Saturday, October 04, 2008

Whole lotta Rock @ Suma

So on another of my outta town producing trips I ended up in a little town east of Cleveland last weekend called Painesville, Ohio.
I was there to record the tracks for my friend Bobby's band the Jack Fords.
I had looked all over the net for a studio that could do live tracks on a 5 pc band w keys. I'd found a few places through some recommendations but the guys in the band steered me to Suma Recording. I'd link to their site but they don't have one. When I looked into the history of the place I had a feeling it would be good.

Half a mile off the road sits this big old house...
Suma door

In that house is most of the gear and the history from the Cleveland Recording Co. where Ken Hamann and his crew recorded great albums by Grand Funk, The James Gang, Wild Cherry, Pere Ubu and the Outsiders. As far as I could tell the only thing newer than 1980 was the coffee, some magazines and their Pro Tools Rig.


Paul Hamann, his dad and his brother built the console from scratch in 1972 for the old Cleveland Recording. It may be the first example ever of a console with dynamics (Limiter/gates) on each input channel. Transformers in and out. Pretty fantastic.

Suma Console

I had a great time working with the band. The room at Suma really sounded terrific. I was able to have everybody and their amps out in the room (except for Brent The Singer and the bass amp) I was able to balance the volume of the guitar amps with the fabulous Dr Z Airbrake attenuator designed by the late great Ken Fischer of Trainwreck. (roscoe kicks himself for not getting a trainwreck when the Hound offered to introduce him years ago...) The room was some sort of "great room" for some Cleveland fat cat's summer house that was built out of 160 year old barn wood. It sounded great.

Suma live room

Band worked real hard on the tracks. As I talked with Paul I found that a bunch of people I knew had been there recently including the Black Keys and Don Dixon producing Chris Allen with my good buddy Will Rigby playing drums.
Paul wanted me to say hello to Tony Maimone which I did while driving back to NYC in my GMC Suburban (full of gear and a bike sucking down petrol to beat the band) with the masters to 12 rocking tunes on my portable hard drive (to be mixed soon at Cowboy Technical Services Recording Rig in Brooklyn.

.....Little more Ohio....
You know I love the Dr Z Amps which are built nearby in Maple Heights. Bobby had a great rig with the Dr Z Route 66 and the Z-Best cabinet.

Bobby's Z rig

You can't see it in that pic but Bobby also has a great tele that was made for him by ace tele fanatic Phil Maneri at 5th Ave Fretshop in Columbus, OH.

Thanks to all for a crazy good weekend.

************oh I forgot.
check out this 16 track machine.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Roscoe, You are one lucky B. Man !
And how about any new recordings from the great Scoe himself in the future....? Can't wait, Cheers Roland

2:31 AM  
Blogger James said...

very good job on an informative article about paul and suma.. i have recorded there in the past and though i knew the place had some age on it, i had no idea of pauls extensive past... i wish u all the best, and hope you get your music out there...

8:06 PM  
Blogger James said...

I'm recording there now. It is everything the photo opt "tells" you it is and more. Paul (owner/engineer) is incredible! I'd recommend Suma to anyone.
Jim "LooseChange" Snively

8:53 AM  

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