Eddie Kramer taught a select group of SAE students as they created a demo for area band, Mitchells Folly.Los Angeles, CA (June 4, 2008)–From May 8-10, 2008, SAE Institute hosted an intensive three-day event with producer/engineer Eddie Kramer at its Los Angeles campus. Kramer’s resume boasts production and/or engineering work on smash hits with some of the most legendary names in rock history: the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Kiss, the Rolling Stones and many more.
SAE Institute Los Angeles hosted the special in-session engagement with Kramer, giving SAE-LA students and alumni the opportunity to see first-hand how he creates a recording, from pre-production through the final mix of a song. In the weeks leading up to the event, local bands from Oakland to Los Angeles submitted their demos, and L.A.-based band Mitchells Folly was selected for the project. Kramer got SAE students involved in every aspect of the sessions, stressing real-world applications of their knowledge and skills.
The project began with a seminar on May 8, in which Kramer presented many of his philosophies about recording and mixing music and offered a slide show of photographs he has taken over the years of some of rock’s most influential performers. Kramer discussed with the students his choices of microphones and gear used to record and mix, after which Mitchells Folly set up in SAE-LA’s dubbing theater for pre-production. After a brief discussion about the band, its style and the direction in which they wanted to take the project, Mitchells Folley ran through their song “Late Show” with Kramer and the students, who then analyzed its sections and style. Solos and bass lines were refined, and then Kramer picked two students from the audience to write additional vocal harmonies together.
Agreeing the arrangement was complete, the band broke down and moved all their equipment into the studios to prepare to record in SAE-LA’s Neve V3 room to 2-inch tape and Pro Tools|HD. Kramer had students setting up mics, console and racks of additional outboard gear that he brought in specifically for the session. The May 8 sessions broke after nine hours of pre-production and equipment setup.
On day two (May 9), SAE students and alumni rotated in and out of the 12-plus hour session, some opting to stay the entire day. Upon completing the basic tracks, Kramer held an additional drum miking seminar for the students to detail his techniques. All basic tracks were then transferred into Pro Tools for overdubs. Once the students had everything synched, the tracks were flown into the Pro Tools|HD system and tracking continued. As overdubs progressed throughout the day, students were involved in every aspect of the session from tape op to patching, miking to signal processing. Vocal tracking and mixing were completed on May 10. In the end, Mitchells Folly had a new song, produced by Eddie Kramer, assisted by no fewer than 35 SAE-LA students over the course of three days.
“I cannot stress enough how important this sort of hands-on real-world application is for all of the up-and-coming engineering students,” Kramer commented. “It is vital that they experience living with a project from start to finish, as well as learning how we can converge the best of digital and analog technologies. It has been fun, hard work, and we have made immense progress in a short, intense span of time. We all have a personal stake in the future of our industry, and I am proud to pass on my experience and guidance.”
Paul Hughes, Director, SAE Los Angeles, stated, “Eddie Kramer is an engineering and producing legend, and the chance for our students to work with him is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Eddie is a singular talent who’s body of work encompasses classic tracks with iconic artists while pointing to the future of recording technology.”