Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Milk Run

For some silly reason I expected to have a few days of my normal life before any new unbelievable stuff happened.
I was wrong.
Stay tuned...

Anyway, here are my favorite photos from last Wednesday through Sunday in Austin Texas, in and around Wire Recording Studio.

Phone pic of the rack of snare drums etc in the "kitchen":

Another phone pic of my friend Steve's bass amplifier system, which he graciously loaned me for our recent live shows and the recording sessions:
Over the last few weeks I built some custom cables to hook it all up in various ways, and he gets to keep most of them. Thanks, my brother!
I was "Bi-Amped" which means that the bottom speaker box (4x10" drivers) only had to deal with deeper bass frequencies while the smaller 2x10" top cab handled everything above 220hz, each with their own power amp channel. This is a much more complicated but also more efficient way to handle the full range of tones needed, and gives you way more clarity.
In addition to the 2 microphones on my speakers, I also sent a signal directly to the mixing board which got pumped into whatever vintage gear Stuart Sullivan felt was necessary. The 3+ resulting signals then get stirred back into a cocktail of bass guitar.
When I tore the bass rig down on Sunday I noticed that ALL of my original settings were still intact, meaning that none of the engineers or producer felt the need to sneak into the "Piano Room" where they were isolated to change what I felt was the right sound for Televators.
That was a huge compliment, but we shall see how much of my preferred sound ends up in the finished product.

Becky's vocals were done in this small room just off the main one.
The drawers are full of microphones and spare parts.
The round "Popper Stopper" keeps spit and percussive consonants from hitting the giant vocal mic.
We all had the "Private Q" units seen here. They are headphone amps that have knobs for everyone's instruments, so for example I can choose to have very loud kickdrum and quiet vocals in my ears while recording some parts, then turn up the guitar when I need more.
An incredible time saver, not having to ask the engineers in the control room for personal headphone mixes all the time.
Whoever invented this system deserves free BJs every day.

Taking infrared pics while on break got old pretty quick because it interfered with true rest, but there were some pretty skies early on.

Yes, pianos have lots of strings.
I lit this shot with an LED flashlight while killing time in the bass amp/piano room:
Spent a ton of my spare time in there because of the cool shit to photograph plus a little more private space for chilling out while still having a view of the main control room where all the action was. The AC seemed about 5 degrees cooler, which was nice.
Kept my camera gear and snacks out of everyone's way, too.

Kick drum is the heart and soul of heavy rock. Stuart and Lee made sure we had enough kick to do our music justice.

Some old microphones remind me of embalming tools:

New studio mics are suspended in elastic shock mounts, yet are still photogenic:

In the low-light studio conditions my 50mm-F1.8 lens proved it's worth:
Shallow depth-of-field is fine so long as you pick your focus point with care.

Becky's friend Erin came by on Friday and I'm SO glad she did.
A true pro photographer, she covered all the stuff I wasn't able to shoot due to my bass workload:

IF I can get permission, Erin's photos will complete the story of our experience in the studio.

Rough mixes are done and I hope to hear them tomorrow.
Apparently Paul Barker (bassist during the best years of Ministry) is going to do an extended re-mix of one song, which is eventually destined to be released on vinyl and also become a big part of a movie about fast cars...but I don't know what to believe anymore.
The rest of the album will get recorded in Europe for some reason, even though Austin served us well?

Going on the record, all I can say for sure is that my initial reservations re: promises made and grandiose plans laid have been dashed.
So far, everyone making wild claims has backed them up.

It's getting increasingly difficult to be a skeptic, but that's my nature and I think my responsibility at this point.


Albatross said...

So far, everyone making wild claims has backed them up.

I hope this continues. Good luck!

Keith Alan K said...

Thanks. It just keeps getting crazier, and now I'm on-board and trying to stay ahead of the wave.