2018 was an amazing year tracking and mixing records at Acadia. We added some great new gear to the studio including a stereo pair of AMI tab funkenwerks small diaphragm condenser microphones and we upgraded our mix-room monitors from our Adam A7Xs to A77Xs. Most importantly, we worked with some incredible musicians on over 50 different records, and saw more than 30 of those records get released this year (so we can guarantee there is some good music to look forward to in 2019!).
The biggest of thanks to all of you for trusting us with your creative projects. It means the world that we get to help turn your demos and and ideas into a reality, and we are so proud of the music coming our of Portland, Maine right now.
So do yourselves a favor and go listen to these records!
Mome, Burr, Conor Mulroy, Sam Hastings,Korovyov, Shabti, Liz Frame and the Kickers, Nick DuBose, Riverton Diesel, Mark Tipton, El Grande, Eli Gilbert, Damnationland Music For The Wicked Vol IV, The Strangely Possibles, Lauren Crosby, Ghost Atlantic, Welterweight, The Bumbling Woohas, GROW (Greg Klein’s newest project), Feral, and Apollyon
It’s a great feeling to be able to set up a session and never have to worry about troubleshooting or fixing our essential workhouse gear. We’re not talking about microphones- but the rugged boxes that often live on the floor next to pedal boards, quietly doing the work to transfer clean signals from our live room to our Protools session. In our opinion, Radial Engineering’s equipment is the only brand that we trust to get the job done right every time, and it really is essential to our workflow.
Whether we are re-amping a bass DI line to move air and fill out a part, or collecting a DI signal as a safeguard while tracking, there are few sessions at the studio that don’t use Radial equipment. Started by Peter Janis in 1991, this Canadian company has been on the cutting edge of capturing pure musical tones ever since– bass, synths, electric, and acoustic guitar signals all sound great with their equipment, and Radial Engineering always has a solution to convert a myriad of signal sources to our console. Their products range from DI boxes, Reamp boxes, amp- and channel-switchers, and of course a whole series of Line- and Mic-level boxes that are used on stages, studios and in the corporate world as well. All of their units are designed to easily convert signals and consistently deliver THE best in audio quality.
At the heart of most of the Radial products is the coveted Jensen transformer. These transformers were designed in 1974 by Deane Jensen, the son of a Norwegian Physicist. His father went on to work for RCA labs as well as many other government jobs. Deane discovered that one of the major drawbacks of most mixing consoles was the transformer, so he developed his custom Jensen transformer which increased the frequency response and introduced the Bessel curve (which Jensen is famous for) to cut down on noise. These transformers are the secret weapons for the Radial DI box line and how they achieve such sonic quality.
The backbone of Radial’s legacy is definitely their Jensen-equipped JDI (launched in 1996) and J48 direct boxes. They really are THE BEST Direct Input boxes on the market. Not only are these the best sounding boxes but they are also incredibly rugged and reliable. We have taken these units on countless numbers of tours, dropped them, stuck them to pedalboards, had fans spill beer on them, and they ALWAYS work. You never have to second guess whether any of their products will fail regardless of what gets plugged into it.
At the studio we also use some 500 series units as well as theirSGI guitar balanced line driver, their X-amp reamp box, their Phazor which is a phase alignment tool that we use on bass, the J+4 which takes a -10db signal and boosts it up to a +4db signal, and the JDX which is a direct box that goes between and amplifier and a speaker cab, sort of like a DI box but for an amp. Radial also has a more cost-effective “Pro-DI” line. These units are not equipped with Jensen transformers but they still do an amazing job capturing a clean signal.
Radial as a brand also includes some other product lines that feature essential gear for studio recording. Primacoustic is focused on acoustic room treatment options (we use their isopads for our monitors on in our mix room to prevent any unwanted vibrations from affecting the monitor’s output). Another great product is their ABY switches, which allow you to switch between two amplifiers or combine both amp signals with a simple foot switch. We can also vouch for their Twin City Tone Bone and BigShot ABY switches, which can be essential for live performances. Basically you can’t go wrong with Radial products, and we can’t sing their praises enough at the studio. They really should be your go-to if you want to reliably get the best sounding signal every time.
GK in the studio working with Peter Himmer who recorded vibes on his latest record.
We’ve got another playlist for y’all to listen to (check out our whole playlist series here)! This one is by Greg Klein (GK), who is no stranger to Acadia. He’s recorded three records with Dark Hollow Bottling Company, one record with The Worrisome Hearts, one record with GK and the Right of Way, and we’ve been recording his latest solo project, GROW, here at Acadia this past winter thru the spring. GK has also been bringing in a ton of exceptional local musicians to play on this latest project. Look forward to hearing Drew Wyman on bass, our very own Jason Phelps sharing some tasty guitar licks, drums by Charles C Gagne of the Mallett Brothers Band, Timothy Patrick Emery on guitar, Susie Pepper singing harmonies, and Flash Allen playing organ, among others! It’s going to be a great record for sure!
We’re excited to share a little bit of what GK listens to when he’s not making music himself: Take a listen to his playlist below, along with a few notes for the songs he has included. As always, happy listening!
Sun of Bum – Jimmy Smith songs have a phrasing that I find so unique. And somehow he sings like that and plays bass at the same time. Yacht Dance – The way they layers guitar parts together. Man out of Time – Its really the intro/outro concept in this tune that I used on a tune on my album. The Only Answer – He makes simple so good. Anything You Want – The way they layer instruments is so tasty. I love the feel of this tune. Looking Forward to Seeing You – Harmonies, hook. Car – Song structure is so interesting. Sway – Feel, tone, testicles. O, My Soul – I love how this song evolves. It ends somewhere very different from where it started, but it doesn’t feel that way. Totally tried to steal this concept. 6’1” – lyrics, feel. Nobody Up Drinking – keep it simple.