First album recorded is Stryper’s “Even the Devil Believes”
Pictured with his TELEFUNKEN M80 dynamic microphone is Michael Sweet, co-founder, writer, lead guitarist, lead singer and front man of the metal band Stryper.
SpiritHouse recording studio recently moved into a newly built studio space inside a 120-year-old carriage house in picturesque western Massachusetts. Chief engineer and producer Danny Bernini started SpiritHouse Productions in 1995, after leaving The Hit Factory NYC. The new SpiritHouse is a full service entertainment company encompassing Artist Development & Management and a world-class residential recording facility owned and operated by Bernini and partner Paul McNamara.
The first album recorded at the studios is the new album by the group Stryper. “We did this new record over a few weeks in February 2020, just prior to the pandemic hitting,” Bernini explains. “We do a hybrid between old school analog and modern digital technology, starting with tracking on a vintage MCI 536 with lots of great mics and outboard gear, to file sharing across the country for additional overdubs, and ultimately mixing remotely due to Covid.”
Prior to his new SpiritHouse studios, throughout the ’90s and early 2000’s Bernini’s home base for producing and engineering was the famed Longview Farm Recording Studios in North Brookfield, MA, where he started out as an engineering intern in 1987. He now works full time out of the new SpiritHouse, as well as touring the world mixing FOH sound for Ben Harper.
“For this Stryper album, we used a bunch of Telefunken mics for the recording of the band’s distinctive drum sound,” Bernini recalls. “We had an M82 dynamic on kick, M80s top and bottom on the snare, M81 on rack tom, M82 on floor tom, ELA M 260 tube mic on Hi-Hat, and FET M60’s on overheads.”
SpiritHouse features Augspurger monitors and a classic MCI 536 console, the deck that defined the sound of some of the best rock records, such as ACDC’s “Back In Black,” as well as records from The Stones, Bob Marley, The Eagles, Elton John, James Brown, U2, J Geils and Aerosmith. SpiritHouse has paired this classic MCI 500 series console with a workhorse two-inch 24-track analog MTR 90. SpiritHouse then locks that up with the latest Pro Tools rig, featuring advanced high-end A-D converters to preserve that analog sound once it’s captured.
“We have a beautiful large performance room with a warm spacious sound, Bernini continues, “with vintage recording gear from Neve, Telefunken, API, Avalon, Urie, MCI and more. We also have a nice collection of keyboards, including several funky older Hammond organs, a Yamaha C3 grand piano, a 1956 blond Wurlitzer, a Mellotron, a Fender Rhodes, and a vintage Polymoog from the ’80s.”
Bernini’s diverse discography includes artists ranging from Acoustic Junction, Martin Sexton, Ryan Montbleau, NRBQ, Chris Collingwood, Tall Heights, and Spookie Daly Pride to Stryper, Michael Sweet, Blondie, and Notorious B.I.G. He also does a lot of post-production mixing for broadcast and 5.1 surround DVD, including shows for artists Ben Harper, Stryper, James Blunt, and The Fray.
Bernini completed the new Stryper album at SpiritHouse with the most stringent of Covid-19 precautions. “We had the band come back in August to film the entire record performed live in the studio to promote the album release. The band members are from all over the country, so we had everyone involved tested and quarantined together during rehearsals. Once we were all together, including the film team, we stayed at the studio and didn’t go out for anything. Everyone slept, ate and worked on site for the duration of the sessions. This is a PPV performance for their fans along with a virtual meet and greet in November.”
Lear more about SpiritHouse: https://spirithousemusic.com/
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