UPDATE: New Sessions at First Thunder Recording for Album 5!

Hi Folks!

As you know, I've recently been devoting all of my time to releasing my 4th album, The Crosswinds of Kansas, and the three “Acoustic” singles that followed, and as much as I'd love to be back out on the road performing live shows, if I was doing that now, I wouldn't be able to be in the studio creating my new record (#5) which is now solidly in the works! I started working on it briefly back in July and August of 2022 and came back to it more again, starting in February, 2023. Well, I'm happy to say that while I'm hoping to get back to live shows soon, maybe even this fall, I am 100% immersed in recording the new album and it feels amazing to be doing this! I've got the vocal, acoustic guitar and electric guitar parts done for the first song and I'm so happy with how it sounds that it's really hard to wait to share it with you until the rest of the songs for the album are finished! But, I am moving forward and with some recent upgrades to my First Thunder Recording studio, it's pure joy to be able to wake up every morning and continue creating these new sounds to share with you. After also finishing the vocals and acoustic guitar for the second song for the new album, I just finished (yesterday) setting up to record the Electric Guitar part for it and will be back in the studio later today to see where it takes me! This new electric guitar part probably has the most elaborate set up/signal path that I’ve worked with to date. First, I’m using a vintage (1980's) Ernie ball / Music Man, EVH Signature Guitar, plugged into a Lehle P-Split, then a Harpoon Sea Foam, then a Cry Baby Wah Wah then a Boss volume pedal and then a Sabbadius Funky Vibe (the Fillmore version, with a foot pedal controller to manually vary the pulse speed). That’s all plugged into a vintage Marshall JMP-1 preamp with a vintage Intellifex effects unit in the effects loop for some delay and reverb. The pre-amp and effects then go to a vintage Mesa Boogie 2-Ninety power amp (set at half power). The 2-Ninety is a stereo amp and feeds two Marshall 4x12 slant cabinets with Celestion greenbacks (one cab is vintage 1970’s, the other is vintage 1980’s). I like the sound of the slant Cabinets better than the square ones that go on top of the slants for a full stack--so these are both slants. Each of the cabinets has a Sennheiser 421 and a Royer 121 mic positioned about 2 1/2 inches off the speaker cloth at a bottom speaker, and then there’s a Neumann TLM 67 set up as a room mic. Each of the Royers are going through a channel of the Neve 1073 DPX that I just added to the rack, and then into an Audioscape 76A before inserting into a channel of the Trident T-88 console. The Sennheisers are going directly into the Trident. The TLM 67 is going into an AEA RPQ2 preamp and then into a (pretty much nailed) Black Lion Bluey before inserting into a channel of the T-88. I’ve got the Sennheisers near the left edge of the speaker cones, and the Royers more towards the center. The amp is up at a pretty good volume so the noise floor is pretty low on the outboard gear and the console. It seems like a lot of work when you’re setting it all up, but then when it’s all finally dialed in and you start to play and hear how good it sounds, the inspiration just flows and it’s totally worth the effort. I haven’t played the EVH in a while, so the last thing I needed to do before starting to track, was to change the strings. I'm using DR Pure Blues. Nickel. 10 - 46. This combination of strings, EVH guitar, Marshall/Boogie amp, midi controlled Intellifex unit and Marshall cabinets is something I've used for many years and it's always delivered for me. The Seafoam and Funky Vibe added the finishing touches that this new song is drawing me to and I can't wait to start tracking! So, that's it for now! Back to the studio!

Ready to go!!!…

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