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Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus Hosts Tracking Session for New Flatts Album

Engineer Justin Niebank, Jay DeMarcus, and producer Dann Huff in The Grip control room

Award-winning Nashville-based producer/guitarist Dann Huff reports that he chooses to work on multiple album projects in The Grip, the studio complex owned by Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus. Recently, Huff and DeMarcus have been tracking Rascal Flatts’ new album in The Grip, citing its acoustics, vibe, and Carl Tatz Design (CTD) SpringLoad amp closet.

The Grip control room (rear)

“I had been explaining to Dann for a while how deceptive the size of The Grip’s drum room was, and that Carl’s design made the room sound far larger than it appeared,” says DeMarcus. DeMarcus has been producing tracks at The Grip for country artist Jeannette McCurdy, pop artist Jason Scheff of Chicago fame, and gospel artist Marshall Hall.

The Grip’s drum room

Huff says that he was already a big fan of the studio’s CTD SpringLoad amp closet, where he had been conducting his re-amp recording as well as using the Grip’s ISDN line capability for his West Coast projects. On DeMarcus’ recommendation, Huff tracked sides for a new Michael Bolton album in The Grip and became convinced that the studio’s acoustics would be ideal for the new Rascal Flatts album’s drum sound.

The Grip’s Wine Cellar production suite

The tracking session featured seven players, including two guitars, drums, bass, scratch vocal, grand piano and synth. They recorded a Yamaha C7 in DeMarcus’ marbled floor living room, with a video feed to the control room. An extensive keyboard rig was installed in The Wine Cellar, a production room in the studio complex with its own video feed. “Everyone commented on how very comfortable the sessions were,” says DeMarcus.

Vintage Genelec 1031 monitors used by veteran engineer Justin Niebank were set up in a flexible PhantomFocus System (PFS) array, so that The Grip’s Dynaudio M1s could be switched out upon request and still maintain PFS imaging and accurate frequency response for either set of monitors when in place.

For more information about the PhantomFocus Monitor System, contact Carl Tatz Design at 615/354-6242 or [email protected], or visit

Visit The Grip at