What to Listen to: Nate Manning’s Playlist

We’re pretty excited to roll out our first in a series of playlists created by some of our favorite musicians/bands that have come in to record at Acadia! First up is Nate Manning, lead guitarist in Zud, a black metal group based in Portland with a new record out A Wilderness Left Untamed. Nate’s kindly included a few notes about each tune if you want to follow along as you listen, or sit back and enjoy some fresh music for your ears!

1. Los Dug Dugs – Los Dug Dugs (1971)  –  “Lost in My World”

I’m always looking for anything late 60s Beatles / Psych-influenced, and the Dug Dugs were the first band from Mexico to do that, and to me did it better than most. The entire album is amazing, but the guitar tone and solos on “Lost in My World” are must-hear.


2. Witchfinder General – Death Penalty (1982) – “Free Country”

A little sabbath worship in a band is always fine with me. This song and record do not recreate the wheel but it sure does hit the nail on the head for what makes a great NWOBHM band.



3. Only Living Witness – Prone Mortal Form (1993) – “Nineveh”

Great recording production, non-stop riffs and vocals that could appeal to most people makes this record one that even people not into hardcore could get into.

4. Guided By Voices – Alien Lanes (1995) – “My Valuable Hunting Knife”

Guided by Voices is a pretty well known band but with 25 LPs alone maybe you haven’t heard all eras. My favorite is mid 90s with Alien Lanes and Under the Bushes Under the Stars. He is the king of catchy vocal melodies over low-fi guitar driven rock.

5. Gang Green – Another Wasted Night – (1986)  “Skate to Hell”

This is just a badass punk song with awesome rock riffs and solo, not to mention the lyrics are perfect for this style.

6. Edgar Broughton Band –  Edgar Broughton Band (1971)  – “Hotel Room”

This album is one of my favorites because its a perfect blend of guitar-driven classic rock with raw vocals as well as some darker acoustic songs. “Hotel Room” is slightly different than the rest of the album but the key change at the very end is too good to not share.

7. JK & Co – Suddenly One Summer – (1968) “Fly”

With Donovan, LSD, and the Beatles as influences in the air a 15-year-old made this record in 1968 with the help of some studio musicians. Fly is a dreamy psych journey and it blows my mind someone that young could have a vision like this and nail it.

8. Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible – (1994)  “Die in the Summertime”

The Holy Bible is one of the most intriguing, weird, catchy, rocking, sad, confusing records I’ve ever heard and I am huge fan like many with this cult classic. The music always fits the lyrics perfectly and it’s no different with “Die in the Summertime.”

9. Leaf Hound – Growers of Mushroom – (1971) “Freelance Fiend”

70s hard rock done right. Guitar tone when the song starts says it all.  With only one album (they broke up right when it came out) it’s a true under-appreciated gem.

10. Num Skull – Ritually Abused – “Death and Innocence”

Sometimes you just need your head ripped off non stop during a song. “Num Skull” does that every song, unrelenting trash metal that has every song packed full of riffs and changes.

Looking back on 2017

We really went nuts this year, and we’re pretty proud of the records that were tracked and mixed at the studio in 2017. Take a look at our year-in-review, and then get thee to a record store or digitally purchase some local music, and treat your ears! As always, we are constantly astounded by the musicianship in this town, and are so excited to see all these groups back in the studio for their upcoming projects!

2017 Albums L-R

Row 1:
The Devil’s Gold, The Ghosts of Johnson City
Iatrophobia, Outsiders PBR
Damnationland Music For the Wicked Vol III
Going to the Shake-Up/Shake It Up, Bloodshot Bill and Friends
Waiting on and Answer, Andy Penk
Étire Dans Le Ciel Vide, Forêt Endormie
The Falling of the Pine, The Mallett Brothers Band
First Dance, Susie Pepper Quartet

Row 2:
Vision, Muckie Mittens
No Time Now, Gary Lenaire
Square 1, The Cosmonautz
Crooks, Los Federales
High Water Hobo, The Muddy Marsh Ramblers
Darling, Randi Caswell
Great American Novel, Buck T. Edwards
Psycho Classical, Caleb Hickman
Banana Split, KG Freeze & 300 Calories

Row 3:
A Little Grace, The Reverie Machine
Duck Butt, Nate Gibson
Let It Bully, Bully Mammoth
Great North Band
A Wilderness Left Untamed, Zud
Lost Islands, Richard Parks
Got Another Baby, C. Davis, L. Wray
Vigilance Perennial, Falls of Rauros

Row 4:
The Desert of When, Noonday Crawlers
Alchemist’s Dream, Mark Tipton and Les Sorciers Perdue
Because Tomorrow, David Grant and The Reveals
Rocket Baby, Rocket J
Wires & Tubes, Leverett
The Razor’s Edge, Black Box Recovery
Ornaments, Builder of the House
Something Came From Nothing, Jeff Beam

Gear Porn 101 – Preamps at Acadia

We firmly believe that great records start with great performances, but capturing them with some top-notch gear doesn’t hurt… Matching the right microphone with the right preamp is the key to getting that energy to translate to the finished product.

There is no one “best” preamp— each unit has its own characteristics. However if we had to choose, our top choice would certainly be our Aurora Audio GTQC. Designed by Geoff Tanner (who designed consoles and custom gear during the golden age of Neve from 1971 thru 1985) this hand-wired Class A channel strip features that classic Neve preamp circuit with an incredibly musical EQ. It also features one of the smoothest, best sounding compressors anywhere (in fact TWO compressors, both a 1176-style FET comp and a LA-2A style opto compressor). This is our go-to pre for both bass and vocals.

Next up is the classic sound of rock and roll— the API 3124. Literally thousands of hit records have been made using exclusively these preamps. The 3124 has four channels and sounds fantastic on rock guitars and on many other sources as well.

When Jason Phelps joined our team, in addition to the GTQC he also brought another piece that we use on almost every session— the Universal Audio 4-710 Twin-finity. This preamp is unique in that it features both a solid state AND a tube preamp circuit on each of the four channels. We can blend between the two circuits, allowing for a clear uncolored sound, or we can drive the tube input and get some nice creamy harmonics going.

We are big fans of ribbon mics here at Acadia. We especially like to pair a ribbon mic with a 57 for tracking guitar amps: the combination of the upper mid boost from the 57 and a fuller tone from the ribbon mic gives us a lot to work with in the final mix. The only challenge with ribbon mics is that they require significantly more gain than many pre’s can provide. That’s not a problem for us with four channels of AEA TRP (The Ribbon Pre). These units are colorless and let the ribbons shine.

Our Grace Designs m101 is another ultra-transparent option we have in the studio, and this pre can also handle ribbon mics well with Grace’s “ribbon” circuit which changes the input impedance, provides extra gain and decouples the +48V power. This pre hasn’t let us down, whether we’re tracking vocals, acoustic guitar, or a kick drum, it’s a versatile option that always results in a clean, articulate sound.

Our Sytek MPX-4A is a well designed, clean and clear four channel workhorse that sounds great on a variety of sources.

Finally, we are lucky to have the use of our Seventh Circle Audio CH02 modular chassis, on loan from Pat at Pat Keane Mastering. Seventh Circle is famous for it’s top quality DIY preamp kits. This particular unit is fully stuffed with eight channels: we have the Neve-style N72 (x2), the super transparent Millenia-esque C84 (x2) plus the API-flavored A12 (x4).

Our gear selection is ever expanding (our next dream purchase is an Aurora Audio GTP8— eight channels of Neve power!)— book a session with us soon and hear them for yourself!