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

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