FRANKLIN BRUNO - ZERO RETURN

Analog cassette transfer, mixing

Franklin Bruno is an extraordinarily talented (song)writer and musician, known for his solo musical output, his tenure as frontman for Nothing Painted Blue, and his occasional contributions to the Mountain Goats. I've been an admirer of Franklin's work for a long time, and was incredibly excited to work with him on transferring and mixing some old 4-track cassettes for inclusion on the "Zero Return" 7", released on Fayettenam as a companion piece to the excellent Local Currency compilation.



Franklin brought over a borrowed Fostex 4-track and a Casio SK-1 keyboard, and we transferred the old tapes directly to Digital Performer. For most of the songs we worked on, the rhythm guitar and lead vocal parts were on the same track, requiring some creative EQ and multi-band compression. I applied some noise reduction, but decided not to work against the aura of decades-old tape. After a solid afternoon of work, we had managed to carve out enough room for each instrument without sacrificing the organic warmth and immediacy of the original recordings.


For "Water Weight," my favorite of the songs I mixed with Franklin, we overdubbed the SK-1 part, and applied some equalization and analog tape simulation so as to make sure that the new track blended in nicely with the tape transfers. "Zero Return" was released by Fayettenam in 2009.


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