Went to see NIN at Hartwall Arena a few days back. It would have been a much nicer experience had the volume been on a tolerable level. I stood by the mixer and was amazed at the volume these guys work day in, day out. No distortion or anything but the sheer volume forced me to quit after an hour…Teijo came by to see them as well and gave me a nice Alpha Indigo T.
So…on reviewing the first part, I noticed I’ve missed a big part, namely FlipSide. So:
January and February went mainly in recording the guitars and vocals for the first ep. The 4 songs were coming together quite nicely, only Diving Down tried to resist and had to be rethought a bit.
Come March and Ari announced, quite unexpectedly, that he had had enough and would not continue with us. Bit baffled, but still willing to continue, we decided to carry on by the two of us. We started a new song then and there and continued, basically once a week, composing and arranging new songs…
OK, back to the agenda: the last half of 2013 went like this:
June – My cousin Eeva, a talented singer/songwriter operating under the alias Tiger Angle, had more songs to make, so we started going through them. The three songs, Number of Truth, Still Water and It Must be Right were demoed with just an acoustic guitar and vocals, I would listen to them and give some ideas for possible arrangements later on. Work on various Brink Helsinki projects continued, now it was My CashFlow 2. My Samsara Records artists Antero Raimo & Ovet had been in “ice” for a while, but were now active again. We made plans for the release of their CD and agreed on one more session. We would record the 2 songs needed, Stressi and Hanki. They would be the 9th and 10th song needed for the CD (we had made the songs 1-8 earlier in 2012). I found out that my backup of our old sessions had been corrupted, so we also needed to record their old favourite, Mustikanpoimintaa, once again.
The week before the midsummer was spent mixing the Virpi Suutari documentary “Puutarha-ihmisiä (North of Eden)” with Olli Huhtanen at Cinepost.
Then came the big weekend, the midsummer session with Teijo, recording the backing tracks for SSTB’s 11 songs. I asked my friend and colleague Anttoni to assist and record, which he did. During those 2 days we managed
the 11 songs, Futile was to be rearranged later but the original drums stayed on. The general consensus was that the session was a success and laid an excellent ground for later work.
While Teijo was around, we also checked the status of Alpha Indigo mixes. We made some corrections and additions and agreed that we were almost there…;-).
July – The official “Finland is closed” month, time for SSTB and Tiger Angle. I spent some days playing and recording guitars for the songs, I also managed to arrange Futile to my satisfaction. Tiger Angle songs were finding their shape and we had three of Eeva’s friends over to sing some backing vocals. The traditional Ilosaarirock weekend came, so I took my basses (trusty Musicman Stingray and the new guy, Hagström semi acoustic for that 70’s sound…) as we had agreed to record the basses at Teijo’s while I was there. We checked Michael Monroe, Mustach, Sigur Rós and Squarepusher among others and enjoyed the best finnish festival once again. The bass recording went smoothly, we split the songs evenly among the two of us using both basses as we deemed necessary. We also managed to squeeze in some keyboard work, Teijo once again delivered! I did have one real holiday week in there as well, we did a short tour of finnish west coast with the missus, fun!
August – Some real work, Franck and Brink, Tiger Angle recording & vocals. Some studio fixing at Musicworks. The FLipSide ep was a stone in my shoe, so I asked Samu to help me to finish it. We started with Diving Down…
I noticed that I had a load of unfinished material lying around and got an idea for an archival series that could be called “Samsara Recordings”. Some Chapter One, Kataya, Kudos and PS….I had already mixed the Kudos gig @ Rekolan Kino, so that seemed like a good first release. Antti was quite taken with the idea and especially Chapter One, so I took out Last Letter and we made a digi release of it.
September – Sel8nne premix at Juha Hakanen’s place and final mix at Kalevala. More FlipSide mixing with Samu, we were progressing quite steadily. As the older songs were finalized, new ones were made as well. As I made the vocals for SSTB, I also did some for FlipSide. It feels good to sing even though the result is not always what I imagined. I just need to work at it…
We mixed a sort of a scifi movie called Apeiron with Olli at Cinepost. Cinepost is a nice, small mix room at Finnvox where I’ve had the pleasure to mix some documentaries etc. Olli is a talented sound designer who is easy to work with and what’s most important, he’s into prog as well…;-). While we were mixing, Pauli mastered the Kudos’ Live at Rekolan Kino downstairs. We also agreed that Samsara would release the digi version of Olli’s Dim Cargo CD.
October – Teijo came once more, this time to nail the Alpha Indigo mixes. And we did, but I was sceptical (and right, as we’ll soon see). SSTB backing voxes and keyboards were also in order, we managed 8 out of 11. The ex-Havana Black drummer, Jussi Tegelmann came around and gave a nice presentation of his work as as audio post pro in USA. He’s done quite well. My first foreign film mix also happened as Arni Gustafsson, an Icelandic sound guy (we’ve crossed paths few times before) asked if I would mix a short road movie called Livingston. I did, it was nice although I didn’t understand a word…
The next week was a busy Brink week as I made (with some help from Anttoni) 4 different “things” for them. One of them was a SPEK fire hazard infomercial that I also mixed for theatres. Jani (Rämö) and Perttu came to do some recordings with their Grasshammer Deluxe -group, I promised to mix it. Pretty straightforward country/blues stuff, 2 acoustics, cajon and vocals. Kudos Live was released on the 25th. Samu’s wife Anu came and sang b vocs for 3 of the SSTB songs, I’m shooting for some Pink Floyd soul-ish vibe. I’ve asked Riikka (of Alpha Indigo) and Satu (who sang on the 3rd PS., “Oma Maailma”) also, so I’ll have a proper chorus ;-). Tiger Angle’s got released as well, we released them one by one, a week apart.
November – A trip to London was on the agenda as Ossi, my Avid dealer, got a chance to bring some of his customers to Pinewood to check the new Avid S6 controller. We went with Jykä. We visited Dolby, checked Atmos (were impressed), met with Jussi Honka who’s working there and saw S6, System 5 and one of the mixing stages at Pinewood (I was deeply impressed). Excellent trip!
Teijo came for the last time to really finalize the Alpha Indigo (and this time we did, mastered it as well). And as was fitting, we also managed to make the last of the SSTB b voxes and keys. I had over the months also sung all of the vocals (and done the solo’s and such) and while I thought they would be sung again later on, most turned quite nice already. Teijo gave some pointers for few of the songs needing resinging and I promised to deliver. I mastered one CD for my friend Pekka Nyman (“Sana Vain”) and made, once again some Brink ads and stuff. A documentary “Bensonhurst” came in (Jykä sound designing and recording) for post, that took a few weeks to make. Steven Wilson, Karnivool and Dweezil Zappa gave concerts.
December was a truly busy month – Quite a few Brink things, FlipSide ep finalized and mastered, Bensonhurst sound finalized, 3 of Franck Media’s long documentaries sound edited (with Santtu and Anttoni), “Huojuva Kuu” mixed at Cinepost and my dear friends Tuomas’ 50th birthday surprise party for which we practised two different sets of music: a medley of old prog stuff with Pale and Otto and some old TMB and PS. stuff with Esa, Repa, Pale and Otto. It was fun, although the sound at stage was not so great. Chapter One: One was mastered at Finnvox as well, Tomi made a really nice cover for it.
I probably forgot quite a lot already, but these at least were done last year…
Quite a year: lots of music, lots of work, lots of badminton. Fun!
It was, as they’ve tended to be over the last few years, quite a mixed year. What did I do?
It began with a January full of Franck Media documentaries, Aurinkomatkat, Nanso, Tapiola, Unicef & Onninen were in the agenda. Your basic bread and butter audio post. Some Brink Helsinki and Fullmoon stuff in between. So all in all, January was a work month. My “Samsara sings the blues” -project, which had begun a few months back was also gaining momentum. I had selected the older songs that I wanted to make and started making tweaks to melodies, structures and lyrics.
February? My friend and colleague Anttoni was getting itchy at his b-to-b work and wanted to get back into post so we started to pow wow and see if we could do some things together. My badminton fever was at it’s height so there was a practice at least twice a week. Musiikkitalo documentary was mixed with Juha Hakanen and some Franck Media stuff also. Brink Helsinki’s KoneCranes films were starting to come into post (Guys made three films of KoneCrane’s different products). Jykä’s Walo project was also coming together at last, it having been in production for the last 5 years ;-). I had mixed all of the songs properly for the first time and we (the band: Jykä, myself, Speedy Saarinen and Topi Kurki) sat down and listened to it. Some remarks were made with some additional work looming ahead, Speedy and I decided to wrap it up together….SSTB songs all coming together, made “Start Walking”, the last song of the bunch.
March, still more work for Brink (KC Agilon, Koff), some conversions of Nightwish movie as it was made in Canada with their frame rate of 23.398. I mixed a shorter version of “Kuningas Litmanen” for Dutch tv and began the final stretch for the long suffering movie about Kalervo Palsa with Jykä and director Pekka Lehto. Teijo’s Alpha Indigo had had a somewhat traumatic experience trying to record their debut album by themselves, so I offered to help. I packed my pre’s and a selection of mics, Fireface, Orion32 and MacBookPro with Pro Tools and headed for Nurmes. We made the backing tracks for 19 songs in 2 days on 22/23 March. We also went through the 11 potential songs for SSTB and did ac gtr/el pno/voc demos of them. Teijo seemed to like them, so I was encouraged to continue. The original plan of me, Teijo and Sami Kuoppamäki got turned into a duo of me and Teijo. T drumming and keying, me guitaring and vocaling and we bassing…
April – More badminton, now 2-4 times a week. Some renovation at MusicWorks, Leri Leskinen’s studio (cabling, Pro Tools updates, plug ins) and Post Control’s small theater (adjustment of their 5.1 surround system). We started the final tweaks of Walo with Speedy @ PStudio. Blå Band, Benecol, Finnkino (tv & theater posts of the ad for their new Kuopio multiplex) for Brink. Sam Marsala: Trails of Mist released, a very satisfying ambient CD project came to a conclusion. Teijo and Riikka came for the last weekend, we did the vocals of the aforementioned 19 songs….(Teijo had some throat issues and needed to open up his voice singing the same song for at least 30 times…). Practised SSTB songs for the coming sessions, all pieces falling into their rightful places….
May – My birthday came and went, the less fuss the better. Mixed the Kalervo Palsa & Kuriton Käsi movie, which turned out quite nice. Started rehearsing for Walo’s record release with the band. Moomin documentary for Franck Media, Nina Pulkkis directing. Mixed the teaser for the upcoming Teemu Selänne documentary. As luck would have it, PStudio got some new blood equipment-wise. The MacPro with PCI-e slots would be discontinued, so I made arrangements with SLSX’s Ossi Männikkö and purchased 12 Core MacPro with 28 gigs of RAM and 3 Tb’s hard disk space. And while at it, I also upgraded the other Pro Tools|HD system to HD-X as well, added an Omni interface, Artist -controller and a Genelec 7070B sub to pieni, bought Genelec 8040’s LCR to iso, moved the DynAudio’s to pieni and turned the whole setup around. I got the pieni arranged so that I could have both acoustic (with an added 16″ tom) and electronic drum sets, piano and a fully functioning 5.1 post setup all functional at the same time. I also made with my trusted technician Kari Chydenius a wall of guitar amps where I could use any speaker with any cabinet via a special patchbay. And of course practised and refined the SSTB material and made a few things for Brink.
We convened once again with Teijo for a few days of music & mayhem. We (hopefully) finalized the Alpha Indigo CD mixes, Teijo had fixed some guitar and vocal parts and the band had made some notes. 13 songs in the can, whoa!
On the second day the plan was to go through the SSTB songs and do backing vocals etc. We managed to go through 8 songs doing keys, acoustic guitars, percussion and backing vocals…So 3 songs were left for the next time. It should be about a month from now, then we’re planning to master the Alpha Indigo CD and go through the rest of the SSTB songs, probably doing some vocals as well…
Yup, not only fading but gone gone…
I’ve been reasonably active in the last months. Did some audio design for various Brink Helsinki -projects (fx for Hell’s Kitchen Fi, Pohjolan Voima, Benecol, Tieto etc), mixed the doc of Teemu Selänne “Sel8nne”, mixed the movie “Apeiron” and of course made some further work on SSTB, FlipSide and Tiger Angle. We should get the Alpha Indigo finalized in a few weeks as well as the Tiger Angle x 3. SSTB still requires work as I’ve only sung the first proper demos. FlipSide ep is about halfway thru, Diving Down and Show Me are quite done. Tipi re-sung both of the songs, they got better!
And I ordered and received the second floor tom to my Kumu set. Pics coming up!