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Northwest U.S. News & Notes

Seattle’s legendary Robert Lang Studios and Brick Lane Records recently announced a strategic partnership to provide artists access to an SSL Duality SE V3 console.

Robert Lang Studios

Producer Toby Wright at the SSL Duality SE V3 console.

Photo: Lani Linton of Seattle Music Photography

Seattle’s legendary Robert Lang Studios and Brick Lane Records recently announced a strategic partnership to provide artists access to an SSL Duality SE V3 console. The Studio—which has retained a solid place in rock history, having hosted bands such as Nirvana, Linkin Park, Train, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Soundgarden, Death Cab for Cutie, Eddie Vedder, and Taking Back Sunday—has installed the Duality in its brand-new second control room.

Forty-year studio owner, designer and builder, Robert Lang is elated about the purchase of their Duality SE V3. He credits the technical engineers at Solid State Logic for coming up with a universal configuration between the digital and analog world. In addition to being used for music production, Robert Lang’s student recording programs will benefit from the addition of the Duality.

London Bridge Studio

Producer/owner Jonathan Plum with singer Mary Lambert.

London Bridge has been busy recording new artists for its affiliated recording company, London Tone Music Group. The label is signing 52 musical artists to singles recording contracts, recording the 52 and releasing a single a week for 52 weeks beginning this fall. Stay tuned for 52×52—A Year in Your Ear.

Meanwhile, Mary Lambert (singer on Macklemore’s song “Same Love”) just finished re-recording her version of the same song, titled “She Keeps Me Warm,” which was produced and mixed by studio owners Jonathan Plum and Geoff Ott.

Portland Recording Studio

Portland Recording Studio control room

A rare and coveted Stradivarius violin recently made its way to Portland Recording Studio via renowned violinist HN Bhaskar from India. Bhaskar, along with drumming teacher Shankar Viswanathan from Portland and his son Shiva, have been recording a few different kinds of Indian music, including raga, meditation, classical Indian, and will soon be recording fusion. Shankar and Shiva both did some drumming for Bhaskar. “We will start recording the fusion music soon and have asked Bibi McGill—Beyonce’s guitarist and musical director—to perhaps come and join us on the fusion effort,” says Rex Colin Johnston, Portland Recording Studio owner. “Bibi has recorded here with us a couple times and is an amazing person, as well as one of the best ‘wire benders’ on the planet. Bhaskar and Shankar asked me if I would put down some piano, synth, drums and some percussion on some of their recordings, which I was more than happy to do for them.”

Fastback Studios

Fastback live room

The Fastback Studios crew is currently putting together a 16-channel custom API 7600 console. The modules are the API 7600s, vertically oriented with faders and a meter bridge. There is a 7800 master module that sums all of the channels together, allowing for soloing, busing, aux sends, mute groups and the infamous API Legacy sound—all customized for the Fastback space and hybrid workflow. The console will boast a 212L pre, 225L compressor and 550A EQ on each channel. Jason Lackie, head engineer/producer at Fastback, says, “This beast will be like a 1604 on steroids!” Complementing the monitoring/summing section will be the Chandler Limited Mini Mixer/Summing amp. This is an all-discrete unit based on the EMI TG12345 console. Mounted alongside the all-discrete API console will be the Avid Icon D-Command control surface for quick control of Pro Tools.

Fastback Studios is a 3,000-square-foot recording, mixing, mastering and music production facility in North Seattle. It’s made up of a large, acoustically balanced live room with vaulted ceilings; three integrated iso-booths; an acoustically isolated control room; and a dedicated mastering lab. There is also a lounge, and next to the studio is a full-size basketball gym that doubles as a tracking room and reverb chamber.

Cloud City Sound

Justin Phelps in control room A at Cloud City Sound.

Opened two years ago in Portland, Cloud City Sound is a two-studio complex primarily operated by engineers Justin Phelps and Brandon Eggleston. Also frequented by independent engineers and producers—including Steve Berlin, Billy Anderson and Dave Friedlander—Cloud City Sound has been busy with recording, mixing, mastering and voiceover work. Some of the more noteworthy recording projects have included Pink Martini/Uke Saori, 1969 (recorded/mixed by Friedlander); The Mountain Goats, Steal Smoked Fish, (recorded/mixed/produced by Eggleston); MarchFourth Marching Band, Magnificent Beast (recorded/mixed/mastered by Phelps, produced by Berlin); Leftover Salmon, Aquatic Hitchhiker (recorded/mixed by Phelps, produced by Berlin); Emily Wells, Mama Acoustic Recordings (mixed by Phelps and Wells); and Witch Mountain, Blood Hound (recorded/mixed/produced by Anderson).

Cloud City Sound features a Trident TSM console, three Pro Tools HD systems, Studer and Otari tape machines and a large selection of new and vintage microphones and outboard equipment. The facility also includes a well-equipped mastering room operated by Rick McMillen (owner), Phelps and Perry Lancaster. Recent projects include Emily Wells, “Mama” (mastered by Phelps); Everyone Orchestra, “Brooklyn Sessions” (mastered by Phelps); and Peter Buck, “10 million” (mastered by McMillen).

The studio has also been host to a steady stream of music video recordings and webcasts. They have had recent sessions with Modeski, Martin and Wood, Scars on 45, Just People, and Need to Breathe recording live to video.

Future plans for the studio include the launch of an in-house record label and a revamp of Studio B as a vintage analog studio, featuring hand-built tube preamps from Coffman Labs, a 2-inch 16-track tape machine and an extensive collection of vintage Altec equipment.