(L-R): Jim Keltner, drums; Jim Cox, keyboards; Tim Pierce, guitars, arranger; Ying Tan, producer Michael C Ross engineer, producer; Wesley Seidman, assistant engineer; Vanessa Fernandez, artist; Chris Chaney, bass; Charlie Bisharat, violin. (Not pictured: Luis Conte, percussion.) Photo by David Goggin.
Hollywood, CA (December 10, 2015)—Engineer and producer Michael C. Ross recently returned to United Recording to work with Vanessa Fernandez, who is covering a selection of Led Zeppelin songs performed in mostly “unplugged” acoustic arrangements.
The pure analog audiophile project was recorded to two-inch tape and will be mastered by Bernie Grundman to lacquers cut through a vintage Neve mastering desk direct to the lathe. The specialized process eliminates two steps in the normal L.P. cutting process: firstly, mixing the two-inch multitrack master down to the usual production master and, secondly, bypassing the board in the cutting room with EQ applied only via the Neve board itself. This is a rarely used L.P. mastering process, and is being combined with the recently mounted new cutting head in the BGM lathe.
Ross, who began his career as an assistant engineer at United Recording when it was known as Ocean Way, has a credit list that includes Christina Aguilera, David Sanborn, Pussycat Dolls, Lisa Loeb, Queen Latifah and Vanessa Carlton, among scores of others. “It’s always great to work here in the same rooms where my career began,” Ross commented. “It’s a superb acoustical point of reference for me and I can just jump into a project with complete confidence.”
Tim Pierce, the guitarist/arranger of Fernandez’s debut album “Use Me” is providing the guitar and arranging honors once again. Top LA-based session musicians include Jim Keltner on drums, Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) on bass, Luis Conte (James Taylor, Santana, Eric Clapton, Al Di Meola) on percussion), and Jim Cox on keyboards.
Led Zeppelin numbers covered by Fernandez include “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “Kashmir,” “Lemon Song,” “Immigrant Song” and the title cut, “When The Levee Breaks.” The triple L.P. package will include a 12-inch bonus L.P. with an extended rock version of “Whole Lotta Love” for a total of 11 tracks spread over six sides.