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 January 2020. Recorded, Mixed, Mastered = ALL ANALOG
* Dream Analog will also be available on CDs, cassettes 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 dragonflys 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 January 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.
All Grace Gravity subscribers will receive a free pre-release Mp3 of one of the songs from Dream Analog in December! Subscribe if you’d like to receive it!
Sequoias photos by Brian D. Hardin. Studio shot by Erin Tadena.
Just a little update on my new album Dream Analog.
We recorded two more songs live a couple weeks ago. Bass, drums, keyboards, guitar and lead vocal all live to tape. Talk about walking the high wire. If you’ve never done it, it’s something you must experience for yourself. A certain magical synergy is found in those moments where you know you have to get the take as its about 105 degrees in the room you’re in and you just can’t do the song one more time! It’s not a copy and paste situation (as in digital) and so, everyone really must call in the magic. It works.
We have most of the tracks recorded now. James Whelan (Under The Sky) did a couple sessions and added some amazing piano and guitar to several songs. So great!
June Kato has laid down all the bass and Brian D. Hardin all the drums. We just to add a few more keyboard parts, some horns and some background vocals and Dream Analog will manifest in this reality zone!
I’m writing Chapter 2 of the Dream Analog video series so look for that in the next few months. Here’s Chapter 1 if you haven’t seen it. Good things to come!
Hope you are all moving forward on your amazing creations as well! Remember no matter what is going on in the world around you, deep down you are Whole and Fine.
We’ve been recording with our new/old analog gear and it’s really really a great experience!
The sound, well, there IS nothing like it. Many people have gotten “used to” digital or perhaps they’ve been “borged” into it (*see StarTrek-Next Generation).
Ah digital has dominated with its darn convenience!
There is something left out when you only have zeros and one’s in the mix. Uh, what about the in-between? Continue reading →