Here's our latest post from re: covers, featuring Extravision. The band covered All Night Long by Lionel Richie. We talked a little bit about the band's recording process and their fantastic new record Waking Up. I broke out my mirror-less camera in a last minute decision to put together some very un-stablized footage-- the result was a fun little (8 min) video of front man Ryan Stier and his skillful friends doing takes and hanging out (liming).
Last month we went to work on a much needed aesthetic and acoustic upgrade in our control room. What was once just a couple of windows draped with curtain is now a completed acoustic wall covered with natural pine slats over 4-8" thick rock wool material. This gives the room a great balance of absorption and diffusion, meaning: some of the high frequencies remain-- instead of being fully soaked up, they are scattered almost randomly to avoid hard, reverberant reflections. Rooms dedicated to mixing as their main purpose benefit from a great deal of bass trapping and broadband absorption, but also need to maintain some 'liveness' to provide some semblance of a realistic environment for the mix engineer.
The finished results were better than expected-- music emanating from our monitors feels bigger, more accurate, and more energetic.
There were some challenges along the way, as expected building anything into a 100 year old house-- the walls are anything but square.
Follow along below to check out the process.
It's always fun when songs I've helped create are put to video. It gives me an even deeper look into the heart and mind of the artist, plus it's nice to experience something new from the music after my 100th listen. Patrick Tape Fleming, whom I feel was brilliant in the studio, also delivers an equally clever and engaging visualization of "Drying the Eyes of the Goddess of Gloom". Watch it below. Their upcoming full length will drop Sept 1st. on Maximum Ames Records. Follow the project at: http://gloomballoon.com/
Our beautiful new audio desk has arrived! It was built to spec and fits all of our most commonly used gear, placing it right where we want it. The build was done by Mike Gustafson of Nestcraft Studio; be sure to check out his company for your furniture or woodworking ideas. This was his first production desk and he knocked it out of the park.
It's an amazing time to be in the recording business. No, not for the money (that doesn't really exist in music production anymore) or potential fame (I haven't seen it), but for how easily accessible it is now to create great sounding music. We no longer need to find million dollar investments to construct a building, buy mixing consoles, mics, compressors and other once cost prohibitive studio tools. In the earlier days, only the rich or the lucky had access (I'm neither) -- and for musicians- only the very best had the privilege of stepping foot into even the most modest studios. Nowadays, you don't need a record label or even that much money (compared to the large budgets that all but ceased in the early 2000's), and you could, if you wanted to, professionally record the very first song you've ever written. There's a lot less holding the average person back from putting out music, I won't judge whether that's good or bad.
Sure, things aren't like they used to be for better and worse but, as a studio owner in 2017 I'm thrilled to be able to do far more for much less. If you're looking beyond the homogenized radio pop and rock, musical creativity seems to be at a high point right now; that's pretty great to be a part of. The sound of music here in Des Moines, IA continues to expand and challenge what's considered "good" for Iowa music; the community inspires and pushes one another to a higher level of creativity. As an engineer and producer I try to tap into that same energy.
Just a little bit of my background as a studio owner- My involvement includes all of the recording, editing, mixing, scheduling/booking, gear maintenance, and all the things involved with keeping up a house that functions as a business. In such a competitive field, I have been fortunate to engineer songs that: have reached over 6 million plays on Spotify and counting, have been featured in movies and television, and to have worked with countless talented artists (in the studio and mixing live performances). I've mixed big concerts for local and national acts with more than 8,000 people in attendance, but this was before I decided to dedicate most of my energies to studio work. Nowadays, when I'm not in the studio, I'm mostly only helping out with smaller shows and events.
This all began with a dream; a dream of doing exactly all of this as a 14 year old guitarist and programming nerd. After feeling pulled away from my hometown where I was attending college, I quickly packed things up and headed a couple hours south to the Des Moines / Ames, Iowa area. In late 2004, I slowly began work as a live sound engineer and recording demos for hardcore bands. After gaining a few years of experience I took the plunge and started Midday Studios in November of 2007 in a out-of-date 1912 house. I gutted and remodeled the house into what it is now, learning how to do everything along the way with the help of friends and family.
The studio started with what little gear I had when I began recording bands in 2004 and have slowly bought or built additional pieces as needed (new gear is never not needed). I developed a passion for electronics and building things to use in the studio, along with continuously growing the studio. Roughly half of the gear I use today was built in my hands from either a kit or a schematic- so if something breaks, most of the pieces are self-serviceable.
I'm proud that I put the same effort and attention to detail into every project that comes in. My goal is to continue to make the studio feel like home for artists, help them artfully capture their music, and grow their sounds.
Thanks for reading! Coming up I'll be sharing about a new piece that's arrived at the studio.