Exciting couple of months here at Let ‘Em In! The wonderful Lady Lamb the Beekeeper (Aly Spaltro) came in to record a cover of Bob Dylan’s “All I Really Want to Do” for Brooklyn Based’ BB Songs series. The song (and accompanying video) proved very successful, getting featured on Perez Hilton and Rolling Stone.

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

Before recording the tune, Aly mentioned that she really liked Cher’s cover of the song from the 1960s, which was produced by Sonny Bono (a Phil Spector mentee) and was most likely recorded at the famed Gold Star Studios. As such, we relied heavily on room mics and lots of chamber reverb for the mix. The experience was a wonderful collaboration and house engineer/producer Nadim is currently at work producing Lady Lamb’s full-length.

We’re thrilled that the Eon Contemporary Orchestra’s cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” is finally up. Eighteen (!) string musicians piled into the studio for the project. It was important that we get a muscular drum sound. It didn’t hurt to have the excellent  Walker Adams on the kit, but we again made use of room mics, much as Led Zeppelin was known to do. One mic was placed just about as far away from the drums as possible, in the control room with the door open. It sounded great.

Last but not least, make sure to check out “The Devil You Know” by The Loom (recorded and mixed by Nadim for Brooklyn Based). The band recently released their full-length debut, Teeth, on Crossbill Records.

Guten tag! Keepin’ busy here….

Brooklyn-based band Worry the Worm just released their EP, which was recorded and mixed by Nadim over the summer.  The songs feature punchy guitars, arresting drum patterns, and prominent vocals that float nicely above it all. As an aside, we were happy to put the studio’s new Yamaha Recording Custom drum kit to use and it is featured prominently on the EP.

Worry the Worm EP
Worry the Worm EP

!!! (chk chk chk) came in for a couple of days in September to record vocals for a track on their upcoming album. If you don’t know !!!, check out this video.

The latest installment of BB Songs is up! Every month, the publication Brooklyn Based picks a local artist or band to record a song at Let ‘Em In. We’re excited to be involved with this on-going project and glad to help up-and-coming Brooklyn bands get some exposure.

For this latest installment of BB Songs, The Shondes recorded a cover of Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker”. Benatar, as it turns out, is also from our fair borough. Here’s a rather thorough list of distinguished Brooklynites that we found quite entertaining.

Milagres, who recorded drums, strings, and piano here many months ago, have finally released their full-length “Glowing Mouth” on the Kill Rock Stars label. They are currently on a national tour.

Finally, we were pleased to host a couple recording sessions with the Itty Biddies. They are an all-woman band who play children’s music that is at once catchy and refined. We had fun hearing them effortlessly switch from jazz to pop to rock, etc.

Happy to announce that we’ve  finished working on our good friend Mike Higbee‘s debut album. The album, Secret Life, will be released this August, and consists mostly of acoustic rock. We had fun recording upright bass, a string quartet, and trumpet, in addition to the usual instruments. Mike even recorded a street organist in France for the album. You can find some making-of photos here.

Joel Ancowitz recording trumpet for Mike's album
Joe Ancowitz recording trumpet for Mike's album

This past month, we hosted a couple sessions with musician Julia Nunes, as she continues to work on a full-length album with talented producer/engineer Zach McNees. Most recently, they were in the studio recording strings…we seem to be getting quite a few string sessions lately, a testament to the sound of our large live room.

Milagres, who recorded drums, piano, and strings at the studio a while back, will finally be releasing their album Glowing Mouth September 13th on Kill Rock Stars. We, for one, can’t wait to hear it. Check out the link above to preview a couple songs off the album and catch them live as they gear up for a tour in support of the release.

Check out Will Stratton’s “When You Let Your Hair Down“. The song was recorded and mixed at Let ‘Em In for the latest installment of the Brooklyn-Based Songs series. Will recorded the song in one take and we used four mics: a stereo pair  on the guitar, a vocal mic, and a room mic for ambience. We then added a little Roland Space Echo to the vocal for effect. For more on Will, check out his web site.

The month of May saw our biggest recording session yet (18 musicians!) with the Eon Contemporary Orchestra (ECO). The ECO is an ensemble of young professional musicians that records and promotes new music, specifically in the genres of film, rock, pop, indie, and world. We had a great time recording a couple original film score cues as well as an excellent rendition of Led Zep’s Kashmir, arranged by the orchestra’s principal conductor/artistic director Gabriel Lefkowitz. We’ll be posting the recording in the next couple of months.

The ECO recording an original film score cue at Let 'Em In.
The ECO recording at the Let 'Em In.

In other news, we’re quite pleased with how our hood is shaping up. New eateries and shops keep opening up, all a block away. Bodegas, bars, liquor stores, delis…some highlights:

The Rock Shop:  our fave music venue

Mission Dolores:  outdoor bar with a fantastic beer selection

The Root Hill Cafe: killer coffee and a damn good chicken salad sandwich.

Ivy Garden: a large (for NY at least) gourmet grocery store.

Oaxaca: great enchiladas and tortas.

The latest BB Songs series is up!  Every month, Brooklyn-Based picks a local artist to come record one song at Let ‘Em In. The band Motel Motel came in for this latest series and decided to flex their metal chops, straying far from their usual brand of indie folk/rock. They recorded a fairly-faithful cover of Mastodon’s Oblivion. I was pleasantly surprised with how it came out. Not bad for a bunch of indie rockers with fender amps.

Stay tuned for the next couple of BB series, to feature Ava Luna and Will Stratton, two very different but equally-talented bands. Brooklyn-Based does a great job of mixing things up and we’re thrilled to be a part of this.

We finally wrapped up mixing a new full-length with Dinowalrus (click on the link to preview some of the tunes). Dinowalrus have crafted quite a unique sound – psychedelic, but very much beat-driven…I guess you could say it’s psychedelic dance music. Check ‘em out!

And finally, American Darlings were in the studio finishing up an EP. They play guitar-heavy rock anthems and were just voted “Artist of the Month” for the month of May by The Deli mag.

Dinowalrus was in the studio in early February for 5 days to record their second full-length album. All I can say is it’s going to sound awesome — very, very big and trippy. We’ll be mixing in March.

The latest installmentof the Brooklyn-Based song series is now up, featuring the band Soft Black. Each month, the fine folks at Brooklyn-Based pick a band or artist to record a song at Let ‘Em In. The band banged out a song in a couple hours and tracked everything live. One room, one band, one take. The way Ma and Pa would have done it.  Check out the song (entitled “Blonde Magic”) here.

Work continued on Mike Higbee’s full length album. Mike’s got a voice of gold, like an old-school crooner with a little more edge. Think oom-pah rock with a tinge of french folk-rock. NYC, NEW YORK

Check out “Radical Man” by Dinowalrus. It’s the second song we recorded and mixed for the Brooklyn-Based Songs series. Looking forward to recording the band’s full-length in February.

Yos Munro from the band Steel Phantoms was in the studio to record a score for a short film called “The Itch”. The score is great — a little reminiscent Jon Brion’s work, but it definitely has its own unique sound. We recorded drums, synth, piano, organ, clarinet, upright bass, glockenspiel… really utilized the live room to get some intimacy in the mix. Room mics!

In early January, Barton Stanley David came in to record a 5-song EP. He’s got a lovely soulful voice that you don’t hear all too often these days. We’ll be finishing the EP sometime in March.

Introducing BB Songs!
Very excited about our new partnership with Brooklyn Based to release a song every month recorded by a Brooklyn musician at Let ‘Em In. The first edition features Alina Simone doing a cover of Britney Spears’ “Oops…I Did it Again”. The song was tracked almost entirely live (only trumpets were overdubbed).

We expect to feature an eclectic group of musicians. The second song for the series has already been recorded and mixed and it is worlds apart from the first (and was recorded with lots of overdubs). Check back every month! Or better yet, sign up for the excellent Brooklyn Based newsletter.

Sea of Bees video:
Sea of Bees, the musical project of Julie Ann Bee, shot a video in the studio’s live room for the song “Wizbot”. Check it out here.  The video was beautifully shot and the room looks great. Oh yeah, it’s a good song too!

Bits ‘n Bobs:
Listen to “Young Bucks“, by Dinosaur Feathers and mixed by Nadim. From the source:
“Music Muleis proud to take the step from virtual to physical with the release of our debut record, a 300-limited-edition pressing of a quadruple A-side split 7″ from psychedelic, harmony ridden three-piece Dinosaur Feathers (Brooklyn) and tropical flavoured garage punk outfit Carnivores (Atlanta, Georgia).

28 North, from the land of “black-and-yellow” was in the studio for 20 days to record a full-length. It was a pleasure working with producer Felix McTeigue to capture the band’s raw energy. A band to keep an eye on for sure.

Had a nice assortment of bands in the studio the past couple of months. Here’s a little glance at a few of the projects we’ve had the pleasure of working on:

  • Did some recording and mixing with the Ludlow Thieves
  • Recorded American Darling‘s debut EP
  • Recorded final elements for Simone Stevens‘ full-length –  mixing will begin next month
  • Spent a couple days with  Your Friends and Neighbors, crafting their album.  Had a great time recording vocals, piano, and percussion.  Not sure how to describe their music, as is increasingly the case in this day and age.  The vague term “electronic rock” will have to do. Check ‘em out.
  • Mixed a full length by Moser’s Gambit

Also looking forward to working with a couple producers in the studio:

NYC-based record producer Felix McTeigue will be working out of the studio in the months to come. Looking forward to helping out with engineering duties on his various endeavors.

We also expect to be working closely with Dan Teicher on many projects to come.  He is a talented producer, arranger, songwriter and guitarist.

Other than that, I’ve been enjoying listening to Deerhunter’s album “Halcyon Digest”. No, sadly, I had nothing to do with its recording.  It is a wonderful album.

Till next month….

-Nadim

It’s been a busy couple of months with some notable improvements to the studio.  For starters, all of the studio’s air-conditioning ductwork was enclosed in sheetrock, making the central AC system dead-quiet. We also have some new mics and a sweet new Great River preamp that kills on just about anything. Classic Neve sound.

Recently purchased Ableton Live – starting to get a pretty good grasp of the program. It’s a fantastic writing tool and we hope to make use of it a whole lot in the future.

In a somewhat impromptu but much-enjoyed appearance, Bad Brains came in for a quick rehearsal before their show at Commodore park this past June.  They are simply awesome!

Other than that, been enjoying working on everyone’s music:  recorded and mixed Karma Versa’s first-ever EP and it’s a good one. They are a young band to keep on eye on. Been putting some finishing touches on Coyote Eyes‘ EP.  Dinosaur Feathers, who are currently on tour with Lonnie Walker, had me mix a new song called “Young Bucks”. Also working with Choo, a talented female hip-hop artist who is quite the one-take wonder.  An eclectic mix of artists, as usual. That’s how we like it around here.

-Nadim