Workbook Studio may hold the world’s record for on-the-fly recording. Located in a converted warehouse that once housed Columbus, Ohio’s first Packard car dealership, Workbook owner/engineers Neal Schmitt and Jon Chinn, engineer Dan Wilburn and two other part-timers triumphantly recorded 25 songs by 25 bands in 25 hours. “The original plan was 24, but we got a little over-excited,” says Schmitt.
Aided by chilled Red Bull, hot coffee and the buzz of a revolving door of musicians, Schmitt, Chinn and Wilburn fired up the automated Tascam 3700 24/48-channel console in the control room of their 3,000-square-foot loft space at 4 p.m. one Friday afternoon. Several mic swaps and level-checks later, they sent the last band home at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The lineup of mostly local and regional acts were recorded using Digidesign’s 002 LE system (the studio also owns a few Alesis ADATs and a Tascam MS16 1-inch 16-track) with assistance from AKG, Neumann, Shure, Sennheiser and BLUE Baby Bottle mics, and the studio’s large selection of guitar amps, drums and keyboards. “We had two drum kits and tons of guitar amps set up everywhere for bands to pick from,” Schmitt explains. “While one band was doing vocals and finishing their mix, the next one was setting up. We worked in two-hour blocks; the second engineer became the main engineer. We thought the hardest part would be filling the late-night slots, but some bands wanted the worst slots!”
The fruits of their labor, a CD titled Workbook Studio’s 25 Hour Grand Prix, is available through Reverbose Records at www.reverbose.com and via Columbus music scene site www.cringe.com, while individual songs can be downloaded from iTunes.