This past Sunday was day 1 of a 2 day recording session @ Broadcast Lane Studios. Located in the Homestead area of Pittsburgh, this place is definitely a hidden gem. It’s not marked on the outside so you would never know there was a fully equipped professional recording studio in that area. I’ve encountered this many times before; great recording spaces where you would least expect. After a long walk up some stairs, you come to a door. That’s the gateway to the studio's main room. Very spacious and the walls were lined with sound panels. The room had a vibe of old Pittsburgh, which I totally loved. There was also a really nice isolation booth in the corner. The large room lead to the control room with a few more isolation areas. Totally ideal space for a band.
Prior to the session I spoke with the studio’s main engineer Lurch on the plan for the kit. He mentioned that I could use one of the house sets. I chose a 1950's Ludwig, all maple shells with a white marine pearl finish. He already had the drums tuned up nice and his assistant Ian had the mics pre-placed. It was so accommodating I could’ve just rolled in and started the dialing-in sounds process immediately, but I’m picky so I had to make a few minor adjustments! Fine tuning the kit was effortless. The 12X9 tom, 16X16 floor tom, & 22X16 bass were warm with lots of tonality.
Next was a snare selection. I brought my Pearl Sensitone but the studio had 16 different snares to chose from. Pretty much every different type you could think of. Plenty of different sizes, shells, & head combinations. I tried each one and throughly experimented with a few, including a maple Ludwig, a maple Gretsch (with silver lining) and a Ludwig LM402. Each had very distinct, pleasing tones. I went with the 402 as it had a great sound that worked well with every blues influenced groove I planned on laying down. For all you Zeppelin fans out there, that was the snare that John Bonham favored! Big sound with sensitivity which works great for many scenarios.
Tracking the songs went really smooth. I was well prepared for the session as always so I knew exactly what I was going to play for each tune.
Of course I didn’t rule out any improvising or last minute changes, but that’s normal with The Satin Hearts! The drum tracks for all three songs were completed in as well as some overdub guitars & harmonica. I am fully satisfied with everything thus far.
Day 2 of the session will include bass, a few more guitar overdubs & mixing. Lurch has a very impressive resume, including remastering some material for The Guess Who, so I’m sure his final touches on our EP will be stellar. He’s a easy guy to get along with and has a great thing going with Broadcast Lane Studios. Please check them out on the web @ www.broadcastlane.com