Friday, June 1, 2012

Big stuff happening..

Hello blog-readers.

It's been way too long since my last update, especially because so much has happened since..

Since my last update, I've worked on about 30 different projects and opened my new recording studio: Sonelab. It's been 2 years since discussion started and almost a year since pen went to paper. We're finally open, up and running, and I feel like I'm doing some of the best work I could possibly be doing.

I spent the second half of April moving equipment with Mark and gathering cabling for my control room. Once the cabling was in my hands, I began the epic task of wiring my console, outboard gear, and lines to the live room. For about 2 weeks, I worked at Bisquiteen for 10-12 hours per day and spent 6-7 hours at Sonelab soldering cables, running lines under the floor, and conducting a series of tests. Everything seemed to check out in the end so I was ready for my first session!

Fancy Trash came in for three days of tracking. They helped me break in the studio in the best way possible! We had Jason Smith set up in the drum room, Paul Kochanski with his upright bass in the small iso, and Dave Houghton in the big room, playing acoustic guitar and singing. On the second day of tracking, Katy Schneider arrived with her pedal steel and sat in the live room. We ran lines to her amp in the large iso. It was amazing to listen to them track all live, using every room in our studio. I can't tell you how proud I was to have pulled it all off and for things to sound simply AMAZING!

The next session I did at Sonelab was with Chelsea Light Moving. This band is made up of Thurston Moore, Keith Wood, Samara Lubelski, and John Moloney. We spent three barn-burning days tracking live, adding vocals, then mixing. It was a wirlwind of rock and noise and was SO much fun, albiet a lot of work. We set up John (drums) in the big room with 10 close mics, plus a series of four room mics, including one ambient mic, which was placed on the opposite end of the live room, providing me with 33 ms. of delay to play with! Samara's bass amp was placed in the drum room, surrounded by large gobos, and Keith and Thurston's guitar amps were placed in the remaining two iso rooms. We were able to achieve perfect isolation yet maintain a very live and raw sound on playback.

After Chelsea Light Moving left, The Peachy's came in to bash out 7 rockin acoustic tunes. This setup was quite different from the other two! I put Keith (drums) in the widest part of our live room and Kevin (acoustic guitar and vocals - LIVE!) directly across from him in the large room with no baffles. Peter, bass, had a wireless device so he was able to walk about while his bass remained in the small iso. There was definitely some bleed but all of it was quite nice! David "Goody" Goodrich sat in as producer and added some of his fine guitar, slide, and piano to the project.

After a MUCH needed week off, I walked back into Sonelab with the Happy Valley Showdown winners of 2012: Home Body. I think this project almost killed me! Electronic sequencing that go from stabbing to BLISTERING and soft to ambient. Add Haley's amazing vocals rising high above that and you have Home Body. Add Noam Schatz's pulsing beats and Justin Fallon's heavy fuzz-echo guitar as a bed and you have an idea of what their forthcoming full length has in store for you. The low end rattled my speakers and my brain, and the melodies have been pleasantly embedded in my head. I can't wait to mix this one!

One day I'll add the pictures I have of all of these events.

The feeling I get when I walk out of the studio and hear our practice spaces roaring and see the parking lot full of familiar vehicles is like no other. This is everything I hoped for an more.

The summer is getting close to fully-booked and the next batch of projects is no less exciting than the past. If you're interested in studio time, please reach out soon. It's going quickly.



  1. you should feel so proud babe! i know i do!

  2. Thankyou , Mark,past configurations , different studios , same 2 genius', Justin, w/out you 6yrs ago Northampton 'd have no Showdown, & now w/ Mark you 2 make it possible for me to give the newer bands an audience , interested crowd to Showcase new tunes, I get to give the crowds of friends a gift of rapid fire great bursts of new ever changing WINTERFROZE SUNDAY NIGHT music & for the past 5 yrs you've been responsible for the grand prize, a full 12 hrs of pro studio recording by , although you're modest, a blossoming legend recording the type of music musicians & music fanatics listen to, timeless ! For the past what 3yrs side by side w/ another legend, a beacon of quality groundbreaking, brand new styles of recordings! Mark recorded 1st classics in lo-fi Sonics like Sebadoh, ear shrieking new sonic ground tracked by J.Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), the subtle yet deeply touching emotional chords of Peyton Pinkerton (New Radiant Storm King) and although many already recognize the statuesque heights of Angry Johnny & The Killbillies, he sadly in his time , like The Ramones was overlooked. He WILL be recognized as Noho's Hank Williams AND Johnny Cash /Merle Haggard , for that matter R.Mason/J.Armenti & their combination of 30 or more albums our are CSN&Y & Angry's Gandpappies!! Thanks , both of you for making Noho home & recording some of the worlds greatest music . I hope one of these HVS winners make some history .... Actually they have just by being a part of the 1st series of it's kind here! Love you 2, congrats and many future blessings!
    -Mark Sheehan