Universal Sound's 1973 Helios Film Dubbing Desk
by Paul Roberts
(Kingsbridge Devon UK)
Universal Sound's 1973 Helios Desk
I started as a trainee at Universal Sound back in 1973 and my first job, for my boss and guru - Lou Hanks, was to wire this desk in to the film dubbing studio.... later, in 1978, I became the main dubbing mixer and used this desk intensively till 1984 when I first left London.
I told people that learning on this little but powerful desk and its sonic quality was like learning to drive in an Aston Martin... you don't realise how good it is until you climb into a Ford. For me no other desk has ever matched its fabulous EQ since.
I remember well the excitement when when Dick and his team first powered up the desk in anger (only testing it with signals back at the factory) and trying the new sweep equaliser (If I remember rightly it was 1.7kHz to 6kHz) on each channel.
That desk mixed so many classic comedy programmes... Monty Python, Only Fools and Horses, The Two Ronnies, The Goodies, To the Manor Born, Q9, Last of the Summer Wine, Open All Hours and so many more....... umpteen Documentaries and umpteen dramas.
I hear it ended up being thrown in a skip, long after I'd left Universal.... Oh well.... what a terrible shame!