And moving Mountains. Of Stuff.

For the next week or so Pickwick is going to be making some sounds at Soundhouse. Have you heard their recent releases? They’re full of lushness and not so common arrangements. Not your average stuff!

I think they’ll have fun here…

   Getting some tones on the drums. The drum tech got these sounding sweet!

Kory Kruckenberg is the guy behind the console.

He listens.

He acts!

I learned that they have a secret code that they talk in, although I couldn’t crack it. There was talk of “small intestines” and “ears”, Genghis Khan and his “family”. Anyone know what they’re talking about?

If we were in Dune, that’s what the question would be. For now …  in this blog anyway. What would it be if  … we weren’t? Gravity and Happiness? Grass and Ultimate? Space and Time? Fear and Love? Bottled water and “Corporations are people”?

Wait, wait – oh here it is:      Seattle, Detroit .. What’s the connection?

A couple of clues I am able to share with you:

The Sonics were in this summer recording their new album (Welcome back to Soundhouse , guys!) with Jim Diamond producing. Jim tracked and overdubbed everything to the 2″ Studer. I was able to be there when they were transferring THE COMPLETE recording (all of the overdubs, everything were done to tape. Of course, not that spectacular 30 years ago, but it just goes to show that they are dedicated the the sound and authenticity) to protools for mixing. Sounded great! Jim took the files home with him to mix ….

Done yet??

You know, sometimes I get so distracted by all of the things that life throws at me that I forget that the path to doing it all is … well, doing it all. I just had a thought today that I don’t need to be totally submerged for days on end for each project. I just need to tackle a little every day. Anyway, we’ll see how it works.

But speaking of doing things everyday, I have had the privilege of seeing some really fantastic people work at this thing we call producing music.

I’m not sure I ever really understood the whole music business. While I had friends (well, friends of friends) that had deals with labels and varying degrees of “success”, I never had the experience, so for me the whole process was somewhat mysterious. Sure, I read things and heard things in the news, etc, but that’s all I knew about it. Yet, somehow I have found myself in the presence of a couple people who, every day, make a living producing music. And while I didn’t really have any expectations about the kind of people they might be, I found I was pleasantly surprised. They are both really, super nice guys. And in this business, that – and a certain amount of expertise and experience – gets you success. Every day.

I am talking about Jack Endino and Steve Fisk. While I’ve met plenty of super nice producer/engineers who are all, generally speaking, nice and skilled, Jack and Steve have been around for a while and really are giants in the industry. Not the Hollywood kind of, Larger Than Life – Who’s Dangling Their Kids Where – Do You See her Nipple?, kind of Giant. No, they are the no nonsense, blue collar, real thing, got their head on straigh,t PRODUCE EXCELLENT RECORDS  kind of giant. Guys you can depend on. Honest (and that means a lot to me (apparently it means a lot to many, many musicians and bands, too)). I love being a part of this community.

Anyway, Jack has recently had a couple articles written about him (You Don’t Know Jack and Grunge Legend …) and Steve just updated his website so its much easier to see the depth and breadth of his experience.

And now I’m off to build a robot….

mike

Yup, these guys spent four days here at the end of August, with Steve Fisk. Some really talented and creative kids, umm, I mean CATS. I walked in once and they were dropping a bag of percussion instruments on the floor … I think they were recording that, but I’m not 100% sure. They did some cool/creative stuff recording and they have the right guy producing them –  Steve made good use of the Fairchild EQ’s and Opto Compressor! That just made my day. It’s also cool to see Fisk’s ARP 2600 in the studio.

Check em out here: SEACATS

And, while we get lots of positive remarks about the Vibe at Soundhouse, this gives us a little extra credit, too …

Thanks guys!

– mike

Just like a rock star.

We wait for it, expect it We get wet. Some of us complain because its late. But then …

It bursts onto the stage … bigger and better than we’d dreamed! All is forgiven and we Rock out all summer long. And here we are expecting Fall, but the summer show keeps coming at us. Nice.

But, it’s time to get back to the computer, the blog, the music. I will do my  best to catch you up succinctly without missing any juicy bits.

Joe Freeman, who used to play with The Pat Sajak Assassins before he moved to Seattle, brought in a project last weekend. The goal – write and record a song for this sculpture:

   He brought with him Dustin Carroll (drums), and Kris Couture (bass), while I attempted to add some bass/moogerfoogerin’.

Goal accomplished, mix is in progress!

We all played in the Live Room, no headphones using all Neve (OHs, Tom/Floor, guitar), Chandler (bass/DI), UA 2-610 (Kick & Snare) and Great River (ribbons – Royer 121 on the side of the snare, Coles 3048 on kit body). Very nice sounds! Thanks to Chris Gibbs for assisting in the control room! Stay Tuned for more about … the Seacats!

– mike

This month (April, 2012) is booked solid from end to end.

The bands: My Killer Heart, Red Heart Alarm, Black Beat Blue, The Insurgence, Birch Riley, The West, Jason Kertzer and Goldbar!

The engineer/producers: Jack Endino, Brian Pake, Mike Sebring, Reed Griffin

For most of this year we’ve been booked out a couple months in advance, however a Portugese band just cancelled a couple days ago, leaving a hole in May (11th – 19th) if anyone has a need. The first weekend in June is open, things open up a bit in July!

For booking inquires: http://www.soundhouserecording.net/contact.php

Tip of the day: Is it sunny? Go outside!

mike :’)~

The other day Chris DeMarcus came down to Soundhouse from Canada to record some drums for SMP. You see, we have a reputation for getting killer drums sounds. When he got here in the morning he was psyched about all of our vintage gear. I helped him get the kit miced up, everything patched in and the Headphones going. I don’t see many people tracking with compression but as he was after a certain something. While dialing in his tones he would suddenly turn, make some adjustments and say something like, Wow, I really wasn’t liking the way that was sounding, now it sounds great!

I didn’t get to see them when they left, so I sent him an email thanking him for making the trip.

This was his reply –

> Thanks guys, it was great.
>
> I was working quick, so I had some phase issues, but as soon as I got
> things fixed in Protools, it turned out to be the best drum recording
> I’ve done anywhere. Those Chandlers, and Great Rivers, and the
> Trident console pres sound great.
>
> The room sounds awesome. I’ll probably come back down during the
> summer to record some more drums and maybe a little guitar.

Thanks Chris!

Gotta love that 🙂

The other day I walked in to find that I forgot to pay my “dues” to the Juju Queen.

The true nature and depth of Jack Endino‘s magic, part mortal, part God of Thunder became excruciatingly apparent.

Mr. Endino, who’s been mixing all kinds of albums here over the years is apparently in cahoots with, and channeling some of the Soundhouse Voodoo, both creating it and drawing from it, was found with his “batteries run down”. My fault Jack, sorry. There are still some things that I am learning about the care and maintenance of Soundhouse and some hiccups are bound to occur. Scotty Crane (the mad man charged with creating this oasis, this magical music making, hoodoo venue – the man who used his “connections” with the “Otherworld” in order to bestow upon it the very best in musical Juju and Vibe) has done his best to convey to me how to care for Soundhouse, but, as you may or may not know: language is not fully sufficient for communications about such things. Perhaps you’ve noticed the Gargoyles around the studio. I understand much, MUCH more now. A quick call to Scotty got me on the right track, the Juju restored and Jack is recovering slowly but surely. A little pick-me-up note to him would surely be appreciated.