Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Life's moving quickly


It's been a bit too long since my last post. Sorry to you loyal followers.. all 3 of you. haha.

Before I get cookin with updates:

Very recently, I saw I was nominated for "Producer of the Year" by the Boston Music Awards. This is something I didn't expect for two reasons: I don't live in Boston and at no point in my career did I ever concern myself with the possibility of being awarded for the job I do. Ask anyone else in the music business: staying "in it" is tough, making a living doing it is very difficult, and being recognized for your hard work is beyond comprehension.. So yea.. It's cool. Ha! I'm psyched for the ceremony and catch up with old friends and see them all get awards! You can check everyone else out at !

The studio has been absolutely bustling. It's hard to keep up and I'm considering booking a few days off for "office work" meaning catching up on gear maintenance, patchbay upkeep, cleaning the studio, and of course the never-ending task of mix revisions.

California X has a new record. It's complete, mastered, delivered, and absolutely excellent! Look forward to this release in 2015.

Tonequest begins.
Lemmy is happy. Tonequest is over.
We used big drums, because we wanted them to sound big. And they did!

Caitlin Canty came in to mix an EP and cut a bunch of duo songs with Jeffrey Foucault. The EP tracks came from what we recorded in late 2013. Really amazing stuff.. and the sound is cool. Pretty old school vibe. We mixed to the Ampex 440. Her new record is due to come out in earl 2015 and it's truly beautiful.

It sounds a lot like it looks: cozy.
Phase was a concern but not an issue.

Krill, a fantastic Boston band came in to cut their new LP, too. It's mastered and ready to be released. It's really amazing. Goes from sparse to dense with very elegant flow. Each song tells a story that I've never heard before. I can't wait for this to be heard!

This is Krill.

Rabbit Rabbit came in and cut a record in a day. We mixed it in 5 hours. 95% live. Killer Northampton band. Jeremy Dubs on drum is always a treat. Also mastered and waiting on an early 2015 release.

Jeremy Dub's kit at Sonelab. Love those old ceilings!

Elder, a great heavy rock/"stoner rock" trio from Boston/Eastern Mass came in for a killer session in August/September. We had fun and made their best record yet. I can't wait for this to be released ! We went for BIG and we got it!! It's 100% done. I am listening to it right now.

This what an Elder session looks like. Not a pretty picture! ha ha
Not sure if this is bass or guitar setup.
I think we used everything here, except the Traynor.

The Glazzies are in working on some more songs. They've got Murph playing some drums and it's sounding HUGE. I used some cheap-ass mics (sent through really nice gear) to get a killer bass sound on this! check 'em out. 

Murph kit for Glazzies session.
Previously mentioned "cheap mics" on a bass cab. Sounded RIPPING!
Left and Right has a new tape out on Infinity Cat Records. I recorded it in early 2014 and I love it. I listened to it on the way home from a session tonight.. really loudly.. and I think it's 100% worth buying. Especially for the note you may get w/ your tape. Thanks guys !

Now it's October and I've got another pile of amazing projects coming up. I've got Sweet John Bloom mixing this month, Potty Mouth, Boston's Sun Lions, Bedroom Rehab Corporation, and much much more awesomeness to get us into 2015.


I purchased another Anamod 660 to make a pair. It's been incredible to have the pair. I submixed the drums on the Elder record through them and the mastering engineer even said "dude the drums sound ridiculous". I also mixed a record through them for the first time and I completely loved it. They're very different than the Compex and although they're also "Vari-Mu" style (quotes because Vari-Mu implies there's a tube responsible for compression but the Anamod 660s don't have any tubes) they respond VERY differently than the Manley Vari-Mu. I usually let the Manley compress at around -2db most of the time while the 660s really love to swing around the transients in a very smooth way. It's been a pleasure to have them for mixing but I've also gotten some amazing drum sounds with them. Overheads and cymbals can be very explosive in a mellow way, if that makes any sense. I recorded acoustic guitar through them recently and absolutely fell in love with the compression. I have a lot of great compressors at my disposal: Neve 2254, Distressors, Compex, a pile of old Altecs, and more. They're all great on acoustic guitar but the Anamod 660 reminded me of a VERY special compressor: Universal Audio 175b. This is also a Variable Mu compressor that is sort of known to be like a tube version of the 1176, though I think it's much bubblier sounding. It pumps and breathes in a really musical way like nothing else. The 660 does this in a very convincing way!!  

It's weird to mix through 500 series stuff.. but these Anamod 660s are really awesome!

I also got a new guitar amp: Hovercraft Dwarvenaut 20 MK2. It's a take on a Matamp or Orange OR120 type amp but it's much lower wattage and is made out of recycled amp parts. I'm not sure what they're recycling (components, chassis, etc) but it doesn't matter. This amp is insane. I got it on a Monday, tested it out on Tuesday, and then 20 minutes later, California X walked in the door and decided to use it on their remaining guitar overdubs. I ran it through our 60s Marshall 4x12, put the u67/421 on it and let it rip. It sounded great with a Ram's Head Big Muff, too !!!

Hovercraft fits in.

Sonelab purchased a pile of old Morely pedals. I haven't plugged any of them in yet.. but they look cool!

That is a pile of Morley pedals.

We also got a Divoli electric piano. This is somewhere between a Wurlitzer 200a and a Rhodes. Also.. I have not had time to plug it in but Mark tested it out and said it sounds cool so I'm psyched for this thing. If you know anything about it, please write me! There is little info on it but we do know that Hawkwind may have used it for something at some point in their career.

A few months back, our friend Travis Atkinson (Engineer, tech, mic seller, awesome bro) sent us a pair of AEA N22 microphones to demo. We held onto them for about a month and they found their way into our workflow so we grabbed a pair. These are active ribbon microphones, not unlike the Royer R-122. The sound is much more present than the 122, so there's not really any need for a second mic. They're amazing on toms, bass drum, and hi hat. They have a nice strong null (like more bi directional mics) so when placed correctly, you have a very clean picture of the instrument in question without a lot of junk from other instruments. I've been putting it on the beater side of the kick drum lately so the null is pointed at the snare drum and the sound is SO natural and solid without affecting the sound of the snare drum via bleed. Tons of output (often need an inline pad) and plenty of SPL room so mashing it up against a 4x12 or tom is totally legit!

Alright that's all I got at the moment. Booking for 2014 is neatly cooked. I've got a couple of stray days in December but other than that, see you in 2015!!