Four years ago, in December 2008, I completed my first recording in our new apartment on Taylor Avenue. This track, “Nora’s Lullaby,” was part of Mike Perkowitz’s Music for the Fourth Trimester project and also written for his newborn daughter Nora. I’m looking back on all the creative work I recorded here over the past four years, because changes are afoot. My wife and I just bought our first home, which brings Taylor Avenue to it denouement and brings the dawn of a new space near the western shores of Lake Washington.
The first couple of years of working in this studio, I produced a collection of tracks based around the dependable Roland drum machines, my Eurorack modular synthesizer, the Sequential Prophet-VS, and the Oberheim SEM. These were an extension of my work from the previous albums though I made the switch from Cubase to Ableton for composing. I also upgraded from a convoluted mixing environment using two Tascam TM-D1000 mixers to one Tascam DM-3200. Some of the tracks from this period that typify this approach are Tickertape (digital release) and Dark Lights (unreleased).
Gradually I started to move away from straight Roland boxes for drum programming. I still like how immediate the rhythm interfaces on them are, but I also wanted to make some changes. I wanted a more prominent kick drum without layering the 909 and 808 together, and I also wanted to go back to using sampled drums. Also, for whatever reason the synchronization from the computer DAW to the drum machines wasn’t as solid as I wanted. I made a few changes to program the kick drum from the DAW and to use the Emu SP-1200 and Akai MPC-1000 more but still kept some aspects of the Roland machines. I actually unplugged and moved the TR-808 out of the way for a while to force myself to use different programming. Some of the tracks that resulted from this approach are Tea Garden and Falling Bricks (both releases forthcoming).
In the Taylor Avenue studio I also began remixing others’ songs, which I had never really done before. This work was rewarding, because it allowed me to focus on production and the mix rather than writing, arranging, producing, mixing, and mastering all at once. This work began by the band Freezepop commissioning a Codebase remix of their “Lose that Boy” track, and since I enjoyed it so much I looked for other acapellas to use. The New Zealand-based artist Zowie also commissioned a Codebase remix of her song “Bite Back.” All told, in the Taylor Avenue studio I recorded eight remixes from Talking Heads, Florrie, Zowie, Chromeo, Robyn, Freezepop, and Dragonette.
The last original recordings I created here are to be released in 2013 on a label called Roam Recordings from San Francisco. There are new tracks on this EP that I haven’t posted anywhere thus far.
So that sums up the Taylor Avenue work. It feels good to go back and consider my work output from this space. That said, I’m also looking forward to what the new space will bring. It will take at least a month to get everything moved and set up in there. Goodbye Taylor Avenue, hello Lake Washington!Posted: December 26th, 2012 | Tags: changes, recording, remix, studio | No Comments »