Randy Thomas

by Randy Thomas
(Fort Myers FL)

Bought a 3M M79 24 track from Hank Sanicola in L.A. circa 1986. I think it cost about 13K, used, and heavily modded. Installed it in a home studio in Redlands Ca. Did tons of records on it. Put a name-plate on it "Barney." (My partner was named Fred: Flintstone theme) Bought a 1/4" 3m79 and upgraded it to 1/2". Named this one "Betty." The beauty of these machines is they were modular. Moved them to Nashville 1990. Made tons of records.


The only problems I remember was over-heating. But this was if you had a summer session; 15 people in the control room, and the air conditioning just couldn't keep up. Sometimes Barney just had to cool off. Open it up- put a fan in it. Come back from lunch and it's fine again.

Great machines. Also saw them ALOT in L.A. studios. Rare in Nashville. I was told by my Nashville tech that Leon Russel kept one.

Replaced the 3Ms with Alesis MDMs. Which is another story...

Randy Thomas

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 3M M79 Tape Machine.