Iguana Studios, Toronto
Iguana Studios will celebrate 25 years in business next year, and owner Vic Branco has been working behind the scenes to make sure the studio stays viable and efficient for another 25. For one thing, he upgraded his 4082 G Series console (purchased from Avatar Studios in New York) with an Atomic Instruments power supply this year.
“With this new technology, one power supply replaces three,” Branco explains. “There’s an advantage sonically and economically. Unlike the original power supplies, this one has a failsafe, so if the voltage goes below the optimal operating of the console, it shuts off. So we don’t get any peaks that will blow anything up; we just have to turn it back on. It’s like a built-in safety net. I’ve had power boosts here over the years that ruined my supplies. Plus, this product lopped off thousands of dollars from my hydro bill last year. But most importantly, the console’s headroom has improved and it sounds better than ever. It’s been a godsend.
“The other thing we did is we upgraded the automation with the Tangerine automation system from THD Labs in Montreal,” Branco continues. “It runs off a Mac mini, again replacing a cluster of massive boxes. Also, now the graphics are not so much like Sesame Street. The original graphics on the interface were just colors and shapes, but now they resemble the console, so your eye is able to translate a lot better. It’s nice that people have found ways to update the old gear and keep it going.”
Branco was mixing on the upgraded SSL when we spoke, and he says that mix engineer Andre Doucette has been “working with Eddie Kramer, who has lived in Toronto for a few years, and he’s part of the team that’s revitalizing the historic El Mocambo nightclub here in Toronto. They’re putting a studio together there,” Branco says.
Other recent visitors to Iguana include country artist Graham Trude, tracking vocals with producer Stacy Heydon and engineer Nick Lobodycz. Lobodycz reports that Trude sang into a Røde K2 microphone through an Altec mic pre and vintage 1176. Road Wolves were also in, working with Branco producing, Lobodycz engineering and Doucette mixing the tracks.
Mix Regional Sessions: Canada, by Lori Kennedy, Aug. 1, 2016
In the Studio
Planet Studios, Montreal
Juno Award-winning producer/engineer/mixer Daniel Cinelli reports that the latest sessions in his Planet Studios include Charlie Puth recording vocals for his latest album, Voicenotes, in Studio 1, and Charlotte Cardin tracking for an upcoming album in Studio 2. Rapper Lil Yachty was also in Studio 1 working on an upcoming release; and Diane Tell, Corneille and Les Trois Accords worked with producer Gus Van Go in Studio 2. And singer/songwriter Matt Laurent was in Studio 2 with Cinelli producing and engineering.
Studio Loco, Montreal
Studio Loco offers recording and mixing facilities for music production and voiceover projects. Recent clients include reggae/dancehall artist Shon Derek, pictured working on his new EP with producer Jacob Lavigne. Artist/producer Tiger Son was also in with new artist Lord Ivan, working on Ivan’s single “Montreal City.” And Jane Pear worked on various voiceover projects for TV and radio spots.
Rose Room Recording, Toronto
Tommy Gunn has been tracking his next album at Rose Room Recording; Eddie Kramer is one of the engineers, and Greg Godovitz played bass on the session. Also in: Jim Cuddy recorded vocals for a Queen’s University alumni video. Cuddy is pictured here (second from right) with Paul Milligan, Oliver Eksteins and Rose Room owner Galen Weston. Weston also tracked his own release, The Space Between, with producer Steve Rodby and engineer Rich Breen; performers included session musicians Richard Underhill, Al Cross, George Koller and Matt Horner.
Afterlife Studios, Vancouver
At Afterlife Studios (formerly Mushroom Studios), Ben Rogers and producer Dallas Green worked on Rogers’ new album. Steve Bays produced a new track for Said the Whale called “Record Shop”; Bays also took the photo above from the session. Studio owner/operator John Raham is recording and co-producing a new Frazey Ford record.
Mix Regional: Pacific Northwest, Oct. 9, 2017