Secret Magic Control Agency

Here’s a clip from a session for the film score for the new animated film Secret Magic Control Agency – which is currently #1 on Netflix this week! It features Naren Rauch, Tim Lefebvre, and the Budapest Scoring orchestra.

Jon Solo record session at Kingsland Studio

On Jan 6 2010, I tracked 13 tunes for Jon Solo’s upcoming album. Jon Solo mainly plays keyboards and acoustic guitar for Brett Dennen. Jn and I used to tour together a lot in the Jamie McLean Band. I’m psyched to be a part of his debut solo record. Jon’s songs are beautiful – his vocals and melodies remind me of Paul Simon as well as Sam Prekop.We tracked at Jeffrey Swart’s place, Kingsland Studios. Jeffrey got a really great sound. I used my ’66 rogers kit:

and occasionally used my 1941 radio king snare (pictured) on one or two tracks. Jeffrey has a lot of great mics and is clever about finding spots all over his studio to get some additional ambient sounds. Here’s a list of what we used:

Royer R-121 36″ in front of the kick drum

Sm57 as a “knee mic” – literally just over the bass drum  on the pedal side pointing right at my knee – this got an interesting overall perspective.

AKG 414 and a  SM57 on top of the snare – which Jeffrey blended for the top snare sound.

and a Beta 56a under the snare

A reverse wired yamaha Ns10 speaker [same thing as the yamaha subkick] and a beta 52 on kick.


Sennheiser 421 on the rack tom

Akg d112 on floor Tom. – I love when guys put kick mics on floor toms. It gets all the super low frequencies. (The surdo players in a lot of samba groups in Rio de Janeiro all use Beta 52’s and AKG D112’s pointing down on to the batter head. It helps get a real sub-tone to these canon shaped drums.)

2 Shure Ksm 141’s as overheads equally 50 inches from snare. tape measured it and all – sure enough the phase was perfect.

A Fet 47 in the kitchen, about ten yards away as a room mic.

An Sm7b on hats

Stereo sm 57s in an xy pattern in stairwell, outside the closed door. These got a really interesting high-mid reverb.



I cant remember what this mic was – some large condenser inside the bathtube.  The bathroom was way down the hall with the door wide open. Strangely enough, the mic picked up some low end ambiance from inside the tub.



Jeffrey was talking a bit about the book by Bruce Swedien. apparently he divulges a lot of secrets in it.

Jon tracked bass on his 70’s Univox p-bass clone. Flatwound strings. Pretty beefy.