Lester Smith takes Ian Shepherd over the amazing Abbey Road microphone collection
In 2018 about 80 producers and engineers jammed in to Abbey Road's Studio Three to have keeper of the microphone collection, Lester Smith, show off some of their collection. Ian Shepherd sat with Lester and asked the questions.
Lester Smith talks about Abbey Road's amazing microphone collection - book the studios and you can choose from about 800 vintage and the latest (and best) microphones. Lester has been looking after the mic collection for 50 years more or less and has helped cement Abbey Road as one of the World's leading studios.
This is a look at a some of the 800 vintage and new microphones at Abbey Road Studios and maintained by Lester Smith - all of which are available to use if you book the studios! This is the exclusive video shot at our event in Studio Three late in 2018 with an invited audience of top British music producers and recording engineers (some you may recognise).
Ian Shepherd sat with Lester (who is the longest standing employee at Abbey Road - in 2019) to go through and chat about some of the landmark microphones that Abbey Road has accumulated through the last 75 years and talks about the history of stereo recording etc etc. Some of the mics are so old that you connect to them with bare wire.
Lester is regarded as one of the most knowledgable microphone experts anywhere and has several techniques to repair old valve/tube mics that people are still trying to figure out how he does it (keeps it secret). Just before we recorded this 'show and tell' we held a recording session using many of these microphones with a live band - senior engineer Andrew Dudman took us through the classic mics that he used (many discussed in this video) and you can watch that here.
A big thanks to Lester Smith and everyone that made this workshop possible but credit must go to Mike Sinnott for making the day possible, Andrew Dudman and his assistant Chris Parker for their detailed look at the mic placement and choices with these fantastic microphones in the other video.