Mark and I have been working away in Studio 2 since my last diary entry, with the occasional trip down the hallway to utilize the magnificence of Studio One when there aren't clients in. We've not only been enjoying the natural ambience on Mark's electric guitars but have used it on a few songs which Mark has played acoustic and sung at the same time.
For all you gear-whores, here's a couple of studio shots to whet the appetite. The first is a modest line-up of electrics which were used on one of the new songs...
Duo Sonic II
Pensa Custom (GH)
MK Strat se00000
Burns White Bison (albino)
actually, only one of them made it. Can you guess which one? without knowing the song or hearing it, of course not, well it was the MK Strat.
Then a few days later we were working on a song which required a bit of that MK slide guitar... Heavy and loud. Unsure of what particular amp would do the job, Mr. Saggers lined up a modest selection of suitable amplifiers together with some slide-appropriate axes. The amplifier list was as follows - (from left to right)
Carr, Ampeg Reverberocket, Tone King Metropolitan, Lazy J, Divided by 13, Gretch 6161, Fender twin '58, Fender Princeton TV '55, Tone King Imperial, Gibson EH150, Fender Bassman '59, Fender Concert, Fender Super Reverb.
The guitars were - The Reverend, Gibson ES 175D, Gibson Les Paul R9, MK Strat, Jizblaster and a Dan Electro DC 59
We have for many years used harmonium sounds here and there both live and in the studio, ever since the days of the Hillbillies and on the many soundtracks Mark and I have worked on. A few weeks ago, Mark eyed a lovely old Mason and Hamlin Reed Organ on e-bay. The instrument was secured...(from Spain!) and arrived at the studio last week. There is always an element of trepidation when playing such an untested antique but I'm pleased to report the instrument has stood the test of time very well indeed. In fact it sounds lovely, and the pedals and internal bellows are remarkably quiet, especially when you consider that when it was made (around 1895), the current British Grove studio location was ironically a melodion manufacturer. Of course, Mr. Saggers immediately noticed a few minor adjustments needed to be made before we could play it. Because the harmonium is tuned to A435, we had to deploy varispeed during recording. Luckily, modern day digital recording devices including Pro Tools can accommodate this.
The full band will soon be coming over to these shores from various parts of the globe and I will update the diary then. That particular recording 'phase' is scheduled for the middle of June for three weeks. There will be some changes in the band line-up for that. More on all that soon....
Some microphone power supplies, and...
the Studio 2 setup..