2019 at Acadia

2019 turned out to be another year jam-packed with great players, a fantastic set of sonically diverse projects, and some awesome new studio upgrades. Our top new gear highlights from this year include 8 channels of aurora preamps (GTP8), a Wurlitzer upright piano, a Hammond SoloVox, an Ampeg SVT910 guitar/bass cabinet, an otamotone, and of course our new commercial-grade Bunn coffee maker to fuel it all.

We’re also in the midst of a studio re-wire, which, if all goes according to plan, will end with the debut of our brand new patchbay, custom designed (by Mr. Patchbay) to improve ALL of the connections we have between our gear. We’re so excited to hear the difference it’s going to make!

Of course, we’d be nowhere without the incredible musicians who chose to record and mix their records with us this year. Over the course of 2019 we worked on over 70 different projects, 40 of which were released this year. We are so happy and humbled to help support Maine’s music scene and we hope you’ll take some time to listen to these records.

  1. Colorful Pains by Asodi
  2. Borscht Belt Vol 1: Ode to Pasqually by Boat Dares 
  3. Borscht Belt Vol 2: Mouse Casino and the Unicorn by Boat Dares 
  4. Bathroom Noises EP by Billy Midol 
  5. Coil of Suns by Burr 
  6. Sweet Like Honey Claire Scott 
  7. Shallow Waters by Clapping In Irons 
  8. Mystic River by Conor Mulroy 
  9. Loaf by Conor Mulroy 
  10. Music for the Wicked Vol V and IV Damnationland 
  11. Stay With Me by Duquette 
  12. Brick City Sound by El Grande
  13. Dreamcatcher by  Eli Gilbert 
  14. Destroyer and Terminer by Feral 
  15. The Dark Side of Frankie Moon by Frankie Moon and the Dave Matthewses Band 
  16. Down To My Last Million by Ghost Atlantic 
  17. Dead Man’s Motto by Greg Klein 
  18. Reborn (a single from Gaia and Friends) record by Crystal Fighters
  19. Boomerang (single) Crystal Canyon
  20. New Man Single Gunther Brown 
  21. Dressed in Black and Don’t Bury Me by I Suppose You Know Karate 
  22. Order of the Epimethean Flame by Imipolex 
  23. Stephen King (single) by Jeff Beam 
  24. Scenes from Somewhere Maine by Johnny Crashed 
  25. Kirtonium S/T 
  26. I Said Take Me To The Water by Lauren Crosby 
  27. New Mythologies for Trumpet(s) by Mark Tipton 
  28. Live and Raw by Memphis Lightning 
  29. So Many Things by Riverton Diesel 
  30. The Water Is Wide by Rob Spaulding
  31. Hopeful by Sam Hastings 
  32. Trembling and Shorn by Shabti 
  33. The Kraken Sleepeth by The Shank Painters 
  34. Go Away (Single) by Sonic Libido 
  35. Gone by Festus 
  36. Welcome to Trash Clown City, The Secret City of The Absent Sane by The Bumbling Woohas 
  37. Fade To Black by The Folding Faces
  38. Viva by Viva and the Reinforcements 
  39. No. 5 by Welterweight
  40. Beyond The Pale by Zeke and the Endorphines 
  41. Sometimes years by Proof Box

Things to look forward to in 2020:

  1. Amos Libby with Douglas Porter
    Buck Edwards
  2. Dave Mallett
  3. Dave Wakefield
  4. Dove Pax
  5. Jeff Beam
  6. Gunther Brown
  7. Crystal Canyon
  8. Third Shift
  9. Eave
  10. Luniere
  11. Alejandra O’Leary
  12. Willingseeds
  13. Sonic Libido
  14. Murcileago
  15. G. Stephen Bosk Band
  16. Gary Lenaire
  17. FBB
  18. David Scott Norton
  19. Apollyon
  20. Michael Hurt and the Haunted Hearts

If you want to listen on Spotify, we’ve got you covered.

Exciting New Gear at Acadia

Aurora GTP8In a world of ever evolving gear options, we have to weigh our choices carefully. However, now and then something comes along that is a no-brainer. We recently acquired a few new pieces of gear that have instantly enhanced every project we work on.

AURORA AUDIO GTP8 – Eight Channel Preamp

If you were to ask us previously “what is your favorite piece of gear” we’d most likely have answered that it was our Aurora Audio GTQC Channel Strip. Designed by Geoff Tanner (designer/engineer who worked for Neve during their golden era of 71′-84′) it features a 1073-style preamp and eq plus both an FET and OPTO compressor and sounds incredible – it’s our go-to choice for vocals and bass. We’ve been dreaming of owning an Aurora Audio GTP8 for tracking drums for a few years now and recently we made that dream come true! The GTP8 is beautifully simple – eight channels of Class A “Neve 1073-style” preamps with a simple trim control and phase/phantom switches. These almost NEVER come up for sale online – so imagine our surprise to learn that our friend/local audio guru Michael McInnis had one for sale! Preliminary results have been dramatic – the kick drum sound is truly jaw-dropping and having all the main drum mics using the same pres makes for a tight, cohesive sound. We are thrilled to own this amazing piece of gear!

ROYER SM 21 Dual Mic Clip

Every once in a while an accessory comes along that makes life easier. The Royer SM 21 is an elegant solution to simple problem. Like many engineers, we love the sound of a dynamic mic combined with a ribbon mic on electric guitars. The go to combo is a Shure SM57 along with a Royer 121. To ensure phase coherence, one must carefully align the fins of the Royer with the label band on the Shure and be sure they are aligned on both axes for optimum bass response. We often mic up two or three cabinets at a time, requiring multiple mic stands and lots of careful alignment. The Royer SM 21 is a mic clip that hold both mics on a single stand and allows you to perfectly align the mic capsules. We ordered two as soon as we heard about them and they have proven to be extremely useful in tracking sessions.


That’s right. Probably the piece of gear that has the greatest impact on every session is the coffee maker! We know what motivates people and most musicians are caffeine-fueled machines. If you have recorded with us, you already know that we offer copious amounts of tasty, strong coffee for our clients at all times. We’ve worn out a couple of high-end home models and decided to step up to the Bunn. The VP-17 can brew up to 3.8 gallons of coffee and hour! We’re loving the “on-demand” nature of the Bunn – pour water in the reservoir and coffee immediately begins to fill the carafe. We have a burr grinder on hand for fresh ground coffee every time.

Book a session and come check out our new acquisitions soon!

Thanks To Gravity

We recently had the pleasure of working with “Thanks To Gravity” on some new music. Folks from the New England area probably remember TTG from their heyday in the mid-90’s. Their unique instrumentation and eclectic songwriting style found them signed to Capitol Records for a multi-album deal, Thanks To Gravity toured relentlessly and worked with a who’s-who list of producers and engineers over the years. Fast forward to 2018/19 – founding member Andy Happel had a fresh batch of songs and decided as a birthday present to himself, he’d like to get the boys together for a session to record them.

Being the small world that Maine can be, Acadia had a few connections to Thanks To Gravity already. Bassist Drew Wyman is a regular fixture here, a first call session player who has an uncanny ability to play exactly the right part the song calls for, with the tone and feel to match. Drew and Acadia engineer Jason Phelps had recently become friends (playing gigs together in Portland’s own legendary jamband “A Band Beyond Description”) and Drew asked if the guys could come check out the studio.








Above left: The string arsenal         Above right: Sean’s incredible sounding kit

The band had another connection to Acadia – Jason and TTG’s lyricist and frontman Andy Happel taught music together at 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth, at times collaborating on Andy’s fiendishly difficult musical selections for the school’s annual staff concert. Jason always felt great respect for Andy’s musicianship and was thrilled at the opportunity to work with him in the studio.

Finally the day came and we got setup for the first session. It was obvious that these guys weren’t messing around – drummer Sean Daniels had his own personal monitoring setup, complete with mics etc. We used his mics plus several of our own and ended up with a truly amazing drum sound right out of the gate.

Drew’s rig consisted of four signals – a clean DI & clean amp setup plus a distorted amp and a dirty DI signal. Between the multi-channel setup and judicious bass selection, once again Drew had the right tone for each song, everytime.

Andy and his daughter Lila played some stunningly virtuosic violin together on “Send Up The Signal” followed by an absolutely off the charts improvised solo that nearly melted the paint off the walls! It’s one of the true joys of being an engineer to witness such moments.

Andy worked his way diligently through multiple layers of vocals, creating some beautiful harmonies. The bar was raised yet another notch by the keyboard playing of special guest Duncan Watt. Our Hammond B3 was absolutely singing/crying!

The mixing and editing process was a pleasure, as Andy and company worked to strip away anything that did not belong. These guys have a TON of experience working in world-class studios and it showed in how they approached the mix. Jason was able to quickly find the tones they were looking for and the end result sounds amazing.

The songs run the gamut stylistically from the rock assault of “Send Up The Signal” to an upbeat pop anthem in “LYHL”. “Atlantis” shows the clever lyricism and melodic hooks Andy’s songwriting is known for, while “A Blanket Of Stars” is a straight-up gorgeous ballad. The songs are so varied, but the common thread that makes them “Thanks To Gravity” songs is obvious. All four tracks we mastered by Pat Keane Mastering, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results.