Keith Felch Blog
Recording "Mirrored Response"
- Written by Keith Felch
- Published: January 01, 2014
The journey of recording this album started by hiring my producer, keyboardist, and co-composer Rob Rinderer. Rob was a great choice because of our long history together, and his incredibly large skill set. The theme of this record was going to be a challenge to achieve, because I wanted to make a jazz/world music/R&B record that was relaxing, energizing, artistic, and accessible; not just a record that musicians would enjoy, but for everyone. I also wanted Pro Tools training as we went along, to make me a better engineer. And to make matters even more complex, I wanted to record most of the record at my own studio (which had not yet been completed), and I wanted to mix the record there as well. And, to top it all off, I wanted the entire process to be relaxed and creative, without feeling rushed, but still hitting our deadlines.
In short, I wanted it all.
Over the next year, Rob and I discussed the goals of the album, wrote tunes, auditioned equipment, and discussed budget and personnel. By December 2012, we had finished our scratch tracks (pre-production mock-ups), booked the personnel, written the charts, and booked additional recording locations. We were ready to go.
The project really sprang to life as the new year started. In that first week, we rehearsed my good friend and bassist Norm Stockton and drummer Dave Owens, and went down to Signature Sound in San Diego to begin tracking. Over the next two days we stayed at a timeshare, ate great food, and generally had a terrific time as Engineer Mike Harris got one of the best drum sounds any of us had ever heard. The enthusiasm grew.
Photos courtesy of Mark Cullen
Our next move was to Thousand Oaks to record Percussionist Luis Conte at his studio. Rob and I had a lot of fun watching Luis work his magic.
We weren't done with the January fun yet. We were then off to Ojai to track the legendary guitarist Robben Ford at Brotheryn Studio with our good friend Mark Cullen acting as photographer.
We tracked piano at Rob's studio in February.
Tracking guest musicians continued at my studio in March with the great gospel singer Anthony Evans singing on Sting's tune, "Fragile."
What a privilege it was to have Kevin Rogers come out from Kansas City for 2 full days and lay down all kinds of guitar tracks. Later he did Nylon String from his home studio.
Phenomenal guitar work, Kevin!
After tracking Joey Sellers on Trombone and Danny Ybarra on additional percussion, we had a great little session with Tony Guerrero recording "Westernesse" on flugelhorn.
Carrie Rinderer came in and killed it on Stevie Wonder's "Have a Talk with God," as well as singing a ton of background vocals.
Sometimes I'd lay something down.
After Bryan Duncan stopped by to track some very soulful vocals on Bill Withers' "Lean on Me," Alfie Silas turned it into a duet.
And Alfie and Carrie sang some backgrounds together. They are fast friends.
My friends Gina Stockton and Jeff Gunn came over and did some background vocals.
and, after tracking some B3 with Greg Holmes, it was time for Mike Harris to mix this thing!
What comes after mixing? Mastering, of course, with world-famous mastering engineer Bernie Grundman.
Tim Devlin did some fine album artwork, and it's done! What a great journey. I'm very proud of the result. Thanks to everyone who made this record happen!