photo & text by nacrowe
as some of you know, my cousin BRIAN is a recording engineer with production credits ranging from MACMILLER, A$AP FERG, and CLAMS CASINO to YEASAYER, DIRTY PROJECTORS, NEIL FINN and RAIN MACHINE among many others. when DEER GOD was still a viable entity as a recording studio a few years back, i had a front row seat to witness both IN-THE-BOX PRODUCTION via PRO TOOLS as well as the interplay of mixing such with our modified MTA 980 console.
in the years since, watching the CELEBRATED veteran recording engineer ERIC VALENTINE (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979, GOOD CHARLOTTE, THE DWARVES, TAKING BACK SUNDAY, SMASHMOUTH, THIRD EYE BLIND, THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS) deconstruct his WORKFLOW and RECORDING TECHNIQUES at length and in EXHAUSTIVE detail on his MAKING RECORDS WITH ERIC VALENTINE YOUTUBE channel has been an equally EDUCATIONAL experience for an interested layman like me. its also pretty COOL to see the amount of overlap with what my cousin used to do regarding computer PLUG-INS, MICROPHONE PLACEMENT and other general RECORDING STRATEGIES.
VALENTINE has recently begun publishing new content on his YOUTUBE channel after an extended break that saw him sell off his longtime BAREFOOT RECORDING STUDIO in LOS ANGELES and moved with his wife to VERMONT where he converted a large barn on their property into an EXTENSIVE recording facility. in honor of such reengagement, i wanted to post some past video "production deconstructions" of NOTABLE songs he's either engineered, produced and/or mixed. i find this stuff FASCINATING, especially when it comes to the THOUGHT and EXPERIMENTATION that goes into capturing MEMORABLE sounds that fit the intent and vibe of his client's songs. you really get a PALPABLE sense of the ARTISTRY involved with bringing your favorite recordings to life beyond just the physical performance of such. there is so much more involved in he PRODUCTION of such. i also included two INSTRUCTIONAL videos he did for the SOUND ON SOUND magazine's YOUTUBE channel a half decade ago that saw him both explain how he utilized reverb chambers and a myriad of amps to create lush aural textures, such as "GOD OF WINE" on THIRD EYE BLIND's debut THIRD EYE BLIND (ELEKTRA, 1996) album as well as EQ'ing those ICONIC fuzzed-out tones on QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE's iconic SONGS FOR THE DEAF (INTERSCOPE, 2002) album. fun stuff.
whats so cool about VALENTINE is his VERSATILITY, creating both irredeemably CAUSTIC and DOWN-AND-DIRTY PUNK ROCK a la THE DWARVES as well as the immaculately orchestrated SURF ROCK palettes of more pop fair by the likes of SMASH MOUTH at their peak. it is beyond INCREDIBLE that the same dude is responsible for producing such DISPARATE sounds from seemingly opposite ends of the ROCK N ROLL spectrum.
at the very least, his YOUTUBE channel is worth checking out. if not also his extensive production catalogue as well. enjoy!