It feels like it’s been a time of all things ‘Rush’ over the past while. As you all know by now, we spent most of the late fall and early winter 2011 recording Clockwork Angels at Revolution Studios in Toronto, Canada. I had selected that room for its cavernous but controlled drum room and I was pleased with the recorded results, as was Neil. The clockwork stage kit is one of the best kits I’ve ever had the pleasure of recording.
The making of this album was a further development of technique and technology and also a return to some old ways. In my work with some of Rush’s older masters like Moving Pictures, I learned that at that time much of the processing for guitars was committed to tape — a good example being the solo in Limelight, which is a stellar performance wrapped in lush sonics. Alex and I applied much of the same methodology for Clockwork, where a song like Carnies for example, with complex modulations, panning, eq and echo were committed as a premix during the recording phase for simplicity and reproducibility down the road. And Alex did some amazing solos in preproduction that were again, tweaked with vintage and modern technology during the recording phase so they would sit well within the production guidelines that the band had set.
Geddy’s recording was also expanded to include some additional vintage gear, if you recall the Fairchild I tweeted while we were in the studio ;-). The rest of Mr. Lee’s secret sonic recipe will have to stay secret.
Clockwork Angels was released June 12, selling 103,000 units in America in its first week and landed squarely at #2 on Billboard, and #1 across Canada. Overall, Clockwork was an incredible recording experience (once again) and I’ve never heard the band play with such fervor and intensity. Much respect and gratitude!
Last year, I remixed the multi-platinum Daniel Powter track ‘Had A Bad Day’ for an IOS app called Jammit, where users can learn and jam along to songs and tracks can be isolated for performing along. These are painstakingly accurate recreations of the original mixes from the original masters. And there are quite a few Rush songs available as well at the Jammit website including 2112, Limelight, Closer To The Heart, Subdivisions and YYZ — all carefully remixed to faithfully represent the original mix. I’ve also had the honor of remixing several tracks from Dream Theater’s Images and Words album, which will soon be available at Jammit.
Back in 2009, I produced ‘Need To Believe’, the multi-platinum CD from Swiss rockers ‘Gotthard’. I had an opportunity to revisit those masters; as part of an Audi promotion, I remixed the track ‘Shangrila’ in 5.1 surround for the band. RIP Steve Lee — incredible vocals by an incredible guy.
And finally, shout out to my good friends in Spain, Eldorado. Good luck with album 3!
Much more coming in studio, live and 5.1 so stay tuned!