Creating Trivium’s “SHOGUN”

Sound Kitchen: Home of the Big Boy was chosen by Nick Raskulinecz as the venue to track the new Trivium record. It was my first time meeting Nick in Nashville, and I was thrilled about it. Nick requested that I bring my pair of Lynx II synchronizers so we could utilize a tape machine for tracking.

Situated just south of Nashville in Cool Springs, Sound Kitchen was a sprawling complex with multiple studios. Despite being put up in an extended stay hotel, there wasn’t much to explore in the immediate area.

Our setup at the studio began with the impressive API Legacy console, which was then the largest ever built. It boasted plenty of flexibility and features, including dynamics on every channel and API EQs.

During setup, Travis attempted to incorporate his triggers for the drum setup, but I reassured him that they wouldn’t be necessary. With our drum tech extraordinaire, Jon Nicholson, from Los Angeles onboard, we were in good hands. Jon was familiar with our preferences and knew exactly what needed to be done.Once the drum kit was dialed in and all 33 microphones were carefully placed around it, Travis took his place on the drum throne and started hitting the kick drum. He was taken aback by the tone, attack, and weight of each kick drum, exclaiming, “Those are my kick drums?”

After settling on our recording setup, we decided to track a segment of a song both to tape and Pro Tools. Following careful comparison and discussion, Nick ultimately chose to proceed with Pro Tools at 96k. With our plan solidified, Nick was eager to dive into tracking.

Once the drums were recorded, we shifted our focus to laying down the main guitar overdubs. Matt and Corey had an impressive collection of Peavey amps, including the 5150, 5150 block, 6505, and 6505 Plus, which were crucial for achieving their signature tone. With most of the guitar parts tracked, I relocated to another studio to collaborate closely with Corey on his guitar solos.

Trivium. Image by Paul Michael Hughes.

Working alongside Corey was a revelation. His mastery of the guitar, especially his command of the fretboard, was truly impressive. As a fellow guitarist, I found myself deeply impressed by his skill and technique.

As we approached the end of the recording process, we were tasked with uploading a song for Colin Richardson to mix. We streamlined the track as much as possible and created a compressed file for upload, which turned out to be a hefty 4 gigabytes. Our dedicated assistant, Ben Terry, worked tirelessly through the night to ensure the successful upload.

Throughout the recording process, we switched studios a couple of times, starting in the API room, then moving to a Neve VR room, and eventually settling into an SSL room for vocals and additional guitar solos. As my time in Tennessee drew to a close, on my last day, I packed up with my unused Lynx II in hand and bid farewell to Nick, Ben, Travis, Matt, Corey, and Paolo.

Since its release, Shogun has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide.[21] In the United States in its first week of release sold 24,000 copies and debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart,[22] and the top 100 in 18 other countries, including number 6 on the Japanese international charts, number 4 on the Canadian Hard Rock Charts, number 1 on the UK rock charts and number 4 on the Australian charts

Capturing Creativity: The Story of ‘Amputechture’ Recording Sessions

Helping engineer The Mars Volta’s “Amputechture” record was an exciting endeavor. In late fall 2005, I received a call from Mars Volta’s management, asking for assistance in giving Jon Debaun long time engineer some time off from the band, as they had just finished coming off a lengthy tour. In December, I met up with Jon in Silverlake at The Paramour Estate, where the band planned to stay and work on their record at their leisure.

Jon and I set up multiple combo amps and cabinets in what used to be the stable house, now transformed into a carpeted living space. Carefully, we mic’d everything up to explore various flavor options and ran all sorts of cables into the makeshift control room. The control room comprised of the mobile protools rig, a rack of high-quality compressors, and atop that rack, a small Neve console. While I’m certain it was not a Neve BCM 10, it certainly resembled a Neve Kelso, boasting exceptional pres for tracking guitars, bass, or any instrument, really.

All of Jon Theodore’s drums appeared to have already been tracked at Sage and Sound. I spent about a week with Omar and Cedric, focusing on angular guitar parts and creating sections for other instruments in the band, and then capturing vocal ideas. I distinctly recall a memorable field trip to the Virgin Record store in Hollywood with Henry Trejo in his Mini Cooper—a delightful journey accompanied by Omar. After some shopping, we returned to Silverlake to wrap up the day’s work.

As New Year’s Eve approached, Omar and the crew arranged an impromptu party with a DJ. It was a fantastic way to conclude the week in the makeshift studio, indulging in tequila and welcoming 2006 with enthusiasm! The Record was Amputechture.

My Time with Stone Sour on Audio Secrecy

It all began with a call from Nick Raskulinecz that set the stage for an unforgettable journey into the heart of music-making. “Hey,” he said, “we’re going to do a new Stone Sour record at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.” The excitement in his voice was evident, and I knew I was about to embark on something special.

Nick was already knee-deep in pre-production with the band when I joined the fray. The decision to rent a sprawling house in Heritage near Mt Juliet for our rehearsal space was a smart move. It provided the perfect backdrop for the band to dive deep into their music, allowing them to explore every nook and cranny of their song ideas. The band and Nick were compiling more options for the label, ensuring they had a solid foundation to build upon.

This would be my first time recording at Blackbird, and Blackbird Studios was a haven for music enthusiasts, thanks to owner John McBride’s impressive collection of vintage gear. Nick and I were like kids in a candy store, raiding the gear locker for treasures like the Neve Racks of 1073’s, Vintage API, Helios, and even my first encounter with the Shadow Hills mic pres. It was a playground of sonic possibilities, and we were determined to make the most of it. Nick was adamant about having U67s on all of Roy Mayorga’s toms!

Our setup in Studio D was nothing short of epic, boasting the largest API Legacy built with a whopping 96 channels. As the band loaded in, we dove headfirst into the intricacies of our setup, ensuring every piece of equipment was in perfect working order.

Taking the luxury of time, we meticulously listened to and experimented with every microphone and preamp combination available. This allowed us to finely tune the guitar and bass sounds in collaboration with Jim Root, Josh Rand, and Shawn Economaki. Each day was a testament to our dedication, filled with long hours of hard work. But more importantly, it was an invaluable opportunity to not only explore all the sonic possibilities but also to deepen our understanding of each band member’s preferences and style.

One moment that stands out vividly in my memory is when Roy Mayorga was tracking drums. In the midst of a particularly intense take, his drumstick slipped from his hand and ended up lodged in the grooves of the room treatment, all the way across from his drum set. We couldn’t help but burst into laughter at the absurdity of it all. We took it as a sign of good fortune and left the stick in place for the rest of the recording, a quirky reminder of the magic that happens when creativity and spontaneity collide.

Amidst the whirlwind of recording sessions, troubleshooting, and late-night backups, I found a true companion in Nathan Yarborough, our dependable assistant. His steadfast support and camaraderie added an extra layer of warmth to our journey. Additionally, a standout presence was Jim Root’s guitar tech, Martin Conner, whose mastery in keeping all guitars in perfect intonation, tuning guitars or basses, and occasional comic relief, made a significant difference.

Working with Stone Sour on “Audio Secrecy” was more than just a job – it was a labor of love, a reuniting with touring mates, and a testament to the power of music to inspire.

Music from the Hole: Crafting Holloys “Nowhere is Now Here”

Once upon a time in the vibrant music scene of Los Angeles, there existed a band called Bluebird, known for their organic sound and amazing live shows. After seven years of playing with the intense energy of Amen, I found myself joining this eclectic group. Bluebird took me on a journey unlike anything I had experienced before – no tour buses, but a van we all took turns driving all over the US.

We traveled the world with our DIY attitude, playing alongside amazing bands and soaking in the diverse musical landscapes. But as life tends to do, our paths eventually diverged, leading me to focus on my time at Sound City.

However, the story of music is one of constant evolution and collaboration. As I ventured into freelance work, my brothers in Bluebird, Jim and Bryan Brown, embarked on a new musical project called Holloys.

The project took shape in a compound nestled in Echo Park, where the Browns had their rehearsal space affectionately dubbed “The Hole.” It was a humble setting, but within those walls, magic was created.

Holloys was Jim’s vision, a project that begged to be fleshed out and brought to life. When they reached out to me for help with the recordings, I couldn’t resist joining them on this musical adventure.

With limited resources but boundless creativity, we pieced together a makeshift recording setup. My trusty editing rig, a powerful Mac Pro, along with a Digi 002 and an Alesis AI3 became our tools for capturing the raw energy of Holloys.

This was a magical time, the lineup consisting of Derek Wood handling synth duties, and the extremely talented late Alvin Deguzman (The Icarus Line) on additional bass. We put a lot of work into this record called “Nowhere is Now Here.” Eventually Jon Gonelli (The Rye Coalition) would send his guitar parts form the UK, the final touches to this amazing record. Jim just recently created a video for “We are Powers,” an exciting visual interpretation of our music.

Jim continues to create, and if you get a chance, check out his new musical venture ‘Coyotes on Peyote’. The spirit of Holloys lives on, forever echoing through the halls of time.

Brand new amazing video from Holloys

Behind the Scenes: Producing Stavesacre’s “MCMXCV (1995)”

Stavesacre four sided vinyl!!!

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, my journey through the local alternative and punk music scene introduced me to the talented drummer Sam West. Sam and I shared a passion for music, and together in these bands we embarked on tours across the United States, creating cherished memories along the way. Our musical paths converged when we became the backing band for H.R. of Bad Brains for touring on his west coast for the “Charge” record.

Fast forward to 2016, Sam reached out to reconnect over a beer at a gastropub on Wilshire. Our reunion sparked a conversation about my work at Sound City and as a freelance engineer, leading Sam to propose an exciting opportunity: producing the new Stavesacre record. I eagerly accepted the challenge, seeing it as a chance to elevate my skills in the production space I shared with Jim Rota at Angel City Drum Works in Burbank, affectionately dubbed Underbrow.

Underbrow warehouse: Mic placements, one of my most favorite things to do
Underbrow warehouse: The set up, tracking into the night

Underbrow warehouse: Drum overdubs with Sam West

Meeting with Ryan Dennee and Jeff Bellew, we collaborated on demos and arrangements at Sam’s out-of-town retreat before transitioning to Underbrow to begin recording. Equipped with my trusty 32-channel Sound Workshop Series 34b recording console and a selection of outboard gear including Shadow Hill and Aurora GT2Q mic pres, we meticulously crafted each track, starting with drums and then moving on to guitars.

Moving the Sound Workshop Series 34b into Underbrow. Full install by FIG
Underbrow: At the helm Sound Workshop Series 34b w Pro Acs, NS10s, and Aventone Mix cubes
Underbrow: Jeff digging into main guitar tracking Gibson SG
Underbrow: Ryan in honing in on the Gibson SG
Jeff Bellew and Custom Tele Deluxe with P90s

For the guitar sessions, I had the pleasure of utilizing the Bogner Goldfinger 45 amp, which added a unique flavor reminiscent of a Vox AC30, alongside my vintage Marshall JMP. With Ryan and Jeff experimenting with different tones and textures, we sculpted the sonic landscape of the record.

Secret weapon Bogner Goldfinger
Main guitar flavors Bogner Shiva, and Marshall JMP
Underbrow: Ryan Dennee rocking Custom Strat with Lace Hot Golds

Despite bassist Dirk residing in Atlanta, we kept him involved by sending rough mixes, allowing him to prepare for his recording sessions in Los Angeles. Over four intense days, Dirk laid down bass tracks for all twelve songs, including covers of SIA’s “Breathe Me” and Radiohead’s “Burn the Witch.”

Underbrow: Dirk Lemmenes tracking bass
Ear break and getting some sunshine with 4/5th of Stavesacre

The final piece of the puzzle was recording vocals with Mark Salomon, whom I hadn’t seen since his days in the thrash band The Crucified. Though tracking vocals for a pile of songs can be daunting, Mark rose to the occasion, delivering captivating performances over eight consecutive days.

Underbrow: Mark Saloman in the house!!!
Underbrow warehouse:Mark prepping the singers for Gang vocals on The Tower
Underbrow: Mark Salomon

Throughout the recording process, we welcomed guest musicians, including Sam’s son Cameron West on French horns and Mark’s niece Hayley Brownell contributing vocals, adding depth and richness to the album’s sound.

Underbrow: Pick up switching during a tracking performance, and Sam

As the record took shape, we experimented with new guitar melodies and flavors, with each member of the band stepping up to deliver their best performances. Despite the challenges, the camaraderie, laughter, and shared passion for music made the experience unforgettable.

Stavesacre lists!!!

The culmination of our efforts resulted in the release of “MCMXCV (1995)” on vinyl, a testament to the dedication and creativity of everyone involved. I am immensely proud of this record and grateful for the friendships forged during its creation.

Stavesacre hangs!
Underbrow: Diving into keys with Sam West
Underbrow warehouse: Sam West on the chrome Ludwig Octo plus kit
Underbrow: Sweet machine! GIbson Firebird overdubs with Ryan Dennee
Me and Ryan working hard

From Tragedy to Triumph: My Unforgettable Experience with Shadows Fall

Back in 2001, while on tour with my band Amen across Canada, our tour met up with our friends Shadows Fall and new band God Forbid for a string of dates in the US. Those days were filled with camaraderie and new friendships, making it a tour I’ll always cherish. Little did I know, it would also mark one of the most memorable tours of my life.

Arriving at the venue in Illinois, I was called into the back lounge of our tour bus along with Sonny Mayo, my bandmate. The news that followed would change my life forever: my mother had passed away. Shock and disbelief gripped me as I grappled with the extreme weight of those words, especially while on tour. Bill Fold, our tour manager and friend, swiftly arranged for me to fly out of Chicago Midway to be with family and face this unexpected tragedy.

Before departing, I made my way into the venue to share the news with everyone and receive their condolences. The tour with Amen came to an abrupt halt, and I headed home to navigate the difficult days ahead.

Six years later, after honing my skills at Sound City and paying my dues, a surprising twist occurred when Nick Raskulinecz reached out with news that Shadows Fall had signed to Atlantic Records. We were tasked with recording their new album, “Threads of Life.” The prospect of reuniting with old friends and tracking at Studio 606 filled me with excitement

Upon arrival at the studio, we wasted no time setting up for tracking. Drums, cymbals, guitars, amps, and cabinets filled the space, along with a shipment of Coors Light – a pallet to be exact – an essential companion for the hardworking musician.

Our focus turned to dialing in the sound on the 8058 Neve desk with an inline monitoring system, along with a Neve BCM10 ensuring Jason Bittner’s double kick drum kit was ready to rock. Jason’s dedication to his craft was evident as he meticulously prepared his setup, embodying the spirit of an athlete in his approach to drumming.

Next came the electric guitars, with a variety of amps including Krank Krankenstein, Budda, ENGL, Mesa Boogie and of course, Marshalls, filling the control room. Matt had an array of Ibanez guitars at his disposal, while Jon favored his Washburn. I vividly recall the day Jon’s signature series guitar arrived – a moment of celebration that reflected his excitement and passion for music.

Of course, there were challenges along the way, like the day Jon struggled through a hangover while recording an intricate clean section that refused to stay in tune. Hours were spent fine-tuning and perfecting the sound, but his dedication prevailed, showcasing his resilience and commitment to the music.

As Nick focused on tracking bass with Romanko and Fair’s vocals, while I took on the task of cleaning up drums and guitars, we worked tirelessly alongside Shadows Fall, proud to play a part in their journey and help bring their vision to life. Recording this amazing metal album with such talented musicians and friends will always be an experience I’ll treasure.

Unfortunately, this predates my iPhone days, and I don’t have any stills from this early session. However, I invite you to enjoy these captivating ‘Making of’ videos from Shadows Fall in 2007, offering a glimpse into our creative process

Echoes of Resilience: Recording Alice In Chains’ ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’

In 2008, when producer Nick Raskulinecz, called me up and asked if I’d be interested in working on an Alice In Chains record, I was beyond thrilled. Being a huge fan of the band, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. The story Nick shared with me about how he got involved with the band, hearing the demo of “Check My Brain” and immediately jumping on board, was just the beginning of an incredible journey.

Dialing in the drum set-Bock 251s for Overheads at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss

We set up shop at Studio 606, while the band wrapped up last-minute pre-production. Meeting the legendary members – Sean Kinney, Mike Inez, and Jerry Cantrell (with his scraggly beard), along with the new vocalist William Duvall – was a surreal experience. As we geared up for drum tracking, the excitement in the room was undeniable.

Mic’ing up Jerry or acoustic guitar overdubs at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss

With the basics laid down – drums, scratch tracks, guitars, and bass – we delved into capturing Jerry Cantrell’s signature guitar sound. We pulled out all of his amps and cabinets and began the mic’ing process. After hours of mic adjustments and blending amps, we knew we were onto something special, between his iconic Les Pauls and the two G&L Rampages named “Porno” and “No War,” we had something!

Jerry Cantrell  adding wah guitar at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss

I’ll never forget the moment Jerry plugged in and started playing. His signature chugging riffs filled the room, and when he turned around with that characteristic surly look, only to break into a smile, I knew we were on the right track.

Jerry Cantrell Digging in on main guitar overdubs at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss

The recording process was long and arduous, but incredibly rewarding. Building a relationship with Jerry, Sean, Mike, and William, a band I’d admired for so long, was a dream come true. As we poured our hearts and souls into the music, there was a poignant sense of starting anew while also honoring the memory of their late bandmate, Layne Staley.

A personal highlight of my life having a birthday break with AIC at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss
Bass break with Mike Inez and his Moonburst at 606 Photo: Todd Shuss

We began recording in early fall at Grohl’s Studio 606 and later moved to Henson Studio B to add final touches – guitars, tablas, vibraphones – and record vocals. It was during one of these emotional vocal sessions, as Jerry started singing the title track “Black Gives Way to Blue,” that I witnessed something truly remarkable.

Percussion overdubs at Henson Studio B Photo: Todd Shuss
Listening  back. Henson Studio B Photo: Todd Shuss
Me and Raskulinecz really feeling William Duvall’s performance at Henson Studio B Photo: Todd Shuss

Surrounded by Nick and Sean at the console, Jerry’s heartfelt delivery brought tears to our eyes. The raw emotion and personal significance behind every word were undeniable. When Jerry needed a moment to compose himself, it was a powerful reminder of the deep connection to the words being sung about their late friend.

Lightening things up at Henson Studio B Photo: Todd Shuss

The record’s eventual certification as gold in February 2010 was not just a testament to its commercial success but also a confirmation that Alice In Chains had indeed risen from the ashes of tragedy, emerging stronger and more vibrant than ever before. It was an honor to be part of this journey, and I’ll always cherish the memories we created in the studio, crafting music that touched the hearts of fans around the world. Being part of the making of such an important record with such an amazing band, who I would now proudly call my friends, added an extra layer of significance to the experience. The bond forged through the creative process, the shared moments of inspiration, and the mutual respect for each other’s craft have solidified our connection beyond the confines of the studio. Working with Alice In Chains not only enriched my professional career but also enriched my life, leaving an indelible mark.

Alice in Chains EPK-Black Gives Way to Blue

Unleashing the Beast: Inside Ironaut’s EP Recording Session

Ironaut EP

In 2015, as I settled into our new production space shared with Jim Rota of Fireball Ministry, I was introduced to the stoner thrash band Ironaut. Recognizing my ability to elevate bands’ sound through recording, Jim suggested me to Ironaut as the perfect fit for their project. They were in search of a producer for their debut EP, and I was more than eager to lend a hand and give them the professional treatment they deserved in our newly combined production space.

I met Erik Kluiber, Ivan Najor, and Patrick McHugh at ABC Rehearsal in North Hollywood. They showcased the tracks they planned to record, and though few notes were needed, it was clear that their music was both progressive and heavy, promising an exciting session ahead.

At that time, Jim had this awesome Aurora Sidecar with 10 fantastic mic pre/EQ modules, and I had my trusty Sound Workshop 1280B console. We also had a handful of extra pres and compressors to work with. It was just enough to get the job done.

Early days of Underbrow Production Space

Upon their arrival at Underbrow, I struck a deal with Angel City Drum Works to equip Ivan with a recording kit, which we promptly set up in the Angel City Drum Works warehouse. I meticulously isolated the three guitar cabinets in the small tracking booth adjoining my control room, while simultaneously wiring up the bass DI and SansAmp. Our setup was fine-tuned for their three-piece configuration, and once they were comfortable with their individual mixes, we dove straight into the fray.

The band’s relentless rehearsals and local performances leading up to our session paid off as we swiftly made our way through recording the five-song EP. Any minor slip-ups were promptly addressed, ensuring a polished result while still retaining the rawness and grit of the band. On our second day, I encouraged Patrick to double all his guitar parts, going as far as tripling some of his solos to add depth and texture to the tracks.

As we transitioned to vocals, it became evident that this was Erik’s first time singing for a band, let alone recording. However, he rose to the occasion admirably, and over the next few evenings, we captured his vocals with precision and finesse. Meanwhile, I prepped the tracks for mixing, which proceeded just as efficiently as the recording process.

Working with Ironaut fostered a deep sense of mutual respect and camaraderie. Through our shared passion for music, we forged not only a successful professional relationship but also a lasting friendship. I am proud to count Jim Rota and Ironaut among my friends in this unpredictable yet exhilarating music business journey.

Fuzz Fever: The Making of Fuzz Evil’s “High on You”

Gem of a record “High On You”

After completing my work with Fireball Ministry, Jim Rota recommended a band to me for their upcoming record. They were seeking a producer/engineer, but at the time, I was committed to my duties in Seattle on Alice in Chains’ “Rainier Fog.” Despite my busy schedule, I managed to find some time to explore this potential future project. Upon contacting Wayne and Joey Rudell, the core of the band Fuzz Evil from Bisbee, Arizona, and reviewing their previous works, I was thoroughly impressed by their solid songs. With Jim Rota’s endorsement backing them, I made the decision to take on the project.

Pre production at Underbrow

Over the next few months, Fuzz Evil, the three-piece stoner doom band with pop aesthetics, shared demos and performance videos of their new material with me. I meticulously reviewed each song, carefully noting their strengths and weaknesses, and engaged in numerous phone discussions with the band regarding arrangements and parts. As we neared completion of the demos, I arranged for us to record live at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 for two days, with the goal of capturing as much as possible before returning to my production studio, Underbrow, located at Angel City Drum Works.

FIG’S Sound Workshop Series 34B custom center section

Our pre-production sessions at Underbrow involved the band rehearsing in my compact tracking room to refine Orgo Martinez’s drum parts, ensuring they were focused and impactful for our Studio 606 session. Fuzz Evil’s infectious sense of humor provided moments of levity amidst our intense work.

606 with Sound City Neve 8028

Upon our arrival at Studio 606, we wasted no time and immediately began tracking drums, bass, and guitar. Orgo selected a custom DW kit from Angel City to record with, while I set up my preferred microphones for tracking. With the legendary Sound City desk contributing to our sound, we efficiently recorded the bulk of the material within hours, including doubling the guitar tracks after comping our best takes.

Joey and Orgo during live tracking

The following day, we concluded our Studio 606 session, having completed the last two songs as planned and packed it all up. Upon returning to Underbrow, we seamlessly transitioned into overdubs and vocals. Equipped with my 32-io HDX Pro Tools rig, mix rack, alongside the Sound Workshop Series 34 console, and custom Yamaha PM1000, we had three days to finalize the project

Orgo crushing drums

The ensuing days at Underbrow were a whirlwind of creativity and camaraderie, with jokes punctuating our intense focus on perfecting each song. One memorable moment occurred when I demonstrated a guitar idea to Wayne, which ended up being incorporated into the record after he was impressed by my impromptu atonal doodle.

Underbrow- Sound Workshop Series 34B and Yamaha PM1000

I cherished the dynamic energy of working with Fuzz Evil, a young and highly focused band, both in crafting an excellent record and forging a lasting friendship.

Behind the Scenes on the Deadland Ritual Sessions

My experience working with some of my earliest heroes during the Deadland Ritual sessions with Greg Fidelman was remarkable. It all began when Fidelman approached me to engineer a live tracking gig at Henson Studios (formerly A&M) with legends Geezer Butler, Steve Stevens, and Matt Sorum. 

Being able to work with Geezer Butler and Steve Stevens was nothing short of mind-blowing. In my early teens, I immersed myself in the music of Black Sabbath and Steve Stevens captivated me with his solo work. And of course, Matt Sorum – known for his role in Guns N’ Roses – brought his own unique energy to the session.

Working alongside Greg Fidelman is always a learning experience. He constantly shares invaluable Pro Tools tips and tricks for streamlining studio workflows, pushing me to keep up with his blistering pace.

Henson Studio B SSL G+

After securing the sidecar in Studio B, (now boasting a Neve BCM setup)  complemented by Fidelman’s preferred mic pres, (alongside the revered SSL 4000 G+) we were ready to rock! When Geezer, Stevens, and Sorum delved into the music I felt like a teenager again. The performances we captured were breathtaking, sounding release-ready straight from the board.

Henson Studio B Some outboard gear to dial in our sounds

I vividly recall a moment in one particular tune when Greg and the band debated whether to use a click track or let the band play freely. We experimented with different tempos, frantically jumping around the massive timeline. Eventually, we settled on a tempo, and the band began to track.

Henson Studio B, a U67 never a bad idea

Halfway through, I realized with a sinking feeling that I had recorded under the wrong tempo. I was panicking but I knew I had to deal with the mistake. I cornered Greg outside the control room, I’m sure I was sweating and radiating my guilt about my blunder. 

Henson Studio B, Steve Stevens pedalboard for tracking

Greg remained calm as I explained what had happened. I admitted that my admiration for these musicians meant that I had never felt so nervous working with a band before. To my relief, Greg handled the situation with good grace.

After that uncomfortable moment, I forced myself to stay focused and ended up learning to navigate unexpected challenges that might arise in the studio environment. It was a valuable lesson in professionalism and the importance of remaining calm under pressure.

Henson Studio B, SSL G+, Yamaha NS 10s

Other than my brief almost-disaster, the session progressed smoothly. I walked away with a newfound appreciation for the power of collaboration and the self-control required to overcome setbacks during high-profile, high-pressure sessions.