steam powered studio #1
After years of recording in a tiny third-floor bedroom at 1131 Maple Avenue I moved everything into the basement. I had resumed working on recordings with other people, and we needed to stretch out a little. The first arrangement was in the space beneath the living room, with the monitor speakers on either side of the gas furnace. It was much warmer there then way at the paek of the mountain in the winter months.

basement area right the earliest photo from the basement studio.

That's a borrowed Mini Disk recorder perched on the brown wooden rack. In the rack is a new Alesis 20 bit drum module, which I was triggering with some home-made drum pads laid out on the little table in front, with a kick trigger on the floor to the right. That's one of the trusty, dusty old Radio Shack monitors from the Cat Ranch hanging from the heat pipes in the back.

basement area left the second earliest photo from the basement studio.

Here's the other side of the room. You can see the pipes which contributed to my naming this the Steam Powered Studio. They were great for keeping patch cables handy as well as suspending speakers. Up above are the exposed floor joists, which were a beautiful natural chestnut brown. Also up above behind us is this custom-built diffuser.
Way ahead of my time with that technology. Way, way ahead.

diffuser custom diffuser/lumber rack

Back when MP3.com was the hot lick I did a little work uploading music and setting up web pages for other people, but it wasn't really what I wanted to be doing.

early days at Steam Powered
This was via dial-up- 45 minute uploads!

And here I am, relaxing in the studio sometime later, after the JBL monitors went up.

at home


Here's some of what went on in this space over the next year.

The basement studio at 1131 Maple Ave rapidly became the conduit for my dreams of enhancing us local folk's visibility in the wider world. I felt that there was plenty of talent right at hand, and that mostly we only needed a decent recording to get heard.
This effort began with Robert Bobby and the thing he called MP3 by Midnight, a sort of production company you might say, with the object being to get our original songs posted online the day they were recorded. Much of our early work was made using Mr. Bobby's Roland VS-840EX digital recorder.

King of the Internet, by Robert Bobby   May be the first one we posted.

I was also working with Dave "Dr. Mo" Moyar along similar lines. The sequence of recordings is a little unclear- I only began to keep notes about a year later.
Half Past Last Call, by Dr. Mo. A David Moyar original.

Here's the first of my own songs that I definitely remember having recorded in the basement, with Bill Noll on mandolin and Ryck Kaiser on fiddle.
Morning Role Call - Ryck was banging his bow into the heat pipes!

Save to Serve Her- A love song for grown-ups with a big production.

Everybody Inn- A true story, entirely true.

I soon began keeping notes of sessions here, but the biggest news was not noted- the first song recorded on a Yamaha AW4416 digital 16 track recorder.



free music