I’m very happy to announce that the Palms website is now live! There you will find all kinds of stuff including a link to where you can hear an exclusive stream of our song “Patagonia” from our debut record out June 25 on Ipecac Recordings. We also have some debut shows booked for July 2013. Please have a look around and enjoy the beautiful artwork by Chuck Anderson and site design by Black Day Creative.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT …
The Palms record is finished and I couldn’t be happier with both the experience of creating this album and how it turned out.
In early March, I met up with Deftones on the East Coast leg of their tour so that Chino and I could wrap up some vocals for the record. We turned hotel rooms and backstage areas into temporary recording studios, which you can see a bit of in the photo gallery above. It was also fun to travel with the Deftones guys and crew for a few days; thanks to them for making me feel welcome and for being such great people.
We’ve now officially handed the record off to the label. No more tweaking things. No more adding or subtracting. It’s nerve-wracking, but it’s also an enormous relief. Now I get to listen to it like a “regular person” instead of scrutinizing every part. The other day I listened to the whole record during a run and it was indescribably satisfying. I hope you guys enjoy the record as much as we enjoyed creating it. It comes out June, 25, 2013 on Ipecac Recordings.
With Palms complete, I’m currently mixing a record for the Serbian band Consecration. They recorded it live in their studio, the way records used to be made. I like their sound — the songs are long with psychedelic dynamics and heavily effected vocals. You can check out a few of their previous records on Bandcamp.
I also have some openings for recording, mixing, and producing projects in the coming months, so please get in touch if you’d like to work together. You can check out my audio reel for some examples of records that I’ve mixed and my FAQ page for any questions about how I work. Or you can contact me directly at aaron@aaronharris-audio [dot] com and I’d be happy to discuss any inquiries you might have.
And for fellow audio nerds: There are a few McDSP audio plugins that I’ve really been enjoying. I’d specifically recommend checking Channel G, Futz Box, Compressor Bank and Filter Bank. Another company I like is Kush Audio. Check out their Clariphonic DSP and UBK-1.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT …
I recorded “Bird of Prey” on my old Apple G4 laptop, which now sits lonely in my closet, needs to be plugged in at all times to run, and won’t even connect to the Internet anymore! The entire record was recorded in the ISIS rehearsal space in downtown Los Angeles. That room was about 10 feet wide, and 25 feet long. It didn’t matter to us though. Caleb Scofield (guitar, bass, vocals) and I had a vision and that was the most important part.
I had a handful of microphones, a Digi 002R, an API 3124+, Pro Tools 7 and an Apple G4 laptop. I even tracked drums for some of those songs on my own with nothing more than the guitar riffs in my head. (I didn’t have enough equipment and inputs at the time to track with Caleb.)
I mixed the record at Redroom studios in Seattle, which at the time was owned by my friends Matt Bayles and Chris Common. I was so nervous about mixing my first record in a studio that I overlooked one very basic mixing practice. I didn’t pan the rack and floor toms, and if you listen, you will hear that they’re both panned up the middle. It’s a small detail that most people probably never noticed, but looking back, I know it was such an amateur mistake.
Anyway, it’s fun to think back about making that record, and how primitive it was by today’s standards. Still, I’m proud of this record. It sounds corny, but it’s true that where there’s a will there’s a way. “Bird of Prey” is proof of that for me, and I think Caleb too. Sometimes the best thing you can do is say yes, and then figure it out as you go.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT …
Some of you caught the leak of an early version of our song “Tropics.” Here’s a bit about it and the release date of our debut album over at ThePRP.com
It’s been a busy start to the year. Last weekend was the annual NAMM show in Anaheim, California. I met some great people and saw some interesting new gear from Sonor, Paiste, BAE, McDSP and Apogee. Thanks to everyone who stopped by my signing at the Sonor drums booth. It was cool to hear some interest in my new band Palms.
Speaking of Palms, we’re putting the finishing touches on the record now and will have an announcement about the record and release date soon. We’re all beyond excited about this record. Sorry for the silence. It’s because we’ve been hard at work.
I was interviewed by Rhythm Magazine for a cover story on Danny Carey. The issue is on newsstands now and also available digitally via their app. Inside, there’s a sidebar where I talk about what it’s like to work with Danny and I answer some common misconceptions about Tool. I’ve also been working with Danny in his studio on an interesting project. More on that later …
Also, a couple of records I worked on in 2012 received placement on end-of-the-year best-of lists. I’m honored to have been a part of these:
- Sleep Lady “So Long Lonely Ghost” (Co-Produced, Mixed) was given #13 on the Ech(((o)))es and Dust “Album of the Year 2012 – Writers Poll.”
- Mental Architects “Celebrations” (Produced, Mixed) recieved Postrock-Star “Math Rock Album Of The Year.”
Last, if you follow me on Instagram, then you’re aware of my distaste for pig parkers. To help spread the word, and have some fun with it too, I’m starting a line of custom t-shirts. Check out my first design over at my shop: stopthepigparkers.tumblr.com. More designs will be coming soon!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Music is such an important part of our lives. It inspires us in so many ways, helps us through hard times and brings us together in good times. It’s one of the most powerful forces we know and I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to be able to work in music alongside such talented and passionate musicians.
As 2012 comes to a close, I’m very proud to look back at some of the records I worked on this year, including ISIS, Jezabels, Mental Architects, Mothra, Palms, Pelican, Sleep Lady, and Weary Eyes. I also got to do some touring as drum tech for two of my good friends — Danny Carey of Tool and Abe Cunningham of Deftones — and as a tour manager and live-sound engineer for Melvins Lite and Jezabels.
I’m looking forward to making more great records in the coming year and to releasing the debut record from my new band Palms. I hope you’ll continue to consider me for your recording, mixing and/or producing needs.
Happy New Year!
The post-production phase was pretty great because we got to work with Aaron (Harris). We’ve never brought in outside ears on a project before and I was a bit nervous but it was a really easy process and he was really great to work with. I found it really interesting what he would focus on in the creative process.
Thanks for the kind words guys.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
A record I mixed and co-produced by the San Diego band Sleep Lady is out today. I really like the diversity of this record. It reminds me of some of the records I discovered as a kid and became obsessed with. One of those discoveries where you say “why haven’t I heard of these guys?” I had a lot of fun working on this one. I hope peeps enjoy it!
You may also like:
A record I recently mixed by Russia’s Weary Eyes is available for free download on Soundcloud. Here is a preview:
I often get asked if I do mastering. I don’t, although it’s a skill I am really interested in learning.
Mastering is much more than just making your mixes loud. It’s an art, one that requires a special ear. I like to think of mastering like a coat of lacquer on a finished project. Mastering adds that last touch that makes all of your work a little more appealing. Things pop out, there’s a sense of completion, and yes, it’s louder. (Of course, louder does not always mean better, but I’m not going to rant about how I feel we’ve forgotten what a volume knob is, and the “volume wars.” We all hear differently.)
For anyone looking for mastering I recommend, James Plotkin, who I use for a lot of my mixes. He does great work, and his rates are unbelievably artist friendly.
I’m always looking for new records to work on. Feel free to contact me for producing, recording, or mixing rates. Aaron[@]aaronharris-audio[dot]com