Today couldn’t have been much easier. Olaf (Opal the producer/mixer) and Joerg his engineer meet me at the hotel and we walk the two minutes to Olaf’s studio. Olaf’s set up is an amalgam of old and new school but he only uses the new (as far as I can tell, thus far) when he can’t use the old. For example d-essing the vocal – I never heard a good hardware de-esser – so Joerg goes through the audio file in the computer and manually edits to remove the peaks. They the latest version of Logic but prefers to use the last eMagic version before Apple bought it (from 2003 or so). All the audio passes through the mixing console and hardware is used rather than plug ins.
First order of the day is to get Period Piece up and running and then get the files for the other songs from my HD onto theirs. I do the copying while Joerg is getting PP in shape. The good news is they like the sound of the drums… I didn’t want them to change this much as I was already happy with the untreated audio. This is agreed, but it should be noted that they sound even better at the end of the day. We half jokingly say that the drums must sound Lust For Life good for us to be satisfied…
Once the files are transferred (or so we thought) and the rough mix and general direction are discussed i leave them to it and take my modular synth and computer to the basement lounge and check email, etc and then set up my 252. I have a patch idea noted from a couple of nights ago and I want to record it… Thankfully the wifi is good (the hotel is glacial), and I download Dave Bates’ running order idea mp3 he has sent me (more on that later).
I then tinker with 252 and a few hours later Olaf says it’s a bout done but his ears need a break, then there is a technical delay and I listen at around 3. It is very close to what I want, a few things – the vocal, the mid section guitars and the tambourine – need tweeking but the essence is there. Very encouraging. 2 hours later it’s done I’m back at the hotel and then out looking for bourbon (everywhere seems closed on Monday), then early dinner (everywhere seems closed on Monday). Then back to hotel to deal with stuff and to work on my Teach Yourself ‘Complete German’ course. I get an email from Joerg who was wanting to prepare California Earthquake for tomorrow but i don’t seem to have copied it… he has every other song… he comes by and takes my HD and I’ll see him at 10 tomorrow.
As first days go I can’t see how it could have been much better. Warmer, I guess, would have been better.

Photo is Joerg in the studio.