Thursday, April 21, 2005


NEW YORK - The struggling New York Yankees will be hit with a record luxury tax this year. Initial projections by the commissioner's office based on opening-day rosters have the Yankees owing $30,637,531, according to information obtained this week by The Associated Press.

The only other team projected to owe a tax is the World Series champion Boston Red Sox, who would pay $969,177.

Going into Wednesday night, the Yankees were just 5-9, tied with Tampa Bay for last place in the American League East.

Monday, April 18, 2005

What A Day That Was

Saturday we (sort of) finished up mixing "I Surrender All," the new record from New Creation (formerly referred to as the "Christian Band" in previous blogs).

All in all, it went very well. Ted and Pat spent the majority of time with the clients - Serge and Joyce, who came up from Georgia to supervise mixing - as I was at my day job. Saturday we all worked together, despite my being about 3 hours late. Hey, I'd already worked 75 hours that week!

For the most part, the majority of editing, reamping, etc. was done by the time Serge and Joyce arrived. We did some more with them present and then spent most of our time automating the mixes, making small arrangement changes, and even re-recording some vocals. I even got to do a guest appearance, laying down a keyboard pad for one tune. We really got down to the nitty gritty, as we were dealing with 4 vocalists (plus a "choir" of kids on one song) and electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, and keys. The end result sounds pretty good. We ran a very rough master at the end of the day on Saturday and will be farming the final mastering out to George at Skyway. Of course, as soon as the mixes hit the multiband compression and limiter, everything started to stand out a lot more, and Ted has found a few sections that need additional editing. I haven't yet listened to the master since Saturday, but I trust that Ted knows what he's talking about.

I'm not sure how much new work this project will lead to. Pat is getting ready to do some more marketing in Atlanta and he really thinks this record will open up some doors. First we have to assess how we did on this one, formulate a plan for future projects, and get Pat's studio set up with internet access so we can download tracks directly from him. (No more ADAT tapes in the mail! Whew!) Like with any project, we learned a lot, and the next one will be that much better.

In the meantime, once those final masters are done (probably within a week or so) we'll send them off to Georgia and the duplication process will begin. They've already got a bunch of preorders, and we'll get a copy for our Smoke and Mirrors Library.

What's next?

Tonight is guitar overdubs on the new Darvocets record (3 small labels have already offered to put this one out). Tuesday is a quick pre-production meeting with Mike (from Microdot) to talk about some work we're gonna do on a tune by one of his other projects ("House of Blondes," I believe). Wednesday is more Geek Farm. At some point soon we'll be working with Chan Chandler again - we've got 2 or 3 tunes worth of basic tracks down so we'll just keep plugging away. And there's more music to come...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


How long before the world wakes up and just outlaws soccer?

Yesterday, flares were thrown during a game in Milan. Lit flares.

Today, Juve and Liverpool fans threw bottles, chairs - anything their drunken hands could get - at each other. An hour long riot followed.

From Reuters - "Fears had long been raised that hard-core Juventus fans would cause trouble at the game, seeking revenge for the 1985 Heysel Stadium tragedy. Thirty-nine fans, mainly Italians, died after a wall collapsed following a charge by Liverpool fans before the European Cup final in Brussels."

Is this a sick joke? It's a SOCCER MATCH. How could anyone get that drunk, that crazy, at a game that's that boring?

Americans are a violent bunch, to be sure, but we're far more civil than our European brothers at our meaningless sporting events. And as anyone who follows sports knows, that's saying a lot.


Apple has announced that the next generation of their OS, named "Tiger," will be released on April 29th. Tiger will replace Panther, which has been living quite happily in our studio for months now, and will incorporate some new searching technology, updates to Apple's basic application pakage, improved synching between Macs and PDA's, and lots of other geeky stuff I don't really understand but which will continue to push the Mac OS into the future.

I remember when OS9 was winding down its life - here was an operating system which was absolutely maxxed out, pushed far beyond what it had been originally designed to do. The first signs of OSX were scarey - I certainly didn't want to move. Now I'm glad I did. I pity those who are so deep into Windows that they see no way out - they're cursed to deal with a buggy, complex, non-user friendly shell sitting on top of DOS, with security risks and all. Ah well. Screw 'em.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


We've loaded all of the tunes for the Lifeteen Christian album.

The recordings from our 2nd trip to Atlanta sound much better than those from the first trip - I guess we all got a little more comfortable (us and the band) and you can really hear it. The only problem is some reverb that was recorded on the kick drum track - the reverb from the scratch vocals and the snare. This is why I rarely use reverb while tracking, especially when you're recording 10 or 12 tracks at a time; there's already too much opportunity to misroute stuff even without throwing in the reverb.

But I'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness, so I pulled out my old friend the expander (aka gate) and sucked that reverb up like ballbearings into a shop vac. This, by the way, is the only use of gates that George Vitray approves of (solving problems, not sucking up ball bearings). I won't tell him there are a few other gates here and there. What he doesn't know but can hear can't hurt him.

So I've done rough mixes of 9 tunes, and they're pretty good, particularly those from the second day ("Breathe" is particularly affecting). I've started bringing up reverbs and whatnot - again, wait to use that reverb! It's very very difficult to get an accurate sense of EQ changes in a reverberant space, so no reverb until you're pretty sure of your EQ's. Not nearly as much reamping required as I originally expected, but about as much editing. I'm fixing the ins and outs of everything, tightening up the band, rewriting parts... well, no rewriting. But sometimes you have to put on your guitar player hat and figure out what he MEANT to do.

Fortunately, we have several of those hats.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Another amazing review for the Cider record "They Are The Enemy," this one from Deep Fry Bonanza. A snippet...

"How is Cider different other than not having mall distro and all the kids gluing their hawks up across the nation to see them open for (insert popular big label punk band here)? I'm not really sure but this seven inch is very intense and won me over on a sound that I pretty much steer clear from. Sure the attitude spills out perfectly on this record. It's got snarled and screeching vocals with some shouted outbursts blended with great hardcore punk tunes that don't really get boring. This still does not quantify why I like this so much.. I've listened to this thing for weeks now and it's had some solid competition from tons of new eps and lp's I've acquired. I guess it's the truly special releases that you cannot really pinpoint what draws you to it so much, and 'they are the enemy' is one of those for me."

Gotta love it.

Check out the DFB website at... read the whole review. Cider is the first record listed under "Recommended Listening" as well. Kick ass!