Sign O The Times & The Black Album
Sign O The Times is Prince's ninth album. It is one his most critically acclaimed records and produced three top ten singles. It features a mixture of styles, including pop, funk, dance, rock and jazz.
Compared to previous albums, it features a stripped back sound, featuring distorted guitars, the Linn LM-1 and digital keyboards like the Fairlight and the Sequential Prophet VS.
Prince toured Sign O The Times from May to June 1987 with a new, unnamed band. Prince also filmed a concert movie with this band in Europe and Paisley Park.
The Black Album was recorded around the same time as Sign O The Times so is included on this page. It was released as Prince's sixteenth album in 1994.
Click on the equipment for more information · Download this rig diagram as an image
The Band Live
Levi Seacer Jr
Prince In The Studio
Sign O The Times was recorded between March and December 1986 at Sunset Sound studios, Prince's Galpin Boulevard home studio and Le Zenith, Paris.
For details of the instruments used by the Revolution on "It's Gonna Be A Beautiful Night", see the Parade page.
The Black Album was recorded between October 1986 and March 1987 at Sunset Sound and Galpin Boulevard, using similar equipment to the Sign O The Times sessions. "When 2 R In Love" was recorded in October 1987 at Paisley Park. See the Lovesexy page for more information about this session.
There are also reports of a Roland G-707 and a Auerswald Model C appearing on the album.
Amps were recorded through Shure SM57 or Sennheiser MD421 microphones. Guitars were also recorded direct using a Countryman 85 DI
|Pianos and Keyboards||
The Steinway Model B was recorded with AKG C414 microphones. The Hammond B3 was recorded through a Leslie speaker with AKG C414 (horn) and Sennheiser MD 421/AKG D112 (drum) microphones.
Drums recorded with the following microphones - Kick Drum: Elecro-Voice RE-20, AKG D112 or Sennheiser MD 421; Snare: Shure SM57 top, AKG C451 bottom; Toms: Sennhesier MD 441 and MD 421; HiHat: AKG C451; Overheads: Neumann U47/U87 or AKG C414.
|Horns||Horns were recorded with Neumann U47, U87 and AKG C414 microphones.|
Recording (Sunset Sound and Galpin Boulevard)
Outboard (Sunset Sound)
- UREI 1176 compressor
- UREI LA-3A compressor
- Lexicon Prime Time Model 93
- Plate and chamber reverbs
Outboard (Galpin Boulevard)
- Lexicon PCM60 Reverb
- Lexicon 200 Reverb
- Lexicon 480L Reverb
- EMT 244 Reverb
- Publison IM90 Infernal Machine (for vocal pitchshifting on the Camille tracks)
- UREI LA-2A Compressor (for vocals)
- Eventide H949 Harmonizer (for vocal chorus effects).
- Tudahl, Duane (2021) Prince and the Parade and Sign O The Times Era Studio Sessions 1985 and 1986
- Soundcheck (1987) Prince Sound and Lighting On Stage
- Brown, Jake (2010) Prince 'in the Studio' 1975 - 1995
- Red Bull Music Academy Susan Rogers Lecture