"The Trials & Tribulations of Home Recording"
Brought my ProTools Digi001 rig to the apartment of singer/songwriter and guitarist Joe Kelly of Provan to track some of the guitar and bass parts for the second phase of their project. We decided to use his bedroom as the control room and his living room as the tracking area. I brought some fun outboard gear as well, and we borrowed a Joe Meek QCS from a good friend. Got all the gear set up pretty quickly, plugged in the amps and, woh! Buzz city! As is often the case in older buildings, the power and outlets were highly suspect. After trying everything from ground-lift adaptors to attaching jumper cables between amp chassis and pipes we decided to seek some help. We called the music store and asked what power conditioners they had in stock. A helpful salesperson suggested a model called the Monster Power Pro-1000. We took the drive out there and purchased this $150 power strip, brought it back, plugged it in and, guess what? No difference! Still buzz city! By now we'd had used up half our day so we made the difficult but necessary choice of living with the buzz on some of the tracks. Guitarist Bill Lutz did some of his clean guitar tracks through his Roland tube amp. We mic'd this with and Octava and a Sennheiser 421, running through Vintech 72 preamps. That worked out well. Mark Bendian's bass amp had too much buzz to use, so we went direct through the borrowed Joe Meek, which sounded great. Mark didn't want to cut his tracks in the makeshift control room though, so we ran his cords out the window and he tracked on the porch. We got bass takes for all six songs. Between the two day's of tracking, the guys had a gig backing up singer/songwriter John Hovorka, so it was quite a busy weekend, and in the end, both productive and enjoyable.