Notes from the underground

Hey there Audio friends / Band people

Welcome to Notes from the Underground AKA this studios mailing list. I have started this in order to have a dialogue with my peers and visitors to the studio that is direct and not controlled entirely by a third party so to speak. We all know how vexing it is to enter the process of trying to reach people on Facebook or a similar medium, and the ability to communicate via that platform is not static.

I think there are a tonne of incredible bands within the underground scene of Brisbane that many people will discover. So hopefully as I post links and stories about cool bands that have recorded here they will gain new fans. Sometimes there may be a record posted from years ago, and also recent recordings that have occurred here.

Focal Twin 6be monitors

First off, we have new monitors here from French company Focal. These have replaced the longstanding Event Opals that were originally here.
Whilst I had made 100 records on the Opals, I had to eventually come to terms with what was actually lacking in the mid range. A few freelance people had noted that they weren’t comfortable with them either. I had grown accustomed to their nuances and how to work with them, but in the end there was something missing. They are amazing 2 way speakers, probably the best 2 way studio monitor in their range. The difference with the Focal twins though is that when there is something problematic between 1kHz and 4kHz it puts it right in your field of vision.

I feel this isn’t specific to the room here, as I have encountered this problem at a few different studios.

One of the drivers takes care of 40-150Hz and the other works in a larger band of bass and midrange. Interestingly, the tweeters are made of berrylium.
I started out on Focal Twins so it feels comfortable to be back working with them. Hopefully all the freelance people reading will have as great a time with them as I am having.

Secondly, we have a new computer here built by Matt Gray here in Brisbane. This new mac is a beast and has the capabilities to handle anything thrown at it. We have installed a UAD quad and are adding new plug ins all the time.


Amaringo are a two piece (Nathan Kearney and Allie Wu Lin) that have been knocking about Brisbane for a fair while now but are on hiatus at this time due to being in different states. They make beautiful, simple and primitive songs and not a bad moment of their set exists. I love how they use whatever drums and instruments they can salvage. We had the pleasure of tracking what may be their last record, last year.

This record was documented very quickly, all live, mixed at the same time without noticeable manipulation. The band set up and played just like how they would rehearse together, and a handful of microphones were used in pretty standard placement. All the vocals (with effects) were tracked live, and that is why you can hear some drum bleed in the vocal effects. The final mix that was used was the monitor mix of the session, recorded thru again whilst massaging faders over a song.

There was some live automation by way of riding the tape send. This was only needed in more dynamic songs that aren’t on display here.


Empress are a new band that are based on the Gold Coast. They first approached us to do a basic mix of this record, but this actually resulted in a tonne of re-recording and processing. This was due to it being tracked in a shoebox of a room (the basement of a house in a residential area). The recording was great considering the space it was in, although there is only so much that can be done with a recording that is not in a sympathetic acoustic space. The drum set was re-amped through different PA speakers and guitar amplifiers, also the vocals and electric bass.

This record was tracked by Liam Kriz and believe it or not, mastered by Govinda Doyle.

Listen here.