Shuta Shinoda

Hackney Road Studios/Strongroom

Seahawks session with Maria Minerva

Two days before the Seahawks session, I just found out the studio had been booked wrong day. Oh no no no, no no no. I called some places but they were too expensive to use. Lucky enough, Electroma studio was available, I begged them to reserve for me. The studio house SSL E series and lovely collection of vintage/modern keyboards the likes of Roland, Moog.

Jon and Pete from Seahawks always bring fine guest musician. Al Doyle(Hot Chip) played the bass, Rob Smoughton (also guest drummer for Hot Chip) and Kenny Dickenson from KT Tunstall. This time they had discovered a female singer Maria Minerva. It mustn’t be wrong microphone choice.  However, the Electroma studio has a fewer mic selection than tinroom studios. Ideally I wanted to use Neumann U87 or Sony C800 to capture female singer’s presence. I brought my Neumann TLM 67, plugged in a Universal Audio LA-610 MKII, Bill Putnam-designed 610 console’s mic pre and T4 opto-compressor like Teletronix LA-2A and bring the vocal signal to SSL for the EQ. I was always curious how the UA mic pre sound like. The mic pre sound warm and round. I dialled a reduction knob at low level to get minimum compression.  The result was good.

Jon went crazy using Eventide Harmoniser for her vocal, tried different preset and record it separate track into Protools. We had very creative and smooth session! 


Maria in Seahawks session

Session for Diagrams

Had a recording session for the Diagrams.
The instrumentation was fairy simple: Acoustic guitar, Organ, Bass Drum, Cymbals, and Vocal, but many vocal layers.

I was making signal chain of microphones and mic pres in my head to capture warm and round sound as Sam from Diagram asked me for it before the session started. I ended up using ribbon mics and Neve mic pres. However, we tried three different mics for his vocal. Neumann M147, Neumann U87, AKG 414. I liked M147’s peculiar sound on his vocal, it is a modern hi spec mic, however, I heard some kind of vintage-ish sound on his vocal that matched with the acoustic guitar which had just recorded. AKG 414 sounded too dull and round. U87 is hardly wrong choice for a vocal recording. After a blind test, we decided to go for U87. We liked the presence and the clarity that the mic provides.

The session was relatively easy as Sam is such a good musician. Doubling up guitars was just one take each. Finding lovely harmony was fairly quick as well. What I needed to do was just to make sure to record it best sound.

Sam had been very busy at doing tour and stuff. He ran out of his energy. We finished the session slightly early. We will probably have another session for over dubbing more stuff, are expecting the completed song in June.


Here’s a setup list for me to remember.

AG-Royer labs R122/Portico 5012
Bass Drum-Audio Technica ATM25/Neve V66 desk mic pre
Cymbals-Royer labs SF-12/Neve V66 mic pre
Vocal-Neumann U87/Portico 5012/ Neve VR compressor

Phenomenal Grammy Award quality work!

It is a phenomenal moment working with a Grammy Award nominated producer Matt Hyde. We have been working for a young talented band Fighting Wolves. The drums and the guitars have been recorded so far, and they sound absolutely massive!!

Also, I have been busy for producing, engineering for a singer song writer Paul Kowalski. Four Very unique vintage sound, including a cover of Leonard Cohen, will be done at the end of March.