SOME FINNVOX HISTORY
"Maternity ward of Finnish rock, Mother of all sounds, the most legendary studio in Finland, The Abbey Road of Finland ... "
A beloved studio has many nicknames - and for a reason.
Since going into business with four tracks and one room back in 1965, Finnvox Studios have maintained a unique position in the Finnish music industry.
Building Finnvox was an ambitious project from the outset, says Erkki Ertesuo, one of the founders:
"We really wanted to create quality, and it was a long time in planning. We did a very thorough job."
Quaintly, record industry circles ridiculed the first multitrack machine.
“Our brand new Studer four-track was a regular laughing stock at the time“, recalls Ertesuo.
"It was like, come on, nobody's ever going to use the thing, better cut your losses and get rid of it."
Of course, it wasn't long before "the thing" turned out to have been a rather sensible investment after all...
Markus Berg, Kurt Juuranto and Kai Juuranto, the founders of Finnvox Studios
An inhouse custom made mixing console in the 60’s
Since its inception Finnvox has been a trailblazer for the best new technologies in musical recording.
But the most important idea Ertesuo and his team were able to implement concerned the acoustics:
“The sound must be inherent in the room itself. Then what you do is to record that sound, using the best gear available. So, as technology marches on, we keep updating our equipment, but the room and the sound it produces remain. That's where the soul of the studio is.”
And what about the music? Well, we hardly know where to begin... but it's fair to say that our clientele has included virtually every major Finnish artist and band of the past five decades.
Does that sound presumptuous? Hundreds of hit records have been crafted here over that time (yes, we do hang the platinum and gold discs on our walls).
What's more, many of them have proved to be the kind of performances that go beyond commercial success to become embedded in the public's subconsciousness.
Rauli Badding Somerjoki recording
In the beginning the engraving of records, the cutting room, was situated in the neighbouring building from where it was moved in the late 80's next to the actual studios, where H-Studio can be found.
The photograph below show one of the grand old men of disc cutting, Pertti "Pepe” Hohtio who also trained his follower Mika Jussila to become an effective mastering engineer, leaving Mika to cut the records all by himself with no experience while he worked at the construction site of his private home.
The matrication, where pressforms for vinyl record pressing were made, was situated in the basement of the neighbouring building.
The matrication and pressing of records stopped in the early 90’s. Matti Ilmonen was responsible for this section.
Pertti "Pepe" Hohtio at his workstation
Matti Ilmonen was responsible for the matrication section
The pressing department was situated where F-Studio can be found nowadays.
The function was closed in mid 90’s.
The successful leader of the pressing plant, the modern legend Yrjö Salonen, is now enjoying his retirement as one of the most popular workers of Finnvox.
The C-cassette duplication operated on the first floor with Irma Kulmala responsible of it.
The actual copy masters needed for the duplication were made in the disc cutting room on the top floor, where H-Studio is situated now.
The pressing department was situated where F-Studio stands today
Irma Kulmala, the head of cassette duplication
”One for all and all for one” -hairstyle.
The heavyweight champions of Finnish pop music included progressive rock band Wigwam that was a frequent client at Finnvox.
Below is a captured moment from an interview session at Finnvox in the early 70’s.
Risto Hemmi’s career at Finnvox began in 1979 when he became the studio manager.
After re-lifting Finnvox to it´s position as the number one studio in Finland, the young engineer was pleased to use his recording and mixing skills in the renewed control room of C-Studio.
Interview session with Wigwam at Finnvox in the early 70's
The newly appointed studio manager Risto Hemmi in C-Studio sometimes in late 70’s
At the end of 80’s, Finnvox discovered a need for separate room for CD mastering.
Studio D was built to the space where the old studio A used to be and still is in its current form.
TT Oksala, the producer legend that raised to the fame during the 80´s practically spent his nights mixing in C-Studio until the dawn.
Then the mixing engineers of Finnvox took over the console.
Later on Mikko Karmila ”inherited” the studio from him, but he refuses to let Finnvox staff in as he prefers to work after the dawn.
Inhouse engineer Markku Törrönen testing a new digital editing console
TT-Oksala in C-Studio in the 80’s
The new A-Studio was reconstructed mainly for Dan Tigerstedt as Finnvox has always considered him as one the most appreciated mixing engineers in Finland.
Also Danu was famous for working long hours as he spent innumerable nights at Finnvox.
Recording engineer Juha Laakso was an essential asset in the 90’s when the studio technology rapidly became more computerized.
Juha’s reputation for Macintosh expertise combined with his friendly and patient personality was highly appreciated and respected among his colleagues.
The famous phrase “-Well, what’s wrong this time?” accompanied by the familiar clatter of his clogs, was often heard as Juha, wearing a denim vest, with a spilling tea cup in one hand, appeared at the studio door.
Dan Tigerstedt in A-Studio
Pedro Hietanen and recording engineer Juha Laakso in B-Studio in the 90's