In just the past six months I've had three of the most memorable recording studio moments I've ever experienced. First: Recording with Steve Albini at Electric Audio in Chicago and playing drums to two-inch tape and then to vinyl. It was an amazing experience and something I've always dreamt of doing. Steve is a master of capturing the true sound of the band or whoever it is that records there. No frills. Just Steve's experience and know-how in the studio, great mics, big rooms and great instruments. His studio is entirely analog as well, which was a first for me. Only tape machines and hard-wired outboard gear. The only computer present was his laptop off to the side that he seemingly only uses to surf Facebook and order fancy root beer on amazon. I could nerd out on his drum miking technique as well, which he has down to a science and gets the best overhead spread I've ever heard, but more on that later.
Second was going to Sterling Sound in Chelsea, New York, where Starlight Girls had our newest single mastered by Chris Gehringer. Having never met him before, I went to pay Chris for the mastering session one afternoon last week and to my surprise he invited me back to the mastering room and played some tracks for me on his console. It was surreal and unexpected. Chris really liked the tracks we were working on with him and is genuinely in love with what he does. He's won so many Grammys I got sick of reading the credits on all of them. He told me all about how he got started doing mastering work and how he sometimes does mixing, but only for his son's metal band. I thought that was pretty cool.
And finally, I got to see the inside of one of the most coveted studios on earth: Electric Lady. My friend Spencer works and records there often and is good friends with a few of the engineers and invited me to stop by this evening to see the place. I mean, It was cool. It was very cool. The bathrooms are even cool. It smells cool. Like grandmas house. Where Jimi Hendrix recorded. And Stevie wonder. And the Stones. I'm convinced it's the most comfortable place on earth to record or just hang out. I can't wait to go back. I can't wait to record there. Being on sanctified ground like this only confirms the thoughts that I carry around everyday: Keep working. Go and get it.