By Heather Johnson
Jan 1, 2007 12:00 PM
YOUNG MAN GOES WEST, OPENS UP HIS HOME
"Adam Lasus has a comfortable gig in his new West Coast studio space.
When rent on his Brooklyn, N.Y., studio, Fireproof Recording, jumped from $1,000 a month to nearly quadruple that amount, producer/engineer Adam Lasus faced a difficult decision: go against his philosophy of offering affordable recording to D.I.Y. and indie bands, or move out of the converted 1800s firehouse. Having produced and/or engineered albums for Madder Rose, Helium, Gigolo Aunts and, more recently, Brooklyn-based indie darlings Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, he chose to relocate — all the way to the other coast in Studio City, Calif.
“It was the classic scenario,” says Lasus from his new operation, which opened in early 2006. “My wife, Linda, and I realized that for the same money we were paying on rent for our tiny New York apartment, her office and my studio, we could buy a house with a yard and space for a studio.” They chose the L.A. area to be near Lasus' in-laws, which meant grandma could help babysit their newborn son.
They found a home that serendipitously included a separate 600-square-foot building that the previous owner had used as a soundproofed rehearsal space, with cathedral ceilings and nonparallel walls. Getting the space studio-ready required very little construction. Lasus hired a contractor to install windows for an iso room and control room and filled a hollow wall with Fiberglas. “We had to do some sonic treatment with foam, but because it's built on concrete, the place sounds fantastic,” says Lasus, who did much of the design work on his Brooklyn studio.
Lasus brought most of his equipment from Fireproof-East, including a 32-channel Neotek Elan (he first worked on one at Fort Apache Studios in Boston, where he engineered albums for Juliana Hatfield, among others) and an Otari MX-80 24-track machine, which he almost always uses to record basic tracks “until the tape is full, then I transfer over to [MOTU] Digital Performer,” he says. For outboard, he favors his Chandler Limited, Wunder Audio and Brent Averill 312A mic pre's, UREI 1176, Focusrite Red, Allison Research Gain Brain and Manley ELOP compressor/limiters, as well as “quirky” items such as a Maestro Echoplex tape delay, a Roland RE-150 Space Echo, and Audio Design Recording's Vocal Stressor compressor and Compex limiter. Though he incorporates various plug-ins and uses Digital Performer for automation, he usually mixes by going back through the Neotek and outboard gear down to a Studer A80 ½-inch 2-track, “making records that sound like the ones we grew up on,” he says.
To make guests feel at home, he vibes out his space with comfortable furniture, lava lamps and an assortment of instruments, including a drum kit, a Moog synth and Casio keyboards, guitars, amps and pedals, and a Mattel Optigan, a nifty toy keyboard that comes with disks filled with '70s-era drum, guitar and piano samples. Jon Brion, Tom Waits and Blur have used the Optigan on various projects." Link to the rest of the article.
Anders Parker New Record Out Now
The new Anders Parker self titled record was released on halloween on Baryon Records. The record was produced by myself and Anders and is a beautiful collection of songs. It was the first record recorded and mixed at the new Fireproof Recording. It is available at Miles of Music, Andersparker.com or on the records I made section over on the left. I love this record and I think you will too!
Adam in EQ
By Jeff Touzeau | August 2006
"Clap Your Hands Say Yeah funded their CD and distributed it themselves . . . and now it’s Number One on the CMJ New Music Charts. Here’s the story on the producer behind it.
Adam “Red” Lasus was one of the many pioneers during the “first wave” of indie music, producing and engineering bands such as Julianna Hatfield, Chris Harford, Versus, Madder Rose, Helium, and Yo La Tengo during the early ’90s. Originally from Philadelphia, he built his first facility, Studio Red, around the block from the Khyber Pass, a club where most of the country’s hardest working indie acts would ultimately pass through. Lasus frequently hung out there, befriending interesting groups he would lure into his studio, or “musicians playground” as he calls it.
Since closing Studio Red, he moved on to become the owner and resident producer of Brooklyn’s Fireproof Recording, originally the borough’s oldest hook and ladder company. [Editor’s Note: He has since relocated Fireproof to Los Angeles.] EQ caught up with Adam just as one of the newest records he produced/mixed, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (the debut album by the group of the same name began to catch fire).The album was funded and distributed solely by the group, and to date has sold over 250,000 copies — and in the process, skyrocketed to Number One on the CMJ New Music Charts." Read the rest of EQ article.
Anders Parker Record
I am one week into making Anders Parker's new record. It is sounding amazing.
We recorded live (including vocals) last week with a band made up of Ken Coomer (Wilco) on drums, Eric Heywood (Sun Volt, Jayhawks) on pedal steel, Jennifer Condos (Jackson Browne) on bass and Kirk Swan (Dumptruck,Steve Wynn) on Guitar. Sally Timms of the Mekons is coming in tomorrow to sing!!
This was my first recording session at the new Fireproof and I am happy to say that the drum sounds are huge... the concrete floor makes for some crazy low end and the high end is natural sounding. Everyone was real excited about recording to tape and at 15ips that tape sounds real good. Ander's new songs are fantastic and we recorded a bunch of tunes on my upright piano I just bought on craigslist.
It's really exciting for me to see the new studio in action and to know I am going to be making some great records here over the next couple years.
Fireproof is rolling again and in a big enough place to do it in!!
Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3
I went To See Steve Wynn And The Miracle 3 last night at The Echo. Steve and his band were awesome. Drummer Linda Pitmon is one of the best drummers I have ever seen and my buddy Kirk Swan played some sick guitar, as I knew he would.
Oddly enough after working on 2 records with Kirk I had never seen him play live. I tried to go see his band Dumptruck In Philly when I was 18 but couldn't get in because I was too young!
Dumptruck has been a hugely important band for my career. I recorded and produced the record "Days Of Fear" in 1991 it was during this record that I met Juliana Hatfield and ended up working on her first solo record "Hey Babe". I also ended up meeting one of my best friends Phil Hurley through Dumptruck and and ended up co-producing the Gigolo Aunts record "Flipping Out".
The rhythm section for Dumptruck ended up playing with Mary Timony and they formed the band Helium. I produced and engineered "Pirate Prude" and "The Dirt of Luck" The "Dirt of Luck" was my biggest record of the mid 1990's and was mentioned recently by Magnet magazine as one of the best records of that period of indie rock.
So my day started out with going to a Jay Leno taping. My friends are Rhett's backing band and were the musical guest. Salma Hayek was on and it was a fun show. Rhett and my pals Tommy, Greg and Angela kicked ass on the show. It sounded great at the taping and on the broadcast. Here is a pic of all of us that now proves that cool people do hang out in the valley!!
Ok, I had to post this. My good friend J.P. Jones gave this to Ben and his name is Jerry. So here's Ben And Jerry!
Welcome to My Blog
Welcome to my blog. I produce and engineer records and run my own studio "Fireproof Recording". I had my studio In Brooklyn for the past 9 years and just recently moved it to Los Angeles. I've worked with some great artists there including: P.J. Harvey, J. Mascis, Clem Snide, Mark Mulcahy, Chris Harford (with members of Ween), Anders Parker, Takka Takka, Wood Is Good, Hartley Goldstein, Dawn Landes, Cerveris, Kirk Swan, Back to Blonde, Hinkley, The Trolleyvox, Matt Keating, Spike Priggen, Violet, Crookston, The PillCrushers, The Rogers Sisters and lots more...
I also produced, engineered and mixed the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! record which has now sold 200 thousand copies worldwide. I am settling into Los Angeles and digging the warm weather for sure. Fireproof is up and running again and I just finished mixing my good friend Spike Priggen's record this past week, featuring Jon Graboff and Mark Spencer on guitars and Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick on drums!!
There will be posts here about sessions at Fireproof and various mp3's and amusing things I discover on the web. Thanks for coming by.