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Making Ross Hammond's Deep Water

Updated: Apr 4

Album Credits:

Ross Hammond on Electric guitar

Michael Palmer on Electric Bass

Dominic Garcia on Percussion

Tom Monson on Drums

Recorded and mixed by yours truly

Mastered by Patrick Hills

Listen to the album HERE

I’m lucky, in that every record I’ve worked on has been fun, but some records are just an absolute joy to make. Ross Hammond’s Deep Water was one of those records, and one I’m very proud to have recorded and mixed.

I’ve made quite a few records with Ross, so I knew from experience that from the technical standpoint the prep time on the front end matters. When recording with Ross, often the first take is the take. There’s no time to switch out mics or try different placements when the band is hitting the ground running and ready to keep moving; thus I gave my mic choices and placements quite a bit of thought before hand. Once the band was set up, I did a quick soundcheck we were off and running.

The whole album was recorded in under four hours at Rosa Mortem (a recording studio in Sacramento California where I am a partner along with Ashley Rae), and all four musicians were in the live room playing together at the same time, amps and all. Ross came in with sketches of ideas for each song, but I don’t think he and the band had rehearsed the material at all before coming into the studio. This is a testament to the absolutely incredible talent of these musicians. They came into the control room maybe twice to hear how some ideas played out, but otherwise knew which takes were the ones before they left the live room.

I mixed the entire album in just under six and half hours over the course of a week. As during the recording, my previous work with Ross greatly informed my process and choices. I knew the general balances he tends to like and that he’s never interested in being the loudest in a mix. Ross chooses who he wants on his records carefully and for good reason. So with just a handful of mix notes from Ross we were done mixing and the songs were off to mastering.

From the date of the recording session to the release of the album was less than two months. This is what a well oiled machine with the right people in the right roles is capable of. Granted this project falls under the broad moniker of a “jazz record,” and there weren’t a million vocal takes to sort through for each song (there were none, in fact). But my broader point is this: when planned well and executed properly, making records needn’t be prohibitively expensive.

Now go make good art!

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