STUDIO 11 REMINDS YOU…..
About the Free Music Archive:
The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. (Read More)
For the first Studio 11 release on the Free Music Archive, we have featured James Curd of Greenskeepers and Ziggy Franklin: (Read The Full Story)
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The history of Studio 11 and Kompute Records dates back a decade – easy. Our cumulative group of friends met at classic venues like Karma on Grand and underground rave parties throughout the city. Some of the earliest memorable Kompute recordings featured artists such as Hidden Variable, Soultek (Steve Hitchell of Echospace), and Billy Dalessandro. The sounds at the time were of a pioneering direction with almost no constant. From hard beating techno soundscapes to trippy minimal cuts, there was a broad scope of ideas. As time swept forward, so did the direction. Some of Kompute’s establishing artists went on to pioneer sounds of their own and in that time the new Kompute sound emerged. While giving a steady nod to the Chicago legacy of the past, the new Kompute is a culmination of great things that have come before and what is yet to be.
Chicago has always been the hub for balance within dance music, best known for House and Industrial styles. While House music was the disco of the streets, Industrial followed and brought rock n’ roll to the dancefloor. The new era of Kompute kicks Chicago’s legacy up a notch with a strong regard for both.
“Disco Fresco” features dance music pioneers Alexander Robotnick and Scott “Smokin” Silz (Hot Mix 5) alongside Kompute visionary Matt Nee in a spicy blend of nouveau electro. Alexander Robotnick, heralded as the grandfather of italo disco lends his disco antics with his snaky voice and winding keyboard leads. To bring the whole track together we had some work cut out for us in the studio mixdown….
Here’s a few session notes:
For the wild and untamed voice of Mr. Robotnick, the Waves De-Esser was just the ticket. The vocal part, while deliberately slathered with sibilance warranted the objective of maintaining said sibilant EFFECT, without the associated ear-splitting sibilance. Our de-esser, Waves RCompressor, API 550 EQ, and the Oram-Trident (Console) EQ proved the perfect combination to tame unwanted dynamics while retaining desirable breath and air on the vocal.
Our big pow wow on mixdown landed on the keyboard break through the solo. Scott and Matt wanted the solo to stand tall in the mix. For sonics, I started with a DIGI delay to get a nice tail of ambience going. The solo has nice spacing between the notes thereby making delay an excellent choice. From there I cut to my trusty Fatso compressor for leveling. At the board I sprinkled a little aux out to the Sony R7 plate for a nice distant long tail. After some battling with the equalizer at the board we determined that something just wasn’t working. The track was too busy at the break. After pulling a few instruments, desired space was achieved and solo restored to towering stature.
All in all, the track sums up a classic 2011 Chi-Town Sound with a nod toward the classics that made Chicago great.
Stay Warm Chi-Town!
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Last Friday Studio 11 got a visit from one of our favorite clients, N.E.P.H.E.W.
NEPH is a real grinder who has put in a ton of work up here since 2005. I can recall a line from one of his earlier raps that went something like “I coulda bought a house the way I’ve been recording.” Its always a pleasure when NEPH rolls through, not just on a musical level, because a session with NEPH is sure to bring talks of politics, religion, the rap game, history, and a general look at life.
In this video blog, we get to peep N.E.P.H.E.W. working on a commercial joint called Pumpin’ That Bass. The track was produced by Florida hit maker Wreck Wregular, and as you can hear, its a banger. The hook came with the track, and features some really cool chopped and screwed vocals, some chants, and some high pitched vocal chops.
I tracked NEPH through the Audio Technica AT-4060 and the Manly VoxBox, which is an all tube signal path. On the vocal mix, I stuck to my old standbys, Renaissance De-Essers before hitting the Eq-3D night-pro, a unit famous for its high frequency “air” band. Once the lead vocal was tuned in and tamed, I added some filtering and delays on the ad-libs, and did some pan automation. Usually I use a heavy handed limiter on hip hop tracks, like the Waves L2, but it sounded a bit harsh on this record, so I ended up making it slam with the Sony Oxford limiter.
All in all it was a short, but really fun and productive session with a high energy track. NEPH’s music is available on itunes, amazon, and his website.
Follow N.E.P.H.E.W. on twitter @NEPHEWFROMTHEGO
Visit N.E.P.H.E.W. on the net at:
Steve Anderson – Engineer
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Whats up Studio 11 Fans?
With all the hype around Rockie Fresh’s new mixtape, entitled The Otherside, it only makes sense that it was done right here at Studio 11.
Rockie’s whole project was produced by longtime Studio 11 clients, The Cartoonz, who have been more than busy up here lately, check back often for more of their gorgeous work.
The above record, “A.C. Green” is the intro to the mixtape, featuring a scratched Kanye West sample on the hook. The rest of the production is nice and eerie, with some low pass filtered drums, and lots of LFO swept pads. Considering its position on the mixtape, we went for a crystal clear, un-stacked lead vocal for Rockie. No doubles were used, nor does he have any ad-libs. To add some space to the vocal we threw on a darkened 1/8th note delay, and some Sony Oxford reverb. To tame a vocal mixed this loud, 2 de-essers were used at tuned frequencies to handle the sibilance.
Upon last checking in with Rockie and his management, “The Otherside” was approaching an amazing 30,000 downloads! I can say with confidence that this project was done the right way, top to bottom, with top notch production, perfected performance, stellar internet promotion, clean artwork, and of course, our engineering!
With the buzz started by this project, Rockie is sure to be out soon with a follow up, look out majors!
Follow Rockie on twitter @ROCKIEFRESH
Download the mixtape HERE