I’m excited to be recording my next album at the new Oakland Tiny Telephone Recording studio. I love the fact that they still use 24 track-tape to record music as opposed to digital. Tape produces a much warmer sound and also requires bands to actually perfect their performance in the studio (as opposed to pasting together the best sections of multiple takes). Hats off to John Vanderslice for keeping analog recording alive in America over the past 20 years at his Tiny Telephone studio in SF. Grateful to be invited to try out the Oakland venue!
In a recent article in SF Weekly, called The Great Analogue Gamble, talks about the risks and unlikely success of one of San Francisco’s (and now Oakland too) best recording studios. As Jamie Riotto, an engineer at Tiny Telephone puts it, “What [Vanderslice] is doing is totally insane. I think that needs to be said. He’s opening a world-class studio, with a large-format console that is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, at a time when studios are closing all over the place. He’s taking enormous financial risk, and he’s very comfortable with that somehow.”
So many of us in the Bay Area (and beyond) are grateful for John’s persistence to make a world class experience available to independent artist. Since it opened in 1997, San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone has become a destination for some of the most respected indie artists around, including Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie, Deerhoof, The Dodos, and Jolie Holland. Vanderslice, a respected indie musician who has also worked as a producer for the The Mountain Goats, Spoon, and Strand of Oaks, recorded 10 of his own albums there, too.
When asked why he persists using analogue recording techniques John says, “It makes the studio environment more special, which makes the band have a better time, which makes the whole process go better. You have this enormous machine that looks like it’s from NASA or something in the corner, and it’s got all these flashing lights and moving parts on it, and it just increases the importance of what’s happening.”
I couldn’t agree more. I’m really looking forward to going back to Tiny Telephone in September to start work on a new album.