A Rare Opportunity.
We went into the Keeper Of The Witch E.P. recording with the mindset of creating a two song single that we could press onto 7″ vinyl. What we ended up doing was knocking out four new songs, and we’ll be pressing it as a 12″ colored vinyl E.P. We attribute this to practicing numerous times a week, and the recent string of shows we played before going into the studio. Our producer, J., often tells us that one live performance is the equivalent to ten rehearsals, and it’s true.
After arriving to the studio, setting up mics, tweaking amps, and tuning up, the discussion between our producer and the owners of the studio concerning tracking to tape came up. Many recordings are now done digitally, and that’s cool. There is, however, no comparison to that of a recording done on magnetic tape. What we were given was the opportunity to record on out-of-the-box, untouched, virgin, vintage Quantegy GP9 tape.
There was a lot of talk about this being a rare opportunity due to the fact that Quantegy went bankrupt and closed it’s doors in 2005, and as a result, production of their high-end magnetic tape has ended. Sure, you could probably find a reel of used tape at a studio, and record over whatever had been tracked on that tape previously over and over again, which people do all the time (imagine recording a song over another song on a cassette tape like you used to do), but here was a virgin reel, totally fresh, and ours for the taking. When Quantegy went out of business, recording studios and audio engineers began buying up all of the magnetic tape available, and hoarding it, knowing that it would no longer be manufactured. As is the story of Kodak ceasing production of Ektachrome photographic film (you know, the stuff used to shoot all of those amazing National Geographic photos), and the many photographers scrambling to snatch it up knowing well that this analog medium is something incredibly special, and impossible to duplicate digitally.
As for the tape machine, a Studer A-827 24-track recorder was used. Many studios and producers agree, it is hands down the best tape machine in existence due to it’s reliability and sound quality. It’s known as the best tape machine in the world for tracking a rock album with tons of booming drums and walls of guitars, and we can dig that.
~photos by sue ellen soto during the Keeper Of The Witch tracking sessions. May, 2012.
This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 by kevindredge. It was filed under Uncategorized and was tagged with analog recording, ektachrome, film, gp9 tape, hardcore, j. yuenger, keeper of the witch, kodak, louisiana, metal, national geographic, new orleans, piety street studios, punk, quantegy, recording studio, she's still dead, studer tape machine, thrash, white zombie.