Monday, July 2, 2012

Train keeps a' rollin'

After being in this new studio for almost two months now, I'm nothing but ecstatic about the workspace, the sounds I'm able to get, the workflow here, and the clients that have been through the door.

Since I last wrote a number of projects have been started, finished, and even released!

As many of you may know, Chelsea Light Moving has released one song from our May session through Matador Records. It's a total rocker, and not to say it's the best from the batch we recorded, but it's one of my favorites and definitely strikes a mood. Dig this tune!

Boston's Guillermo Sexo stopped in for four days to start work on their forthcoming full length. This will be the fifth project I've recorded with them and I know I've said this before but it's my favorite, thus far. The songs range from pretty and quirky ballads to total spaced-out stoner anthems.. with some quick catchy ones in between! Dig it, for sure.

Fancy Trash was the first band recorded by me at Sonelab. Dave, Jason, and I got together to mix said recordings and have them ready for mastering! This will be the first full length started and finished here at Sonelab.. Very exciting!

Sweet Apple is a band from Cleveland, OH, Brattleboro, VT, and Amherst, MA. Recently the four representatives from the three regions of Sweet Apple congregated at J Mascis's Bisquiteen Studio in Amherst to record a new single and a few tunes for their third record. I engineered. It was my first time at Bisquiteen since finishing Dinosaur Jr. 2012 LP and it felt fantastic! The band sounded great, the vibe was good, and we got a TON of stuff done. Look for a fall release for the single!

Friends of Yours is an amazing Northampton duo (and sometimes trio!). The music is emotionally-charged, meaningful, and will totally make you rock out! We started working on a series of recordings in 2010 for a tour single and their forthcoming full length. We gathered at Sonelab to mix said recordings a couple of weeks ago. It is complete and scheduled for mastering very soon. Put it in yer queue!

On the Sonelab front, there is much to report! Hm.. where to being?

Well.. after the first two months, Mark and I couldn't be happier. We're booked solid though the end of summer, and getting calls for sessions quite regularly.. so if you're interested in any Autumnal recording time, I suggest reaching out sooner than later :)

I'm going to make a list of the bands recorded at Sonelab so far because it's really quite amazing and I couldn't be more proud of this facility and the clientele.

Gear talk:

Mark and I installed a Furman headphone mix system. It allows the artist to dial in his or her own headphone mix. It also happens to sound really great and gets very loud! So far, everyone's been very happy with their headphone mixes :)

We have a nice rack that floats between Mark's and my control room. It consists of a pair of Distressors and a pair of Daking mic pre/EQs, as well as a sweet Apogee 2 channel A/D D/A converter. It's been so nice to have these resources available, and to be able to move them from room to room as needed!

Our Coles 4038s are out to Wes Dooley/AEA for rereibboning, which I'm extremely excited about. Not that they don't sound fantastic but now they're going to really turn heads! Our pair of Charter Oak S600s are also out on repair. Cannot wait to get these pieces back and into regular rotation again.

My control room now has the addition of an ADR Compex F760X-RS and a DBX 161 limiter. Two of my favorite all-time compressors. Serious game-changers for me.  

I also got a pair of B&W 805 monitors to compliment my NS10s. As many of you know, I've worked on NS10s, exclusively for a long time now. Finally, I've got another pair of monitors for reference. They actually sound OK, too. I still lean on my NS10s, but when I need to double check low end, I go to the B&Ws.. so far the mixes are sounding a bit tighter, even than before!

Here are some recent studio shots!

Here's the latest state of my control room rack. It's starting to fill up, which is GREAT! I'm very happy with the state of things, here, especially when the Daking/Distressor rack is in my room!

Here's a pic from Bisquiteen this past weekend. I tracked Sweet Apple live and this is what I did with the guitars. Two different heights, separated by a couple of blankets, close-mic'd and almost NO BLEED! And you've got to love the sound of two Gibsons through two Vox amps. The thing about this setup is that I discovered a new tool, and please, reserve your laughter: the Neumann U87. This is a mic that I just never gravitated toward. Over the past couple of months, I'd been using one for oddball overdubs here and there.. the interest started to build up and this past weekend, I decided I'd go for it and put them right up on these guitar amps. Coupled with a 421, these mics sounded awesome! Who'd ever think a Neumann U87 would sound any good??