June brought a diverse range of artists trooping through the doors at Toyland Recording Studio in Northcote. The month opened auspiciously with a week of international mixing for Alexandr Uman, better known by his stage persona Shura B2, the guitarist of chart-topping Russian pop superstars Bi-2. Managing the project between Minsk and Melbourne went without a hitch; the 96k sessions were sent via file transfer, and the mixes in-progress were uploaded to Dropbox for mix comments. It was a true delight to have Bi-2 mixes back on the board at Toyland; the band have previously achieved Gold Record sales with albums mixed by Adam Calaitzis.
Noted musical director Greg Mills booked sessions on an exciting ongoing project to create a musical extravaganza for the World’s Fair ‘Expo Milano 2015’. The June sessions involved a day each with session players par excellence, drummer Gerry Pantazis, and guitarist Simon Hosford. Female-fronted progressive metal band Scorching Winter booked out a week to track their new EP ‘Peripheral’, and also engaged Adam Calaitzis for mixing.
Tina Papadimitriou’s vocals were tracked with a Neumann M149 tube mic, and Natalie Bellio’s keyboards were captured as MIDI and expanded using the studio’s extensive sound library, including choral and string arrangements to evoke a more epic symphonic sound.
Hardcore stalwarts Mindsnare came in with Jason Fuller to record fourteen pummeling and relentless songs of rock fury, taking full advantage of the outstanding sounding Toyland drum room and house engineering expertise. The Terraces put final mix adjustments on their outstanding new street punk opus ‘Empire’ which has secured them a deal with Plastic Head Records in the UK. Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes had players in every available space at Toyland to track their melancholy alternative country stylings, which featured tasteful playing and some lovely singer-songwriter storytelling. The studio upgraded the main control room computer with a custom build based on the leading edge Intel X99 platform and 5930x 6 core I7, with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and OWC SSD drives – throughout a busy June of big mixes the system performed flawlessly.