Photo: Heidi Ross
Katie Herzig’s Walk Through Walls—her third project with producer/engineer Cason Cooley—blends acoustic and electronic sounds that grew from a process the pair have developed using Cooley’s personal studio and key matching equipment.
“[When we were making] the record before this one, we tried to get mirrored rigs,” Cooley says. “We’re both running Pro Tools, the same Blue Kiwi mic, and a UA 6176 pre—various tools. It makes it easy for either one of us to start something and the other can continue it.”
As song ideas developed, Herzig and Cooley mocked up electronic arrangements. “We’ll take it as far as we can that way, and then at some point it starts needing some flesh on it—some air and depth,” Cooley says. “Then we’ll open up the process to real players. We went to Buckley Miller and Will Sayles’ studio, The Trophy Room, and we got Will to drum and Butterfly Boucher to play bass. Then we put live strings on; we started replacing some of the sampled elements. Once we started cleaning out what began as placeholders for real instruments, some of that fake stuff started to seem unique and cool. So it ended up being a blend.”
Herzig cut vocals in Cooley’s studio, St. Cecilia (to a 57, via a Brent Averill 1073 and an LA-3A), where the pair then premixed the album with engineer Justin Gerrish, using Cooley’s Universal Audio Apollo interface and UAD plug-ins. Finally, the project moved to Blackbird’s API Legacy-equipped Studio B for Gerrish to finish mixing.
“The approach we like to take in my studio, and by having mirrored rigs, is unhurried but not unlimited,” Cooley says. “You want to have enough time to try some things and fail on your way to something cool.”