Thursday, June 4, 2009

In The Studio - Part 1

On Monday we headed into Fairfax Recordings in North Hollywood to meet our producer Kevin Augunas and see the studio. I might have mentioned already that Andrew had been spinning stories for the past couple of months that Kevin is a 6'5" psycho who was going to rip my head off if I made a mistake. So I was a little bit trepidatious about this first encounter. Monday revealed (as I had suspected) that Andrew is full of shit (I already kind of knew he was joking but you can never be sure you know). Kevin is a champion, but he is actually 6'5".

So we entered the studio and my head nearly exploded. I have never seen so much awesome, ridiculously vintage gear in all my life, let alone in one place. For starters, his mixing desk was specially built for Abbey Road Studios back in the '70s. Here's a blurb about it.

EMI Mixing Console TG 12345 Mark IV

The Fairfax mixing console is one of only two that were specially built for Abbey Road Studios, London. The console was the first of two delivered and was initially installed in Abbey Road Studio Three in December 1971. It remained in Studio Three for three years, after which it was removed and reinstalled in Studio One in November 1974. The console was used to record many famous records and film scores, one of the more notable being for the Pink Floyd film "The Wall". The console remained in studio one until December 1983.

And that is literally just the start. There's a whole bunch of really really old pianos, the youngest of which is 106 years old. My favourite thing though was his collection of vintage guitar amps, and after speaking with Kevin, the one I'll be using most is an old '51 Fender Twin. It was like being a little kid in a toy store. We've taken some awesome video footage of the place which we'll post somewhere when we get a chance. For now just trust me, this place is unbelievable.

So we spent Monday afternoon going through the demos we'd put together and talking about how we wanted to approach the record. We're recording everything to tape by the way which is a dream come true right there. Then John and Kevin spent hours sorting through his drum kits to find the right tone for our record. In the end they settled on a vintage Ludwig classic maple kit from the '60s. It was kind of freaky really. John recently acquired a new Ludwig classic maple kit in the same dimensions as this one. Only this one was more than 40 years old!!

I could go on and on about all the gear but I'll stop. But here's a pearler Kevin casually dropped. One of the vocal mics we'll be using was THE microphone that Michael Jackson used for all the songs on the Thriller album!! That's the highest selling album of all time by the King of Pop, MJ himself, and I'll be singing into it!

So that was day 1. Pretty casual but I'm not sure we actually could have performed anything after seeing all the gear. And we actually get to play all this stuff!

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