about great magnet
Welcome to Great Magnet Recording…well, my website anyways. My name’s Adam, and I’ve been recording bands and music of all kinds for about 16 years now.
When Great Magnet first started out, I did my thing in a procession of smaller appropriated spaces, before finally purchasing and building out this permanent facility in 2010. Originally a weirdly-gigantic garage (attached to my house) in the rural farm belt west of Santa Rosa, CA. It’s now divided into a live room large enough to accommodate an octet, paired to a sonically-isolated control room with all the trimmings. Construction was a labor of love taken on by myself and my dad, a lifelong journeyman carpenter. We took a lot of care to do the math and make sure all it’s dimensions and angles make for great sounds along the way.
I’ve been accumulating gear both high-end and funky the whole time, while…I like to think…growing as a musician, technical engineer, and “people person.” Folks like to create here: it’s looks ain’t “recording magazine sexy” but it feels like home.
Here’s a few samples of recent work. Peruse a shit-ton more by clicking on that-thar button down below.
The live room is 500 square feet, with a 16-foot at the ceiling. I get great huge drum sounds in here. A low drum riser graces what I feel to be the best spot (sonically) in the room for drums and affords channels for tidy cable management to boot. Plenty of room beyond that for the whole band to play in the same room. I’ve had an eight-piece jazz group in here (as seen in the pic) and it didn’t feel cramped at all.
A full band with multiple amps a-blazin’ in a room this size turns to utter cacophany though. To that end, I’m currently constructing the first of two planned isolation booths, about the size of a walk-in closet nestled into the corners on either side of the control room’s bay window. The fist booth is not yet double-walled but already provides adequate isolation for one semi-loud guitar amp to the point where it won’t bleed into the drum kit mics.
The control room is 300 square feet, and was designed (including the jutting-out bay window) with specific calculations in mind for a well-tuned listening environment. Ceilings in here are also quite tall, and as you can see there’s adequate absorption baffles to keep things in check.
If you’d like to see tons more pics of these rooms actually being used by real musicians, click the link below for a list of all my best session pics!
You don’t need million-dollar gear to make a record that sounds like a million bucks, but it helps. My toy chest is modest but well-chosen, with a few fetishistic high-price-tag items, some really great shit I’ve built myself, and a bunch of under-appreciated gems that really perform in the right hands (uh, mine, duh).
Click the button to see the full list, plus (speaking of fetishes) a visual gallery of damn sexy guitars that I have here to use.
Here be just a few of the many questions I get a lot. To see the full list, click that there button at the bottom!
the situations are many, and each setup is very different. But in a typical situation where it’s a day of live-in-the-room recording of a rock band, say a five-piece drum kit, two guitar players and a bassist, initial setup usually takes between two and three hours. We’re usually cutting tracks by noon or 1:00.
I prefer to have sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. and go to 6:00 p.m. sharp. This ain’t no cocaine-fueled-all-night-Exile-on-Main-Street style situation. Partially this is because I’ma curmudgeony middle-aged weekend warrior. But also people tend to get pretty faded after eight hours hammering away at this stuff, and it becomes a diminishing returns kinda situation.
Click the magyckal button below to be transported to the mystical world of my events calendar…
get in touch
I’d love to talk with ya about your next project or any music- or recording-related questions you might have! Give me a call/text at 707.225.4348, or contact me via email using the form below.
Don’t be scared of that form: it’s just for spam-fighting…there’s a real person (me) behind it and I’ll respond right away.