Professional Sound - February 2018 - Page 42

Microphones and reloaded only the high-quality piano and Wurlitzer patches from the company’s website. “They sound really full, and with the triple pedal, they resonate like a real piano. It’s pretty compelling. Then, on the right hand side, I’ve got my Moog Slim Phatty because I like to play with the cutoff and the filters when I’m playing keyboards; usually, I’ll tape without it and then do a second pass with that, so I need it handy.” It’s quite a collection of musical gear. “Well,” he says, laughing, as anybody with the illness would, “it’s getting there.” He adds that he’s excited about the Rogers kit as an addi- tion to his existing inventory of drum sets, cymbals, and percussion gear. Although he did seriously consider creating a studio in an entirely different location, the decision to attach it to his home has paid off. If he needs to go somewhere else, he can, citing a jazz album he recorded that required a grand piano and, consequently, a trip to Pierre Marchand’s Studio PM in Montreal. “It was a nice change and I’m not going to buy a $200,000 Fazioli piano and put it in my room. It just wouldn’t make sense.” That said, he can track in the house beyond the studio as well. “I’ve got lines running into a bedroom, which would be a nice room for a grand piano because it’s as big as the studio. And I have this nice upright Steinway in my living room and I can record that. I’ve also run some lines into the base- ment to be able to put some guitar amps in there. I can use the whole house and my wife and kids don’t mind. They enjoy the music. And I guess I did it this way because I’m a touring musician. When I’m not on the road, I’m trying to be home as much as I can. So if I’m going to spend all this time in the studio – even if it was another house on the same street – I don’t get to see my kids as much. I had to arrange this in a way that I can still have people over to work, but can spend time with my family, too.” Ultimately, it’s his experience as a song- writer and desire for a specific workflow that informed what he wanted to do with Sunset Hill and how he did it. “It’s definitely for work- ing with one other musician at a time. As a songwriter, it’s your song and you record everything, but maybe you want to have a 42 • PROFESSIONAL SOUND better drummer play the drum parts.” Increasingly, however, he’s been col- laborating with other bands and has even joined a band with some musicians who’ve been performing together for 40 years called M. Chandler – “and I love tracking as a band,” he says. “I think if I were designing the studio now, there are a couple of things that I would do differently, but not much. Like right now I’m rigging all these super thick curtains to get more isolation, which I need if I have a drummer and an upright bass, and to block some of those high frequencies. It’s working out pretty good. “You just want something that works and doesn’t get in the way of making music,” Kelly sums up. And that’s a good way to de- scribe what he’s done overall at the studio. “I think so,” he says in agreement, “but some- times I get caught up in all the gear and all that stuff and I’ll lose my focus and I’ll spend weeks upgrading stuff and not making music, but then I’m like, ‘I’ve got to stop this madness and just make some music.’ “At some point, there’s a line you have to draw,” he concludes, which is a small price to pay for a creative space tailored to his work- flow and just a short walk from home. Aston Spirit (x2) AEA R84 (x2) Audio-Technica AT4051 (x2) Avantone CR-14 Coles 4038 (x2) Heil PR 40 Kel Audio HM1 (x2) Langevin CR-3 MXL V67 Neumann KM 184 (x2) Neumann TLM 103 (x2) Neumann M 149 Neumann KMS 105 (x2) Peluso P-12 Radial Active DI (x2) Radial Passive DI (x8) Sennheiser e905 Sennheiser e901 Sennheiser e914 (x3) Sennheiser e902 (x2) Sennheiser e904 (x2) Sennheiser e906 (x2) Sennheiser e604 (x3) Sennheiser e935 (x5) Sennheiser MK4 (x2) Sennheiser MD421 (x3) Sennheiser e965 (x2) sE Electronics V7x Shure SM57 (x1) Shure Beta 57 (x1) Kevin Young is a Toronto-based musician and freelance writer. Shure Beta 52 (x1) Shure SM58 (x2)