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  • Documenting The Process

    i'm working on a new record. an LP. It's called (Re) Routed. It's a play on "Detour" (detour spelled backwards is "routed.") 

    This record is like a sequal of sorts to "Detour." It's not that i have a thing for making concept records, but i had plans for something entirely different as a follow up to Similis, but my plans fell apart and I had to scrap those and start over. 

    I figured as I started this project i'd write about it. One of my passions is music production, recording, mixing. I love the gear, i love the process, i love learning about it, love the history, so this will get a bit nerdy rather quickly. 

    To get things going first, I think a quick run down of what I'm using in my own personal studio (aka my living room. I live in a loft-style apartment on Boston's inner harbor, and a third of the space is packed with my gear. 

    My studio is based around a mac pro with 8 cores, 32 gigs of RAM, and a UAD Quad card (for DSP) running Pro Tools 12.4. I have a ton of plugins, too many, but i stick with a few common plugins that include:

    • UA 1176 blue stripe (for everything)
    • Valhalla vintage reverb
    • Valhalla Shimmer reverb
    • Waves IR reverb (the default hall IR is just about the best thing in the world)
    • UA LA 2A (love this for piano)
    • Waves DBX 160 compressor (drums)
    • UA SSL Bus compressor (for the 2-bus)
    • UA Trident A-Range EQ (love this for the 2-bus as well)
    • UA Pultec EQP-1A (drums, and 2-bus)
    • Waves Center (for the MS processing stuff)
    • Waves R-Compressor (general purpose really)
    • Waves API 550A and 550B EQ (my general purpose go-to EQ for everything)
    • DMG Audio Track Limit (the best limiter i've ever heard, kills the Waves L2)
    • Avid Sansamp (best distortion in the world)
    • Sound Toys Echoboy 
    • Sound Toys Miscroshift
    • Sound Toys Crystalizer 

    There are other things i'll use plugin wise, like a couple good guitar amp sims, and I use Superior Drummer 3 when I'm not live tracking percussion. Superior Drummer 3 makes that a lot easier though, you just have to be mindful of MIDI programming to optimize the sounds

    In terms of  hardware, i have a bunch of pedals, most notably:

    • Electro Harmonix Freeze (for drones - use a baritone guitar or a bass for amazing effect)
    • EBS Valve Drive bass DI (sounds good on literally everything)
    • Red Panda Context reverb pedal (reverb for days)
    • Electro Harmonix Cathedral reverb (more reverb)
    • Retro Mechanical distortion box (sounds amazing for re-amping things and drums)
    • Volume pedal
    • Red Panda Particle (granular synth in a guitar pedal)
    • Electro Harmonix Big Muff distortion pedal

    Along with pedals I have a few odds and ends:

    • Kurzweil K2000 Rack synth (for all your 1990's Dead Can Dance sounds you could ever want)
    • 1980's vintage Tascam 38 half-inch 8-track tape machine (to really screw up the sound)
    • Yamaha SPX 90 multi effects (the rack unit that defined the late 1980's reverbs)
    • Lynx Aurora 8-channel AD/DA converter
    • TC Electronic M300 reverb (serious character, not always good character!)
    • Vintech 573 mic pre and DI 500-series. 

    For monitoring, i use:

    • Yamaha NS10M
    • Avantone mixcubes (powered clone of the classic Auratone 5c's, the brutally honest monitor)

    For instruments i use:

    • Fender P-Bass
    • Fender telecaster baritone
    • Gibson SG Standard
    • Gibson Les Paul Standard (used for bowing)
    • Gretsch hollow body
    • Takamine 6-string acoustic

    I also have a bunch of different MIDI controllers, like an Alesis drum pad, the new Roland foot pad so I can write percussion parts naturally (not using a keyboard) and an Akai keyboard controller. I also have a Cajon, and a bunch of other percussion items. 

    For other sources of sound I use a bunch of different software tools like PaulStretch, a bunch of the Spitfire Audio Kontakt libraries, along with Soniccouture libraries as well. 

    That's pretty much the what and some of the how from a big picture perspective. What I plan to do as I go through working on this record is go into more detail how each of these things are used for each song. I also post photos, screenshots, things like that, possibly a video or two. It all depends on how much time I will have (which is in such short supply these days). 

    Feel free to ask questions as well.