JEFF SHATTUCK MUSIC

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Technical difficulty blues.

On Friday, I headed off to Hyde Street to record the rhythm and drum tracks for the final three tunes of the album. Sadly, I could not use the legendary Studio C, so I booked into Studio D.

D for Disaster.

The mixing console is large and impressive, but under all the gleaming lights and smooth faders are crusty circuits that have seen better days. As a result, engineer Jaime Durr had to spend hours and hours figuring out which channels were clean and which were dirtier than a Tijuana whore. By the time everything was up and running, I was down and out, as were Jaime, Sam and Andy. We soldiered on, got some decent tracks, but did not finish all that we had planned.

On the bright side, we tried Digidesign's Velvet plug-in, which emulates the sounds of Rhodes and Wurlitzer pianos. It's INCREDIBLE. Sam Bevan, who was doing the honors of playing the midi-keyboard, has a Wurlitzer at home and he proclaimed Velvet to be awesome. Even better, guess how much Velvet cost us? $6. Yup, you read that correctly. Turns out you can rent Velvet as a download. God, I love the Internet age!

Also on the bright side, Jaime talked to the studio owner, who was cool, and comped us about five hours. Neverthless, I will not return to Studio D, despite its beautiful room and nice control room. Recording is an iffy process, and there are enough technical challenges to deal with, even without faulty equipment.