I couldn’t be more excited to announce that an album I mixed this winter for Swiss-German artist Gölä reached #1 on the Itunes charts in Switzerland!
I got involved with this project back in December when I received a call from my good friend Mason Embry asking if I’d be interested in recording and mixing a new 15 song album for an artist on Universal Records in Switzerland. Without any hesitation I said yes and we began Gölä’s recording sessions over 3 days right before Christmas in the amazing Studio A at Quad Studios on music row in Nashville, TN. Mason produced and also played keys on the entire record. He brought in some top-notch musicians and everyone played live together on the studio floor. The rhythm section consisted of Chuck Tilley on drums and John Howard on bass. Lou Toomey and Chris Cottros laid down all the acoustic and electric guitars. After the initial tracking dates, Mason got started with the additional overdubs and then the tracks went to co-producer Mondo Grimes for the vocal sessions that took place at his personal studio in Franklin, TN.
The Making Of Mundart-Balladen In Nashville
It was sometime around the middle of February when I received the completed multi-tracks and began the mixing process. Due to a tight schedule and deadline, the 15 songs needed to be mixed and revised in two weeks. I mixed the entire album at the Matchless Mix studios in Cubase without the use of any outboard gear/processing. As I completed each mix, I promptly uploaded the files for Gölä, Mason and the label to begin listening. When we completed the first mixes on all 15 songs, I then went through everyone’s notes and began revisions. Mixing the album was a smooth process considering the high quality musicianship and the world class studios. It’s generally easier for me to mix an album that I tracked since I’m always thinking about what I want to hear as I begin mixing. The sonic direction for the record was pretty straight ahead. Mason wanted an organic and live sound therefore I went for a more hands off approach and tried to stay out of the way. One of the bigger mixing challenges was getting the vocals in a place where everyone felt good about them. The Swiss-German language naturally has quite a bit of sibilance so I made sure to get the de-esser dialed in just right. Gölä also prefers the vocal volume to be fairly prominent in the mix so it took me a little time to get a feel for what he was looking for. I also spent quite a bit of time creating some custom drum samples to blend into the drum kit. During our tracking sessions at Quad, I had Chuck give me a few hits of each drum so I could blend them into kit later. Before I began mixing, I went through the content and found the best hits, enhanced them and loaded into the Slate trigger plugin. It seemed to give me more consistent hits, a sharper transient and less drum leakage in the mix while still retaining the natural sound of the kit.
#1 on Itunes!
Once everyone felt good about the mixes, I sent them to Doug Van Sloun at Focus Mastering in Omaha, Nebraska. Doug masters a lot of records that I mix and he does great work. Two days were scheduled for mastering and once we received the masters, the label, myself and Mason were extremely pleased. The record turned out great especially considering the limited time we had before our deadline. Check out the video above to get a great look into our recording process. You can even see my cameo appearance at 4:36. Gölä wasn’t in the United States during the tracking sessions but while in town to record his vocals, he along with his crew definitely made time to hang out over food and drinks and we had a great time. It’s not everyday that I get to work with artists from outside of the US but I always enjoy the challenges that come with creating music for different cultures and working with vocals in other languages. Overall making this record was a blast and I’m thankful to Roland at Universal Records and Mason Embry for letting me be a part of the entire process. I’m glad to see that it’s so well received in Switzerland!
Preview and purchase the album on Itunes
Gölä and the team in Nashville
Pictured from left to right: Mondo Grimes (Producer), Chuck Tilley (Drums), Chris Cottros (Guitar), Mason Embry (Producer and Keys), Gölä, Roland Fischer (A&R at Universal), Lou Toomey (Guitar), John Howard (Bass) and myself.