Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ace Tone Rhythm Ace FR-70

We just got in one of the most unusual drum machines I've ever seen, the Ace Tone Rhythm Ace FR-70. It's similar in sound to many of the early Ace Tone/Roland boxes with one big difference: it has an enormous built-in speaker cabinet. It's a monster!
These were originally invented as rhythmic accompaniment for organists so most of the early drum machines you see have preset patterns like foxtrot, bossa nova, waltz and the like and this one in no exception. It's pretty limited but it does allow you to adjust the mix somewhat and there are a couple of rocker switches that will give you a little fill or variation.
Watch this space for more on unusual vintage drum boxes, we have a collection of them in our studio and I'll be taking pics and recording them for posts here in the near future.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recording A Midnight Gun

I meant to post about this back in December but misplaced the pics, but just found them.
AMG (A Midnight Gun) are a new band we worked with in the studio in December. They have a sound all their own and are really pushing to do something personal and different. The band is Phillip on guitar and vocals, Joe on keys and vocals and Julio on drums.
The EP was recorded over a few weeks, we used a lot of mics we have around, namely the Neumann KM84 which is breathtaking on the guitar, standards like the RE-20, 57's 58's etc. The real star was a cool Audix pencil condenser which shocked us all with it's detail and sheer mojo.
We had a chance to DI through the new Aphex 207 tube pre which performed admirably and we tracked a couple of the vocals through it as well as the shaker tracks.
Of course we had to get some Space Echo on it here and there for some vintage vibe and I mixed using it as a reverb in places.
We made good use of the excellent Sir vst reverb on most of the mixes with a Lexicon 480L hall impulse.
All in all a very creative and enjoyable project and I'm looking forward to working with these guys soon. Check them out on their site or at Myspace and download the EP for free:

Korg Polysix & SC Drumtraks

Just got a Korg Polysix in. The board's in pretty good shape. We cracked open the case to check out the infamous battery issue and voila! it already has a spankin' new battery. Man, this thing is mean sounding, gritty and begging to rip a lead in unison mode.

Also we got in a super minty Sequential Drumtraks. I've never seen a piece of SC gear this clean!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Burning Strat

Just for shits and giggles we decided to consign a Squier Strat to the flames. I guess we were having a twelve-year old moment. Believe it or not it still works and play as well or better than it ever did.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recording Inner Lights

We're down to mixing on the new Inner Lights EP. Everything went pretty well with the new set up, except the loo going on the fritz!
These guys have a great sound combining elements of late '60's early 70's era Stones and Who with the atmosphere and energy of more recent UK artists like the Verve and plenty of southern jam for good measure. A very satisfying sound indeed.
We recorded to a digital setup at 24/88.2Khz and stemmed everything down to 1/2 inch tape and sent it back through the tubes to final mix. I had a chance to use some cool new plugs in the mix including the Waves API stuff which really brought some character to the drum bus, as well as the amazing freeware Dominion transient designer-style compressor to get the drums to cut through even more.
For drum mics we used the usual 57's and 58's as well as a pair of SE1's for overheads. We tracked 7 channels of Ron's drums and one channel of Chris bass DI'd through a TL Audio Fat Man 2 Pre/Compressor.
We set up Trey in the hall and mic'd his AC30 with a 58 on the grill and another about ten feet away and ten feet up, flipped the phase and got some great tone. We put my Space Echo in his effects chain for a more retro sound and some of that tape grit. Worked well.
For Kevin's guitar, I wanted to distinguish it a bit from Trey's so we used a 60's Silvertone tube amp and it plays nicely against the Vox amp. On the lead vocal we used a Rode NT1 FET micthrough a Presonus tube pre and that seemed to do the trick.

Overall I was pleased with the results we got in just a couple of 4 hour sessions. Next up to finish the mix. Check back for that.......

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Studio Up and Running

We finally have our studio set up and underway at Musicwise. I think we'll be offering a unique situation; a music store with vintage and used gear and a studio around back. The cool part is that any of our inventory can be used for sessions when you book with us. So if don't own a cool tube amp,a Rhodes or a Space Echo you can have access to one when you track here. And our inventory changes all the time so take advantage, the rates are really good.
Our first full band project is with Inner Lights. We tracked these guys over the past couple of weeks and they sound fantastic. We tracked some of it to 8 channel tape and the rest to digital. I'm mixing that now so look for that soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

83/84 Tele in Sherwood Green Metallic

Just in: A nice 83/84 Tele in rare Sherwood Green Metallic with Fender OHSC. A ding or two but nothing major. Asking $1399.