I suppose it is a dream of all musicians to be able to have a good recording facility of their own. It was certainly a dream of mine. I tinkered around with different kinds of archaic recording machines in my youth; from domestic cassette to cassette recorders to very old reel to reel machines.
I was really fired up about the concept of ones own recording studio when I was introduced to Simon Townshends brother - Pete Townshend’s home studios back in the 70’s; one in his house in Twickenham, then his other one at his house in the country by the Thames. To say I was impressed was an understatement. He invited us (the then Simon Townshend Band) to record at his newly developed studio in the country; a glorious setting and a very impressive Quadraphonic studio set up. The thought of having such a facility at your own disposal, stuck with me.
Around the time when Stuart and Bruce started coming to my house in London, to get the band going properly, I had a Fostex 4 track cassette recorder (which I thought was awesome). I had the machine sitting on my mothers’ dining room table (in our house in Ealing, West London) and because of the tables’ wobbly disposition; I decided to call ‘my’ studio ‘Wobbly Studio’. That machine recorded the very first BC demos that would contribute to what became ‘The Crossing’. On leaving that house, each move I would thereafter make, would constitute a new incarnation of the Wobbly phenomenon.
Back in 1997, after moving my family into a house built by us, I had probably my best home recording facility (Wobbly 10). When designing the house, I had the architect adjust the angle of the roof to increase the room space in order to be able to record a small band (but essentially for myself). I won’t go into to much detail about it here as I refer to it in my book ‘Then Came the Great Divide’. I also ran a mastering service from there, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Needless to say, it was nowhere near the Townshend standard of studio, but it worked for me.
I completed the recording of ‘My Time’ in my current incarnation (Wobbly 14) and it has been (obviously) the best set up I have had due to the technology of Apple, and software by ProTools, Logic Audio, Waves and more recently, the addition of Steven Slate digital software, Isotope and others.
Over the years, I had become very used to working on my own, but even now, I’d still prefer to work with others. I miss the camaraderie of like-minded others, and the creative explosions that happen between empathetic people. Having human drummers to work with is where I feel at home the most. I don’t play drums, and am always impressed at the co-ordination required to play well. I simply don’t have that co-ordination. It is the same with production as well, there is always a better view of the final outcome, but sometimes it is not in the realm (or eye) of the music’s creator, which is why on ‘My Time’, I drafted in my friend and colleague Tom Nordon to assist me with the recording of the vocals.
I love recording and I have an ever-developing love for producing (I am currently working on a EP with a friend and fab singer by the name of Becky Loney, with Tom Nordon) and recently finished an EP with a cool North Devon Band called ‘Trip to Tori’.
But this has all happened because of my interest in recording and the technology that has made it possible and affordable. I can’t discuss this without a nod to Steve Lillywhite. He taught me what I needed to know about music production, not only the technical aspects but also the human interaction aspect.
Wobbly 14, is about to become Wobbly 15 as I am moving house again, so I look forward to being creative in a new environment and saving my ‘sheckles’ for the next technical innovations for recording that will surely be just around the corner.
The featured track is from 'Life Goes On' the last recording from Wobbly 10.