Inside The Cookie Galore Sound: How we do what we do
Over the past 5 years Cookie Galore has been building their own studio, in John's bedroom, in Yonkers, NY. Yonkers is a city on the Hudson River, bordering the Bronx, Hastings, Scarsdale, Mt. Vernon and Tuckahoe.
It all started with a cassette 4-track: the Tascam 424 Portastudio. Our first 7" was recorded on this 4-track plus whatever we could get our hands on. The single was a double A-side with Communion and Leaves Philosophies.
After college was over, we got jobs and started making money, so we slowly built up a studio. First we bought a Tascam DA-38, tape based Digital 8-Track and a Roland VS-880, Digital Hard Disk Recorder. These two recorders are synced up via MIDI Time Code giving us 16 Tracks. They currently are the heart of our studio. We have since added a Digital Mixer: the Tascam TMD-100o, a DAT recorder: the Panasonic 3800, some great effects processors: an Eventide H3000 and Eclipse, Lexicon PCM80, Lexicon JamMan and Boss SE-50, a decent mic: Audio-Technica AT-4033, a mic pre: JoeMeek VC-1 and computers: a G4 Mac with Emagic Logic, Bias Peak, Rebirth as well as an iBook for portable music making. We have also had the luxury of having some great friends working in the engineering side of the audio/musical instrument industry so we have borrowed some excellent monitors and effects processors. This above setup is what we used to record Audio Precision and Portable One (although we had a pre-G3 computer for Portable One).
Most of our songs have been recorded one instrument at a time. Usually we start with the drums and sequenced bass lines, then build on top of them. All of the sequenced tracks are recorded first and then the instruments that we actually play: guitar, some keyboards, vocals and the occasional bass guitar. It seems to take a month to record the average song from beginning to end. Then another 7 to 10 days to mix the song.
Considering all of the great advances that have been made in the past 5 years for home recordsists, we would like to move more towards computer based recording. This will enable us to do 24-bit recording and have completely automated mixes. Don't know if we would go with Pro Tools, Emagic or something else. The great thing about automated mixing would be that we can mix as we record the song, so that when we are ready to do a proper mix, we can recall what we had been listening to when recording the song. Another improvement is that we would like to mixdown to 1/4" or 1/2" analog 2-track.
Below is a complete list of the equipment we use in our studio.
Rack Effect Processors