The Emperor protects!
Gearing up for recording "Oddities 2" and the all new London After Midnight album (title not yet officially revealed), I thought I would also digitize the 24 track master tapes from the 1991 "Selected Scenes from the End of the World" recording sessions. I wanted to do this in order to preserve the audio because tape can degrade over time. So transferring it to a computer was the plan. I recorded "Selected Scenes…" in September of 1991, before computers took over recording studios, so it was recorded on tape.

For those unfamiliar- I used 2 inch wide reel to reel tape that you could record multiple tracks on. You would then mix that 2 inch multi track master down to a stereo master tape (normally a 1 inch wide tape or DAT tape, etc) from which you would get all your CDs manufactured.

Over the years that 1 inch master tape was taken by a former live player in London After Midnight, who has since vanished. I had wanted to digitize the audio from that stereo master tape in order to release an all new cleaner version of the album. But all I had were the 24 track 2 inch master tapes.

And that was a problem, or so I thought. For years I thought it was pointless to get these 24 track 2 inch multi track tapes digitized because I thought some elements were missing (long explanation about mixing removed- to put it simply, I thought the keyboard tracks may not be on the tape because they might have been run in real time from a sequencer as I made that master 1 inch stereo tape. You would do that in order to save room on the tape, because I only had 24 tracks to record on and a drum kit alone can take up to 14 tracks).

So, on Monday night during a downpour in Los Angeles Pete Pace Drummer, Matthew NotMatt Setzer and I entered a studio that LAM's drummer Pete Pace had recently recorded (another story on this studio below, which is the TRULY strange part of this story). I put the reels on the machine at the studio and played them for the first time since 1991. To my utter astonishment, I found the keyboard audio that I thought might be missing is actually there! I recorded stereo keyboard tracks either as a safety, reference, or these are the actual tracks you hear on CD.

Now this may not seem like a revelation to you but for me it's pure gold. I had ALL the tracks on separate channels with NOTHING missing. Also, on reviewing the 24 track masters I found the songs to be perfectly preserved, crystal clear like it was recorded yesterday. The muddy mixes you've come to know over time of 'Sacrifice', 'Spider and the Fly', 'Revenge', etc, are not what the songs truly sound like. To me I always thought the album was mixed wrong by the engineer who I hired in 1991 (the only one I could afford then). The 24 track tape shows the raw songs are much cleaner, more powerful and detailed than the currently available songs would lead you to believe.

That can happen when you mix an album if you don't know what you're doing. And my engineer didn't, apparently. And I was a VERY young kid then, I didn't know my way around a recording studio at all so I allowed the engineer a great deal of leeway in the decisions as far as mixing. As a result some major mistakes were made (for example the original 'Your Best Nightmare' from the original cassette and 1995 CD release of "Selected Scenes…"- you can hear a girl moaning during the intro and bridge. This was supposed to be masked by lots audio manipulation, the end result being only a whispery, almost subliminal, suggestion of a passionate moan. But the engineer just couldn't accomplish what I wanted. That's why this version of the song was removed from the 2003 Trisol and 2007 Metropolis re-releases. Other mistakes were made with the mix, too, which always left me unsatisfied with the current version of "Selected Scenes from the End of the World".

But, now I have these individual tracks perfectly crystal clear and separated and I can remix them to sound as they should have originally sounded. I was amazed at how good it sounded, as is, without all the heavy reverb that the engineer ruined the original mix with. So, a seemingly hopeless dream has become a very real probability- that I can finally remix this and release the ultimate correct version of "Selected Scenes from the End of the World".

Now the question is would you guys be interested in this? I guarantee it would be worth it. I am also going to try and locate the original tapes for 'Nightmare' and Claire's Horrors', which are also on "Selected Scenes..". These were recorded earlier at a different studio on an 8 or 16 track recording system. All this can be cleaned up and remastered (for both CD/digital and maybe 12 inch vinyl). But again, is this something that LAM fans might be interested in? A clean, clear version of "Selected Scenes…", remastered correctly, mixed correctly, etc…? Let me know.


Ok, now the weird part of this story. I recorded "Selected Scenes…" at two studios. I started at a studio in Van Nuys CA and had since forgotten the name and location. Then we moved to a studio in Burbank CA called Red Zone (which I thought closed because whenever I Googled it there was no result). I had since forgotten the exact locations of both studios but I wanted to try and find them.

Before having older tapes run through a tape machine you're usually asked to bake them, literally, in an oven. Over time moisture can cause the tapes to become sticky, which causes problems, so you bake them to get the moisture out. So last week I brought the tapes to a place in Burbank CA to have them baked. In the meantime I did some research again to try and find the exact location of the old Red Zone studio, where half the recording was done. Surprisingly a new result came up in Google in relation to a studio now called Glenwood Place Studios. When I went to pick up my tapes from being baked 2 days later I turned the corner and there was Glenwood Place (the street). I drove another block and there was the studio. Glenwood Place Studios was just the new name for Red Zone. Literally just about 2 blocks from where I got the tapes baked was the original studio where I recorded "Selected Scenes…", on the very same tapes on the seat next to me in my car. I finally found the location of the old Red Zone. But I still didn't know what the other studio was called. So half the mystery remained.

For recording the new songs for the all new LAM album and Oddities 2 (remember, 2 albums are coming), I was originally going to use a studio near the San Francisco area. But that wasn't all that convenient and we decided to go to a studio that Pete Pace, LAM's drummer, had recently recorded at. It turns out they also transfer 2 inch multi track tapes to digital format, so I scheduled a session for that on Monday, and the following Thursday we'd go back to record drums.

So last Monday I set out in the rain to Van Nuys to go to this unknown studio to transfer the tapes. When I walked in the door I almost fainted- THIS was the first studio where I started recording "Selected Scenes…"! The one I couldn't remember the name of or location and was lost forever to time. The one where I came up without the title "Selected Scenes from the End of the World" while sitting on the floor by the mixing board. Where I recorded 'Sacrifice' and 'Spider and the Fly'. It was an emotional jolt from the past, strange, even bitter-sweet given some things that have occurred since 1991, to walk in there with the original tapes, again; play them on the machine (maybe the SAME machine I used in 1991 and definitely through the same mixing console). Everything had gone in a circle and "Selected Scenes…" was back to where it all started, just days away from the commencement of even more recording for two new LAM albums. Anyway- it may not seem strange to anyone else (but it should), but to me it was sort of mind blowing. For years I wondered where this studio was, if it even existed anymore, and just by chance, by Pete having recorded there recently, I was back in the same studio where it all began. (с) Sean Brennan

@темы: selected scenes from the end of the, Видео