FRANKLIN, TN - When he needed to put the final touches on Confessions, the newly released album for Christian rock band, Pillar, Grammy-nominated Producer/Songwriter Rob Graves chose Paragon Studios.
Having known and collaborated with Paragon Studios Owner Fred Paragano for the better part of two decades, Graves was very familiar with the studio's capabilities. "I first met Fred at Berklee College of Music in the early 1990s and we made an immediate connection," says Graves. "I was very impressed with Fred's talent as a young sound engineer/mixer. He was using Pro Tools long before many of us even knew what it was."
As Paragano continued his career in music during the late 90's, Graves pursued career interests outside of music. Graves, who continued to produce music in his spare time, came to Nashville to have Paragano mix an independent record that
he was working on. It was during this time that Graves realized music was his calling.
"Knowing Rob's talent, drive and what he could offer the music community here, I encouraged him to make the move and I am very happy he did," says Paragano. "Since his move to Nashville, Rob has worked very hard on all levels. He has become an accomplished producer, musician and songwriter and a valuable member of the Nashville music scene."
When Paragon Studios first opened, Graves rented space in one of the small production suites where he was able to independently produce a portion of his projects. For larger scale sessions, such as, strings, drums or full tracking sessions, Graves rented one of Paragon's larger studios and enlisted Paragano's engineering expertise to finish the recordings. It was during that time, Graves produced and Paragano engineered the highly acclaimed Christian recording artists Red and Natalie Grant among others.
Graves, recipient of a Grammy nomination, five Dove Award nominations and two Dove wins, recently returned to Paragon Studios to finish the mixing on Tulsa-based Pillar's newly released eighth album, Confessions.
While a large part of the record was mixed and recorded at Graves' own studio, affectionately known as "The Graveyard," he brought the project to Paragon to finish it, tweaking and perfecting all the mixes. "I know Paragon inside and out and I know how it sounds," adds Graves. "It has flawless acoustics and Fred's incredible ear and attention to detail allow us to ensure we turn out the best-sounding record we can."
"Pillar has enjoyed a long career spanning some different musical trends," continues Graves. "I wanted to make the band's sound as current as possible while also making sure its loyal fan base would be satisfied. Whenever you have a band that has enjoyed as much success as Pillar, it's always a challenge to not only make sure you have been true to the band's artistic side but have also taken the band somewhere it hasn't been before."
Graves also recorded the drum tracks for all 10 songs for the album at Paragon. According to Graves, "I always allocate money in my budget to make sure the drums are recorded at Paragon. The drum sounds that I get at Paragon are excellent."
Paragano credits acoustical engineer and studio designer Russ Berger with creating the studio's unique sound. "I told Russ that I wanted a room that could work well for both drums and strings and that's exactly what he gave me," adds Paragano. "Rob, along with many other producers and artists, come to Paragon specifically to record for drums and strings. It has worked out great."
Graves' long successful relationship with Fred Paragano and Paragon Studios makes it like a second home for him. "Everything from the creative process to the musical ideas to the engineering is top-of-the-line at Paragon Studios. I am very comfortable working there. We're truly like a family."