Session with Bernie Grundman —
mastering Dream Analog for vinyl.
What a thrill to sit and watch the magician do his work. I had never seen the mastering process before and was it an education! Bernie Grundman is an innovative, mastering legend. He added the final touch and that extra sparkle to many of the albums I cherished growing up. It was a true honor to have him care for our music and usher it through the mastering process for vinyl. If you don’t know who he is — check out this list of albums that he’s been involved in.
“Sound does matter” was proven further as I listened to Bernie talk about the power of analog sound. Of course I could not agree more! Much of what I intuited about sound, and why I decided to record all analog, was proven and reflected back to me by him.
Most of the equipment is custom designed to enhance the depth of sound and the listening experience.
To me there is more presence in analog recordings despite any downsides there might appear to be. It’s more holistic to my ears. There’s a lot to SOUND. I don’t think sampling the sound is as good as the whole enchilada. I’m just sayin.
You don’t get what’s referred to as listener fatigue from analog recordings. George Martin, producer for the Beatles, spoke about that in an interview where he said that he could not listen to a CD for very long. Digital recordings can cause Listener Fatigue. Maybe it’s because the in-between sounds are not recorded. A sample is never as good as the original. Again, just sayin!
In the mastering studio in Hollywood, we sat at a console facing a wall of speakers. You can’t see the speakers, it just looks like a wall. It was kind of like going to see the wizard of oz, but in this case… a real wizard.
Dream Analog on vinyl April 18, 2020. Recorded, Mixed, Mastered = ALL ANALOG
* Dream Analog will be available on 180g Vinyl, CDs, and as downloads.
We had a great time mixing at Laughing Tiger Studios in San Rafael, CA just North of San Francisco.
Producer, Brian D. Hardin, was in his element mixing on a SSL console. It was great to experience it. The resulting sound, to me, is so much more alive than anything created in the box (computer). The sonic messages come through loud and clear.
On our way there we went to the Sequoias to hug some trees and feel their quiet strength. The simple beauty of nature engulfs you and gently reminds you that there is so so much more to life than striving for this or that. Reality is more than meets the eye. We must FEEL to access the higher realms.
The biggest Sequoia there is named General Sherman but we agreed to call it Mother Tree instead. While there we shot video for one of the songs on the album, Mother Earth.
We also shot video for another song, In The Center, at a river there. The river was a powerful presence that flowed all around me as I stood on some rocks. There were tons of dragonflies about. The sound of rushing water is good for the soul. I was happy I did not fall in! Ha ha ha 🙂
The album was recorded analog and now is mixed analog. Soon to be mastered for vinyl (and CDs and maybe cassettes. Ya I said cassettes people!…. ha ha ha). Dream Analog will be released April 2020.
My hope is that it will feed you and inspire you to connect within and grow, to create and share your special gifts with the world. We need you. Blessings to you all.
Sequoias photos by Brian D. Hardin. Studio shot by Erin Tadena.
Wewh! After 3 years of work, we are nearing the end of the recording part of creating the album, Dream Analog.
This week we record background vocals and horns and then off to Northern California to mix in a real cool studio called Laughing Tiger. Brian (producer) will be rolling up his sleeves and mixing old school in a great studio set up specifically for mixing analog. We will be creating real vinyl records, CDs and cassettes from these recordings.
Thanks for all the support we have received and encouragement to record analog. It is a great sound. So much more organic information is accessed via the analog process!
Here’s some recent photos taken while recording the last couple songs with June Kato, Jim Whelan and Brian D. Hardin. Guest drummer, Paula Montondo, played drums on a new one just added to the album, Whatcha Gonna Do.
Grace Gravity on “In A Dream with Mystic Pete” on KXLU RADIO 88.9 FM May 12, 2019 with some artists from the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest Crew including Rebecca Stout, Paula Montondo, Mollie White and Under The Sky.
The next dimension is very evident for those who can see it. Great News! The incorporation of this new level into “daily living” is becoming complete. You don’t have to live on the outside of yourself anymore. You were fooled into thinking that was the way. It’s always been an “inside job”. It’s always been an inner journey. Your life is going to expand more and more, but you will be fine. You will be fine letting go of the shore and floating down stream as Carlos Castanada said. For this is a true way of living and navigating this matrix or whatever you want to call it.
You have played small because you perceived it as the path of least resistance. You thought by being small you would be able to get along with others better and not rock the boat. But now, you see that being you is the BEST you can do. It is the only way to be on your true path. That way all the ingredients are there is perfect cosmic harmony for new things, new wonderful things, to happen. New combinations. You must bring your whole beingness into play and not leave yourself out of the equation. You are a beautiful necessary part of it all.
Do a ceremony with yourself and release the old images of yourself given to your by family, friends and even yourself. Release it gently and let the new present itself. The bigger you. The you – you have always been since you arrived.