The old Yamaha mixer finally died, and it's replacement brings the studio a major step forward. The Tascam DM-4800 is a 48 channel, all digital, fully automated mixing console, which also interfaces to the Mac as an audio interface and control surface.
Three new mics were added this year also, including a new bass drum mic- a dual element Audio Technica.
Mixing on the new World Citizen CD "The 2nd Time" is almost complete.
The start of 2007 brings us close to the studios 10 year aniversary. A big music party is being planned for this summer in the barn loft (of course). The event will be recording live to the HD24 digital recorder, and a live CD mixed from the event. The barn loft has produced some excellent stereo recordings of music parties in the past, but this will be the start of a new era- live digital multitrack, with each musician on his own track for later mixing. The addition of a larger 2nd hard drive to the HD24 brings the capability to record 6 hours straight, freeing me to concentrate on playing and live sound once basic levels are set.
This has also opened up some great possibilities for other groups to come in and recorded high fidelity, full volume live performances in a good sounding enviroment, and discussions have started with a couple of local bands.
2006 brought a lot of changes to the studio. With the death of the old tape-based ADAT system, machines were borrowed (thanks, Jerry!) and all the past World Citizen recordings and solo projects were transfered to a borrowed ADAT HD24 hard disk recordr, and then transfered to a big new hard drive installed on the studio's computer network. The borrowed HD24 stayed around for a few months last winter, and World Citizen got a good start on a new set of recordings. The HD24 fit into the existing studio setup so nicely (what with the BRC, ethernet and optical connections) that one was added to the studio in the late summer of '06. This really rounds out the studio's cabibilities, with 24 tracks of 24bit 48k audio, direct transfer to the computer system for processing, further overdubs / tracks if needed, etc. The bands winter recordings have been transfered back onto the HD24, and final vocal and solo tracks are being completed.
What was started in 1996 as a recording project by Ryk Weiss (guitar/vocals) became a band as the first World Citizen CD "No Borders" was released to good reviews in 1997. Dave Sternquist joined the live group on bass, guitar, and harmony vocals as the group began performing. Currently performing as a three piece ensemble, the addition of drummer Drew Selim in 2004 has given the group additional jazz influences, as well as a strong sense of groove.
The group continues to perform mainly original songs, with scattered covers by such varied artists as Bob Dylan, King Crimson, and the Beatles. The group's music is a blend of American folk, rock, blues, and jazz with various world music influences, using electric and acoustic sounds. World Citizen is currently finishing their untitled second CD, and continues to perform at art festivals, museums, and various other venues.
After getting a .com site (dsmtoday.com) pretty much automated, the studio had a fun spring/summer. The band (World Citizen) is practicing a lot, getting ready for performances, and taping for demo purposes. The acoustic version of the group started playing in July.
The barn loft turned out
to be very functional for recording, both acoustic and loud electric. Cold weather
has shut it down for the winter season, of course.
Edmunds Fine Arts school from Des Moines brought up their 3 steel drum bands for recording late in the spring, and mixing has been completed on the 10-song project. They plan on pressing discs soon to sell at their many area performances. It was fun to work with such a skilled group of young performers.
A unique blend of traditional native American music with modern influences.The duo has completed a CD of original songs and chants, and I'm now burning some CD's for them.
Jason recently completed a 4-song CD, and I burned more than a dozen for promotional use.
Based in Ogden, Ia., the group has been in the studio twice recently working on material for a demo. They've completed four originals, and are writing additional material.
Winner of Sledghammer's battle of the bands in Boone, Ia., the group spent some additional time in the studio and completed four tracks, burned onto a demo CD. They play a driving, ska influenced style with two horn players.
From the Story City area, they completed 9 tracks in late '98, and we burned a 25+ minute CD for them.
(with frankie pf)
The group completed instrumental tracking on their current project "Minutes from Anywhere" and Greg did a number of lead vocals and solo overdubs. Greg brought several backing vocalists to the studio, the most recent being Yawo, former bassist for the group, currently with Daliho. Drummer/percussionist Jeff Worrall has also been in to do drum set on several tunes. Greg has finished tracking the last of the lead vocals at Great Plains (in Des Moines), and is having a friend mix tracks at his home studio.
Earth Mothers Majimba Band
Came in early June to began work on their 2nd CD, tentativly titled "Intergalactic Dream Tour". They're enjoying working in a no-pressure atmosphere,and will be going for a "live in the studio" approach with few overdubs. Some work may be recorded in the "loft", the open upper level in the barn which also has 12 mic lines running to it for just such projects. Unfortunately, a sickness in the group has upset current plans.
State Fair Singers and Jazz Band
Burned on the studio CD-R drive was a complilation from the 1997 State Fair Jazz Band, a 17-piece group that along with 20 State Fair Singers tours the state of Iowa during the summer giving performances, along with a residence at the Iowa State Fair. I toured as sound technician again in 1998, mixing FOH at a different venue each day, and had consulted with the organization that spring as they updated their mixing console. The '98 tour was mixed on a Soundcraft K3 Theater board, with mute automation. Had a fun time. I burned a large number (130+) of CD-R Audio discs for members of the cast.