Brian Tarquin in Jungle Room Studios
Composer/engineer Brian Tarquin just received his sixth Daytime Emmy Award nomination for his guitar-based scoring of ABC soap opera All My Children, and he's proud of that. But he's even more proud of Fretworx, a collection of original tracks that Tarquin composed, produced and engineered in his home-based Jungle Room Studios (New York City).
“This project was conceived and done to benefit Friends of the Firefighters. In the news now, you see firefighters, NYPD, the first responders coming down with cancer and dying from the asbestos from what happened more than eight years ago [on 9/11]. I tried to make every track reminiscent of something in Manhattan.”
In a sense, this is Tarquin's score for the city where he was born and raised, and where he now works after moving back from L.A. five years ago. He wrote each track with a specific guitarist in mind, and laid down drums, bass and keyboards live in his studio before adding his own guitar melody to each finished track. After that, he brought in the big guitars.
“Some of the guitarists, like Frank Gambale, couldn't come to my studio. He's on the West Coast, so he sent me his part and I transferred everything into Pro Tools. With Steve Morse, the same thing. But mostly they came here and we laid everything down to [Ampex 1200 2-inch] analog tape.”
Tarquin miked guitar cabs using a combination of sources that he could later blend or select for the final track: “I miked everything with a [Beyer] M160 fairly close, off-axis, and then I'd take a Neumann 149 and put that five to six feet back to get the room. I might also put a [Shure] SM57 and a [Sennheiser] 421 together up close.”