The Cat Empire - Steal the Light
Recorded: Gigantic Studios, August to October 2012.
Released: May 17, 2013
Producer/Engineer: Jan Skubiszewski
I'm glad we finally made an album with Jan, I always thought that would result in something pretty great. It was a 360º too: he engineered some of the stuff on our first album. After a bit of rehearsal time we moved into Jan's studio and got to work. I brought in my Mesa Boogie 400+ (because it was my newest thing I was the most excited about with the most tubes) and my Bergantino (because it sounded great at rehearsal). Mind you, the reason I took those two bits into the studio is because they are kind of big and heavy and I was quite happy to leave them at the studio for a while. Part of moving in for a long recording session is that feeling of being able to get all your gear out of the house and have a bit more room to move for a few weeks. But this shouldn't be your motivation for what to take the studio; I know that now. After a few songs I realised it was taking quite a bit of EQ massaging to sound good in the control room, and I have a feeling the Bergantino was to blame for that. Also, 4x12"s is kind of overkill in a small dead room. You're only pointing the mic at one speaker, you should just find ONE that sounds good. So I bought an Ampeg PF-115LF (to replace my PF-115HE - I go to great lengths to avoid having a tweeter) and that sounded a whole lot better. I guess I'm a 15" kinda guy. Then I brought my Hiwatt in after a few days, and that kind of completed the equation. That was the best sound, in conjunction with the 15".
As for basses, my '64 Precision was definitely the favourite. Actually, according to a note I wrote in my phone at the time, that's all I used other than the upright. The upright was miced up in the small room for Brighter than Gold, and out in the big room for Sleep Won't Sleep. My Radial J48 was in charge of the important job of making my signal be able to travel over a long distance of cable and still sound good at the other end in the control room.