- Posted by Rich Spillberg
- On September 2, 2013
- 0 Comments
Hi Good People!!
After a wonderful time home with my family, I am once again off to work. This time, traveling via train to New York. I actually prefer the train to flying when traveling to NYC. For one thing, it is more comfortable than flying – the train has larger seats and more leg room. Also, the train leaves you right in the center of the city, as opposed to out on Long Island, where you then have to get into the city… Just a better deal for me!
Either way, it’s off to work – literally – when I get to the city. Today, I’m headed to Josh’s house to set up a recording studio. Although this is not the typical writing phase for him (while we are in the middle of a tour), having this kind of equipment at his disposal is very important – song ideas are valuable, and if you do not capture the ideas as they come, they can be lost forever.
After that, I have a couple of dates at Avatar Recording Studio, where I’ll be co-engineering a song with a great engineer named Dan Chase. Dan, who has many big time engineering credits, was one of the main engineers for Josh’s “All That Echoes” record. I am very excited to work with Dan, and just to be back in the studio.
I may have alluded to this in the past, but my professional life is like a pendulum that swings back and forth between touring and recording studio work. It is often during my studio cycle of work that Josh schedules performances (one off’s here and there), and I do go off to travel with him, but for the most part, when we are on tour, it is seldom that I get the opportunity to get back in the studio.
I do try to keep my engineering chops exercised while on the road, by working on projects on off days in my hotel room, or by holding engineering master classes with some of the guys in the band, but it is less often that I get to work in proper studios while in a touring cycle – there’s just not enough time available. That is why this week is so special to me. A home studio setup and a couple of days at one of New York’s premier recording studios to me is like a huge chocolate chip cookie to my three year old son!
Not to mention I actually caught a few days of studio work while I was home in the last two weeks. I was hired to produce and engineer the vocal tracks for an upcoming Meliah Rage record at Solstice Studio, in Stoughton, Mass, and I also mixed a song for an amazing talent named Micah Sheveloff in a studio in which I had never had any prior work – Firehouse 12, in New Haven, Connecticut .
Each of the jobs required a specific a specific skillset – the Meliah sessions required my vocal production abilities, where it was my job to coach the singer through the songs and give him musical ideas where I felt what was on the table fell short of the desired outcome. My engineering skills were important in that session, because the vocals had to sound great sonically, but the larger piece was my producing (the coaching). That’s precisely what producers do – they have a vision of what the song should sound like (based on conversations with the band, and also based on the producer’s musicality), and they are the conduit between the engineer and the band – the filter if you will – who gets the final product as close to the agreed upon sound. In this case, I also happened to be the engineer.
For the gig at Firehouse 12 with Micah, it was the exact opposite. I was required to bring all of my knowledge about engineering and create a powerful balance of already recorded sounds. For me, despite the fact that I immensely love mixing, this was the more difficult of the two projects, as I had never worked in this particular studio before, and when you are in the last phase of recording – the mix – familiarity with the studio is a major plus. That’s why I give massive thanks to Eric Dawson Tate for assisting in the session. He is one of the head engineers at the studio – a massive talent – and he was an integral part of expediting the process. Cheers, Eric!!
OK for now. I’m nearing Penn Station in NYC, so I’ll have to continue later.