Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Question of the Week: Studio & Engineer Recommendations

I've been thinking about recording a new project in a studio sometime in the near future, and have been debating whether to work with an engineer I've already recorded with or try somebody (and some place) new. And if I decide to branch out, who should I record with? Amid this internal debate, I got to thinking that it would be great for CIMTB to have a list of studios and engineers that Portland musicians recommend.

So I pose this question to you, CIMTB readers: what Portland studios and engineers do you highly recommend?

I'd like to compile a list from your comments and make a blog post(much like Goldie's Karaoke list from a while back). So, please try and include the following information in your recommendations:

*your overall recording experience

*your music genre/sound (Band name and link are a plus)

*the quality of the final product

*any info about the recording system or gear that you might know or care about.

*a general assessment of the rates using dollar signs (kind of like restaurant guides): from $ as dirt cheap to $$$$$ as top dollar.

*a link to the studio and/or engineer(s)' website (if they have one)


Jess Gulbranson said...

I've only ever recorded in two actual studios, and here are my thoughts.


Recorded a demo/ep with my fusion band Numinous Knot here a few years back. This place is pretty serious- aimed more at post work, from what I understand. Dandy Warhols recorded their first album with these guys, Poison Idea did several albums with them, etc. Great setup and tons of top of the line gear. We did a jazz-style live tracking run, and even so it sounded amazing. Pretty goddamned expensive through the front door, but from what I understand they encourage their apprentices to get practice by bringing small acts in at night to record on the very cheap. Our apprentice guy, Brent, was kind of a douchebag.

This is a funky little place over by Reed. I did some session bass on an album here. It's a co-op, and the engineer Josh Powell is very cool and professional. Essentially an industrial garage with a protools desk in the middle, a vocal booth in the corner, and a bunch of weird stuff lining the walls. I had fun, and I believe it was quite affordable, with very professional results.

Cary said...

There are a ton of great studios and engineers in Portland, and though I could reference a lot of them kindly, the only one I've actually recorded at - and can thus recommend most highly - is Skyler Norwood's Miracle Lake Studios.

Skyler is "one of us," having played in local bands like The Forth and Point Juncture, WA, and is a super affable, friendly, creative, easy-to-work-with guy who charges overly reasonable rates.

At Dusk (my old band) recorded a record there we were very happy with, as have countless other Portland bands - Horse Feathers, Talkdemonic, Swim Swam Swum, PJWA< Ah Holly Fam'ly, World's Greatest Ghosts etc.

Also, Michael Mannheimer did a series of profiles on Portland-area engineers for WWeek this past year under the title "The Portland Sound." The link appears to not be functioning at the moment, but search for that title. The profiled folks include Skyler, Tucker Martine and others...

TART said...

Green Grotto Studio -

If you're willing to make the venture up to Olympia, you would not be disappointed. N.C. Skolrud (former drummer/instrumentalist, Trespassers William) really knows his shit. He has a full set and an astounishing amount of knowledge. And...not to sound like a cheesy used car salesman, but his prices are pretty affordable. You might have to venture out of the roses to find him, but it could be worth it!

Dr. Something said...

Thanks for the thorough answers, y'all. And that Local Cut series is pretty cool.

I think these links are functional:
The Portland Sound Pt. 1
Pt. 2
Pt. 3
Pt. 4
Pt. 5

Amber Dawn said...

Sorry I'm late for it, but New Century Schoolbook have been working on our 2nd album at klickitat band camp
and it has been a totally awesome experience. The studio is in Irvington, in the owner/engineer, Shay Scott's house. I'm not super experienced with recording, (the band recorded an album mostly-at-home-ish before I joined, and our recently pressed 7" was recorded at Type Foundry, which was pretty good, but we had one evening in which to record/mix three songs, which we would not recommend doing again.) Shay has a really great attitude, knows lots of good recording tricks, and has large amounts of awesome gear. (Fancy microphones that haven't been made since before WWII, three or four different kind of organs, you name it, he probably has it.) Records to 2-in tape and/or protools, generally a combination. We haven't completely finished mixing yet, but so far everything is sounding great, and since we're working with Shay, we're getting his rate, with I would define as $ price for a $$$$ service. If this were Ebay, I would say A++++++ reccomend.