New Year…

January 9, 2008

We have begun to write for our next ep and album so we thought we would document this process and our progress. I really enjoyed reading the Gareth Jones (Producing Erasure Blog) that he wrote during the recording of their last album so this is kind of what we would like to do for our own project. What was encouraging about this was the relatively simple set-up of equipment and proof that to create a great sounding album you don’t need large budgets.

For the mixing of our last album I was torn between getting someone else to do it and investing in gear to help me get the best from my own set-up. I checked out a couple of local studios that had decent equipment lists but handing over something that I was quite precious about to a complete stranger was going to be costly and not necessarily give me the results I wanted. What I really needed was a controlled audio environment and fresh ears. In the end I decided on the investment and spent just under £2K on some Dynaudio BM 6A MKII powered monitors (http://www.dynaudioacoustics.com/Default.asp?Id=9447) and the SSL Duende (http://www.solid-state-logic.com/music/duende_home.html) The Duende is probably by far the best thing I have spent my money on. Having worked on SSL desks before the ability they give you to knit mixes together is incredible, someone described the Duende as audio glue. What the Duende gives you is 32 mono channels of an SSL console to use within Logic and most other DAWs.

I had written pretty much everything on my Apple G5 1.8Ghz Dual Processor Mac using Logic 7.2 and handful of software synths. The main synths were the ES-2 included within logic and the ImpOsca synth. Most of the drum sounds came from the ES-1 synth and Ultrabeat.

Over the years of dabbling with music I alway thought having a vast array of synths and sound sources was the thing to do, in-fact the smaller range of synths I use the more creative I am, I think it’s because you learn how to use them and quickly get the sounds you want.

That said I have pretty much overhauled my set-up in preparation for our next album. I have also converted my attic into a proper studio space, no windows but a fairly good acoustic environment.

My equipment list is now as follows.

Apple G5 Quad Processor, 3GB RAM, 250 GB HD plus 4 additional back-up drives.
2 * Formac 19″ LCD Displays
M-Audio Axiom 61 Midi / USB Keyboard
M-Audio NRV-10 Firewire audio interface / mixer.
SSL Duende
Dynaudio BM 6A MKII – Monitors
AKG – Solid tube mic.

Software.
Apple Logic Pro 8
Korg Legacy Collection (MS20 – POLY 6 – WAVESTATION)
GMEDIA – Oddity, Minimonsta, ImpOsca
Arturia V Collection (Jupiter 8c, CS-80c, Moog Modular, Mini Moog, ARP-2600, Prophet V, Prophet VS)
Rob Papen – Albino

So enough of techno babble for now…

In October ’07 I worked on a couple of ideas, these were going to form our Project X ep along with Tears & Tinsel, to be honest I think we ran out of steam and decided to pick it up in the New Year. Therefore we never got to release T&T but we will save that for Xmas ’08. The handful of ideas that I gave to Sarah have now started to come together. Sarah sent me a txt message a few nights ago saying that the first one was cracked and it sounded like Status Quo. I’m not sure what that means, maybe Sarah will explain.

So now to start the Diary bit.