This was a track I recorded in '96, for my solo project “Cross Currents”. The song is an old romantic Latin tune, meaning “Don't remind me of the past..”
I played all the instruments — utilizing a handmade Hohner accoustic guitar, and an O1W Korg Workstation.
The recorder was a Fostex analog 16 track (1 inch), and my console was a vintage Soundmaster 20x8x2 (circa 1982).
I recorded the guitar with an AKG ribbon mic — thru an Alesis dual compressor with no EQ.
I mixed it to a Sony mini-disk, mastering through my Roland 1680 digital multitrack hard-drive recorder — in a room with no soundproofing and an open window.
The room was an office on Music Row — where I ran my publishing company. The building was quite active during the day, so I recorded the track early on a Sunday morning (around 2 AM) — when the streets of Nashville are very quiet and peaceful. This may explain the atmosphere of the track.
Sonically, it wasn't the best decision. But as far as vibe, I couldn't have found a better spot.
I'm a stickler about atmosphere, because it has everything to do with the mood of a record. I've recorded in barns, closets of old houses, and yes, even in cow pastures — simply to capture a mood for a tune.
I figure if you can lay it down clean, you can always mix it in the properly equipped room later on. Sometimes the extra noise makes the track!
Zepplin, Brian Wilson, and several other great composers were also very sensitive about atmosphere, and they recorded in some of the strangest places — which may explain the certain feeling you get from their records.
I've found that mood has everything to do with communication. And how you communicate determines the impact of your record to your listener.
It all may sound a bit weird and far fetched to some, but I challenge you to try it.
With today's technology, you can record literally anywhere with little trouble! If it works for you, you may never look at producing quite the same again.
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