Exile on Journal Studios
(need i say "tongue-in-cheek"?)
If ever there were a transient establishment, this is it!
Being college students, we haven't the kind of money required to make the kind
of recordings for which we're looking in a real studio which charges about
$30-$40 per hour. Being adventurous and foolhardy college students, we decided
instead to do-it-outselves.
The first such do-it-yourself adventure came in 1995 when we set out to record
a demo. We borrowed a cassette-based 4-track recorder (the Tascam 424
PortaStudio, actually) from our good friend
Chase K., and rented four
microphones from the DooWop Shop; we plugged the 4-track into Neal's stereo,
and recorded the master on Scott's Sony cassette deck (since Neal's was broken
at the time). To isolate the tracks, we set up the amplifiers in the various
other rooms of Neal and Kristian's house at 923 Journal Avenue.
Thus was born Exile on Journal Studios.
While a professional studio is open year-round, Exile exists only when we've
rented or borrowed equipment - threfore qualifying as a trasient
establishment... This doesn't mean, however, that its capabilities are
diminished in any way. (no, of course not... not as long as our egos are
at work here!)
As you might have noticed, the liner notes to Leave Bronx and
refer to several different studios at Exile on Journal:
STUDIO A: NEAL'S BEDROOM
Neal's room, which in the off-season serves as As of Yet's practice space,
holds the crown and royal seat of Exile on Journal Studios; most recording
actually happens here, and as Neal owns possesses the stereo with mix-down
compatibility, all of the final mixing and tweaking happens here.
For Brad's Sleeping, only the drums, vocals, and a few overdubs were
actually recorded in this room, as the live recording mandated the placement
of imstruments and amplifiers in the various rooms of the house.
Interestingly (well, to some of us it's interesting), all of the recordings
on Leave Bronx sprang forth entirely from Studio A; the live drum
tracks, the instrument and vocal overdubs and layering, and sub-level and
- STUDIO B: KRISTIAN'S BEDROOM
Studio B comes in a distant second to studio A in terms of the amount of output,
but makes up for it in quality. The first use of this room's hardwood floor
and ambient walls was simply to isolate Kristian's amplifier during the
Brad's Sleeping sessions, but over time we've come to appreciate it
more. As a break from the Leave Bronx sessions in June '96, we toted
the four-track and microphones all the way across the hall from Studio A and
set up an informal, mostly ambient acoustic studio, replete with a mic dangling
from the ceiling fan. The resulting sound boasts a live and natural quality
that seems all too rare these days.
The four or five tracks recorded in Studio B remain unreleased, however....
- STUDIO C: THE
The first two studios actually claim 90% of the work done at EoJ, but for some
things they just don't cut it; for example, the hall closet makes an excellent
isolation booth for a small bass amp, and the bathroom is a great place to get
that reverb-y, hey-we-recorded-this-in-the-bathroom guitar sound.
(this unfinished space for rent)