Spring certainly sprung at Toyland Recording Studio, with September proving extremely musical and diverse. Marcia Howard, most well known as a member of triple Aria Award winning band Goanna, has been coming into Toyland on an ongoing basis to track her thoughtfully crafted lyrics and beautiful singing for her forthcoming solo album; vocals are being captured using a Neumann M149 Tube microphone, running to the Neve 1084, with no compressor at printing by request. The instrumental parts were recorded in Nashville with an ensemble of seasoned session instrumentalists to get a classic Nashville country sound, and the combined results are shaping up to be unique, personal, and befitting such Australian rock royalty. Another high profile project from Russia enlisted Adam Calaitzis on mixing an album for former concert pianist turned pop star, the beautiful songstress Varya Demidova. Consulting long distance has proven a breeze, with co-creators extraordinaire in arranger/producer Oleg Chekhov, and co-writer Alexandr Uman, AKA Shura B2, guitarist of chart-topping Russian pop superstars Bi-2.
Speaking of superstars, a rare treat was recording voice over for the tour adverts for the William Shatner Australian Tour, the original Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame. A film crew visited Toyland to document Fergus Linacre in rehearsal to promote The Beatles Live “Rubber Soul Revolver” Show at Arts Centre. Linacre belted out a fabulous rendition of ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ through a Neumann TLM149, in a performance that would have done Paul McCartney himself proud. The clip showcased Toyland’s Tracking Room A to
good advantage, and the session was presided over by producer Lindsay Field, best known as a longtime member of the John Farnham Band, and as always a consummate professional. The client also booked VO and EPK creation for The Beatles Live, featuring concert multitracks mixed by Adam Calaitzis. On the indie front, a brass section of highly skilled players came in to provide old-school sweetening for Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes album ‘The Mountain’; these great players sounded amazing through a matched pair of Sennheiser 441s, with an AEA R84 on trumpet, and a Neumann U87 on the trombone. Metal band Ordinance delivered a home-recorded album to be mixed and mastered by Adam Calaitzis.
Songwriter Luke Malone booked time to further develop his songs ranging from rock, metal, through to folk. Clifford Ennis, songwriter of Australian darkwave act Subterfuge, commenced serious recording of a new album; built upon the foundation of his home-recorded Cubase files, the album is developing with expanded midi arrangements, replaced generic sounds, sending to an Oberheim Xpander with appropriately dark and evocative Gothic tones, and the guitars re-amped through the Toyland Marshall backline. Ennis will be visiting the studio on an ongoing basis to bring the album to completion. Also on the darkwave front, Chris McCarter of IKON came into the studio accompanied by guitarist Clifford Ennis, bassist Dino Molinaro, and drummer David Burns, to record a macabre Christmas single titled ‘Krampus’.
New studio acquisitions at Toyland include two Solomon “MiCS LoFReQ” Low Frequency Capture Microphones – these substantial dynamic microphones have a diaphragm as large as a monitor speaker, and while not especially responsive to transient, they are magic for capturing the resonant tone of low toms and bass drum, and boosting the body when micing a bass amp