Nov 17, 2009

Ra Ra Riot Days 2,3,and 4.

Still tracking drums for Ra Ra Riot's new record. Most of the big differences as far as drum sounds have been leaning towards low-pitched snare sounds. At a recent clinic, British drum great Dave Mattacks talked about de-tuning the few top tension rods closest to the drummer on the snare which helps drop the pitch, remove some overtones, and fatten the sound. I've been implementing this a bit because engineers and producers have been requesting a deeper, fatter dampened snare sound quite a bit lately and frankly it's not something I have had a lot of experience with. Yesterday for example, we used the 14x6.5" 7-ply maple Yamaha Sensitive Series snare tensioned very slack for a great fat 70s sound. Today I pulled out my Pearl Steve Ferrone 14x6.5" brass snare and tuned it to "E" to complement the key of the song.

I'm really enjoying working at Black Dog Recording Studio. The stu-stu-studio is situated in beautiful horse country of eastern New York near Saratoga Springs, far from the madding crowd. This is the very first session at Black Dog and I gotta say I'm impressed by the way the drums sound in the main room. There's a nice 70s Sphere Eclipse console, a good selection of mics, as well as a really sweet Pearl Masters Retrospec house kit. There's always kinks to work out in any new studio but manager/house engineer Dan Vidali made sure the place was running smoothly when we got here. If you're looking for an high quality, affordable destination location in the Northeast for your next recording, give the place a call.


  1. Hi Jon,

    Thanks for your comments on the sound of the room. Coming from you that is quite a statement (and a reaffirmation that I got it right)!

    I designed and built the room to be "the ultimate" drum tracking room in the area. Also great for tracking the whole rhythm section together. Which is also why I chose the Sphere console as well, it rocks for drums... as well as mixing!

    Hope to meet you next time you are at the Black Dog! Dan said that you were a pleasure to work with.

    best regards,
    Larry DeVivo
    Silvertone Mastering

  2. Larry, Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed the studio - great job! Your name looked familiar and I realized I had read some of your articles for Tape-Op. Hope to meet you next time.

  3. Back at you Jon, just let me know when you're coming over this way again. You are welcome at Silvertone Mastering anytime. I'll even show you my prized Canary Satin Swirl 1964 Gretsch kit that Tito Puente's drummer sold me years ago. Best 150.00 I ever spent!

    Keep up the fantastic work...