Ferndale, MI (February 1, 2017)—The Ramones. A Tribe Called Quest. Blondie. There are consoles that have been used to create landmark music, but few have a discography comparable to the vintage API 3288 that artist/producer Q-Tip is now selling via Vintage King.
Q-Tip has owned the desk for five years and used it in the production of the final ATCQ record, We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, but he was hardly the first owner. Rather, the console was originally a part of Radio City Studios in New York City, where it handled endless sessions, including some that are etched in the history of Punk Rock. “The Ramones made their first couple records on it, Blondie recorded their first album on it and now the Tribe album,” said Tip. “I’d like to see somebody take it who is going to continue that.”
Q-Tip’s production work for A Tribe Called Quest, Mariah Carey, Pusha T, Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar has often used vintage recording gear, which he has an affinity for. That may be part of what drew him to the API 3288, as he noted, “The thing that drew me to it is that sound. I like the combination of the rock and roll sound and the R&B sound.”
While he’s intent on selling the mixer, it’s not for a lack of love. “The only reason I’m getting rid of it is because I want to go a different route in the sound, otherwise I’d keep it,” he said. Instead, he felt it was a key ingredient for the final ATCQ record, noting, “The circuitry, the way it was designed, the EQs are very concise and exact. You get a real sharpness and there is a clarity to it. You can hear the difference. I’m not trying to brag or nothing, but when you hear this album and you compare to all the other popular music out there, there’s a certain warmth to it. It has a certain declaration of sharpness. I think the thing about that board is the high mids, the mid thing on that board is really, really great.”
While the console has been a part of some historic records, the current owner doesn’t see it as a future museum piece: “I would like to see it go in the hands of someone who is going to use it and not let it sit and relic; someone who is going to make good music on it and take care of it.”