Archive of the Blade Studios Category

Blade Goes Analog

We recently finished up a new release for Brian Blade and The Fellowship. It will be featuring original songs by Brian Blade and Jon Cowherd. This record was challenging and one of the most fun to make in recent memories. Mostly because I wasn’t staring at a computer screen for 15 hours a day, and the obvious was the musicianship was off the charts. The band was Brian Blade, Melvin Butler, Chris Thomas, Jon Cowherd, Marvin Sewell, and Myron Walden. Brian decided to go analog on this record and for the organic quality of the music, I couldn’t agree more. With the ever ending shrinking budgets it’s been about 7 years since I last completed a record only using tape. Lately, I’ve been utilizing our CLASP to do most tracking sessions to get some tape saturation, but this record we tracked straight to a 2″ Studer 827 and mixed to our Studer A80 1/2″. Our first challenge was to get enough tape in time for the session with my tape of choice these days being ATR. I still miss GP9 which I have now depleted my tape stock.
The second was finding a piano that recorded well. We had a smaller yamaha grand for some time, but we decided to stop playing around and dropped a Steinway D 9ft in the day before the session.
The third challenge was repairing the faulty A80 1/2″ we purchased from a broker in Nashville. I threw the alignment tape on and nothing was working. This machine needed a complete overhaul. Luckily the power of Facebook saved me. About 2 days before we started the session my old tech from a studio I worked at in the 90′s had just touched base with me on Facebook. He lived about 2 hours away so our intern drove the machine out and he went through the machine and tracked down all the bad caps, sauder joints, and switches. The joy of buying used analog gear sight unseen over the internet and trusting the broker.
The first day was setup and finding positions for everyone. We decided to go with everybody in the large tracking space with little isolation. We weren’t sure about it, but thought we would give it a try. After all, many records have been made like this with great success. Unfortunately, the piano was having some tuning issues and we weren’t able to use the piano that night so we moved onto a song with an old pump organ that Brian had shipped down. For as small as this organ was the sound was gigantic. After getting down a successful take we called it a night. My only concern was we still haven’t tried everybody playing together in the same space with the drums.
The next day we came in everybody took there positions and we started getting blends on cues. It took a total of 3 min and Brian walked in the control room and wanted to move to the booth. So we moved just about everybody to a new position other than the piano. Drums went in a booth, horns went in another booth, and piano, bass, guitar stayed in the large room, but moved for line of sight to the other players. My assistant and I had the entire band moved and ready to go in an hour and a half. This was working for the players and myself much better. Dusty at Mojave had just sent me a mic to try out on the snare which worked out very well. It’s the Mojave MA-101 FET. It could handle the SPL level of the snare when Brian’s full blast with an internal 15 dB pad or pick up his nuance when he’s playing light as a feather. Another mic I was trying out on the kit was the AEA R88, which was used for the room. Unfortunately we had a bit of a problem with one of the sides of the R88 due to a faulty connector internally in the mic. I was still able to track the other side which worked very well. AEA was very accommodating and I’m looking forward to using the R88 again soon. Originally I was thinking the R88 for overheads on the kit but we ended up going with Mojave MA-200′s. The MA-200′s really captured Brian’s intricate work on the cymbals.
A few of the songs are any where from 12 to 14 minutes in length so the first day reels were adding up quick. They would have to make some permanent decisions. We had to order tape in 2 or 3 shipments due to supply. When I noticed how fast the reels were going I had my assistant order 4 more reels for safety to be fed ex’d next day. Then Saturday rolls around and I get a call from our office manager. “Hey listen, your tape is in Michigan”….. Nice. So I quickly added up unused takes and it looked promising to get through the session, which we did. A couple of the songs we would perform an edit and the unused takes would get rolled over. It was nice to be able to commit to takes instead of having the ever ending playlist scenario to sort through after the fact. With some bands this would be a problem, but here the only problem was trying to find a problem with the takes. The band would love to come in to here the edit go by to see if they could here the splice. I forget how smooth the edits are on tape. It’s effortless. Other than having to find a grease pencil last minute at a near by Hobby Lobby the editing went very smooth. For me it was great fun and felt like we were making a real record with tape on the floor and razor blades lying around.
We’re starting to get to the end of tracking. It’s around 1 a.m. and Jon says the piano is severely out. Since we aren’t in New York or Los Angeles I’m a bit worried. I made two calls and either got a “Are you kidding me? I’m not coming up at 1 a.m. to tune” or an angry wife on the phone who immediately hung up on me. But the stars aligned and a nice gentleman said
“what’s the emergency?” I briefly explained the dilemma and he was there in an hour. After which he stayed until about 4 a.m. listening to the great track we got laid down because of his handy work.
The following day mixing begins. The Studer A80 arrives in working condition and everything is on schedule. I would mix to the A80 and a Pro-Tools session for backup at 24 bit 96 Khz. After the mix got printed to 1/2″ I would copy the mix to Brian’s DAT machine. He still thinks the DAT sounds better than a file off of Pro-Tools and after listening back I would agree. I still have a DAT machine at my house, but purely for playing back the hundreds of DATs I have masters stored on.
We ended up getting a total of 9 songs down and will be doing some more mixes in the next few weeks from some older recordings Brian did on 16-Track 2″ to add to the batch. Be on the lookout for it to be released in the next 3 months.

You can check out some session pics here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyCYAEP

Be on the lookout at SXSW for the Blade Studios bus in Austin from March 16-18. Come by and say “Hello”. We will be hanging out talking studio stories and possibly recording some as well on the bus. There will also be incentives for booking your session during SXSW on the bus. You can find our location on our twitter after we arrive. twitter.com/bladestudios

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Exciting First Year

Well, it’s been an exciting first year for Blade Studios and we are excited to get 2012 started. We have had some amazing sessions in the studio for just opening under a year ago. Everybody from Darryl Jones to Chuck Rainey along with ADR sessions for films like “Contraband” and TV series like “Walking Dead”. So far the room is working great and sounding great. Our Studio B is rented out to CBS Sports for the Tim Brando show live every morning on the CBS Sports Network. Currently they have the room locked out for 2 years and we are excited to have them. We did a show with Tim featuring The Kenny Wayne Sheppherd Band live on his show from our Studio A room. It really tested the acoustics in Studio A. We had the band setup live with amps blazing and wedges on 10.

That show led us to our new series at Blade called “After Hours”. We will be featuring artists we either have in the studio recording or are passing through town on tour. The first band we had on the show is Galactic. A great band from New Orleans featuring lead singer Cory Glover from the band Living Colour. It’s been really great setting up the band all live in the same room together and running a mix. It takes no time at all and the sounds are turning out great. Galactic came in and knocked out four songs in 30 minutes and headed straight to their gig. This video is live with no overdubs. Check out the songs here: Galactic

We are all very excited to be nominated for a TEC Award this year for “Outstanding Creative Achievement” in “Studio Design Project”. Russ Berger did a fantastic job with the design and it shows from the sounds we’re getting in the room. Our team will be out at NAMM for the TEC Awards as well as the week at NAMM. Hope to see you walking the floor!

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Update

It’s been an exciting couple of months at Blade Studios. We opened our doors in February of this year and are going strong. Tonight we are in the middle of a record with the band “The Hardships” all the way from Sweden in Studio A, as well as a celebration party for our new tenant in Studio B. CBS Sports and Tim Brando have rented our Studio B room for the next couple of years. Check Tim Brando out on the CBS Sports Network in the mornings form 9 a.m.-12 p.m. We might have to build a Studio C in the near future to keep up with the demand.
If you haven’t checked out the August issue of Mix Magazine yet it’s worth a look. We were very honored to have the cover for the month of August. Be sure to check out our Facebook page as well as www.bladestudios.com for all our current news.
The tax incentives offered in the State of Louisiana for recording have been a great benefit to our clients. If you’re thinking about to an upcoming record or you are a producer with a smaller budget and could use the tax benefits please check out the Louisiana Entertainment web site for details.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Chooses CLASP

Well it’s been 6 months since we opened our doors this year and so far we are having a blast in our new space. The room sounds amazing and so does the gear. One of our favorite pieces we put on our equipment list is our CLASP. By now most everybody I’m sure has heard of CLASP, but for those of you that haven’t it is worth checking out. Endless Analog is the company that makes CLASP and we have been using the hell out of it. Basically what CLASP does is it let’s you record to analog tape before digitizing the signal. We use a Studer 827 2″ machine and it works perfectly. Here’s a quick video of a session we did last week with Phoenix Hart with an all start cast of players including Brady Blade (Drums), Braylon Lacy (Bass), Sereca Henderson (keys), Andy Timmons (Guitar). This is a video of the live recording of the basic tracks.

This is a video of the live recording of the basic tracks.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Gets A Muffin Top

Fallen Shadows It’s been a busy week at Blade Studios this week. We’ve been hard at work with Happy Muffin Top producing music for their video game “Fallen Shadows 2″. Brady Blade has been producing all the music bringing in all stars like his brother Brian Blade to help out on the drums. When Rob Atkins and Adrian Carmack were searching for a producer and studio to work on their sequel to “Fallen Shadows” it was an obvious choice to make the trip back to their home town of Shreveport, La to work with the talented Brady Blade in the newly constructed Blade Studios. The game takes place in the setting of New Orleans so what better way to capture the essence of the game using players from Louisiana. All the scenes are constructed using all live players watching the video game live and coming up with music that fits the scene in real time. Be on the lookout for “Fallen Shadows 2″ and while you play the game you might even find a recording studio to hang out in while you’re on your journey.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Grand Opening Party

Blade Studios had a very successful grand opening party on Saturday April 2, 2011. With close to 600 in attendance, the crowd enjoyed food and drinks while exploring the newly constructed studios. The highlight of the night was the jam session where musicians could sit in and jam with other fellow musicians. Brian Blade led the jam session starting out with his father Brady Blade Sr singing. The jam session was recorded on Blade Studios new CLASP system running to a Studer 827 then recorded to Pro-Tools at 96 Khz. Some of the mixes will be posted soon on the Blade Studios Facebook page.

Here is one of the songs from the jam session:

Blade Studios Grand Opening Party Jam 3 by bladestudios

Here is a new tour video of Blade Studios:

Visit us on Facebook

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Open for Business

It’s finally time. We have opened our doors and had our first 2 sessions this week. We’ve already mixed 3 songs on the the new SSL Duality SE and are currently working with Darryl Jones (The Rolling Stones, Miles Davis) this week on his upcoming release. Brady Blade is tracking drums on Darryls project. The room is really sounding nice. The big test was tracking Brady’s drums in the large space. When we pulled up the room mics we were pleasantly surprised. Russ Berger did a fantastic job with the design of the room. The CLASP system is being used on several of the tracks for Darryl as well. The CLASP is connected to our Studer 827 then running into the Pro-Tools rig which is 32 in and 64 outs. We are still getting a few more pieces of gear daily to add to the already stocked racks in Studio A. Last week Allen Sides stopped by to tweak our new Ocean Way HR-2 Monitors and they sound fantastic. You can also keep up to date with all our progress on facebook as well.
Studio A
Studio A

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios Construction Progress

While everyone is enjoying NAMM we are working hard to get Blade Studios open. Everything is coming along nicely. The construction is finished and we are onto the wiring. We hired Paul Cox to do our wiring install and him and his team are doing a wonderful job. Next week will be exciting because the SSL Duality will be commissioned and will be up and running. The following week we hope to have the Ocean Way monitors installed and ready to start making some noise. Here’s a short video of the progress this week. Just follow the link: http://youtu.be/2ZDSD7JN2js

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

1 Comment

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Blade Studios update with Brady Blade

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Take A Tour of Blade Studios with Brady Blade

Things are moving along quickly at Blade Studios. Brady Blade is back in Shreveport, La and ready to get the studio open. Here is a quick video with Brady Blade showing our current progress. We will keep you posted with more updates soon.

Digg Syndication Del.icio.us Syndication Google Syndication MyYahoo Syndication Reddit Syndication

No Comments

Related Topics: Blade Studios |

Calendar

April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Your Account

Subscribe

Subscribe to RSS Feed

Subscribe to MyYahoo News Feed

Subscribe to Bloglines

Google Syndication

Fairlight Xynergi Media Production Centre


Mix The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the Briefing Room for the latest press postings.