As a kid I can remember looking at the back covers of my favorite albums and absorbing all the information that I could. I began to notice that many of them were made at Sunset Sound – Records like Led Zeppelin 2 & 4, Van Halen 1 & 2, and many of the albums by The Doors.
Recently I had the opportunity to re-record Van Halen 1 at Sunset Sound with the Los Rios Rock School in the original studio, with the exact same setup that was used when it was originally recorded. Oh, we also did it all in one day!
On the day we got to the studio in the morning, and Geoff (the house engineer) and I had everything set up by noon. This included setting up and miking the drums, amps and vocal mics. The band started tracking around 1PM, and by around 2AM we had the whole record recorded.
The students had such an incredible time recording the entire record live! We also had many opportunities to pass on the history of Sunset Sound to the next generation of musicians. We walked the kids through the entire setup of how Van Halen 1 was made, and though we were using Pro Tools instead of 2 inch tape, we showed them how were were going attempt replicating the sounds of the original recording.
Take a look at this video walk through of Sunset Sound, our setup used to recreate this iconic record, some clips of us teaching the students, and stick around to the end to see the kids playing and recording “Atomic Punk.”