Monday, June 25, 2007

Contraband Recording

Well, for those of you that got a blank post in your email, well,.. oops. Here's the real deal. We have a busy week. Allen Corneau will be mastering projects for Christy Suggett, and yes, the Anne Loo project. Yea! I'm still talking with several new artists about projects for the Fall, and I'm going to be talking to the Drop Trio about finally doing their project.

Now that the housekeeping is done, I can relate what went down yesterday at Maple Leaf Studios. MLS is really the home of Zac, Lucy, and Ken Valentino--the three members of Contraband. We officially embarked on a two CD project yesterday. The first CD is of CBand arrangements of cover songs. John Griffin joined us in the effort which entailed bringing a bunch of my and John's gear over to Ken's home and transforming his living room into a studio. New Paradigm recording, for sure. Our mission was to record the band olde-school-style, no net: We recorded all of the playing and singing at once (how about THAT o' contrived record makers). Once we got in the groove, we didn't think about the process at all. We just recorded some great performances. We did 10 songs, and we got about half of them on the first take. Lucy had some awesome chopped beef sandwiches to keep us going, as well as cookies, coffee, and of course, Diet Coke. I'm not really sure that we appreciated how well we did until later. I am really pleased with the results. The recording was about the musicianship--not the gee-whiz of the process. Very well done, indeed.

Here are some shots from the day:

Here is Ken's "Contraption" (as Lucy has dubbed it). Ken plays guitar, hi-hat, porch board, and sings. All at the same time. This is his rig:

Here's Lucy wondering wtf we are doing to her living room:

Here's a view looking back towards the front of the room. You can see 'the contraption' area being blocked off with blankets to prevent hat-bleed:

Lucy, singing and playing at the same time:

Here's Zac and Ken:

I love this shot,... You can almost see it in Ken's face,..."left foot, hat,... left foot hat,...." How in the world does he play with both hands, both feet, and sing?

As you can see, my job was easy. I hung out on the couch and did quality control. I did get to put my hands on the gear,.... maybe twice. John did a killer job of that. So I got to hang out like Rick Ruben, chillin' with my homies (or doggies), Holly and Winnie.

By the way, the part of Ken's 'contraption' at the top of this post, is the porch board (with Ken's special clod-hopper, 'trigger shoe', resting on top). The porch board is an electric device that, when plugged into an amp, makes a sound like your foot keeping time on an old porch. Next year's model will probably have a midi out port. ;)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I luv the shot of you on the couch with your canine sound engineers assisting. If they started howling, was that a sign you needed to do some adjusting on the levels?


11:25 AM  
Blogger NINANINA said...

hey......... just saying contraband is great...... as well as winnie and holly! :)

7:36 PM  

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