Let the tracking begin for Fielding’s next EP! Stay tuned….and in the meantime, here’s a quick peak…
REWIRING OUR CREATIVITY
Earlier this year, we decided that it was time for a major overhaul in Bobby’s recording space, CatBeach Studio. He was running into issues with software upgrades and hardware compatibility, not to mention the wiring throughout the studio needed some love and care. Bobby spent months researching gear and thinking through the right workflow for this particular space and his recording and producing needs.
The first piece of gear that Bobby decided on was the Neve 5060 Centerpiece Desktop Mixer. It’s analog, class-A circuitry definitely ups the quality of the monitoring signal path in the studio and gives great flexibility for summing audio in the analog realm. Just running the source tracks through the tried and true Neve transformers makes everything sound bigger and better. The board has a nice transport control for Pro Tools and also, can we all just note how ridiculously cool it’s design is!? To work alongside the Neve, Bobby bought two Avid Artist Mixes, basically providing hands on control with Pro Tools. For many producers and mixers, including Bobby, it’s important to have a nice tactile surface for fader and pan controls, without using a standard mouse. We decided to install two of these, which work together to give 16 physical faders that can be banked, allowing access to the maximum number of PT channels that each session requires.
After picking out the main pieces, we decided that we wanted to have a custom desk built that would accommodate the modules while giving them a built-in look. We found this incredible millwork artisan, Brandon at Monkwood Studio. He was game to come up with a solution to fit these pieces in to a custom walnut desk. I dropped by his shop in Fullerton, CA to get a sneak peak and saw the beautiful maple slab that he formed into the main desk unit. He showed me his plans for the custom pieces and how they would fit onto the main desk. And…check out his shark-shaped tool wall. Brandon delivered the desk with two rackgear units that each have 6 rack spaces. Lot’s of room and flexibility to determine the best workflow, right at Bobby’s fingertips. After playing around with configuration options, here’s what we put in each rackgear unit on top of the desk: 1) For recording guitars, the signal flow includes: BAE 512A mic pre’s and Chandler TG2 mic pre’s; 2) For recording vocals, the signal flow includes: Vintech X73 mic pre into the vintage UREI 1176 (in wall rack), into an Inward Connections Brute limiter. Also, notice how the two Artist Mixes and the Neve console can easily be removed from the desktop if needed. Thanks Brandon! As we were determining workflow, we pulled up the flooring and pulled out all of the old wiring. We installed new patch bays and cable runs which allows for greater future flexibility and better overall work flow. It’s amazing how much wiring we ran under the floor to accommodate new gear, and even just to reposition gear in the room.And finally, we made new cable runs from the racks on the desk to the new patch bays in the wall racks. The rack in the picture above features the Apogee Symphony – another new addition. This rack also features a mix of vintage units: Gates Sta-Level, old Telefunken EQ’s and pre’s, and an old Blackface 1176, with modern units: Manley Elop and Massive Passive, and an Empirical Labs Distressor. At the end of this project, we sat back and marveled at the craftsmanship and beauty of the studio and recognized that the creativity of other artisans could breed creativity in us, if we let it. Rather than shying away from the change, or staying stuck in our own workflow and systems, we chose to embrace, and even encouraged, a new way.
So, all of the work that went into creating each piece of gear and fitting it perfectly together, is now all working to breathe new life into Bobby’s songwriting, guitar-playing and producing. This guy is inspired with new sounds and stretched to investigate new ideas. We can’t wait to start sharing the sounds and songs coming out of the fresh and sparkly CatBeach Studio!
Check out more details on the CatBeach Studio Project.
THE POWER OF FRESH PAINT
We set plans in motion at the beginning of this year to upgrade Bobby’s recording space, CatBeach Studio.
After months of research, we purchased the new rig, new components, new wiring, and a few specialty items (details to come in a later post!). We spent weeks rendering the specifics of the workflow and how it would best be accomplished through the wall rack spaces and through potential new desk rack spaces.
After looking at a multitude of new studio desks, we decided to commission a local millworker to build a custom desk for the new rig. And with the commission, came a wait time of a few months…to be expected for the custom order. So, there we were with all of the new gear and it’s wiring, sitting in the garage, just…waiting.
Anyone who knows me, knows that once I’ve instigated a project, I have a hard time waiting. I like to see progress. I like the movement and experience of the gradual change that comes with each step. So, I decided to switch around the project schedule a bit, to grant me some much needed project satisfaction. I attacked the final interior design decisions, which definitely gave us the feeling of being in an entirely new space.
Check out the Before + During + Afters here:
Here is the CatBeach Studio control room before pic. As our loving studio-rat/bass-monkey/taste-maker, Jonathan Ahrens said, ‘something about the studio brought us all right back to the set of ‘Friends’, circa 1996.’
Can’t you just picture Ross and Rachel now…?
Ok, so I addressed the couch first. The little 80’s heart-shaped love seat was actually ridiculously comfortable…so it was hard to say goodbye, but well, it was time…oh, and those arms – they took up half of the room! We replaced it with a 6′ leather sofa from RH…perfect for the space…this picture is a luxurious 8′, but you get the idea:
The next major thing to address was the wall color in the control room and hallways. The walls were various shades of happy yellows and greens. It was time to change the mood. I wanted to go with something more dramatic, that would bring out the beautiful wood grain in the wall racks and in the new desk. We deliberated over 3 potential shades:
In the end, we went with the one in the middle – Benjamin Moore’s Baby Seal Black.
And then, the final detail for this step in the project, was to update the white registers on the wall. We decided on some hefty mission-style chrome registers from Signature Hardware. I forgot to order them in brushed stainless, which led to this little Saturday morning project:
We installed the registers in their newly painted walls…and that was all I needed to feel the rush of satisfaction and a sense that this Studio Remod was moving forward. Here’s a sneak peak of the studio to this point:
Our friend, Daena Jay, loves it and is soaking it all in while writing the next big hit. Yeow! Stay tuned for more updates on the CatBeach Studio Remod.
This is our friend, Melissa. She is seriously kick-ass. She is a wife and mom. She is a beautiful singer – seriously voice of an angel sorta thing. And Melissa is a survivor.
In March 2016, Melissa was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. At the time of diagnosis, Melissa was 24 weeks pregnant. She immediately began chemo and is preparing to deliver her baby girl at the end of June. And then a mastectomy.
While Melissa focuses on the physical battle, we want to help relieve the financial stress on her and her family. Please consider donating to her medical fund – details here.
And if you are the praying type, we invite you in on her behalf! Peace and health to her whole body – specifically to her digestive system – that she would begin to gain weight in the final weeks of her pregnancy. For strength and complete healing.
CATBEACH MUSIC ON SPOTIFY
Check out all of the CatBeach Artists on Spotify.
This playlist would be a great place to start. Just sayen’…
HOW A CHANCE ENCOUNTER LED THIS SONGWRITING DUO TO AN EMMY NOM
Ranking close to the top of things that a successful music producer may not want to hear from his new wife:
“Sooo…..A friend of mine invited us over tonight so we can hear his daughter sing and give them some advice. I told him we’d be there…!”
That’s exactly the situation that producer/songwriter Bobby Hartry found himself in 5 years ago, as he sat down to listen to a shy and reluctant artist play a couple of songs she’d written. With her back to Bobby, Daena Jay sat at her keyboard, facing the wall, and began to play. By the time she hit the first chorus, Bobby glanced over to his wife with an affirming twinkle in his eye…a twinkle that said “ok…wow…this girl is really freaking talented…!”
That night began what would turn into a solid friendship and songwriting partnership. Immediately they started writing songs together that would fit into one of three categories –
1. Songs to be sold for commercial assignment,
2. Songs that would go into a co-owned catalog to be used for licensing opportunities, and
3. Songs written for the sheer act of creative expression (many which have been released through CatBeach Music, a boutique indie label).
Featuring Daena’s power vocals, these songs quickly started to see action as they became the backdrop for commercials, brand sponsorships, and multiple shows across various TV networks, while also serving to fuel Daena’s growing fanbase.
One day in early 2015, RC Cates – the music supervisor for CBS’s Young & The Restless, called Bobby looking for a special song that would convey both passion and tension…and that would become a sort of theme song for a beloved couple affectionately called “Chadam.’
Bobby and Daena had just finished a song called ‘The Gray,’ a dark scenic ballad, that conveys a passionate longing and is layered with undertones of angst and tension. The song, perfect for the spot. premiered on Y&R on April 16, 2015, was subsequently released globally to an enthusiastic audience, and in turn, was nominated for an Emmy – Outstanding Original Song in Daytime Drama. This is the first nomination for this songwriting pair, who will be attending the Daytime Emmys – Creative Arts Gala on April 29, 2016 at the Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
Congratulations to Bobby and Daena on their Emmy Nom, and best of luck! We can’t wait to hear from these two in the future!
DAENA JAY COMPETES AS ONE OF FIVE FINALISTS
Daena Jay, once an arcane songwriter with a captivating voice, launched onto the Los Angeles singer-songwriter scene in 2010 after a chance encounter with Emmy-award winning producer/songwriter Bobby Hartry. That meeting eventually solidified into a notable partnership resulting in dozens of TV placements and multiple Emmy-nominations for their compositions.
Looking to further her career as a full-time songwriter, Daena entered into the Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter competition that offers artists a chance to move to the next level. The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to record a four-song EP with Grammy award-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid, who has worked with Adele, Usher, Diplo, Vampire Weekend, HAIM and more. Other prizes for the winner include the chance to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and a $25,000 cash prize.
Daena entered “All That Was Left,” an original live music performance video, in the contest. Her submission, along with 14,000 others, was ranked on its composition and performance, as well as her social media engagement and fan growth. From those artists, Rechtshaid handpicked five finalists, and Daena was one of them!
Competing to win the competition, Daena will perform live Friday, March 4, at the iconic Troubadour in Hollywood. We could not be more proud of this talent and are cheering her on each and every step of the way.
NEW SINGLE FROM DAENA JAY
Daena Jay dropped her new single, ‘Skin On Skin’, this week. The release coincides with its feature placement on CBS’ Young & The Restless, for the fan faves – Cane and Lily.