Heather Dale - Sphere - Album Release Concert at Trinity Church

Heather Dale has released her 20th record. She, Ben Deschamps and I produced the record over a few weeks in the spring of 2018. Tracking happened at Sonology and mixing was done at the Junkshop. The record was mastered by Andy Magoffin at the House of Miracles




Oli Palkovits Up For Best Album at NOMFA

Congradulations to Oli Palkovits on being nominated for a Northern Ontario Music and Film Award. His record Flower of Atacama is up for best album. We made the record together back in 2017 over three nights at Cosmic Dave's and I mixed and mastered it at the Junkshop. It's a gem.


Orchestral Bells!

Joe LaBine hard at work trying to figure out how to play these things. Apparently it involves a ladder and rubber hammers.



Guitars Alive Quartet - November 2018

Who are these mysterious, faceless men? What are they hiding?
Here are my mic positioning photos and notes from my first session with the virtuoso Guitars Alive Quartet making what will become a record called Latin Groove.
We recorded 12 songs live over two weekends at Cosmic Dave's in Sudbury. I mixed the record at the Junkshop and Andy Magoffin mastered it at the House Of Miracles.
Latin Groove will be released in June 2019.


U87 on Philip Candelaria's classical guitar.
Paul Dunn on steel string acoustic with an AT4050
Gary DiSalle's Princeton Reverb mic'd with a Shure SM59
Paul and the AT4050 again. The tape on the floor marks mic positions for acoustic and dobro guitars.
That's Gary off in the distance. Room mics in the foreground. 
Tom Linklater's bass amp mic'd with a Beyer M88
My cheat sheet with mic/player layout and signal chain notes.

Heather Dale - String Session

Here we are at the Music Gallery tracking strings for Heather Dale's new record Sphere (out June 2019 on Amphis Music).


Farm Crime Soundtrack - FemBots Reunion


After an eight year hiatus Brian Poirier and I revived our band (FemBots) to write and record the soundtrack for the CBC documentary series Farm Crime. After such a long break neither of us were sure if or how things were going to work. It was a little awkward for about three minutes and then we fell right back into things as if we'd never stopped.
We met for writing and recording sessions once a week (usually Thursdays) for about four months and were given the freedom to do whatever we'd like. Everything was recorded on the trusty old Tascam 488 eight track cassette machine and then transferred to the computer for editing and mixing. It was hands down the best, easiest and most fun soundtrack gig I've ever had. I wish they could all be so good.
We wrote a lot of music and have decided to keep going with our weekly sessions. I'm sure there's an album or two (or three or four) in there somewhere. Stay tuned for details as they unfold.

Farm Crime season one is now streaming. View it by clicking HERE.


Comedy

I’ve been doing more and more live comedy recording this year. Much of that work has sprung from my long running association with Vish Khanna’s Long Night talk show. Vish puts on a monthly live talk show as part of Toronto’s Long Winter festival. I’ve been recording it for his Kreative Kontrol podcast for the last four or five years now. The shows range from one on one interviews and live performances to lengthy panel discussions on topics of the day. It’s always a good time




My work with Vish has lead to down the rabbit hole of live comedy recording. It’s a field of recording that never crossed my mind but I have to say that I’m glad I stumbled into it. It’s been a really fun and rewarding trip.

In the last year I’ve made records for -

Sara Hennessey (They Know Too Much)
https://open.spotify.com/album/0ao5X16iLY9WqPckt7DiAR?si=vilCKZqx

The Williamson Playboys (Still Alive For The Holidays)
https://open.spotify.com/album/70BeWtpFpxKRjkphge0ENN?si=IgsdT1PK

Flo & Joan (Kindness of Stranglers and Victory Flaps),
https://open.spotify.com/album/4Ikjy5f3ybVLuWEm2y0BJC?si=kXBYjNI2
https://open.spotify.com/album/6nso0WDndI7uFDvj42k8Fl?si=BCaBbeZU

Andrew Johnston (Sips Tea).
https://open.spotify.com/album/7LzHU0MnZAobUSFpl6pxX7?si=AIqhWs3F

What's Going To Happen To Us?

Song #4 from The New Normal.


A. David MacKinnon - Everything Comes Apart



Everything Comes Apart from the album The New Normal. Available Oct 17 2017. 

A. David MacKinnon - The New Normal

Pharos Of Alexandria - Flowers Of Atacama



Pharos of Alexandria is Oli Palkovits with a little help Martine Fortin, Andre Laforge, Jonathan Danyliw and Stephane Duchesne. I engineered, mixed, mastered and played a little organ and wurlitzer.

tags


Recorded over three late nights at Cosmic Dave's in Sudbury ON. Mixed & mastered at the Junkshop in Toronto.

New Demos



Recorded at the Junkshop on a Tascam 488. It's amazing how nice cassette can sound with a ton of expensive gear plugged in to it.

The Birthday Cakes - Hologram


Here's a single from Sudbury prog-rock family band The Birthday Cakes. We recorded and mixed three songs over a sweaty summer weekend at 6 Nassau right before the studio was shuttered.

These kind and humble words from the Clayton Drake sum things up far better than I could -

At the start of this summer, my brothers Carter and Cameron decided they wanted to record some new music with The Birthday Cakes. It had been six years since we'd released anything, and we had amassed around 20 unreleased songs. Through the patented Drake process of constant argument, we decided on three songs to record.
After some deliberation, we settled on A. David MacKinnon as our engineer and recorded it at his (how defunct) 6 Nassau studio in Toronto. Dave's patience, diverse musical vocabulary, and try-anything attitude made him the perfect engineer for the Birthday Cakes. We recorded these songs live off the floor, which embedded the life and spirit of the band into the songs. 
I've been mixing these songs with Dave since the summer, and I can say with complete confidence that this is the best-sounding music I've released in my entire "career" as a musician. I hope you appreciate the detail, nuance and passion in these songs as we release them in the upcoming months.
I'd like to thank Matti Lehtelä for his hard work on the artwork for the trading cards that we created to accompany the release of the song. I feel like we really captured the spirit of the Birthday Cakes with the cards, and the song isn't complete without the cards.
I'd also like to thank Brain Tape for agreeing to release the songs even though they're not on a traditional cassette. This label is working hard to capture the current wave of music that is passing over the city, and I think their discography will ultimately be a potent snapshot of an extremely fruitful creative period for Sudbury music.
The Birthday Cakes is the purest expression of my creative impulses, and our music could only be generated by an insane devotion to our craft. My brothers Cameron and Carter have been the ultimate creative partners over the past decade of our band's existence, working with open hearts and blunt honesty to create something far better collectively than any of us could ever manage as individuals.
Streaming below is Hologram, which is the first song of a trilogy that will be released in the upcoming months on a series of six trading cards. I hope you like it! If you do, please consider buying the trading card Booster Pack #1 from the Merch section on our bandcamp. It will arrive eventually.

The Birthday Cakes will never die.

Claire Hunter - Something Safe


Here's another one that got away in my absence. Claire Hunter is a singer/songwriter from Toronto. We recorded this last summer at 6 Nassau. Claire sang and played guitar. I played piano, organ and made my recording debut as a drummer. Alex McMaster arranged and played the string parts. Special thanks to Collin Thompson for acting as assistant engineer while I did my session musician duties.

The record is available on iTunes.

In Drift - Better Days

In Drift is a dream pop band from Toronto. Equal parts shoegaze, surf, new wave and the best friend any effect pedal manufacturer could ever dream of.
They recorded most of this record on their own but were nice enough to ask me to help out tracking drums and mixing. Both jobs were done at 6 Nassau last year.



Hear the whole record and purchase here - https://indriftmusic.com/music

Carpet Of Horses - Red Paper Flames

Here's another gem that came out in my absence. Carpet of Horses is Tobin J. Stewart. Tobin and I have been working together for quite a while now. We met many years ago when he interned with me at the original Junkshop garage studio. Shortly after that Tobin engineered the writing/demo sessions for the last FemBots record Calling Out. Tobin now lives in Italy. Besides making his own music he has become a very good producer and engineer. A few years ago we worked on the Ishaq record Remedies together.
Red Paper Flames was recorded by Tobin while he was living in Berlin. We mixed it at 6 Nassau in the summer of 2015 (I think). It was mastered by Andy Magoffin at the House Of Miracles.

The vinyl version of this album is a signed, numbered 300 copy limited run with silk screened, hand made cover. Each copy comes with a bonus CD of the first 3 Carpet of Horses EPs assembled as a single long player.


BBBRTHR - Late Bloomer

Here's a new one. BBBRTHR is an electronic project by Paul Waltenbury. I don't get to work on electronic records nearly as often as I'd like. This one was really fun to make and I think it turned out beautifully.
We recorded this album in Paul's living room over the course of two weekends. Paul played and programmed everything. It was mixed at the Junkshop and mastered by Andy Magoffin at The House Of Miracles.


Brian Dunn - The Copicat Method

Here's another record that came out during my absence from posting here. 
Brian and I started work on this record 4 years ago. Recording progressed in fits and starts for a few years and then the record sat on a shelf for a few years while everybody involved had kids and looked after real life. The record finally came out in September and it's a gem.

There are a bunch of blog posts about the making of this album but here are the details as best as I can remember - 
This was supposed to be a quick stop gap record to give Brian some time to work up new song for his next full album. The idea was to quickly knock out a record of Ryan Levecque covers. In spite of the original plan the project took on a life of it's own and kept growing and growing. In the end this record is about as close as any us will ever get to making a Randy Newman album. Four years later this is still one of my favourite productions and I feel lucky to have been involved. Please go listen and buy a copy.


Songs by Ryan Levecque, singing and guitars by Brian Dunn, Matt Foy on drums, me on piano, organs and bass, Paul Dunn on ripping guitar solos, strings arranged by J. J. Ipsen and played beautifully by Amanda Penner and Alex McMaster, horns arranged and played by Tyler Greenleaf with baritone sax by Olivia Shortt, sleepy/drunken backing vocals by Matt Beech, Brian and myself.
Recorded at Cosmic Dave's Sound Emporium and 6 Nassau. Mixed at 6 Nassau and mastered by Andy Magoffin at the House Of Miracles.



The Dill - 52 Songs

I'm realizing that it's been ages and ages since my last post here. It's been a bit of a whirlwind over the last 6 months. 6 Nassau closed up shop at the end of June and I returned to life as a freelance engineer and producer for hire. Since then I've been getting my bearings and working on a bunch of different projects (see other posts for details).

Here's a really cool project that came out last year. The artist is Dylan Hudecki aka The Dill. Over the course of 2016 Dylan release a song a week. 52 weeks, 52 songs. I handled some of the recording on a few of them although my memory of the sessions is a little fuzzy.

The first one linked here - "Nothing Was Ever The Same" was tracked one evening at 6 Nassau with Dylan playing piano, guitar, farfisa organ, toy piano, and percussion as well as singing. Andrew Scott played drums, bass, guitar, and percussion.

The other 3 were recorded ages and ages ago at the Junkshop (aka my basement). I have almost no memory of that session except that Dylan recorded bits and pieces for a lot of songs.






Ulster Street 12:30


Here's a new addition to my slowly growing collection of new songs and demos (posted here as they are finished). This song has been knocking around unfinished for a while now and I've probably tried every instrumentation and arrangement variation possible. In the end I settled on solo vocal and guitar. It was recorded late at night while the rest of the house was asleep so there's a very quiet vibe going on that I probably wouldn't have come to any other way. It seems to work well though.