Nashville, TN – Third Man Records is inside a fairly average building on a fairly average block in Nashville. However, that building is now home to a recording setup that is decidedly different: according to Third Man, they are now “the only live venue in the world where artists can record direct-to-acetate”.
What does that mean? Shows are tracked and mixed in realtime with no overdubs or editing by Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell (The White Stripes, Buddy Guy, Chris Thile) through a brand new Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console outfitted with 32 channels of Portico 5032 micpre/EQ, then instantly cut to vinyl by master cutting engineer George Ingram using a meticulously-maintained 1953 Scully lathe, formerly of King Recorders.
Why a lathe from 1953 with a brand-new console from 2013? According to engineer Vance Powell, “We debated going down the road of ‘old Neve’, but we needed something that we knew we could rely on. The concept of recording live…I need switches to work silently, I need pots to work without making noise.” Also? “It sounds great.”
Third Man Records’ owner, Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs), is famously dedicated to the time-tested recording processes of the days of yore. According to the Third Man blog, “We believe that this new/old method of recording is as honest as it gets, bringing listeners as close to the experience of the performance as possible.”