Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dead Roots Stirring

Last summer, Clay Neely from Black Coffee Sound called me and asked if I'd be interested in mixing some new recordings by Elder that he'd been working on. I was thrilled and excited to take on the task so we went for it!

The mixing went very smoothly and we had a great time working on it together. When I asked Nick DiSalvo (guitar/vocals/sometimes drums) what he planned to do with the release, he told me he was going to Germany for about a year. A year passed and the most-excellent Meteor City Records has decided to release this effort.

It's an amazing record.. Six songs that range from very heavy riffs to fantastic prog jams.

A vinyl release is in the works..

You can order the CD here. It's on sale for a limited time so do it now!

Side note: There is a totally free Meteor City Records sampler - 20 tracks. DO IT!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last week in the studio..

Worcester's Golden Girls has officially finished their forthcoming full length. The 4 piece plays some fairly straight-forward rock with elements of heavy blues, punk rock, and hardcore. We grouped together at Black Coffee Sound over the past 6 months to cut the tracks, while mixing them at my studio in Eastworks. Last week we mixed the final 5 tunes!

A few months back Zak Trojano contacted me to record his first solo effort. He is a member of Rusty Belle and drummer for Jeffrey Foucault, Chris Smither, and many more. Having worked Zak once before with Rusty Belle, I knew we'd be making a quality record-and that we did!

For this one, I dusted off the old 16 track and prepped for three fine days of tracking on tape. Zak assembled a fine crew consisting of Kris Delmhorst, Nathan Hobbes, and David "Goody" Goodrich. We cut the record in 3 days, transferred the reels to Pro Tools and brought it over to J Mascis's Bisquiteen studio for one day of mixing. We pulled it off and sent it out to Alex McCullough at Yes Master for the finishing touch. I just got word that the mastering is approved and that it will be pressed very soon! This record came out wonderfully and I highly recommend it. Pre-order your copy here.

Here's a shot of the studio just before the band arrived and we started tracking:

This week also consisted of some fairly heavy tech-work at Bisquiteen. J decided he wanted to get the Apple Trackpad, which required an OS upgrade. One thing led to another and J decided he wanted to go ahead and upgrade to Pro Tools 9. So while I was there loading in new software and making all of the upgrades, I decided to modify our current patchbay system. Currently the patchbay is labeled according to the make/model of each piece of equipment wired to the patchbay. We've decided that this cluttered and confusing system must go and have decided to use a number/letter grid system.

In other news, the new recording studio is shaping up very nicely! All of the framing and first layer of drywall is complete in the recording studio. The drum room and two main iso rooms are up and look fantastic. The insulation is being added and the next steps are a second layer of quietrock, greenglue, and a third layer. We're aiming for a late October opening, of sorts. The practice spaces will begin very soon and should be ready around the same time.

Here is a look at the drum room and two main iso rooms:

Here is the length of the live room with the drum room and iso rooms in view:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Studio

When Bank Row Recording closed, I quickly began my search for a new home. I finally got in touch with Mark Miller (Slaughterhouse Recording Studio) only to find out that he and I were in a similar situation. We decided to join forces and build an incredible new recording studio/music complex in Easthampton, MA. There are two sections to our complex: the recording studios and the practice spaces.

Recording studios: Mark and I realized very quickly that we needed our own control rooms. We have unique collections of equipment and use different techniques to get the results we want. We've put extra thought and care into the soundproofing of our studio to insure that sound transmission will not be an issue. The studios will encompass approximately 3,000 square feet and include a lounge, flex room, storage, two control rooms, many iso rooms, a drum room, and an enormous live room.

Practice spaces: Mark and I both saw the need for a music rehearsal complex in the Pioneer Valley so we decided to use some of the space available to build 10 spaces. Each space will be about 20'x17' and will be walled with quietrok to add a bit of soundproofing. These spaces will be on the ground floor, down the hall from the recording studios. The access will be 24 hours, 7 days a week and will include key-card entry into the main complex and heavy duty locks/doors to each individual room. The spaces are centrally located off the bike path in Easthampton and will be safe/secure. We've managed to drum up quite an interest in these spaces already, and only have a few left. If you're interested, please reach out.

We're hoping to move in early October and start recording half way through the month! The construction of the practice spaces is on the heels of the studios. Stay tuned for updates.

Here are some pictures of our progress in the recording studios:

Standing in Mark's control room: the full length of the live room.

Standing in the live room: looking at the front wall of my control room.

Standing in the future drum room: looking at the entrance to one of my (2) iso rooms.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bunny's A Swine test pressing is in!

Bunny's A Swine is a band from Northampton, MA. They are Candace/gtr vocals, Emerson/gtr vocals, and Dustin/drums vocals. We met via the Happy Valley Showdown two years ago and as winners, they earned a free day recording with me at Bank Row Recording (RIP). We bonded, had fun, and made Literal Breakfast - their most-excellent EP! They're one of my favorite bands around and I'm very excited for their new record.

Today I was able to spin the test pressing of their forthcoming full length, recorded and mixed by yours truly. It was a pleasure to work on, and hearing it back on wax was quite a reward!

Recorded - Q Division/Eastworks space
Mixed - Eastworks space
Mastered by Carl Saff.
Lacquer cut by Lucky.
Pressing at URP.

Get psyched on this one!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mixing with The Snakes!

NYC's Snakes came up to Amherst to record at Bisquiteen back in May and I spent the last two days mixing some of these recordings.

The band couldn't attend so I mixed ITB (in the box). We got pretty gnarley sounds at Bisq., plus we had a fairly low track count. These factors definitely made ITB quite alright!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Hello and welcome to my blog. I plan to use this space as a way to keep you readers informed of some of the more interesting (hopefully) parts of my day-to-day life as a recording engineer, musician, and lover of music. I've never "blogged" before so bear with me as this process evolves. I also plan on keeping this page updated with construction progress of the new recording studio that Mark Miller and I are opening together this fall. Dig it.. if you will.

On Friday 9/9/11, the wonderful Kim Gordon and I had a session. She came armed with a small mono tape recorder, loaded with a cassette containing about 15 minutes of solo vocals and 20 minutes of live basement jams (John Moloney, Bill Nace, Kim Gordon). The goal of the session was to choose the coolest jams and to give the recording a stereo image. We tried a few different things but nothing was giving the depth that we were looking for so, of course, we decided to try the Memory Man. No surprise, there. It sounded just right.

Tonight, I ran into Bill Nace over at Feeding Tube Records. He handed me a copy of "Fever", a compilation put together by Dennis Tyfus. It's a collection of artists covering "Fever." This past spring Bill, Kim, and I mixed their contribution to this record. Their band is called BODY/HEAD and are the first track on the record. Order yer copy here.

In case you're not familiar with Feeding Tube Records, it's a fantastic record store/label located on King Street in Northampton, MA. They are a large part of the local music community as well as a client of mine. They are planning on having these sweet T's available, too!

Shelby totally digs it!