Changes…!!

New Rack with Liminator2 and Vintech June 2014Having just noticed the date of the last blog here, I was amazed at the passage of time! So much has changed in the time in between, and I’m very happy to share that it was all for the better where ‘The Spa is concerned! 🙂

If you’ve done any poking around, you’ll likely already gather that I’ve relocated to what is, in my humble opinion, one of THE coolest and colourful parts of the city — Toronto’s The Beaches ‘hood.

The new studio has been fairly busy on a regular basis the past 8 months since the move, and with the warmer weather coming, some new “must have” outboard gear, and a GIANT bbq in “the lounge” (AKA a shaded backyard patio!), things are set to shift in to high gear soon, and that’s exciting!

Today, however, it’s a moody ‘Good Friday’ , and I’m spending it pulling together a final mix of a new track from the latest ‘Little Red Drops’ full length album. I’m really digging it, and so will you!

Later tonight, Toronto rapper Ghon Este will be dropping by to lay down some vocals, so as always, I’m keeping things interesting by switching it up continuously!

If you’re local — or even if you’re not — shoot me a note if you could use a hand shining your tunes up!

JM

… And They’re Off!! :-D

 

Come as You are — we’re leaving “pretense” out of it!!

So the first week of the new “Local Artist Walk-In Special” is wrapping up, and I’ve already had the pleasure of working with THREE (!!!) very talented young singer/songwriters — two from Toronto, and one rather ambitious young fella from the distant shores of Oakville!

I asked him “was it worth the trip?”, to which he replied: “I’ll let you know after I’ve done it a few more times!”.

HA! Awesome! Truly! 😀

This has already been waaaaaay too much fun, and the summer hasn’t even started yet?!

If you have something to share with the world but need a hand making it sound as good as it deserves to, just send me a note and we’ll set something up — I really, really love this process and the finished result!!

JM

Lions or Lambs…??

"The Ides of March"?? I think not!! 🙂

It’s March 22 in Toronto, Canada, and I’m sitting in the studio with the windows open, fan on HIGH, and wearing verrrry little… hell, it’s HOT!!

Wow.

26 celsius — or roughly translated, hovering around 80 degrees out there!

As you can imagine, Canada’s not exactly known for its “beach-like” weather — especially in March!

No… we have a saying here: “March… it can come in like a Lamb, and go out like a Lion.”.

It’s true.

Usually.

Anyway, heat wave’s aside, I’ve been enjoying working in the new room since its acoustic treatment “makeover”, and beyond several local recording projects and a few ‘Sky Mastering’ gigs, I’ve finally had the chance to sit down and hash out a few new song ideas of my own!  Yesssssss!! 🙂  The album ‘Analogue Verses’ is coming along nicely, and I’ll be putting together my personal site very soon and have lots of cool stuff to share, so I’ll keep you posted!

For now… I think I’m going to grab my acoustic and head for the beach!!!

 

(What are you doing still reading this?  Go play in a sprinkler before the snow flies again!! )

 

JM

 

 

 

Great gear on a budget!

My favourite "swiss army knife" channel strip(s)!

I just finished a session, and while we sat around swapping ideas, fave pieces of gear, etc., I couldn’t help bringing up the TL AUDIO 5052 — what I like to call my “swiss army knife” channel strip… as in, it’s multi-purposed design and functionality really have a place in just about every song I work on!

If you haven’t heard this piece — or any of the other fine offerings TL Audio has out there, you’re missing out!  The IVORY series is really well priced, making it a logical choice for anyone looking for a lot of bang for the buck!   Basically, it’s a stereo channel strip — TUBE — giving you 2 warm mic pre’s, 2 musical EQs, solid, yet transparent compression, and even a separate limiter on each channel! The channels can be used as two individual mono paths, or — using the ‘Stereo mode’ switch, chained together for synths, etc.

Most of the songs I’ve recorded in The ‘Spa over the past 9 yrs or so have had some elementss run through this little sweetheart; in fact — along with my trusty Rode K2 tube mic — hundreds of vocal performancess have benefited from the warmth and depth this unit delivers!

Anyway, just my 2 cents… if you’re looking to start a small project studio, or want to add an awesome, well-rounded, great sounding and reasonably priced piece of gear to your existing set up, check this puppy out!!

I’m curious: If you had to pick ONE piece of gear to rely on, what would it be… and why?  Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

Little Red Drops…

Do You bring music to Life?

An intriguing title.  And for me, quite visual: It’s the name of a new project I’m currently working on in the avante garde/ experimental/ indie/ pop/ rock/ disco/ emo/ electronica/ metal genre.

(like such a thing actually exists, right??)

But if it were an actual genre of music, I’d say this duo would fit in just so. While separated by the miles (Wayne’s here in Toronto, while Scott’s waaaaay down the 401 situated in a little town called Montreal), these guys are definitely two peas in the same kooky pod!

Imagine combining elements as seemingly disparate as U2 and Nine Inch Nails; The Smiths and top 40 dance music; Frank Zappa drizzled in sickly sweet brit pop sensibilities.

Now you’re beginning to get the picture… (or, on the other hand, if that’s a bit tricky to do, then by all means come back again soon, as I’ll be posting some samples for Your listening pleasure!)

As always, any questions, comments, shared music, etc. are welcomed, so post away below!

 

It’s a sunny day — I’m out!

 

JM

 

Studio Renovations and other Pleasantries…

So the new Control room is almost finished! It’s actually hard to believe!

12 new 2″x24″x48″ floating acoustic panels, including 4″x24″x48″ bass traps — custom made right here in the ‘Spa using 2″ Roxul Rockboard 60, maple frames and theater fabric– about 400 miles of Auralex, and a lick or two of my fave paint…

Two new diffusors — one for the back wall, the other for the ceiling, will go up next.  They’re fun — think ‘Metropolis’, or an aerial shot of NYC, circa 1950. I’ll be posting pics once it’s all said and done!

How about you? Recording at home? What treatments have you done, and what kind of results are you getting?

Leave a comment, links, sound clips, etc!

 

 

 

The New Sky Mixing Site is Finally Up!

Mixing Board

Well then!

After some time in the works, various shifting ideas, and finally, implementation with the help of Marcel in Atlanta, GA., I’m thrilled to actually be blogging on this site!!

I’ll be posting regularly here — both about the process, as well as sharing ideas, tech tips, and links to the Artists and bands I’m working with here in the ‘Spa regularly!

 

If you’ve got some cool ideas, questions, or just want to say “What’s up!”, feel free to leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by!