Chief Engineer/Derek Studios

by Gregory K. Steele
(Housatonic, MA. USA)

AMPEX 354 Manual

AMPEX 354 Manual

The first serious 2 track machine I bought for use in my new studio was an Ampex 354. In those days I was using the machine for mixdown using Ampex 406 for tape. It wasn't long after that Ampex released the next generation of tape,456. Much better for mixing to. However, the 354 electronics were not able to provide enough bias current. I bought a pair of 351 drawers, built a new console for the rig, tweaked and was very happy. The rig had SOUL.

Fast forward five years. By that time I had upgraded everything. I had an Otari 5050B and later an MTR-12. My first digital 2trk recorder was a Nakamichi dmp-100.

By 1993 I was ready to sell the Machine. I got in touch with Hamilton Brosius, a great guy. The first thing he said made me laugh, "How'd you get my number, I'm in a witness protection program." Any way we had a great chat and he said He had someone interested. The contact was Bruce Swedien. Holy S**t. I got in touch with Bruce. He said that he loved the 351s and had worn his out. We made a deal and he actually came up to my studio to pick the machine up. He even brought his wife, Bea. We spent an entire afternoon telling stories. I still see him Occasionally at AES shows.

My brush with greatness.

Gregory K. Steele
Chief Engineer/Derek Studios

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