Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion: Studio Sound

Tom Waits once told me that I was very good at getting sounds based on descriptions he told me.

This has to do with my primary aim in a recording, mixing or mastering session. To connect with the artist's vision, that invocational conduit to the heart and soul of the music we are working with, and bring that music into realization as a mass marketable medium of some type. I don't have a signature sound unless you call good sound a signature.

Tuning in to a musician's sensibilities seems much easier by taking an attitude of service to the music.

I am here to get exactly the record a musician/producer hears in their head only moreso.

Often they don't know exactly what they want until it's heard. I am good at translating impressionistic audio descriptions and metaphors into sonic realizations.

For example, Bill Laswell gave me the reference of Naked Lunch by William Burroughs as a direction for mixing the dub pieces on Blind Idiot God's Cyclotron record. Some memorable experiments were tried in that regard including triggering the sound of an Elephant trumpeting from a temple in India, as well as randomized tape cut-up experiments.

Another forte: adding warmth and dimensionality to a mix. Creating a big picture. Getting the right balance of depth and upfront clarity, intelligibility, and when called for, power.

I also have an extensive sound efx and audio ambience library to use where appropriate. The ambience comes from my travels all around the world, most of them with Bill Laswell. I have recordings from some interesting places including the King's Chamber from the Great Pyramid in Egypt, St. Thomas Mount in Madras, India where the apostle Thomas lived and died after Christ was crucified, the Basilica du Sacre Coeur in Paris and much more.

I am not unfamiliar with the potential of music to heal and awaken and have ideas how to engineer and produce along those lines.

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