We Record Drums!

Gretsch_drums_logoOne of the things that I am proud of here at Pepperhead Studios is that we are set up to record live drums.

In a world of sampling, drum recording is becoming a lost art. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for sampling, and sometimes that is what the music requires.

But as a bass player, I also appreciate what a live drummer brings to the table. A good drummer can make for a better performance, adding lots of energy that otherwise would take much longer to program. Working with real mics in a real space with real drums… we’ll, it’s just more fun!

I offer a well set-up Gretsch kit (call/email for specifics). A secondary – more “rustic” Pearl kit is also available.

In any case what’s here is suitable for rock, blues, punk, country and jazz recording. I have wide selection of cymbals as well. Drummers are welcome to bring their own kit, though I ask that they at least try ours first, as setup takes additional time. Sometimes, all that is needed is your favorite snare or cymbal. Contact us today to learn more.

Real News by Real Kids

My wife Audra, who teaches at Greenwood Friends school, has been working with her students on a podcast series. The students come up with the topics, select people to interview, and do all of the recording on site at the school.

For now they are using a recorder that only saves to MP3, but even so, the end results – with some adjustment here at the studio, are pretty good.

Check out their first episode!

Mike Hickey: 55 and Sunny

We just wrapped up Mike Hickey’s album “55 and Sunny”, and it will be released in March/April 2016 through CD Baby and other online outlets.

Mike grew up near Chicago, where he played in Blues, country, and rock bands and occasionally provided backup guitar for Blues masters including Sam Chatmon of the Mississippi Sheiks and Little Smokey Smothers of the Howlin’ Wolf Band. For about 40 years, Mike wrote and performed angst-filed folk songs about loves lost and opportunities wasted . . . and then he decided to lighten up a little. “55 and Sunny” is the result.

“55 and Sunny” is an eclectic, up-beat collection of 16 songs–fifteen new compositions and a new arrangement of a traditional English folk tune. The tunes range from swinging blues to raucous Balkan dance music, from Afro-pop, Celtic, and Cuban-influenced instrumentals to New Orleans-influenced R&B.

The album, recorded at Pepperhead Studios, features wonderful guitar playing by Mike, with Safa Saracoglu on percussion, John Huckans on organ, and drumming from Urie Kline and Craig Waltman. Visit Mike’s site for the latest.

Purchase the CD

Available for streaming at Spotify!

Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey (Photo by Scott Canouse)
Michael Hickey (Photo by Scott Canouse)

In late December 2014 and early January 2015, we began working in earnest on some recordings of songs written by Michael Hickey. Mike, who learned to play guitar by secretly watching his phenomenally talented brother Danny and cousin Timmy Hickey, has been playing music in front of anyone who will listen since the mid-1970s.

As a young guitarist in the Chicago metropolitan area, he performed in various pop, blues, country, and folk groups, and often played his own songs as a solo act at regional colleges and coffee houses.  Sheer blind luck put Mike on stage with many great musicians while he was still in his teens and early twenties, experiences from which he came to appreciate the difference between competent players and real professional musicians.  Since the mid-1980s, Mike has continued to write, play, and perform music in various idioms while pursuing a career outside the music industry.

Mike, along with Safa Saracoglu and John Huckans, have performed in a number of combinations in the Bloomsburg area, often as a jazz combo. These songs showcase Mike’s considerable guitar chops and songwriting wit. It’s hard to tell what is more fun – recording them, or playing them!

Voice Overs

Audra recording voice overs
Audra recording voice overs

Voice over work is an ongoing project for us at Pepperhead Studios, partly because we have a great in-house voice artist.

Audra dePrisco offers her excellent voice for training, commercial and any other spoken word work where you need crisp, clear voice talent. A teacher by day, with a minor in Theatre Arts and several college and community productions under her belt, Audra has done voice projects for Geisinger Health System, XG Health Solutions, as well as special projects for language arts texts.

In addition to Audra’s on-site voice talent, we have access to a number of other male and female voice actors. Talk with us about options for your next voice project.

Paul Loomis: World Famous in Bloomsburg

World Famous in Bloomsburg by Paul Loomis
World Famous in Bloomsburg by Paul Loomis

“World Famous in Bloomburg” is Paul Loomis‘ third solo album, and the first full length project to be produced at Pepperhead Studios (Millville, PA). You can listen to samples here.

About the album…

Paul’s original goal was to have a product in hand by Thanksgiving 2014. Tracking began in March/April 2014 with initial drafts, then picked up again in late May and continued through October 2014, with a release on schedule just before Thanksgiving. Paul is a very prolific writer, and likes to let songs unfold on their own. Some songs that we recorded earlier in the process were later reworked once Paul heard them in context, and a few songs were dropped for possible use in a future project.

The whole time, Paul drove the overall direction and we just helped him achieve his goal given the timeline had in mind. We’d typically record on Fridays, do rough mixes on Saturday, then let Paul sit with the tracks for a week or so and built up from there. Traveling, family commitments and home/studio improvement projects made sure that we left plenty of space between sessions so we could have a renewed perspective each time we came back to the tracks.

Continue reading Paul Loomis: World Famous in Bloomsburg