Category Archives: Recorded
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 …
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
I just returned from a tour doing live sound for Melvins Lite. The Lite version of the Melvins (although it’s just as loud and heavy) consists of Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Trevor Dunn on upright bass. The Melvins have long been one of my favorite bands. I respect their approach to things. It reminded me a lot of how ISIS operated; very hands on. I enjoy doing live sound, especially the challenge of a new environment everyday and learning how other people approach sound. Some of the house sound guys have good tricks to share. (But others are completely apathetic and unhelpful.) And I appreciate that my collection of Heil microphones always get compliments.
Next week I’ll be joining Deftones on their tour with System Of A Down to drum tech for Abe Cunningham. I’m excited to go out and tour with those guys again. Such a great group of people. I’ve heard some of their new record as well. They’ve worked really hard on it, and from what I’ve heard, it’s easily my favorite record of theirs to date. Thanks to Sean Bates (Abe’s full-time tech) for having me fill in. I’ll be on the tour from Boston onward.
In the studio, I’m finishing up mixing the debut record for the Russian band Weary Eyes; it will be out later this year. Next I’m mixing a record for the San Diego-Based band Sleep Lady. I really like their sound. It’s pretty unique. Check out some of their previous works. I think you’ll like it.
I’m also finishing up the debut from my new band along with Chino Moreno, Jeff Caxide, and Bryant Meyer. The band is called Palms. Here’s the press release if you missed the initial announcement. All the music is finished and we’re now focusing on vocals. We’ve seen some of the album artwork created by artist Chuck Anderson and it’s beautiful. We’re all very excited about this record. It’s coming together nicely.
Also, here’s a video for a song that I mixed for the New Zealand band Mothra. It came out great.
Last, here are a few more photos from the Melvins Lite tour.
Hello. I just wanted to share a few things that have been going on. The new Mental Architects “Celebrations” record is now available. I produced and mixed this record. I’m really happy with how it came out, and the process was something I’ve always wanted to try. Here’s my favorite track from the record:
I’m going out with the Jezabels in a few days to do live sound for their upcoming U.S./Canada tour. We’re hitting some of my favorite spots. If you’re free, come see these guys. They’re great live. Tour dates can be found HERE.
Some of you may have seen the drum tracking pictures I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks ago. The photos were taken at Joe Barresi’s studio, where we tracked drums for my new band. We used some unconventional gear that I can’t wait to talk about. The record is coming along great, and we will be announcing more exciting details in the near future. Here’s a couple pics from the drum tracking:
Thanks for reading.
In a recent interview on Brooklyn Vegan with Mike Hill of the band Tombs, Larry and Trevor from Pelican talk about the making of their new EP -” Ataraxia/Taraxia,” and what it was like to track drums with me here in Los Angeles.
Here are some highlights from the interview -
Mike Hill: Who handled the production duties on Ataraxia / Taraxia?
Trevor de Brauw: It’s sort of complicated. Since the band is no longer located in one city we have to fly by night, we have limited time at our disposal. What we ended up doing for these songs was split up the recording. Larry tracked his drums with Aaron Harris (Isis drummer) in L.A. for two of the songs and then sent us the drum tracks. We recorded the rest of the material in Chicago at Engine Studios with Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Gates of Slumber, Leviathan).
There are basically three engineers involved: Aaron Harris, Sanford Parker, Kemble Walters, who’s Larry’s bandmate in ÆGES.
How does recording with close friends affect the process of making a record?
LH: For me, I’ve always looked up to Aaron (Harris) as a drummer, and he’s gotten a lot busier being an engineer as of late. He’s working on records all the time now and I just feel like he’s a good person to have in the studio with me; he’s such a mellow guy and he’s easy to talk to. He calms my nerves. The studio can always be kind of a stressful situation, kind of uptight. He can offer good insight. I remember there was a couple of fills I was doing on the second song of the EP and he was like “Yeah why don’t you pull back a little, hold back on those fills.” He does offer really good insight. Made the songs better in the end. He made it more of a comfortable experience. I’m in a band with [Kemble]. He’s a drummer too; he was the same way. You know he’s kind of like, if I did something that was kind of weird, he’d say “Oh, why don’t you try this instead?” And I’d say, “I didn’t think of it that way.” Both guys were really good influences on me; made it pretty smooth. As far as Sanford goes, I wasn’t there [this] time, but recording with Sanford is always awesome. When I was in Lair of the Minotaur we did our records with Sanford.
To read the full interview go HERE
The new Pelican EP that I worked on will be released in April. It’s called “Ataraxia/Taraxis.” I tracked Larry Herweg’s drums for the new release. It was mixed by Sanford Parker, who also tracked the guitars and bass for the record. I’m honored to be part of this new record in the Pelican catalog. Working with Larry was a blast, and we got some great drum sounds. Can’t wait for you all to hear it. Click the picture below for a press release, or click HERE.
I’m back from tour through the U.S. and Canada with The Jezabels, who are a quartet from Australia. I had a great time doing live sound for them. It’s such a different world from the studio. Every night is a new environment, with a different console, and new challenges. But it’s fun to have so much power at you fingertips. It was also fun to see some snow, which living in Los Angeles I don’t see very often anymore. That wore off pretty quickly though I must admit.
Mixing for the new Jakob record is almost complete. They’ve decided to add some tracks, and tweak a couple songs, so things are on pause while they do that. To say that they are perfectionists would be an understatement. It will be worth the wait for sure.
In the meantime I’ve starting mixing a band from New Zealand called Mothra. Fans of the heavy Godflesh-esq sound will enjoy these guys. Here’s a link to their website http://mothraband.com/
In the past I’ve mentioned my new band with Cliff Meyer and Jeff Caxide from ISIS. We have yet to find a name for it. (It seems they’ve all been taken.) I can say we plan to record in February 2012, and that we have a 4th member providing vocals who we’re excited about. I don’t want to reveal too much about it at this point, but we appreciate the enthusiasm and look forward to releasing some new music!
Lastly — and not at all related to work — check out this Hidden Radio & Bluetooth Speaker on Kickstarter. Can’t wait for these to become a reality.