Andy Clausen, Racer Curator Compilation v. II, Keplinger, Stand By the Boat

I recently finished mixing Andy Clausen’s “Wishbone Suite,” to be released in March on Table & Chairs. Andy has written a beautiful suite of varied yet cohesive compositions, intertwined with free-ish improvisation sections. For reasons I can’t quite explain, the record has a distinctively honest, American quality, with a bright outlook- fitting, given it’s composer. We tracked the record over two days at London Bridge Studios, and mixed it here at BOOM!. I think this may be my best sounding recording to date, and I’m looking forward to it’s release.

Speaking of Table & Chairs, we just released “Racer Sessions Curator Compilation: Vol. II,” the entirety of which was recorded, mixed, and mastered here at BOOM!. You can check out that record HERE, or scroll down a couple of posts for more info on that record. T&C also just released “Cross the Center” by WA, featuring the legendary Greg Keplinger on drums, and Simon Henneman on guitar. The album was recorded by Greg Williamson at the Kill Room, and I mixed and mastered it here at BOOM!. The album was a challenge to mix, but I think it turned out to be rather sonically compelling. You can check it out HERE.

Last month I wrapped up mixing the dance pop outfit Stand By the Boat‘s debut EP. We tracked it here at BOOM! in a day!

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Fabulous Party Boys, Operation ID, and so much more.

I recently produced and recorded the Fabulous Party Boys’ forthcoming full-length up at Robert Lang Studios. FPB rocked it with their signature brand of jazz-funk, featuring Jon Hansen’s bad ass tuba-bass. The session was a lot of fun, but there were one too many “shirt off” moments, for reasons I have yet to understand.

In other news, Operation ID spent the last two days here at BOOM! tracking J-rod Borkowski’s tune, “Trapped,” to be released as a single on Table & Chairs in the near future. OpID’s impressive character-shifting orchestration (?) is making mixing the song a challenge, in a good way.

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Flute music and Racer Sessions Compilation Volume II

I recently traveled to the University of Idaho to record flutist Leonard Garrison, for his upcoming album, to be released on Albany Records. Leonard played beautifully, and the Decca Tree mic placement succeeded once again!

In other news, I just finished tracking for Racer Sessions Compilation, Volume II (to be released on Table & Chairs), all of which was recored here at BOOM!  Worth noting is that we recorded Andy Clausen’s “Reference Frequency,” for two trumpets, two trombones, SATB saxes, and two drummers…this made for a tight fit in my little studio!  The recording turned out great, despite cramped quarters.  I gave my best effort at achieving that “late-50s Columbia Studio C” sound, so stay tuned for sound bites.  Also featured on the Racer Compilation, Volume II, is Chris Icasiano, Seth Alexander, Wally Shoup, Naomi Seigel, Kate Olson, and Operation ID.  It’s gonna be a good one!

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Big bands, little kids, and Operation ID.

Recently I had the opportunity to record the Eastern Washington University jazz ensemble, while they were here in Seattle.  They sounded great and, although I’ve recorded tons of jazz projects, this was the first time I’ve recorded a big band.   We multi-tracked the whole thing!  That’s a lot of mics…

After the EWU session, I drove across the state to Spokane, to do a marathon recording session with the Spokane Area Children’s Chorus, in beautiful Hargreaves Hall, on the Eastern Washington University campus.  Hargreaves has incredible acoustics for classical music, and it’s always a pleasure to record there.  In the picture below, the concert choir is joined by the fabulous percussionist and pedagog Marty Ziskowski (retired EWU percussion instruction, and Spokane Symphony timpanist) for a couple arrangements of traditional African songs.

Last night was the CD release show for Table & Chairs band Operation ID, and they brought the house down.  I had the pleasure of recordng/co-producing three tracks from their debut album, Legs, here at BOOM!.  The album is an interesting format in that contains three sets of three songs, where each set was co-produced/recorded by a different engineer.  The talented Luke Bergman recorded one set, and the talented Hamilton Boyce recorded the other, which my three tracks closing the album out.  Check it out!

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Table and Chairs Launch Party, mastering, and things other than avant-garde jazz

Today marks the official launch of Table and Chairs, a new Seattle record label whose “purpose is to represent and bring together artists who are actively developing and contributing to a forward thinking community that is devoted to the advancement of new music.”  Aside from my contributions as a recordist, I’ve been involved in the formation of this great new organization. Head over to the T&C website and check out some of the great bands on our roster!

In other news, this past couple of weeks saw a welcome change of pace here at BOOM!  I’ve been knee-deep in getting stuff ready for the T&C launch, which has been great, but over the last two weeks I had a chance to record a couple tracks for Attack With Care, a straight-ahead rock outfit led by a good friend of mine, Tom Esch.

I recently finished mastering Sad Face’s debut record, Gosh Darn. The Sad Face fellas have a genuine solid record on their hands, and I am grateful to have been brought on board.

Yesterday we started work on a couple songs of the the talented Portland based singer songwriter, Avery D. Hill.  Avery’s got a lovely voice, and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a vintage Sony C37 tube mic for the session, which really loved her voice!

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Racer Sessions Compilation Record

This week we began recording some of the artists for a forthcoming Racer Sessions compilation, which will be released on Table & Chairs. The album will showcase pieces written and performed by Racer Sessions curators over the past year; most of the curators are joined by special musical guests. The pieces are extremely varied, and very cool! It’ll be a great way to check out what the Racer Sessions are all about!

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Bad Luck in Studio

Last weekend Bad Luck recorded a track here at BOOM! for their forthcoming second album, to be released later this year on Table & Chairs. You can check out a video of it on my videos page. I’m excited to get to work on the rest of their new record!

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The road less traveled: choosing dynamics over loudness

Over the holiday break I’ve been re-reading Bob Katz’s excellent book, Mastering Audio, the Art and the Science. This book was recommended to me a few years ago by a mastering engineer friend, and at the time it was way over my head.  This time around, however, I have found that by simply reading the book, my ears have become more aware of the various sonic happenings in recorded music.  It’s a similar sort of ear-opening experience as learning a new aspect of music theory: once you’re exposed to a new type of chord change or scale, or what have you, suddenly you begin to hear it in the music you’ve been listening to for years.

I’ve been attempting to incorporate Katz’s calibrated monitor system for some time now, but this most recent reading of his book has led me to re-arrange my whole control room setup!  Granted, I’m working with limited space, so whichever arrangment I choose necessarily involves some sort of spacial or sonic comprimise.  I decided to try out setting-up my room more like a mastering studio than a tracking studio.  My first impression: huge improvement!  I was able to get the monitors away from the wall, and increase the size of the monitor “triangle” in my listening position.  The result is better stereo imaging, as well as a better sense of 3D imaging…suddenly I can hear more clearly what my reverb is actually doing in the mix….

Well this has all been in the midst of mixing the forthcoming Agogic record, to be released on Table and Chairs.  Perhaps not the greatest idea to switch up your monitoring environment in the middle of a project…but I think that the end result will certainly benefit!

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OK, this little site is definitely a work in progress, so bear with me!

DYNO JAMZ!  Over the last year, in the midst of a major home renovation project, and while trying to construct my studio, I produced a record with a fine young group of UW students, Dyno Jamz (  We did some overdubs and mixing at my personal studio; the fellas from Dyno Jamz were very patient and understanding about the fact that my studio was in various stages of construction at the time…Well today is their big CD release show at Chop Suey, and they’ll be having a number of guests appear on stage (myself included), including the fabulous Jared Douglas, whom I’ve recorded a fair amount over the past couple of years.  You can check out a couple of samples from the Dyno Jamz record HERE.

In other news, while unfinished, BOOM! is up and running.  I had the pleasure of recording Agogic (Luke Bergman, Evan Woodle, Cuong Vu and Andrew D’Angelo) for their forthcoming debut album.  We’ll be mixing that record in the weeks to come, which should be pretty sick.

I’m finishing mixes for a three tracks I recorded with Operation I.D. in October.  Theirs was the inaugural full-band tracking session in BOOM!  The three tracks I recorded will be featured on a forthcoming record, alongside three tracks recorded by the talented Hamilton Boyce, and another three recorded by Heatwarmer’s own Luke Bergman.

Speaking of Heatwarmer, recently we recorded drums for some new Heatwarmer material here at BOOM!  Check it out!

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