Los Angeles, CA (June 13, 2006)–Viktor Krauss, Lyle Lovett’s double bassist for the past dozen years, recently spent some time in Studio A at Sound Factory in Los Angeles working on his second solo record–a follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2004 Nonesuch release, Far From Enough.
Lyle Lovett joins Viktor Krauss in the studio. Pictured (l-r): Standing–assistant engineer Adam Munoz, guitarist Dean Parks, Lovett, Krauss, producer Lee Townsend and engineer/mixer Jason Lehning. Kneeling–drummer Matt Chamberlain and assistant engineer Jason Mott.With Jason Lehning once again handling engineering and mixing duties and Lee Townsend producing, Krauss laid down the album’s foundational tracks with the assistance of two equally phenomenal session musicians–guitarist Dean Parks (Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Rickie Lee Jones, Elton John) and drummer Matt Chamberlain (Tori Amos, David Bowie, Fiona Apple).
Although Krauss currently resides in Nashville, he chose to record the project in Los Angeles, not only because it was logistically easier for Parks and Chamberlain to transport their gear to, but also because Krauss was looking to authentically give the recording what he terms a “late ’70s L.A. vibe.”
According to both Krauss and Lehning, one of the things that really helped nail that tone for the trio was the use of A-Designs Audio microphone preamplifiers–most specifically the solid-state Pacifica, which strongly nods toward the sound of the classic Quad Eight console of the same name.
“For most of the tracks, I used a pair of Coles microphones as overheads and Telefunken 251s as room mics, all of which sounded absolutely fantastic through the Pacificas,” noted Lehning. “Although I had never used these particular pres before, I found them to be really super-solid and hearty sounding as well as totally free of any weird frequency bumps. The Pacificas weren’t quite transparent–they definitely had some character–but it was a really good one; warm without being muddy and clear without being bright. I thoroughly enjoyed using them.”
Krauss in his home studio working on overdubs. The A-Designs Audio MP-2A and Pacifica are pictured in the upper right.Most of the songs on the upcoming album are instrumentals; however, Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin and Ben Taylor each contributed their vocal talents to the project. When Lovett came into Sound Factory to record his lead part on “(I Could Have Been Your) Best Old Friend,” a Tracy Nelson/Andy McMahon song popularized by Bonnie Raitt on her 1979 album The Glow, the Pacifica was once again the right tool for the job.
Lehning commented, “We tried putting up several different microphones on Lyle but always went through the Pacifica, which really let the character of each mic shine through. Lyle’s voice is wonderfully rich and clear, and the preamp made it really easy to pick out which mic best suited him and sounded great on the track.”
Following the sessions in L.A., and then a quick trip to Cedar Creek Recording down in Austin where Shawn Colvin recorded vocals for the record’s other cover tune–Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”–Krauss retreated to his home studio in Nashville. There he is currently in the process of recording guitar and keyboard overdubs with a variety of A-Designs products, including a Pacifica, MP-2A stereo tube preamp and REDDI tube DI box. So far, Krauss has been equally impressed with the gear’s performance at home.
For example, running a ’65 Gibson SG and early ’70s Les Paul into a 100-watt Marshall head and 412 Orange cabinet, which is miked and fed through the MP-2A, Krauss noted that “the tube preamp very nicely preserves the fat, warm tone you’d expect to hear from that combination of equipment. In fact, as a general rule, I’ve been using the MP-2A for most instruments that I’ve put a mic up on here and it’s sounded great.
“The Pacifica, on the other hand, is absolutely wonderful on things that are a little more direct because it has this presence that seems to bring the instrument forward. One of my favorite sounds on the planet comes from the Fender Rhodes electric piano and the Pacifica really makes it sound exactly like it’s supposed to. The recorded sound is so real and live that you almost feel like you can just touch it. And it’s been fabulous on Wurlitzer and synths as well.”
Krauss’ new album, which is as of yet still untitled, will be mixed at SF Soundworks later this month and then mastered in early July by Greg Calbi. Tentatively slated for a January 2007 release, the album will be put out on the Narada label (EMI/Virgin).