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

28 comments:

Luke said...

dude...this is awesome! that video of the emi board absolutely blew my mind, though...i wouldn't know where to start

JOY said...

holy shit. i mean that in the best way possible.

EasternMind said...

Looks like the fuse fell into an intragalactic infedibulum portal. I've had the same experience with losing socks.

; )

Hope you find it!
All the best!
Great videos!

Brad said...

Give me more on the patch where the video cut off. Too good to stop there.

bodhisattva - one of many more to come. said...

as always, thank you Kerry and everyone in studio. these updates and clips are such an amazing glimpse into the process.

I can't speak for everyone, but I know I won't be taking these songs for granted, or without at least more knowledge of the effort put in by everyone on the team to bring us the joyful noise!

-bodhi

Le Deux Machina said...

hey Kerry,

what studio are guys working at? Is it the new Pumpkinland? Also, is the plan to record at various studios for this project?

Brandon said...

These consoles are pure magic...what I wouldn't do to own something like this, even if it needed a lot of restoration. No amount of modern state of the art digital equipment can hold a candle to a gem like this. I can't wait to hear what this thing can do!

cardamom_po said...

long-time viewer of blog (1.57 weeks) says "keep up the good work, folks". h'ere-h'ere

reggaeluv2000 said...

wow having the magic of the Beatles with you...this album is going to be the best!!!
good luck with this one I am cheering you on 200%

merveilleuse said...

and i thought teaching myself how to use my little set-up was confusing...

@iammerveilleuse

Auburn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Auburn said...

Yeah, I hope that EMI ends up sounding great, because it sounds SUPER complicated! Are you sending your mix through those four buses, or are you working it out to be able to track channel for channel? Of course, if your going to tape, you're probably going to limit your space as much as possible right?
Does that mean your pretty much mixing as you go?

JoaoBettencourt said...

it seems like youre looking into a mechanic mummy when you checking the back lol

Menrad said...

Wow, this console looks like Homer's nuclear powerplant control deck. Are you sure it's safe ? :-D. Thanks again for your updates ! I wait for them each and every day !

Kathy said...

Love the views and narrative!! Thanks for taking the time, I really appreciate all the effort you are putting into this.

gyang333 said...

awesome update!

chaotix said...

Kerry, you´re doing a great thing to all us (the fans).. we are gratefull! :) thanks!

Allison said...

I think all the bands, Floyd, the Stones and the Beatles are very influential, but I grew up listening to The Beatles records when I was still hanging out in the crib. My Mom says she was the first fan, she was OBSESSED. (I guess we are both good at knowing good music when we hear it and maybe we are a little fanatical.) ;) Amazing that you can record on something The Beatles used. Anyway, I thought both vids were interesting! I'm glad you found the fuse. I like Tech Tuesday! :)

Benas said...

Hi! I just want to ask, Billy recorded some material in other studio with Carina Round, so did he record songs for SP, or for Carina's album?

ronji said...

I love this blog, Kerry.

point said...

Yikes! The past haunts us still.

Jennifer said...

Kerry, I'm not well versed in studio equipment but the person you would likely want to talk to regarding that console (the one from Abbey Road) is Geoff Emerick because he actually used the thing back in the day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Emerick

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Dan said...

that EMI TG console is just...... wow. wow, that's all I can say

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This comment has been removed by the author.
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