40 years ago this month Van Halen went into Sunset Sound Studio One and recorded their first album.
Van Halen 1 blew the doors off the Rock world!
‘Eruption’ the second track featured an insane guitar solo piece that has continued to inspire millions of guitar players all over the world! Every day someone hears that for the first time and their mind is blown! I know mine was! Eddie’s guitar playing not only revolutionized the Rock World but was featured on one of the biggest Pop Hits of all time, ‘Beat It’ by the legendary Michael Jackson!
Van Halen recorded at Sunset Sound, this is where it all began!!
The Produce Like a Pro team had the great pleasure of taking students from the Los Rios Rock School to Sunset Sound for a recording project. But not just any recording project, no, we set up in Studio 1 and in ONE DAY had the students record the album Van Halen I from cover to cover!
The highly trained Los Rios Rock School instructors, rehearsal facilities and TeacherZone.com learning management system had the kids well prepared for the recording. Just check out the School’s mission statement:
“From new musicians to aspiring pros, Los Rios Rock School provides expert instruction in guitar, drums, piano and all rock instruments, as well as vocals, songwriting, theory, sight reading, engineering and recording. Combining weekly private lessons and group rehearsals, our goal is to prepare students to confidently take the stage in front of a live audience. As a premier music training center, our teachers are professional musicians who are dedicated to creating supportive yet challenging settings that will help students develop a lifelong appreciation of musical performance.”
We used the same equipment to record with the students that Van Halen used 40 years ago!
Thanks to Will Weiss on guitar, Ryan Poppenhagen on bass and Thomas Lowrey on drums for working hard and making this killer Eruption video with us!
Thanks to Julia Lane on guitar, Ryan Poppenhagen on bass and Thomas Lowrey on drums for working hard and making this killer Eruption video with us!
Here is the track sheet for Van Halen 2 which was also recorded at Sunset Sound with the same equipment! Check out the mics!
For drums: The two kicks: Shure 546 Dynamic Mics, Snare Top and Bottom both 546, the 3 Overheads are AKG 414 EB, Toms are Top Sennheiser 421 and bottom Shure SM57. The sole Room mic is a U87!
We used ALL the same mics!!
The Bass Amp is mic’d with a RE20 and the guitar amp is mic’d with a pair of SM57’s.
The significance of being in Sunset Sound, and in studio 1 is that it is the exact room that Van Halen made that very album. The studio is great at keeping records and they were able to look into the archives and get us a copy of how Van Halen had the studio set up for tracking and we copied it as closely as we could for the student’s recording. We set up drums, amps, microphones, the console and echo chamber the way that it was documented that Van Halen did it 40 years ago!
We mimicked the exact set up, in the exact same room and The Los Rios Rock School kids came in extremely well prepared!
The result is amazing! Please enjoy the videos above of the students playing the always amazing, “Eruption.”
Want to see more? Sign up on the form at the right and we will send you a link to watch all 11 videos of the students recording this ground breaking album!