Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Effect Pedals Used on Early SP Recordings




BILLY TALKS ABOUT THE EFFECT PEDALS USED ON EARLY SP RECORDINGS:


'My first mental recognition of the 'power' of the Big Muff came one night when i just happened to drop by a Catherine band practice. Catherine was Kerry's band in the 90's, and we used to share the same rehearsal space (they were the only band we trusted not to steal our shit and vice-versa). So i walked in and i just heard this tremendous ROAR and i thought to myself 'how are they making that sound?'. Each of the 3 guitarists had Big Muffs and the sounds was very Sabbath-like, just throwing this tremendous low drone buzz into the room. I knew that the band Mudhoney used Big Muffs but honestly they weren't using them like Catherine did. So i owe a debt of gratitude to Catherine for showing me the purple fuzz light. We used to try to use the pedals live but it was impossible for there wasn't enough clarity. We did use other Electro-Harmonix pedals live, like the Electric Mistress. We only had one of these in the beginning and James and I used to take turns over who would use it on a given night. Since we were mostly playing clubs we were looking for anything to take your head off and separate the sound of the guitar from the incessant din. The Big Muff pictured is 'the' one from Siamese Dream, the fuzz that launched a 1,000 other dreams i suppose. Almost all the heavy tracks were recorded thru this, solos included. Many songs would have as many as 8 fuzz guitars going at once. It was very difficult to record the tracks with this sound, but once it went right it was BLAMMO, a huge, huge sound. The settings you see in the picture are the exact settings for if you look close enough you can still see the pencil marks on the volume and tone. I had all sorts of theories of how to best use this pedal, including the idea that it only sounded its 'best' when used with a battery (as opposed to a power supply). I'm not much for going backwards but it is tempting to crack out all the old gear sometime and give it one more go. Maybe somewhere in amongst the 44 songs of Teargaden by Kaleidyscope I can find one such moment to do so. The sound of the combo of the Bat Strat, the Big Muff, and the Soul head with Mars cabinet is still unmistakable.
One quick funny story: I used to shop at this music store in San Francisco, and in the early 90's they were selling these pedals back then for about 40 bucks because nobody wanted them. About a year after Siamese came out, '94 i guess, I went to the same store to see if they still had any. The guy behind the counter knew me from before, and told me, 'yeah, i got a couple.' I said 'ok, how much?' '200 bucks' he said casually (which at that time was A LOT for a vintage pedal. '200 bucks!!!! Why are they so much?? Are they rare or unusual?' He said, 'no, but ever since you talked about using them we've sold about 75 vintage muffs. Sorry man, they're all looking for your sound!'. What he didn't know was they were really looking for the Catherine sound.
B.C.


I am laughing as I watch this video for many reasons. I remember asking Billy if he had some clothes I could borrow to wear for the video. So that would be Billy's heavy, furry coat I'm wearing, not sure where the Hershey's Kiss hat came from!
Love, K.B.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Billy talks about one of the first S.P. guitars

Billy talks about one of the first S.P. guitars





I bought this guitar around 1989 or 1990 because I needed a spare for playing live, and wanted an almost identical sound to go with my main one at the time which was an early 70's Strat (yellow that I hand painted). THAT guitar was the featured guitar on Gish and was probably my favourite guitar ever. It was stolen in 1992 out the back door of St. Andrews Hall in Detroit and has never resurfaced. I would still pay good $ to get that guitar back, no questions asked. So THIS guitar is the last remnant of that period of my life, and I really cherish it. It was painted ala Eric Clapton's cream era guitar by my friend crazy Nick. As you can see it's taken a bit of a beating back from a time when I used to throw my guitars around like candy. The history of this guitar is its a 1978 'bullet' Strat with the flat pickups (as opposed to the staggered pole pieces). I preferred these pickups at that time because it allowed for maximum gain by running the pickups up really close to the strings. This guitar does have some recording history of note, as it was the guitar I would use for solos as it seemed to just have more cut than the main one. So all the solos on Gish were done with this guitar. It has a vicious attack as you can hear on songs like 'Tristessa', 'I Am One', 'Rhinocerous', and 'Siva'. I'm fixing this guitar up now and I hope to use it again soon. I've started using more old-school amplification, like my 1969 Marshall Super Tremolo head (currently ailing) so guitars with this kind of cut are what I'm looking for. It makes me laugh that I'm sort of back to where I started when it comes to gain and attack. I see the BC Dimarzio pickups as more the modern application of gain, and the older type pickups as a more vintage approach to the use of gain.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Behind the Guitar Sounds of Gish & Siamese Dream


THE BODY AND SOUL BEHIND THE GUITAR SOUNDS OF GISH AND SIAMESE DREAM. This is the guitar amp and cabinet used on The Smashing Pumpkins debut album Gish recorded December 1990-March 1991 at Smart Studios, Madison, Wisconsin and the quadruple platinum Siamese Dream recorded December 1992- March 1993 at Triclops Sound Studios in Marietta, Georgia.

We fired up the old SOUL yesterday and it was amazing how instantly, without EQ "that" guitar sound just filled the control room.

I talked with long time friend and technician Mike Rubano about the magic combination of this amp and cabinet.

KB: What kind of amp is this?

Mike: Marshall JCM 800 100 watt head. James also used a JCM 800 but his was the 50 watt model.

KB: I asked Billy how he came about this combo and he said you would have the scoop?

Mike: Billy had a Roland Jazz Chorus amp he wanted to find something that would push more air to fill bigger rooms and cut through Jimmy's powerful drum sound. He was looking for a more aggressive sound. So he found an ad for a used JCM 800 and Marshall slant cab in town and asked me to go with him to take a look at it. We went to the sellers apartment where we found an empty room with just the amp, the cabinet and the seller. There wasn't a bit of furniture in the room. It was a bit creepy. As Billy worked out a deal with the seller I took the amp apart and checked it out. It looked great, we tried it out and is was decent sounding. So he cut a deal and we took it home.

KB: So I heard from Billy that changing the tubes really added to the punch of this amp?

Mike: To get it ready for the road I wanted to make sure the tubes would hold up and I had no idea how old the current tubes were, so I ordered new ones. We didn't have much money back in the day but I was able to find a good deal on KT88s at Antique Electronic Supply and ordered a set. When they arrived I tossed the old tubes, installed the new ones, biased the amp and I gave it back to Billy. He just loved the way it sounded. In fact over the years as the band had more money to spend on gear we tried "better" more expensive tubes and he always had me go back to the KT88s from china.

KB to Billy: What are your memories about the amp?

Billy: When I first bought the amp in 1989 from this stoner guy, I thought it sounded ok but I think I was more excited to just be playing thru a Marshall. I realized after a time that I wasn't that crazy about the sound so I asked Mike to look at it and see what he could do. After he changed the tubes to the KT88s the amp just sprang to life, and it was the body of the amp that I used to drive insane amounts of distortion into to get 'that sound'. Butch Vig and I were so sold on the sound of the amp that outside of a few select parts, I would say that 98pct of all guitar parts on the first two albums were done thru this amp/speaker combo. In order to change the sound, the Stratocaster parts would be recorded through a shure 57 on the bottom right speaker, and the Les Paul parts would be recorded through a Sennheiser 421 on the top left speaker. This subtle difference between what speaker we would use created the sense of playing thru a different amp set-up even though obviously I wasn't.


Love KB

Monday, October 12, 2009

Digging Deep Into Song #4






Good Monday Morning, after some very long days last week we finished song number 3 and I am very excited about the direction it took. Yesterday we were able to catch up on some well deserved sleep. Today we are digging deep into song number 4. Mike just finish a slamming drum take and we are setting up to start recording Billy's parts. As we move forward toward the light at the end of the tunnel time seems to be accelerating. I have not had the time to update the blog as much as would like. I hope you enjoy the video and photos. The amazing photos posted today were taken by Kristin Burns please visit her website at www.kristinburns.com Have a great day. xo K.B.

Friday, October 9, 2009

For your viewing pleasure...

@thezomb made this for our listening and viewing pleasure.
Thank You Love K.B.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

This is how today went in the studio.
Love K.B.

Scary Monsters and Super Freaks!
Someone out there in internut land made this video of a few of the Spirits In The Sky members doing a song and dance number. In this video you will find Mark Tulin, Dave Navarro, Billy Corgan, Linda Strawbery and myself as monsters. Enjoy and thanks to the person that made this. I got a good laugh.
Love K.B.
Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Deep into song 3
Today Billy finished the vocals and sitar parts for the song and we are currently tracking the violin. It is looking like the song will be in the can by tonight or by midday tomorrow. I am very happy with the outcome and excited for you to hear it. It seems to me that we have found that place where sound is vision. @sunflowerdagger asked me today on twitter "sound. how would you define such a word?" Without thinking about it I replied "colorful continuous vibrations" and this song is a magic pulsing rainbow.

We had a special surprise today when the beautiful Lisa Harriton stopped by the studio to say hello and took a moment to try out Billy's Mellon Collie piano. This is the piano he wrote many of the songs for Mellon Collie, Adore and Machina on.

We have been so busy that I haven't had time to finish the Q&A but, I will as time allows and I am going to answer all the questions... most likely this will happen when we have time between breaking down from song 3 and setting up for song 4. So, hang with me, I will get to the rest of your questions and I will get to "tech Tuesday" hopefully before next Tuesday.

Love K.B.

Monday, October 5, 2009



Music Monday for sure.

It looks like we are pulling a late one tonight. We spent most of the day tracking mandolin and it seems we are making some real progress on song number 3. A few minutes ago Ysanne Spevack picked up her Metal String Machine and was getting ready to lay down some space symphony tones when out of nowhere a 12 string banjo appeared in the control room and Billy started jamming on it. So, it looks like we are going to be here for a long, long time tonight especially if these crazy instrument keep popping out of thin air but, you gotta love the magic! My guess is we will be getting back to Q&A tomorrow on Tech Tuesday. Mr. Mark Tulin A.K.A. Professor Psychedelic will be asking the fan generated questions via web cam from Los Angeles, CA. This should be fun and technical too. Sooooo, sleep tight and I'll find you tomorrow morning with coffee in hand.
Love K.B.
video

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Good morning fans and "lostfan"


I woke up this morning, grabbed my coffee and started reading over the "comments." I want to thank ALL of you for the interesting and emotional remarks left on this blog. It is starting to feel like we have a family here. It may be dysfunctional at times but, family is family. The energy in the studio that Billy and the rest of us are feeling is... well... just beyond words, except for "breathtaking, awe-inspiring, magnificent, wonderful, amazing, stunning, staggering, imposing, stirring, impressive, mind-boggling, mind-blowing, jaw-dropping, excellent, marvelous and wondrous!"

Here is a video of my good friends R.E.M. jamming with puppets.



An interesting side note: My wife and I met while she was filming the movie Man on the Moon. While very pregnant with our daughter we went to see R.E.M. at the Hollywood Bowl. Before the show Michael touched her pregnant belly and sure enough, the next day she was born listening to their song Man on the Moon!

OK, I'm off to my Maggie's 6th birthday party.

LOVE K.B.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Here are a few photos Billy sent me from the studio today.


When the cat is away the rat in a cage will play.

I am in L.A. for my daughters 6th birthday and will be back in Chicago this Sunday night. Just wanted to give you a quick update on what is going on in the studio. The word from Billy is "yesterday was an awesome day" he tracked lead guitar, piano, and organ on song number 2. Today he recorded the vocals. So it looks like when I get back to Chicago we start tracking song number 3!
Have a great weekend.
LOVE K.B.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day 3 of the Q.&A. video with EXCLUSIVE in studio footage of Billy Corgan recording. This is the first time in 15 years that Billy has allowed cameras in the studio. Enjoy...
I need to fly back to Los Angeles tomorrow. I will be there for a few days. We are going to pick the video blog back up and continue to answer your questions on Monday October 5, 2009. Have a great week. LOve K.B.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DAY 2 of the Q&A: Billy stopped by to answer a few of the questions :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hi, here is the first video. It looks like it is going to take the week to answer all the questions and I do plan on answering all the questions. I am going to answer in the order they were posted. Keep checking back to watch us answer your question. Billy plans on showing up to answer a few....so stay tuned. I look forward to seeing you throughout the week.
Love K.B.

Good morning, I hope you all had a good and restful weekend. Last night we had crazy weather in Chicago: thunder, lighting, rain, hail, heavy winds, and an old school tornado watch. I slept with one eye open and it was fun. I am having my coffee now as I get ready to head into the studio. We should be there by 11:00 AM CT. I am going to answer your questions throughout the day. The first video blog post should be up around 4:00 PM CT.

See you all in a bit,
Love KB

Friday, September 25, 2009

WOW... a lot of questions. I had no idea there would be so many, but It's great see so much interest in this project. So here's the plan. Over the weekend I am going to video myself answering your questions and post the answers on this blog Monday morning.
Have a great weekend.
Love K.B.


video

IT'S Q. & A. FRIDAY

YES... A productive day in the studio yesterday..We have 2 control rooms up and running... We finished recording Billy's vocals for the first song and started tracking song number 2!

I went to bed last night happy, tired and without a clue as to what this blog should be about. Then I woke happy, in need of coffee, and without a clue as to what this blog should be about. Then I had some coffee and it came to me... You ask a question, I'll answer it.

So leave your question in the comment box before 5pm CTZ and I'll answer it.

Talk to you in a bit.

Love K.B.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WHAT COLOR IS THIS SONG?

With analog recording there is a lot more involved then just going to tape. The microphone preamps and the mixing desk play a huge roll in how a recording sounds. When Billy announced that Smashing Pumpkins will release 44 songs under the title Teargarden by Kaleidyscope I'm not sure if he mentioned that the goal is to treat each song sonically different to best present its palette. Here are the steps... Billy writes a song, we record a demo, listen back and find the feeling that the song evokes and then visualize the picture that it paints. To me, when a recording really works I "see it" as much if not more than I "hear it." As we start the journey into the Teargarden I feel very lucky to be working in a studio that has many unique and historical recording consoles.

Pictured above is the API console that we recorded the first song through. Just amazing sounding... Very strong for guitars and I love the low end. Hendrix, Prince and countless others
have recorded on API boards. This particular board was owned by The Doobie Brothers at one time.


WHO'S BETTER: THE BEATLES, PINK FLOYD OR THE ROLLING STONES?

I don't know but they all recorded through an EMI mixing console.

Here is a picture of the EMI TG 12345 that we are recording the second song through. The board came from EMI Sweden and at one time was owned by guitarist Chris Rea. EMI consoles were never manufactured for commercial sale, but were made for use in EMI's network of recording studios. They were produced by EMI Research Laboratories and designed by engineers at Abbey Road Studios. The board was also recently refurbished by famed Abbey road studio technician Brian Gibson. Astonishingly the console also has one "cassette" that was used on The Beatles' Abbey Road. As we start to bring up the drum tones I can hear and see its history. This board is just so musical it's hard to put into words what it sounds like beside AWESOME.... also I must admit it's fucking damn cool to work on a piece of equipment that The Beatles once touched.

We had a very long day today with tape machines blowing up and losing parts and such... but it is coming to a nice close as we dig into this next song.

Here is some video from today's craziness.
video

Here is a clip of studio tech Ricky Canning showing me how he wired to the console and the routing for the EMI TG12345. We also found out that L.S. stands for Loud Speaker.

video

Monday, September 21, 2009

An old friend stopped by the studio today:

videoToday we welcomed an old friend back into the studio to help out with the guitar tracking.... Her name is Kimberly Kay and she is the guitar that Billy wrote and recorded 1979 with she is also the "secret weapon" guitar used on Mayonaise. Billy bought this guitar in 1992 from a pawn shop in Madison Wisconsin for $60.00 needless to say it was well worth the cash!

After a "Mercury Retrograde" moment this morning Kimberly Kay blew up just as we were about to track the song... Billy said the guitar had never had a problem before. So I guess she just wanted to stop by and say hi. We shook our heads, grabbed another guitar off the rack and dialed in the sound dreams are made of... We had a great day creating guitar tones. This first song sounds amazing and I can hardly wait for you to hear it. Ok I'm beat... I'll see you tomorrow... Love KB

Mercury Retrograde

PRECAUTIONS:

During Mercury Retrograde, electronic gadgets are especially prone to disaster.
If possible, resist buying anything involving communications technology during this time.
Never sign contracts during Mercury Retrograde.
Don’t sign up for cell phone service, health club memberships, car leases or insurance policies.
Don’t even think about buying a house. If you must, triple check everything.
Try to delay putting your name on any document until after Mercury Retrograde is over.
Never make a major purchase, especially a car during Mercury Retrograde. Even if things seem fine at the time, there’s a good chance a defect will appear during a later retrograde.
Recheck your work and always double-check your messages. Hesitate to press the SEND button on your e-mails until you read them over.

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE, MERCURY RETROGRADE IS A GREAT TIME TO:

Review your life and the decisions you’ve made.
Readjust your priorities.
Retreat to give yourself the space you need.
Recommit to the goals you believe are worth-while.
Reflect on who you are and where you’re going.
Recharge your batteries.
Repair any damage you may have caused to objects or relationships.
Renew your sense of purpose.
Revise your attitudes and routines.
Return to your core set of values.
Reward yourself for success.
Write down information when playing back voice messages – don’t rely on your memory.
Leave early to all appointments when possible and don’t be surprised if you arrive late.


To learn more about Mercury retrograde go here http://www.astrologycom.com/mercret.html#TOP

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It's Gee-Tar Time:
It's Sunday morning and I am please to say that after a long but very productive week it's Gee-Tar time. OK that's the last time I'll type the word Gee-Tar because it's starting to annoy me and I am not easily annoyed.

After we spent the first part of Saturday morning on scheduled studio maintenance we set up some amps & cabs and started to dial in the guitar tone. WOW.... The song just sounds extraordinary! We have been taking the needed time with the track to make sure we get all the tones sounding just right... The bass,drums,congas and Farfisa just sound amazing... none of that "we will fix it in the mix" mentality going on here... We tracked the core rhythm section live as a four piece and it translates really well in the studio. With no click track used and after a handful of takes we found the magic... a very powerful, natural sounding, voodoo snake charmer on acid, makes me want to fire dance rhythm bed. To quote Mark Tulin A.K.A. @mtulin "The music is reflecting the passion of the process." Whatever the hell that means I don't know but it sounds good! So first thing Monday morning Billy will start up on guitars...

My friend Kat picked up the Flip Ultra HD camera yesterday so next week I'll start including more video in this blog...

Now for The Saturday trivia questions:
For the SP pick- (the first Smashing Pumpkins show with Billy,James, D'arcy, and Jimmy was October 5, 1988, at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago. Where was the second show?

For the Electric Prunes Pick Pack- How old was Mark Tulin when he recorded the first E.P. record?


Here are a few pictures of Billy Bear working his magic in the control room.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What a difference a day makes



When it works, it works... After our morning coffee and a gathering of the spirits we decided to change a fundamental aspect of the way we were approaching the first song ... and lets just say there is no more frowning for Kerry. It is so amazing when things just line up... the performances today were on fire! (THE GOOD KIND OF FIRE)... the only smoke in the studio was coming out of the musicians. When we are playing at top form the equipment seems to work fine... Funny but true.

Cool old gear:
Billy broke out the Farfisa today and we ran it through a "secret weapon" It won't be such a secret on Tuesday when I showcase it and its history in the Tech Tuesday blog ... but for those of you curious as to what it could be... *Hint*(Pink Floyd) used one of these devices on some of their recordings. In fact, lets play a game. If you can guess what the "secret weapon" is I will send you a SP guitar pick that Billy used while recording the song...

All in all, just a great day in the studio.... very tired now but happy... ain't no sleep when you're living the dream... talk to you tomorrow.
Love KB

If it was easy everyone would do it.

Today was just rough. Shit was blowing up. We had a really nice old GE compressor on the bass and about half way through the day it started smoking and then it shut down. The smell was not good at all... It was much like burning paper and a lot less electrical fire smelling than one would expect. In fact the stench took on that "You wont be using me anytime soon and I am going to be hard fix so Fuck You I'm done playing with you and you better find some other compressor to run your bass through and start the day all over smell." So we did and ended up with a great bass tone after all that madness. Hands down at the end of the day the bass tone was better then what we started with.

Everything happens for a reason.

I really must applaud Mr. Mark Tulin for keeping his head together and sticking with it... He was just going with the flow and the fire. He is an amazing bass player and a real pro in the studio.... Sooo... by the time we got done with the bass track it had already been close to a 12 hour day and time for yours truly to go play the congas. I jumped in the drum room all ready to go and played a few takes that were "ok" let me the first and last to say they were by no means great but they were going in the right direction... feeling good about what I had just played I went back into the room for a few more takes...tic...toc... tic... toc.... then I just lost it... I started rushing. I couldn't find the pocket. It just wasn't working. So you gotta know when to call it and I don't.... I went back into the room to prove that I could play the part and it just sucked. Tic... Toc... Tic... Toc... So, like I said... You gotta know when to call it and Billy did. We will pick it up after some sleep and fresh ears and if the universe is in our favor tomorrow I should be able to cut the part in hour or less and then Billy can get on to these...

LOVE KB

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

video Hi All,
It has been a very productive day also super long and busy. The record was officially announced
and the info can found at www.smashingpumpkins.com

We started recording congas and bass today. I'm playing the congas and Mark Tulin is playing the bass on this first track. It is sounding super psychedelic in an old pumpkins meets the future kinda way. I am really excited about it!

I must keep this blog short because I was tracking all day and I am falling asleep at the computer, but I made a promise to you to blog everyday and I am going to keep it. Even when I'm super tired. No excuses.

We shot a little video of Mike warming up in the studio this morning. Kevin Dippold brought in still camera today that has a video feature. The quality is low-fi but its still fun to watch Mike warming up...

I am looking into getting a small, easy to use, and not very expense hi-def video camera to use for these blogs. If anyone has ideas as to what that camera might be please let me know.

After the day at studio was done Billy and I had a great time talking with Dave Navarro and crew on his radio show. It's called "Dark Matter" and it is a MUST LISTEN for all who enjoy good music and lots of laughs. The show can be found at http://www.indie1031.com/ every Wednesday night from 10-12pm Pacific time.

I gotta hit the pillow. Talk to all tomorrow.
Love, K.B.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009






Just got home from a great day in the studio. Today we really dug deep into the first song. The drums are sounding stellar and Mark and Billy are playing as soul brothers... I have decided to go technical for tonight's blog. This one is for sound geeks out there and for the people who are curious about how the "magic" is captured.. I am thinking about making every Tuesday "Tech Tuesday" lets kick it off with a list and description of the microphones that we are using to record the drums.. and away we go...

1. Inside the kick drum and about 3" from the beater we
are using an AKG D112 (this mic is used for capturing the beater attack as it hits the drum head. We will use this sound as needed to cut through the mix once the guitars and bass
have been tracked.

2. On the outside of the kick and about 4" from drum head
we are using 2 microphones a Beyer M88 TG (this is nice for that super tight low end punch) and an AKG D30 (This is the microphone that was used to get that huge kick drum sound used on many Led Zeppelin recordings. We call it of course the "Zep Mic".)

3. On the top of the Snare we are using 2 microphones a Shure Sm57( this microphone has been used on almost every rock record ever recorded but we have found that with an AKG 414 EB placed by its side the snare has a bigger sound then usual and yet stays very true to the sound we hear in the room.

4. On the Snare bottom we are using an AKG 414 EB (we use this mic as needed to grab more of the "snare" sound from the drum)

5. The high hats called for a Neuman KM184 ( this microphone gives the hats a warm sound and it doesn't capture that splashy washy sound that drives me crazy)

6. On the floor tom we placed an U47 Fet i (This mic really digs out the super low end of the tom and I love low end :)

7 In front of the drum kit and about 4 feet away is a Telefunken Elam 251 (this particular microphone is very famous it was used by Steely Dan to record a lot of vocal tracks and it also works really great to capture the mid range and low end elements of the drums in the room.)

8. For the high overheads microphones (left and right ) we are using Neuman's KM84 (again they do not capture all that "splashy washy" they are very warm and yet they grab enough of the bite when Mike really attacks the cymbals.)

9. For the tight overhead microphone sitting very close to the kit we are using a stereo Telefunken SM2 (It is just great for the overall drum sound, my guess is that this microphone sounds a lot like what Mike hears from his perspective.)

10. To round things out we are also using a mono overhead microphone an AKG C28 (it captures the hi end of the room and adds a little sparkle magic to the drum sound.

Mike taking a break after a smoking drum take.
Producer, engineer Bjorn Thorsrud enjoying the toys.
Picks for Billy and Mark, this should be enough to get through the song.

Tomorrow I am going to try and post a little video of the studio action. Have a great night and I'll see ya tomorrow. Love, K.B.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round. I really love to watch them roll. Oh my, we got the tape machine up and rolling today...
Call me crazy but the sound of great music recorded in the analog format makes me smile and everything in the world just seems better.

Mr. Mark Tulin flew in from LAX a few hours ago and boy are his arms tired, but we are putting him straight to work
anyway. It looks like he will playing a 1963 Fender Jazz bass through a 1963 Ampeg Portaflex flip-top bass
amp... Why? Because, well,
it just sounds awesome! This has nothing to do with the fact that I was born in 1963. Or maybe it does :)

Billy is playing a 1961 Les Paul Junior Special through a Sound City Studio 20 amp, truly amazing sounding.

So, I am very happy that we got everything in its sonic place today and we are ready to dig into the serious tracking tomorrow.

Sending love from the city by the lake. K.B.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Hi, Kerry here, A.K.A. D.J. White Boy Conga, A.K.A @studiodog. A few days ago Billy and I relocated from Los Angeles and set up camp in Chicago. I am proud to say that after many months of working out new material the official process of recording the new Smashing Pumpkins record has begun.

As many of you know there is a new addition to the band, 19 year old drummer Mike Byrne, he is just amazing behind the kit and a really cool person to hang out with. Over the past few days working with master engineer Bjorn Thorsrud we nailed a killer drum sound and just started dialing in the bass a guitar tones. It all starting to sound very exciting.

My hope is to update this blog daily (Monday through Saturday) during the making of the record. Have a great weekend and I'll see you on Monday.
Love, K.B.