Studio Name: The Creation Lab
Location: Turlock, CA
Key Crew: Michael Everett, producer, chief engineer; Matt Swanson, producer
Console: Yamaha DM2000 96-channel digital recording console
Recording Formats: RADAR II, Studer A800 2" analog tape machine, Pro Tools HD 3 accel
Monitors: Genelec 8050A, Mackie HR824, JBL 4206
Microphones: Neumann U-87 and KM-84s, RCA 77 DX, AKG 414s, Sennheiser MD 421s, Audio-Technica AT 4033s and 3055s, AKG D112
Pre-Amps & DI’s: Neve 34128s, LaChapell Audio tube amp, Countryman DIs
Compressors/Limiters: Neve 33609s, Urei 1176N, Urei LA-4s, Dbx 165A Overeasy
Effect Processors: Aphex 602B Aural Exciter, Aphex Compellor’s, Audio Design F769x Vocal Stresser, Urei 565, Lexicon 224x, Lexicon PCM 70
Computers: 2-Macintosh G5/3G/250 23" Apple cinema display
Storage: Glyph GT 103, DVD-R, FireWire support, external drives (80-100)
Keyboards: Yamaha Motif ES8, Hammond B3 organ
Studio Notes: If you don’t know California there’s no way to really describe Turlock except to try to use a local corollary that hits sort of close to the bone of surprise that we feel when we hear that there’s actually a studio here. Try Bayonne, New Jersey. Try Maumee, Ohio. Or maybe Delta, Utah, is more your style? You see it’s as likely that there would be a studio here as anywhere and really, wise-guyisms aside, why wouldn’t there be a studio here?
But, you know, there’s still that Snoopy doghouse shock when you see what KIND of studio there is here. Acoustically designed by Chris McCollum, he of Masterfonics, Quad Studios, the Grand Ole Opry, the Holler, and Kevin Anderson, whose bona fides extend to the Eagles and Ronnie Milsap, the Creation Lab is a little slice of country IN the country, or at least as much of the country as the Central Valley has to offer, replete with all that authentic cow-country appeal, duallies on dusty roads, rodeos, and people who actually know the difference between the real country and the faux one.
And according to Mike Everett, that’s about all that’s different. “We’ve got all of what anybody would want anywhere else added on top of being able to pull in all of what might be needed to get something done from start to finish from original songs, producers, and studio musicians to publishing needs, consultation, cd and dvd duplication, whatever. And it’s a lot closer to the Continental Divide than Nashville.”
So yeah, there are the gold records, the celeb stories (ooo, love that Henry Kaiser was there) and so on, but in the end, probably the coolest part about the Creation Lab outside of the fact that they’re in Turlock, are the thumps and slide guitars tumbling out of their monitors.
Check it out. . . .