Chandler Limited’s own Tory Stoffregen and his band The New Black 7, have matured into a worthy addition to any music-loving soul’s library with the release of the recent single ‘Fine Wine’ and video from their upcoming album, ‘God Willin’ And The Creek Don’t Rise’.
While the journey of every record has its own tale, this production is exceptionally noteworthy in its setting, cast, and a childhood friendship spanning decades.
The New Black 7 have made the in-house recording studio of the Shell Rock, Iowa based pro-audio manufacturer Chandler Limited their home, while enlisting Chandler’s founder Wade Goeke for co-production.
The ability for The New Black 7 to lay down tracks at Chandler Limited’s recording studio has benefits. The obvious one is having access to some of the greatest recording equipment on the planet, while another is offering themselves up as worthy guinea pigs to challenge the designs of Wade’s latest creations. A large chunk of Chandler Limited’s product line gets into the act, including super secret prototype hardware, and the highly anticipated soon to be shipping REDD.47 tube microphone pre-amplifier from Chandler Limited’s Abbey Road Studios line. (for details, see session notes at end of article)
The band’s job is clear, perform, and they do. For Wade’s part, he’s placing microphones, dialing in sounds, ever-tweaking his creations until satisfied. With this much recording gear at your fingertips, and the guy who designed it in the room ready to tune the device on the spot, you know the options are endless.
By now Tory and the band have Wade’s voice calling out ‘Do it again’ etched into their DNA. However, The New Black 7’s talent and musicality coupled with Wade’s electronic design prowess yield a wonderful result.
The whole track is well crafted and the energy is certainly captured to great effect. Tory’s rollicking baritone lead vocal pouring into a Chandler prototype microphone keeps your ears pinned back for the next turn in this infectious track. Guitarist Jason K. Herman’s meticulous performance effortlessly sparks crunchy harmonic embers from the tubes of a Chandler Limited GAV19T guitar amp, all plucked at just the right times. Then, there are those drums! The consummate professional Brentt James Arcement’s drumming perfectly drives ‘Fine Wine’ comfortably along, while New Black 7’s go-to studio bassist and newest member, Dan Dryden holds down the fort. This is what you want to hear in a track, distinct elements, each with its own character, however bonded by some unidentifiable force.
With pots turned sideways, switches worked, and meters long-since dimed, the many takes, and tracks in the bag, ‘Fine Wine’ was ready to be mixed and mastered.
Being so close to home in a variety of ways, this artistic endeavor left Tory, the band, and Wade with many emotions, and considerable contemplation of who would handle mixing duties. Enter Grammy and Emmy award-winning engineer Jamie Tate.
Nashville based Jamie Tate (Alan Jackson, Marty Stuart, Justin Moore, Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift) was chosen to unify the catalog of bits melody, harmony, and groove that would become ‘Fine Wine’.
The New Black 7’s Tory Stoffregen had this to say about the selection of Jamie Tate for mixing duties, “We were big fans of his mixes, big and punchy but not typical “Nashville” gloss. A little bit country and a little bit rock and roll!”
With everything patched-in and so Chandler, it is only fitting to find Jamie Tate’s studio ‘The Rukkus Room’ has a stash of vintage Chandler Limited gear. Jamie a long-time Chandler Limited user commented, “I use my TG1 Limiter on every session, from the first Taylor Swift record to this new Billy Currington single; I have serial #12! I also have the Chandler Limited EMI TG Channel; again, it’s such an early version. The TG Channel along with my U-47, it’s my default vocal chain. If I record or mix it, these Chandler Limited EMI/Abbey Road Studios boxes will be on it.”
When you listen to ‘Fine Wine’ it instantly surrounds you, full of fidelity, dimension and the vocal perfectly placed. Of course the sonic characteristic of Chandler Limited gear is there; however, how Jamie has presented the energy of The New Black 7 to the listener takes it to a special place.
With Jamie’s brilliant mix completed, the track was set for finalizing. For mastering, the boys leaned on Chandler Limited’s longtime relationship with Abbey Road Studios; that was a no brainer.
Session notes (Chandler Limited Gear): REDD.47 Pre-amp (Vocals, Bass guitar), Prototype CL microphone and prototype channel (Vocals), TG2-500 Pre-amp with TG Channel MKII EQ (Kick drum, and Snare), Little Devil Pre-amp and Little Devil EQ (Toms, Rooms, Overheads), Zener Limiter (Room mics), TG2 Pre-amp/DI, prototype CL microphone, prototype channel, and GAV19T guitar amplifier (Electric Guitars), Prototype channel (Acoustic guitar, and Mandolin)