Danglin’ A Foot Back In Tracking Waters

A good while back I swore off tracking bands unless they were friends or it was one of my personal projects. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and I’d gotten tired of working for months and months on a project. Granted, many of the sessions I was doing then with recording clients were somewhat exploratory — lots of messing about building “sonic landscapes” or whathaveyou on top of some basic tracks. I’m proud of that work, and some of my own projects are certainly of that ilk. But it’s just a time commitment I can’t make anymore for clients. I’d probably be way too expensive anyway, and frankly, most people are doing that kind of stuff themselves now using Ableton Live and similar software.

But what I do miss are those raw tracking sessions… a great band all in the same room banging out some good tunes. Minimal overdubs. Just gloriously raw performance documentation. And it’s all the more special if there is a time constraint to the sessions. Lately, I’ve been remixing and mastering a lot of archival material that I’d recorded over the years. In the early-to-mid 90′s, getting studio time was a monumental task, so we made the most of it when we got it. We were tracking 10-13 songs in a weekend to make a complete album. And my — at that time — rookie recording skills aside, those recordings are very focused, energetic and exciting.

Also, for a band to get in a good studio to record with an experienced engineer these days will often cost several thousand dollars, not including the mastering. It’s tough to make back $4000+ in sales (that’s before the cost pressing CDs. And as I will harp on constantly here… you probably shouldn’t press CDs). So I wanted to put something together that would allow a tight band with a collection of great songs to get in and out for a price they could reasonably make back in digital sales in less than a year.

So here’s the deal. For a limited time and no more than once a month, I’m offering a package for $2000. You get two days, 16 hours total, to track and overdub as many songs as you can. Realistically, that would be between 6-10 songs for most bands — but hey — if you can pull off good takes of more, then go for it. Then in the couple of weeks following the sessions I’ll mix each song, either on the Toft console or inside ProTools depending on which you prefer. Then I’ll master the approved mixes for both vinyl and digital (download or compact disc) release. If you have any questions, feel free to email or call.

Here’s the details:

Album Production

Make A Complete Album in 16 Hours

There’s two things that I feel strongly about:

  • A recording should be a document of sound in place and time which should immerse the listener in that moment.
  • Bands should not invest more in a recording than they should reasonably be able to make back in less than one year.

And that’s why I’ve crafted this package. It gives bands a meticulously tracked, mixed and mastered release that honestly documents 16 hours of hard work. And at the current sale price, a band can break even with 400 digital album sales at $5 each.

Currently on sale!

Additional DescriptionMore Details

What you get:

  • 16 hours of studio time (usually two 8-hour days over a weekend) to setup, track and overdub up to 10 songs (or more if you can pull it off) engineered by Jimmy Ether at Headphone Treats.
  • Your choice of in-the-box or analog console mixing of completed songs. I generally spend between 2-3 hours per song either way. In-the-box gives us total recall on mixes for detailed tweaks. On the console mixing is a bit more like performance art... you get what you get, but it often is more creative and better sounding overall.
  • Mastering for both vinyl and digital (download or compact disc) release. About an hour per song goes into mastering all totaled. Mastering takes place over the course of several days.

I'm only doing one of these per month at the most, so get in touch if you're interested and reserve a session well in advance.

Currently on sale!

Price: $3,000.00
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  1. Posted October 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This is how we’re recording Tin Cat these days. The results aren’t going to hit the top 40, but we’re really happy to get recordings that actually sound like we sound.

    • jimmyether
      Posted October 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      I need to hear some of that, Erik. I was comparing some recordings we had done with The Ether Family Presents… the other day. Same studio, same songs. One was just a quick live 7-tracks of kick/snare | L Drums | R Drums | Bass | Guitar 1 | Guitar 2. We’d just recorded our set for the hell of it. The other was 16 tracks with all basic instruments except drums replaced, 8 or 9 drum mics, etc. etc.

      One guess which one kicked the other’s ass both performance-wise and sound-wise.

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