Future Music visits two artists I really like. If you don’t know what Vitalic or Boys Noize sounds like check them out for some real fun. I remember performing in the south of France about 6 months before most people heard Vitalic’s song Pony. I was at soundcheck and the DJ was using it to test the system. I stopped and said ah yes this is going to be so big. It’s fun when you get a chance to hear things before they “happen”.
“Pascal Arbez better known by his stage name Vitalic (born in 1976) is an electronic music artist. He was born in France. Alexander Ridha (born in 1982 in Hamburg), better known by his stage name Boys Noize, is a German electronic music producer and DJ.” – Wikipedia
Portishead is one of the bands I really love because they sound like Portishead. Nothing else really sounds like they do and to top it off they sound great. Dark, romantic and painful. Right up my alley. The cherry on top is they use a lot of real analog synths. Band member Adrian Utley shows us some of what they have in the video above.
“Portishead are a band formed in 1991 in Bristol, England. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name, 13 km (8 mi) west of Bristol. Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on Dummy and Portishead.” – Wikipedia
Watch the Rolling Stones record Sympathy for the Devil. There’s a lot of magic happening in bedroom project studios these days but I wish more productions were still created like this.
“Sympathy for the Devil is also the title of a producer’s edit of a 1968 film by Jean-Luc Godard whose own original version is called One Plus One. The film, a depiction of the late 1960s American counterculture, also featured the Rolling Stones in the process of recording the song in the studio.” – DRJVancouver
I’m almost finished putting together my next recording studio. The new space has a huge wall of windows. In these summer months it feels like the sun is five feet away. I installed huge grey opaque curtains. They are quite dramatic in the all white room. It’s almost like if I pull them back there will be an audience sitting there waiting for me to play. It got me thinking that I should name this studio “The Grey Curtain”. So here’s my question: Do you name your recording studios?
“Complementary colors are defined to mix to grey, either additively or subtractively, and many color models place complements opposite each other in a color wheel. To produce grey in RGB displays, the R, G, and B primary light sources are combined in proportions equal to that of the white point. In four-color printing, greys are produced either by the black channel, or by an approximately equal combination of CMY primaries. Images which consist wholly of neutral colors are called monochrome, black-and-white or greyscale.” – Wikipedia
How about this for your music studio? Let’s say you have a small house but enough room for one of these Archipods in your backyard? I’m not sure if they can make a soundproof version or how the round walls would effect acoustics. About $40,000.
“‘The Pod’ is an insulated sphere of approx. 3m in diameter. Constructed predominantly from timber, the world’s most replenishable construction material, insulated to a standard exceeding that of current Building Regulations. The structure is prefabricated in sections small enough to be carried through a house. So no matter where you live, we’ll be able to get the ‘Pod’ onto your site. Because of its unique shape and the generous natural light from the roof dome, the ‘Pod’ actually looks bigger on the inside than the outside.” – archipod.com
The nhow is a hotel in the center of Berlin on the Spree river. Why would I be posting information about a hotel on Wire to the Ear? Well this hotel has two recording studios in it available to guests. Not only that Gibson guitars are available to use through room service. Most musicians need really cheap rooms and Berlin is one of the cities where you can find nice hotel rooms for less than a hundred euros. The nhow hotel is going for 174 euro per night so if you stay get your studio time in to make it worth it. I like this idea and there should be hotels for any type of person no? Video game hotels, cat people hotels, etc… Let’s hope this nhow hotel has sound proof rooms, locks on the minibars and paid their insurance bills if they are inviting rock stars to stay with them.
“Located directly on the banks of the river Spree, the Nhow Berlin bills itself as the only hotel in Europe offering two professional music studios. A dedicated music manager is on staff, as is a team drawing heavily from local music colleges. Regular live events and concerts take place in the hotel’s event spaces and terraces, while first-rate DJs are on hand in the bar. The music studios are operated in collaboration with Lautstark Music GmbH/René Rennefeld, which also manage the legendary Berlin Hansa recording studios. The Nhow’s 304 rooms, meanwhile, are kitted out with iPod connections and more than 30 TV and 100 music radio stations integrated in a state-of-the-art entertainment system. Wireless Internet and more than 5,000 videos-on-demand are available in every room; Gibson guitars are even available through room service.” – springwise.com
I’ve always thought Gary Numan was highly underrated. Go back today and listen through his albums and see if you don’t agree. Honest loud real analog synths and interesting vocals. They don’t make them like they used to.
“Gary Numan (born Gary Webb on 8 March 1958) is an English singer, composer, and musician, most widely known for his chart-topping 1979 hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” (with Tubeway Army) and “Cars”. One of the first musicians to use electronic synthesizers successfully in rock music, his signature sound consisted of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals. Commercially unsuccessful for many years of his career, Numan is nevertheless considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. His use of themes from science fiction, and his combination of aggressive punk energy with electronics, have since been widely imitated.” – Wikipedia.org
Like myself Gavin returned from Berlin back to the states. Hip Hop, psychedelic music to homebrew analog synths it’s always good to peak into other’s likes and studios!
“Gavin Russom is a wizard, and not just because his long red flowing mane is reminiscent of a medieval alchemist or because he was once a stage magician. The composer and former engineer for dance label DFA (where he earned the “Wizard” moniker) has been making and unmaking synths since a young age. Gavin thinks of the analog machines as works of art in their own right, blending the aural, visual, and the sculptural.” – motherboard.tv
As promised I took the Waves GTR Ground unit that was sent to me over to an actual guitarist’s studio. Mark Ephraim is one of the best musician/producers I know. His music has “that sound” you want from rock and roll. He has a wide range going from retro all the way to commercial pop. Take a look and listen and some of Mark’s projects: markephraim.com
I took a nice set of photos of some of Mark’s amazing gear including stuff from API, ARP, Ibanez, Adam, Akai, Roland, MXR, etc… He rides the good balance of outboard gear and Pro-Tools ITB goodies. Check out the full set on flickr: click here