Brubeck Works on New Projects At Unity Gain

May 20, 2010 6:03 PM, By Matt Gallagher

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Dave Brubeck (left) with Unity Gain Recording Studio chief engineer Anthony Iannucci

Dave Brubeck (left) with Unity Gain Recording Studio chief engineer Anthony Iannucci

Pianist, composer and jazz icon Dave Brubeck worked on his two most recent album projects at Unity Gain Recording Studio (Fort Myers, Fla.) with producer Russell Gloyd and chief engineer Anthony Iannucci. In January, New York–based jazz vocalist Hilary Kole recorded two songs with Brubeck in Studio A for Kole’s new album, You Are There. Brubeck and Gloyd then returned to Studio A in early March to work on a solo piano project, recording more than 30 songs for a potential new release.

Brubeck (left) with vocalist Hilary Kole during the January 26 session for Kole’s album

Brubeck (left) with vocalist Hilary Kole during the January 26 session for Kole’s album

For both projects, Brubeck played a C. Bechstein grand piano. Iannucci recorded the Bechstein using eight mics, “implementing variations of Blumlein and spaced-pair techniques,” he says, and using a Soundtracs console’s preamps with a Manley SLAM! mic pre/limiter. “I recorded it direct to disk [using] no EQ. I believe the room contributed to my success. I used a Mac Pro 8-core 2.93[GHz] running Digital Performer Version 7.1.” In mixing the eight mic sources, Iannucci “found a blend that worked consistently for a majority of the songs. For mastering, I used the Waves Mercury Pack.”

Iannucci miked Brubeck’s C. Bechstein piano using eight mics, “implementing variations of Blumlein and spaced-pair techniques,” he says.

Iannucci miked Brubeck’s C. Bechstein piano using eight mics, “implementing variations of Blumlein and spaced-pair techniques,” he says.

As for Brubeck, Iannucci says, “He is absolutely the most amazing piano player I ever recorded. I asked him how long he’s been playing; he said, ‘Since I was 4 [years old],’ and then realized out loud, ‘That’s 85 years I’ve been playing!’”

In the following Q&A, Iannucci details his piano recording techniques and his approach to mixing and mastering the Brubeck sessions.

How did these sessions with Dave come about?
I first met him in January. [Arranger/producer] Russell Gloyd came to see if [Unity Gain] would be suitable for what Dave wanted to do. Dave was here in southwest Florida and Russell scoped the place out. We brought in a Bechstein piano, we rehearsed on [January] 25th and on the 26th we cut two songs for [vocalist] Hilary Kole’s release. That was the objective of the session and that was how we met. At that point, I think Dave felt really comfortable with the place and mentioned that he’d like to do a solo project here, and I said, “Well, I’d be honored.” And then sure enough, about two weeks later, I got a call saying, “Hey, what are you doing the first week in March? I’d like to record my solo record.” [From March 2 to 4,] he cut about 30 songs. It’s still in the working stages. I mixed and mastered [the tracks] in the second or third week of March. It was amazing to see him play. He was just incredible.






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