9 years ago in June of 2005, I was in the thick of building our recording studio, a career and life changing experience. Towards the end of construction, I got a call from the Green Natives who said “We hear you are building a recording studio, and we need to record some music!”. I figured 3 weeks would be plenty of time to finish things up, and get the studio ready. My contractor said “We’ll be done well before 3 weeks”.

Well, we were both wrong.

The night before the session came, and we weren’t completely done (there were still finishing touches and sound baffles to build), but we were at a stopping point. It was 7pm and I was frantically sweeping the floors of studio in a bit in a panic for tomorrows session. The rooms were basically done, but there was no recording gear or instruments inside yet. What to do!?

I called my friend Matt Forger (who helped with the design of the studio), and said “Hey Matt, my first session is tomorrow morning, I know it’s late notice, but is there any way that I could get you to come help me set up the studio?” Thank God and he was not booked that night and the two of us worked for hours getting things set up. We wired up the rooms, brought in the recording gear, mics, stands, drums, etc…We got to recording drum tones around 1am, and miraculously the mic cables and live room input box that I had hand wired all worked, as did the rest of the gear.

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It was a modest setup with a PC driven Pro Tools 002 rig, Yamaha AW4416, AIP 3124+ Line 6 Pod, and other gear much of which has been replaced over the years. Except the API.

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The next morning, I welcomed the boys with a big smile thinking “Okay, this is it, I hope this all works!”. Thankfully that session went well and the boys were happy.

The reason I mention this story today is that The Green Natives finished one of those songs and just posted it on FB. So here it is from the very first Bright Orange Studios session 9 years ago ‪#‎TBT‬

http://www.greennatives.com/ALONE_MASTER.mp3

Most objects usually speak out rhythms and patterns to me as I’m doing these sound design sessions, and with two of the water heater panels in front of me, this rhythm emerged. It will inevitably end up on a future piece of music. Captured by my son on an iPhone:



One man’s trash is another man’s excuse for a sampling session. After dismantling our old water heater (we upgraded to a tankless system), the old enclosure panels were screaming to be heard.

I talked my son and his friend into helping me out, and I quickly put them to work. Grabbing my trusty ‘hazard mics’ (a pair of Tascam TM-78s), and some long Canare mic cables, I pushed record in Pro Tools and let the sampling begin….

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The kids had fun banging on metal and making lots of noise.

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I of course got to be a kid too, and smashed up some metal and also created some thunder:

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It’s no secret that I love JZ microphones from Latvia. When I first received the trio of BT-201 microphones, a did all kinds of tests and shootouts.

Here’s a short little video featuring a Meinl cajon recorded with 3 BT-201s. The mics capture the woody-ness of the instrument along with the attack of the hands.

Recorded with API 2124+ mic pres with no eq or compression. Just raw tracks

 

visit http://jzmic.com/

An excerpt from a recording session I did for composer/arranger John Sawoski. 8:15am is never to early to rock out.

These are raw tracks (no plugins on the individual channels),  with just a little love from the Vertigo VSC-2 Compressor by Brainworx on the master bus in Pro Tools.

All cymbals by Istanbul Agop
All drum heads by Aquarian Drumheads

Instrument: Microphone / Mic Pre:

  • Kick: Shure Beta 52 / API
  • Snare top: Shure SM57 / Universal Audio 4110
  • Snare bottom: Shure Unidyne III / Universal Audio 4110
  • Toms: JZ BT-201s / API
  • Overheads: AKG 451s / API
  • Room mics: Oktava 219s (Michael Joly mod) / Universal Audio 4110