Workflow and production style
Cable Hell is a small analogue studio built around a 24 track tape recorder and a lovely DDA Q mixing desk. It’s cozy, a bit messy, there’s always coffee and I can work hard for 15 hours per session to get your tracks down. It’s a one room facility with two sofas behind the desk and I can supply the band members who is not currently tracking with headphones so they can follow the performance and hopefully know when and when not to light cigarettes, open beers and crack jokes.
I’m mostly familiar with recording various kinds of psychedelic rock, garage rock and shoegaze but got open ears to lots of interesting music and tends to listen to almost everything except modern FM pop and most metal made after the 70’s.
I only record on tape and mix on an analog mixing desk as I prefer both the sonics and the workflow – it’s the sound of 95 percent of my favourite records.
However this means that I can’t fix it if you’re playing out of time or your vocals are flat. On one hand I find much modern music to be overtly sterile and lacking vibe – it is not a bad thing that the listener percieves that the music is played by actual human beings.
On the other hand it means that you have to rehearse properly before recording with me unless you’re playing a kind of music that benefits from a few bloopers or you can pull off a sloppy performance gracefully like Rolling Stones or Velvet Underground when at their best.
It is not the stone age though and of course I can edit random breathing noises, chatting, amp buzz, etc. out of an otherwise good performance without breaking much sweat. Also I can do punch ins or comps if need be. Punch ins is preferable as it doesn’t degrade the audio quality. Comps involves taking elements from typically several vocal tracks and putting them down to one “best of” track and deleting the old ones once we’re happy with the compiled take. This comes with a slight loss of sound quality though and is not ideal for all styles of music.
If we feel like exceeding the 24 tracks available I bounce stuff like toms, backing vocals, doubled guitar leads and percussion together and erase the original tracks. Found it worth mentioning in case you enjoy the sonics of analog tape but are not familiar with the workflow. For you geeks and oldtimers who might be reading this, sorry for wasting your time stating the obvious.
Most people need to feel relaxed to pull off a great performance and therefore I have a rather laissez-faire policy as for behaviour in the studio – you can party if you like or you can be dead-on analytical and stick to tea, your choice. Only things that won’t tolerate is racism, sexism or homophobia – or behaviour that puts mine our my friends equipment in danger of a pricey repair such as bottles or cups on the amps or near the desk. Besides that I’m quite easy going.
Before a mixing session or tracking particularly demanding instruments I can recommend bringing some music that you know really well and listen to it on our breaks to get used to sound of the speakers and the room – will save everyone a lot of regrets as our EQ’ing decisions will depend on what we hear in the room.
As for taste in music I’m into lots of stuff but are particularly fond of is psychedelic rock, shoegaze, old soul music and classic pop and rock from the 60’s to the early 80’s.
A few favourites amongst producers are Roy Thomas Baker, Jimmy Miller, Delia Derbyshire, Lee Hazlewood, Isaac Hayes, Roy Hallee, George Martin (obviously), Kevin Shields, Phil Spector and Martin Hannett. I love stacking up backing vocals so there ends up being 20 or more voices. Also got a passion for loads of percussion – there’s a nice collection at the studio.
I try to make decisions that benefit the songs and always be respectful towards the facts that it’s your music. If you have an extremely clear vision of how you want everything to sound and got loads of studio experience let me know and I will stick to being a technician and only interfere in purely technical matters. If you would prefer mixing our recording elsewhere digitizing the tracks can be arranged.
In case you got a vision that you don’t have the abilities to pull off yourself cause you don’t play the instrument in question I got friends who might be able to do so.
When not recording or chilling out I’m playing guitar in a rock ‘n’ roll band called Electric Scar and got a “studio only” solo project called The Motivation Radio,
The room is fairly dry and small, hence it is not ideally suited if you want to record a larger string section in one go but for that I can recommend other studios.
Drop me a line on 26784652 or text me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re up for a recording or want to see the studio. Looking forward to work my ass off to make your songs sound awesome.