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Switchfoot Visits Signature Sound

Switchfoot recently entered Signature Sound, based in the band’s hometown of San Diego, Calif., with engineer/producer John Fields and engineer Steven Miller to work on the follow-up to their double-Platinum Columbia debut, The Beautiful Letdown.

“They’ve been on the road for the last two-and-a-half years,” reports Fields. “This time, they wanted to make the album at home in San Diego. In L.A. we’ve got 50 to 100 choices with killer drum rooms and great consoles, but in San Diego you have one choice—Signature Sound.”

The So-Cal facility installed a 48-input, 24-monitor API console in 2003. “I own a bunch of API gear, like the ‘four-banger’ mic pre, the 3124,” notes Fields. “API’s four-channel model 3124+ features the same mic preamp circuit that is used in all API consoles, plus the same output transformer that is used in all API equalizers.

“I have three API 550 [four-band] EQs and a 560 [ten-band graphic EQ] in a Lunch Box. I carry them around wherever I go, but didn’t need to this time because there were already a bunch at the studio!”

The new Switchfoot album, scheduled for release this summer, was recorded quickly, as was their debut. “We went in for ten days and basically cut the whole album,” Fields reports. “I’ve always been fast. My philosophy is to keep it rolling, rather than take three days on a snare drum sound, and at the end clean it all up and see what just happened. We had the band buy a Pro Tools rig and now we’re finishing the album at the singer’s house, where he built a studio in his garage.”

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