I had the pleasure of working with some true professionals yesterday in a world-class studio. The Bridge Sound and Stage is a facility that leaves you wanting nothing. The instant you hear anything, footsteps, conversation, a door close, your ears tell you that studio A was built to capture great sounds. The mix of textures, the lack of parallel surfaces and the sheer size makes this a room engineered for sound. Their collection of mics is unmatched and the selection of gear is staggering.
A studio and all it’s gear is worthless, however, if you lack someone to pull it all together. Engineers must have technical knowledge, or they wouldn’t be engineers. The geniuses of this field have technical chops, an intimate knowledge of the room, the gear and the instruments and related kit, as well as an intuitive sense of the creative process to really capture the musical concepts as they are meant to be heard. Alex Allinson is one of the few that fits that category.
Most of the material for my upcoming release has not be performed with bands I’ve been working with, so my choice for musicians was unconstrained by previous relationships and significantly narrowed by the variety of genres thrown into the salad bowl of my musical influences. For rhythm section players, the choices were pretty easy. Rick Plourde is as solid and versatile a bass player as you’ll find. Joey Pafumi has been the percussive foundation of countless local projects and a veteran of touring and studio work.
When you put it all together, tuned up, dialed in and ready to go, it becomes apparent: there’s no place to hide. You’re going to get what you give. Sure. In some genres you can band aid sloppiness with quantizing or autotune, but if you want to capture the organic feel of music, you’ve got to get it right.
We set up and had every channel tweeked and ready to go. The moment of truth came when we stepped to to the control room to hear the first playback. It’s a great feeling when what was in your head is now coming back at you with crystal-clear precision.
We ripped out 5 tunes worth of basic tracks and every one reinforced the thought that I had made all the right choices on this project. We have another session of rhythm tracks coming up and I expect to be working on overdubs by the end of June. I haven’t committed to a release date yet, but stay tuned.