation booth. That opening in the center is...
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Mirror, mirror...

Not sure what you're looking at? Imagine standing in it. This room's walls and ceiling are almost entirely mirrors. It's incredibly disorienting. I believe this was created in the 80s. Oh who am I kidding, of course it was. In what other decade would something like this have been created?
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Studio Three lounge

Like Studio One there's a relaxation area above the control room that looks out onto the studio.
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Studio Three control room

Now that is a mixing board. A 96-channel SSL 9000 J series, with a 5.1 B&W 800D system for monitoring.
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Knobs, so many knobs

I've seen a lot of mixing boards in my day. This is one of the largest I've ever seen.
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Knobs great and small

Knobs for miles and miles and miles.

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