3/16/2013 12:23 PM
There isn't a more impressive and strikingly beautiful building in Austin than the famous Driskill Hotel, right in the thick of it all on 6th Street's festival central. This beautiful wonder is a place that just begs to add its stylish and historic vibe to any endeavor. This year at SXSW 2013, a crew from legendary Nashville Sound Stage Studios, led by Sound Stage General Manager Nick Autry, worked out all the logistics and coordination with San Francisco-based Rdio, www.rdio.com
, to have a number of official showcase selected bands record "live in the studio" with a well equipped "pop up" studio during their time in Austin.
Sound Stage and Rdio went all out on the setup. Solid State Logic brought in an AWS 948 for the tracking and Sound Stage trucked in three Avid 192 HD units along with a stellar selection of mics. Backline included Vox, Marshall and Fender amps in order to be ready for the variety of guitar tonal styles. Preparation in advance in Nashville also included setting up a test studio set-up in advance and making more than 50 new cables in their shop, just to make sure all was in top shape for the tightly scheduled sessions. Sound Stage's crew of five included superproducer Warren Rhoades at the board.
All the acts were recorded live, with only 45 minutes to load in and out between sessions, and each act getting a 45-minute slot. Rdio received more than 300 label submissions from bands who were officially on the SXSW showcase roster, and chose about 20, including Ra Ra Riot and Shout Out Loud. Videography was handled by San Francisco based music video producers Yours Truly. The final lineup is hugely eclectic, from guitar-focused indie bands to electronica (showcase artist Willy Moon reportedly used 17 direct inputs). Recording locations changed daily, with one session even shutting down the elevators at 6am to record on the hotel's baby grand in a gorgeous upstairs lobby hall featuring high ceilings and stunning marble floors. An amazing recording experience for a lucky pianist, for sure. It's going to be an impressive final production by all indications.
The tracks will be taken back from the Driskill sessions to Sound Stage for final mixing on their SSL 9K. Rdio will be releasing the tracks and videos through Rdio Sessions in the near future, and we'll be covering this more in a future edition of Electronic Musician.