Monday, March 11, 2013

Little Man in the Studio

Over the past many years here in the Twin Cities, I've always wanted to record at Flowers. It's an uptown recording studio owned by Ed Ackerson. I've admired Ed's work and the many popular bands he's played in as well as his Susstone record label. I also had the chance to check out the studio a couple times and had tried to set something up in the past, but things hadn't quite worked out. Kris Johnson, who fixes amps and electronics at Twin Town Guitars, engineers at the studio. Timing had been right with him and me seeing each other out and about at shows and such, talking about the studio and the new music I've been writing. He's been a fan of Little Man and was always enthusiastic about the possibility of recording us. After a good conversation with Ed and KJ at The Triple Rock I really started to lean into make this happen.

The studio is one of the coolest I've ever been in. They have a very tall ceiling live drum room, all sorts of vintage gear, instruments and guitar amps, a Trident mixing board and a neat atrium decked with a fountain, plants and places to sit and relax in between takes. Lots of orange and yellow colors everywhere and kind of a 60's mod space age decor.

Not only is KJ in a guitar player couple local bands and is the go-to guy here for repairs, he also builds his own guitar amps and outboard gear (KJAudio). For me to be especially particular with guitar tones, I thought KJ would be a good fit for these recordings. We're using alot of his own gear and things are sounding great.

Our first session together was just him and me at his own modest studio tracking acoustic and electric guitars for four specific songs. A week later we got the band together, with Sean Gilchrist on drums and Brian Herb on bass. These guys have been with me for a couple years now. We've been doing very well with our live shows so we wanted to track live in the room all together. For most of the songs we tracked without headphones (an interesting process we hadn't really done before) to really play together and capture alot of that live energy. It felt as comfortable as a rehearsal. Our goal was to track 9 songs together as a band, bass, drums and one rhythm guitar and then to track bass and drums to the pre-recorded stuff we did the week before.

We all worked really hard on making this happen. It was a great success as we achieved that goal! The next step is to overdub more guitars and add in the vocals. These are very interesting songs. Some of them are songs the band has been playing live for a good while but have never recorded, some are a bit more acoustic, delicate with alot of background layered vocals and others are rocking real good. Very excited to be working on these. Can't wait for you to hear them, but that might take some time!

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