Me in Studio B

Me in Studio B
If you were googling Undertone Audio and found my blog here, well...welcome! You should visit the official website, undertoneaudio.com, but here you can follow my adventures as the crew and I build these mixing consoles, EQs and other oddities. Some, most or all of my work wouldn't be very interesting to a lot of people, but for recording junkies who get excited about vintage German tube mics, cool, eccentric compressors, studio history and some of the fun ins and outs of studio life, this could be for you. Hey, make it your home page and impress chicks! I can be reached at mw@undertoneaudio.com

Monday, May 21, 2012

Consoles, Everywhere I Look I See Consoles

After we wrapped up Greg Wells' console last month, we got the final word and the deposit to build another one, so console number five has already started coming together. Eric is designing one for another client in Europe and we have very serious quotes that may turn into more console building right away. One of the interested parties came to Barefoot Recording to experiment with the console in Studio B last week and ended up doing a full on tracking session. We'll see what happens and I'll keep you posted.

To keep the rackmount EQs, the compressors and now a bunch of other stuff on track in addition to all of this, Eric is taking the rest of the year off from recording to focus all of his attention on UTA. Tim O'Sullivan, who has been working with us part time since last year, is leaving his job at Capitol to join Undertone Audio full time (the humiliating hazing process is due to begin soon). Ken Miller is getting more involved and he is able to do much of his UTA work at home in Mammoth and Roger is preparing for the workload ahead. As I've done a lot of work on the side (The work I've done with Bock Audio, Capitol, Jon Brion and others has been independent of UTA and Barefoot), I have to scale it back. I haven't worked with Bock Audio since November or December -those guys are great, but I've had to juggle so much, so Anthony Houser has taken over my post with David. I want to keep Jon and Greg happy and Anthony is helping me out with that as well. I hope to work with those guys for a long time, but outside of that I'm too booked to take on much more and that's a good thing.

We had an Undertone Audio BBQ at Roger's house last weekend. Eric, Larry, Roger, Ken, Tim and I sat down and discussed what we have ahead of us for the rest of this year, including the AES show in San Francisco this October, and how we are going to handle it all.
Eric triumphant after grilling burgers
Roger and I spent about a week with Art Kelm installing a studio for My Chemical Romance. Art, by the way, is now the Chief Technical Engineer at Capitol Studios in addition to everything else he does... talk about having your hands full!

I was just making myself at home in someone else's studio
I went straight into putting Greg Koller's mix room together (Art is onboard with that one, too). The new studio is in the Capitol tower and there is interesting history behind it -it used to be Glen Ballard's room, he moved out long ago and the room sat dormant until last week. Greg bought a Euphonix CS3000 (he is mixing a movie for which Jon has been composing the score and he really needed the recall) and a small crew of us had one week to get it up and running. Meanwhile, Jon, Greg and Eric Caudieux (AKA French Eric) were in London. As soon as I finished the bulk of my work on that, it was back to Jon's live rig downstairs in Studio B and back to Barefoot to continue on this new console. I had to take a couple of days off, I returned to Capitol on Friday evening and promptly came down with a cold.. so I've been home sick since.

Greg's new room is only temporary -we are going to tear it all down when the movie is finished and reinstall everything in a more permanent manner later... with or without the Euphonix, it depends on if he likes it or not. Here are a few shots:
Euphonix in place before the temporary floor
Anthony Houser prepping Elcos
Racks of Greg's gear and engineer who didn't want to be named
Secret undercover engineer who's face must not be revealed
I visited Alan Yoshida at his mastering room at Oceanway. Alan, Robin Lynn and I went out to eat dinner at Cafe Gratitude http://cafegratitude.com/, it's a raw, organic, vegan restaurant. Excellent food.
We spent time discussing wiring for mastering... always interesting with Alan.
They didn't just break the mold after they made Yoshida... they sold the pieces to tourists just to make a quick buck
As for the newest console we're building -it has 24 channels, 16 of them on channel strips with EQ and filters, in interesting feature that will make it behave as though it's inline (meaning the monitor path is on the same channel strip as the send to tape or digital domain), it will have four separate stereo busses, the faceplates are black, like the first one we built, final tube output stages and the patchbays will be onboard. This one is going to Birmingham, Alabama and I'll post pictures as we go.

Slash's album, "Apocalyptic Love" will be released this Tuesday (May 22nd), so go out and buy it on CD and mark your calendars for AES (October 26-29), we will be there with lot's of special goodies and we may have some tricks up our sleeves.

Best,
MW