Monday, January 28, 2013

Long time no post..

Hi and Happy belated New Year!

It's been way too long since my last post and to those faithful folks that keep tabs on this blog, I thank you for your patience.

Let's dig in.

Before I mention all of the great projects I've been lucky enough to be involved in, I'd like to let ya'll know about some upgrades Sonelab has seen in recent months.

First off, I upgraded my Pro Tools rig to version 10. Along with that, I upgraded my interface to a Lynx Aurora 16. The difference is incredible. I'm finding myself fighting with subtle phase issues, poor transient response, and latency a lot less than I was. What that translates to is high fidelity and better workflow! I'm very pleased.

A side note to those considering the upgrade: I debated weather to go with the Firewire or USB interface. Firewire offers more expandability but it's said that it's less stable than a USB connection. That may be true but I'm running an iMac i7 Quad Core with OS 10.6.8 and using the Firewire connection and am having absolutely no reliability issues.

In the amp department, I picked up a 1969 Laney Supergroup PA head. It's famous for it's pairing with Black Sabbath. It's an incredible amp. It falls in line with the best of Marshall Plexis but offers a thickness and heaviness that I don't hear in the Marshalls of that era. May be due to the Partridge transformers!

Rehoused in a custom cab. Sounds classic, though!

We're lucky to be sporting a 1990's Vox AC30, too. It's one of the better issues of this classic.

There's a new house drum set at Sonelab: 1970s Gretsch 13/16/22 with a Chrome over Brass snare drum. I can't begin to describe how amazing this kit sounds!

Let's move on to what's been going on around the studio:

Speedy Ortiz came into Sonelab to record their first full length record. It's just about done with some very small tinkering and tweaking left to go, then mastering.. This record is dynamic, catchy, heavy, fun, and addictive. If you haven't checked this fine four-piece out yet, please do!

Matt worked so hard he passed out.
I mic'd Sadie's amp with a u67 and 421. Go figure.

Literally moments after the final Speedy Ortiz overdub was complete, I jumped in the car with Julia and drove down to NYC to record Dinosaur Jr's You're Living All Over Me 25th Anniversary set. I brought the "Studio B" rig from Bisquiteen and was able to set up and get levels by the end of sound check. The show was incredible! I'm glad I was able to document it and be be there to see it!

Sound check
Show time!

We spent the night in NYC, came home, the next day and I packed up for a week at Clubhouse in Rinebeck, NY with one great group: Cold Satellite! We spent 5 days there and cut one hell of a record!

Clubhouse's fantastic Neve 8068
No shortage of tube EVERYTHING at this studio!
After this trip, I dug back in at Sonelab mixing some previously-blogged-about projects and recording/mixing the finishing touches on the forthcoming Chelsea Light Moving record.

And a great way to end 2012 recording: Body/Head. Kim Gordon and Bill Nace came in for two awesome days of tracking! We tracked the record, plus more, and already started the mixing process. It's an incredible record. In my opinion, it shows a lot of progression and development between the two of them. It's a very thoughtful collection of pieces. This is definitely a record of keep on your radar! While on the topic, check out Bill Nace's blog for Open Mouth Records.

A portion of Kim Gordon's Body/Head setup
Body/Head spread
2013 brought the finishing touches on the Rusty Belle record, mixing with Oregon's Sol Riot, and tracking a new record for another asset to the Northampton music community:

Bunny's A Swine! We spent three solid days cutting basics onto my trusty 1" 16 track. We dumped the tapes into Pro Tools and hit overdubs. This record includes a lot of textures that previous Bunny's A Swine records didn't have, such as brass and strings. In addition to those things, Candace and Emerson really outdid themselves in regards to vocal arrangements. They came up with some beautiful melodies, amazing harmonies, and had lots of fun doing it. Any fan of BiAS will dig this.

Shelby tried to tape op, but just fell asleep.
This happened.
The final project I'll mention in this post is one of Tongue Oven. Dan McLeod is the driving force behind this project. He write beautiful acoustic music, mostly on the 12 string guitar, but sometimes banjo. He has a great group of folks on his team, but this last session proved to be the glue that made these songs into a record. We had an amazingly productive day putting a bow on the tracking portion of the record! We recorded cello, violin, and even leaves in bags (see photos below). The next step is mixing and some editing.

Dan wanted to record leaves
So I broke out the 67 and we recorded leaves!

Before I sign off, I'd like to mention a few new releases that I've been lucky enough to be a part of:

California X - s/t LP - This record was and still is a blast!

Guillermo Sexo - Bring Down Your Arms EP - songs taken from the recording session that will produce their forthcoming LP.

Chelsea Light Moving - s/t LP. We worked on this over the course of two crazy sessions. Its release date is March 5th. Keep tabs, go see them on tour. They are crushing!

Bedroom Rehab Corp - Red Over Red LP - we tracked and mixed this beast in 6 kick-ass days! It's out and it's awesome!

Home Body - Traps 7" on Tiny Radars and In Real Life on Feeding Tube Records.

If you have any questions about anything I'm posting about, or just want to geek out, please reach out!