Recording Vocals | Start With the Singer

Aug 1, 2011, By Mike Levine

From the breathy smoothness of Diana Krall to the growl of Tom Waits to the screams of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington, no two singing voices are quite alike. For producers and engineers, the challenge is to find the most flattering way to capture a particular singer’s sound. But successful vocal recording requires more than engineering skill; you also need psychological chops. Coaxing the best performance from a singer is often a lot trickier than selecting the right vocal chain. ...

KickDrums on Their Own

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Producers Alex Fitts and Matt Penttila, under the nom de plume KickDrums, had to turn the mirror back on themselves. The same critical eye and creativity used to create beats and tracks for the likes of 50 Cent, Kid Cudi and John Legend was put into play for their own release, Meet Your Ghost. While working on other artists’ material, the duo began to build the songs, fusing hip-hop tones with rock melodies. Working in their own personal studios in New York City, the two would mostly swap tracks with each other, coming together to work in Fitts’ space ...

Smashing Pumpkins in Pre-Production

Aug 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

When Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan came into Coldwater Studio (Beverly Hills), he had 30-plus songs but whittled that number down during a month of pre-production for their upcoming album, Oceania. “The studio is situated in a guest house so we were able to jam in a comfortable room with lots of light that faced a pool,” says studio head engineer Kevin Dippold, who works with owner/producer Kerry Brown. “When Billy was happy with a particular arrangement, we’d move into the studio section of the guest house to do a quick acoustic guitar demo. ...

'Rave On Buddy Holly'

Jul 1, 2011, By Barbara Schultz

No one can say what styles of music rock ’n’ roll icon Buddy Holly might have recorded had he lived to see his 75th birthday this year. Would he have been into New York art-punk when Lou Reed and Patti Smith came along? The electronic blues of Florence and The Machine? The neo-soul of Cee Lo Green? No telling, but we do know that these artists and countless other have been inspired by all the music Holly put out before he died at age 22. ...

Classic Tracks: The Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein"

Jul 1, 2011

Alhough multi-instrumentalist Edgar Winter originally had strong interests in science and engineering, the success of his blues-minded brother, Johnny Winter, changed that. At Johnny Winter’s behest, Edgar Winter played on his brother’s albums and performed in gigs in between sets at his brother’s shows. ...

Music: Count, DJ Shadow Back in the Groove

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

Grammy-nominated engineer/producer Count and DJ Shadow are back in the studio working on a new album, with Count at the helm in his space. “Adam [Savage] from MythBusters built these things on the side of my Aeron chair that allow me to navigate with my arms down by my side rather than having to reach forward,” Count says. ...

Garland Jeffreys 'The King of In Between'

Jul 1, 2011, By Matt Gallagher

On June 14, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Garland Jeffreys released the rock- and blues-oriented The King of In Between, his first album of entirely new work in 14 years. Jeffreys co-produced his latest project with guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) and brought in top musicians Steve Jordan (drums), Mike Merritt (bass), Duke Levine (guitar) and Brian Mitchell (keyboards). It also includes guest artists Lou Reed, Duncan Sheik and Jeffreys’ 14-year-old daughter, Savannah. Jeffreys and company recorded basic tracks at Brooklyn Recording, while overdubs took place in One East Recording in Manhattan. ...

Music: Graham Wright's Solo Offshoot

Jul 1, 2011, By Sarah Benzuly

What started out as demos turned into a full-fledged solo album. Tokyo Police Club keyboardist Graham Wright has always had songs percolating in his brain—even before TPC was formed—and he finally got his chance. Working again with TPC engineers Jay Sadlow and Dean Marino, Wright snatched whatever free time he had (and cash, as he was self-funding this project) and headed into Chemical Sound (Toronto), Sadlow and Marino’s studio. “I basically started recording songs with Dean and Jay in the beginning of 2009, but I thought I was making demos,” Wright recalls. “I had written a bunch of songs and I wanted to do something with them. We recorded two songs each day, and when I sent [the demos] to my manager, he said, ‘They sound like you’re making proper recordings.’ So from them on, it became more [a full album].” ...

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The Mix Regional section for Mix's July 2014 issue focuses on Atlanta. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.




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