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Ted Team Studios, Adamstown

Ted Team Studios, Adamstown, August 1997. Above is a picture of the main control room area. The picture on the right shows the Ted Chain Archives.

The History

Gaithersburg (1978-1990)

This is where it all began. Ted's parent's house at 19504 Burlingame Way was home base for Ted Team Studios for 12 years. It started in the basement as two Cheap Tape Decks and eventually worked its way up to a semi-pro 4-track facility. The Leaping Lobster's first album, Crustacean Wagon, was recorded in Ted's bedroom upstairs.

In The Basement.

January 1986

Sears LXI stereo (Sanyo) used as monitor system and 2-track mastering deck. To the right of the stereo there is a pile of books on top of the Ted Chain tape archive. Since mike stands were way beyond Ted's budget, you'll note that the microphone is hanging from the ceiling.

Clockwise from big keyboard, Casio MT-400V (big keyboard), Casio VL-1 (little keyboard), Realistic 8-channel board, Sears Cheap Tape Deck, Realistic Cheap Tape Deck (from TRS-80), and in the center, "Little" Dick Beater's Synsonics drum kit. You can also catch a glimpse of The Chipmunk's Sing the Beatle's Hits album under the table with what looks like Queen's Another One Bites the Dust single (45). Both of these were important influences for Ted.

January 1986

TASCAM 234 (Spring '86)

Ted's pride and joy, the TASCAM 234 4-track cassette deck. Note the Cheap Tape Deck on top (Realistic CTR-80 from Ted's TRS-80), and the Casio MT-400V keyboard. Ted got this just as he was wrapping up recording of Displaced Aggression (of Gaithersburg). He didn't tell Paluck about it because he really didn't want to spend the time on another session with them.

Suicide Room

In the closet
December 1987

During Ted's first year at college, his mother made a bizarre suicide attempt involving Jim Beam bourbon whiskey and Valium. Afterwards, she moved out of the house. Ted moved Ted Team Studios upstairs to the bedroom where the suicide attempt had taken place. The Ted Chain archives are to the left in the wooden shelves on the floor. Above and to the left of the archives is Ted's TRS-80, and turntable. On the floor, the blue box is the "Suave-A Digital Delay", and the yellow/orange box is the Boss Distortion/Feedbacker.

The equipment stack at the time consisted of (from top to bottom) a Realistic 8-channel board, BSR Equalizer, Sears LXI 2-track cassette, the Tascam 234, homebrew patchbay, and the Casio MT-400V keyboard (under its famous blue towel). The small box to the left of the patchbay is a Realistic turntable pre-amp. Note that the equipment is indeed sitting on the exact same card table from the basement.

Equipment Stack
(January 1988)

Remote (1978-present)

The portability of Ted Team Studios was always important even in the early years. The Riverside Connection's hit Bar-B-Que was recorded using an early remote rig featuring a Cheap Tape Deck. The drums for Last Supper were recorded using the 4-track remote setup at Schafe's Drum Studios, Potomac, MD. The drums for Anarchist Women were recorded using the remote as well. During the summer of 1989, Ted built a set of portable equipment racks to house all of the Ted Team Studios equipment thus making remote recording very easy. This remote setup was used numerous times at SMC events, and for recording Absolute Value, Big Toe, and many others.

St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMC) (1986-1989)

At first the entirety of Ted Team Studios was not brought to college by Ted. The initial equipment consisted of Ted's boom box/monitor system, and his guitar. Later the rest of the equipment was moved into his first dorm room in Prince George Hall (PG140). Ted moved into PG135 with Sean Dawson of Last Supper in January '88, and Ted Team Studios continued to grow. John Starmer of Starm Troopers moved into PG135 in September '88 and helped Ted build a riser with sleeping space underneath. This gave plenty of room for recording. Most of the equipment was kept in the closet as usual (Ted never did own any clothing). The Boyz recorded parts of Sex Line in this incarnation of the studios.

PG 135, Spring '88 (5/88)

Prince George Hall room 135, SMC. Ted's closet is put to good use as usual. Ted Chain archives hanging on the wall to the right. Equipment stack on top of cinder block shelves has Realistic 8-channel board, BSR Equalizer, Sears LXI 2-track, Tascam 234 4-track, and the infamous homebrew patch bay. On the shelf underneath is the blue Suave-A digital delay. To the right of the equipment stack is the Sears LXI turntable which would never run at a steady speed. Note Ted's fashionable striped crew socks hanging to dry over the light fixture.

Same sort of setup, but with a number of equipment upgrades. The monitor system (boombox) is visible on the top shelf of the closet. Equipment stack has the Realistic 8-channel board, the Boss RV-1 Reverb and CL-1 Compressor/Limiter half-rack units, BSR Equalizer, the TEAC 2-track (replacing the Sears LXI), Tascam 234, homebrew patch bay, and Soundesign power amp. Old Sears LXI 2-track is on the floor probably being used as a mic pre-amp. Also note the blue Suave-A digital delay and yellow/orange Boss Distortion/Feedbacker pedals on the floor. Ted's fashionable crew socks are in full view hanging over the light fixture to dry (those dorm dryers never did do a good job). To the right on top of the dresser is the MT-400V under its famous blue towel, and the Casio VL-1 with its case flap hanging over the edge (to the left of the speaker).

PG 135, Spring '89 (12/89)

St. Inigoes (1989-1990)

St. Inigoes Floor Plan
Ted and Tom moved into an apartment just south of Trapp road on Route 5, south of SMC. The apartment building was an old schoolhouse next to a bar called "Monk's Inn". Ted's room and studio was in what used to be the hallway of the school. Ted installed an entry lock, and Tom dubbed the room "The Vault." Ted liked to call it, "The Firetrap." Monk's Inn also contained a number of apartments including the large downstairs apartment named "Butthole Central" (believe it or not this was not named by Ted) whose living room was the size of a small auditorium. Several Ted Chain bands including Absolute Value had their start playing "Butthole."

At this point, Ted had built racks to hold all of Ted Team Studio's equipment. The Yamaha SPX-900 and the Boss DR-220A drum machine were added during this period as well.

St. Inigoes (9/12/99)

Montgomery Village (1990-1997)

After college, Ted got an apartment in Montgomery Village about a mile away from Ted Team Studios, Gaithersburg. Walker House apartment 713 was a perfect room for the studios. The apartment featured several closets with removable doors, and deaf neighbors on either side. Due to extreme water leakage, Ted was forced to move to apartment 607. The neighbors are still deaf, so far as Ted can tell.

Montgomery Village (1/31/97)

From left to right, Tannoy PBM-6.5 Monitors, the Ensoniq EPS which used to crash at random moments, the old Sears LXI cassette deck on the floor with the orange Boss Distortion Feedbacker pedal on top. Equipment racks from top to bottom: perched atop the racks is the Casio VL-1, Boss DR-220A drum machine, and TFA custom 1 Amp power supply. Top rack, see below, bottom rack has Yamaha board, TEAC 2-track cassette, TASCAM 234 4-track, real patch bay. Hidden behind the chair-back is the Alesis RA-100 power amp.

The top rack, from top to bottom: Blank panel, Boss half-rack compressor and reverb, Yamaha SPX-900, BSR Equalizer, real patch bay.

Top Rack (1/31/97)

Ted Chain Archives (1/31/97)

Note the transmitter for WALK, Walker House Radio (where the dead still cling to life) to the left on the floor (grey box with thick red vertical stripes). In front of the WALK transmitter is the Debbie Gibson box-set Keith Richmond bought Ted for his birthday.

Adamstown (1997-present)

After throwing away rent for a year while actually spending most of his time in Adamstown, Ted finally decided to relocate. Prior to relocation, space had to be made in the new facility for Ted Team Studios. After 2 weeks of work, the contractors finished the job and the studio was successfully moved in March of 1997. In May, various members of Ted Chain groups met in the new studio and performed several famous Ted Chain hits including Absolute Value's "Voices." The session went perfectly, although Ted decided not to record it.

Currently the studio is only one room, but it has been designed with a partition in mind. For the moment, the equipment can be easily moved outside the studio for acoustic separation when needed. (10/97)

Adamstown 8/97

From left to right, Tannoy PBM-6.5 monitors, Ensoniq EPS, Racks (FX and Tape Decks as described above), Fender Strat, 486 machine with old Realistic monitor system on top. Boss DR-220A drum machine and Casio VL-Tone are stacked on top of the racks.

The Ted Chain Archives from top to bottom: wooden rack filled with tapes from the Ted Chain bands, top two shelves of the bookshelf hold Ted's CD collection, the bottom shelf has vintage recordings of very early Ted Chain groups such as the Leaping Lobster, and the Riverside Connection. Also on the bottom shelf is the infamous Trape collection. These "Trape Tapes" carefully document Ted's life from 1976-1979.

Ted Chain Archives 8/97

Candid shot of the studio in its normal messy state, 4/5/2001.

Ted Team Studios History

Currently Ted is removing the hearth that was under the woodstove that was removed because the chimney was condemned (thanks to Darrin Danner for help on this part of the project). Next project is to move the air handler to make room for the new studio. Once the way is clear, the walls can go up.

Construction has begun, studs are up, parts of the stairwell have been covered with drywall. The hallway is a bit bigger than I wanted, which makes the room a bit smaller. The door that is going in for the laundry room needs to fit under the steps, so the hallway had to be shifted.

Electrical roughed in, and quite a bit more drywall up in the stairwell. Majority of the room is still just studs. Door under stairs has been installed. It will be interesting to try and get the Xmas tree out next year (I hated that thing anyways).

HVAC moved, and boy is it noisy now. Instead of a straight shot, it makes a jog, and this undoubtedly causes an increase in turbulence and an increase in noise. HVAC send and return have been installed. All drywall is up and spackled.

No work done today. Mud is still drying. I noticed that the bottom of the stairs should have been firred instead of 2x4 studs. This would've made for a bigger passage at the bottom of the steps.

Completed work on parking lot upgrade.

More mud on the walls, and final insulation on unfinished wall.

Doors installed, baseboards, paint! Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, carpet will be in kinda late which will make it hell for me to move in before 3/9.

Carpet! More paint, started ceiling.

Electrical complete, most of drop ceiling up, no vents yet. Doors painted and hanging to dry, more paint on walls. Stair hand rail capped and quarter-rounded.

Everything finished except for the covers on the vent and air return.

Covers installed. Started moving Ted Team Studios. The archives and all the equipment is in, but not set up.

Ted Team Studios Adamstown grand opening celebration featuring Darrin Danner and Keith Richmond.

Finally took pictures with equipment. Will be up soon. (Yeah right, I just got around to it today 10/26/97)

Horrible humidity problem noticed. Bought dehumidifier. Seems to be fine now. Ted Chain archives have survived.

M-Audio Delta 44 ordered from J&R. Probably arrived the next day.

Line6 Pocket POD ordered. Probably arrived in about 3 days (29th?). This thing absolutely sings. Prior to this, Ted used the Yamaha SPX-900 multi-effects processor to simulate a guitar amplifier+speaker. It was ok, but didn't sound quite like a real amplifier+speaker. It still had hints of the "Wasp in a Jelly Jar" Commodores "Easy" guitar solo sound, even with the high-end cut down to almost nothing.

Dell Dimension 4100 arrives. Ted Team Studios finally has an official studio PC.

TASCAM 234 analog 4-track is dead. Capstan will not spin. The digital era officially begins. I've been talking with Bob at Vintage Electronics and I might be able to get her back up and running. I'm betting there is a belt that drives the capstan and it has disintegrated. I think I'll consider digging in at some point and having a look.

Yamaha DD-65 drums arrive. Quite a step up from "Little" Dick Beater's Synsonics. Adapter and snare stand will hopefully arrive eventually. In the meantime, a portable hard drive adapter turned out to have the right specs: 12 volt, 2 amp, center positive.

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Document started 1/3/1997

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