Paul Kappa - The Amazing Kappa

"As a dyed-in-the-wool analogue man, I took some persuading, by Chris Radostits that I should give his state of the art studio a try. My reservations, that there wasn't 92 channels of very expensive European designed mixing desk taking up 300 square feet with a thousand retro looking knobs to twirl and gaze at lovingly proved totally unfounded.

This is because Chris is a listener. He isn't there bullshiting about how the analogue signal path of a Fairchild compressor gives the greatest expression of sonic achievement on record, ever, and they didn't make 'em the same after 1965, so it has to be the one with germanium in it, but only germanium made by sub-Saharan dung beetles...or else you won't ever sound good. No, he won't talk like that, because as he rightly observed, "its horse shit" (although it's probably true to say horse shit has been promoted by some studios and producers as having 'only the best' sonic character).

No, with Chris, it's "not the gear, it's the ears". Not that he has no gear..the place is full of it! Vintage kits, tube amps, guitars, bass rigs, super modern drum sets, a great range of microphones and beautifully balanced sounding rooms. Abbey Road, it ain't..but I don't say that with disrespect, Abbey Road is much disused and was up for sale recently. Times have changed..times ARE changing, like Robert Zimmerman said.

We found as a band, making our fifth studio album together, taking a leap into the unknown. I found myself talking to Chris and letting my grip on the past slip a little, then a lot. He said " it'll be great" in his his own inimitable style.. and I found myself saying..."well let's just see" I flew back to England with some rough mixes, and set up in my own home studio, where I know what everything sounds like, and started A/B'ing the mixes with our last album, and other artists and hell, like Led Zeppelin and stuff...and what? No way..this stuff that we came home with wasn't even mixed and it was huge...'Way huge', as our American brothers might say it.

Subsequently we came back to Illinois, as I had originally conceived of an EP...but this was so good and we sounded a million dollars, but completely within the live performance ethic which we live and breathe by. That was something else Chris did..he never dictated or tried to impose his will or opinion, he was utterly respectful to our craft, and it was us asking him for his opinion, because he is, coincidentally one of the best musicians I've ever met.

So he knows music, and he knows sound. We made, categorically, the best album we have ever made at Cinnamon Sound Studio. Everyone in the band knows it. I guess most of our fans know it, that's what they say. They refer to the 'production' mostly meaning the magnificent sonics. We sent a mix to a famous engineer for mastering. We didn't use it. Chris mastered and it was as good as anything, by anybody. I overdubbed some parts in England and wired them to Chris over the phone (you can do that, these days..see times are changing) and Chris put them in the project. I never had to explain what I was trying to do, he just knew, and I knew he'd just know, if you know what I mean! So the finished mixes..superb. Straight to diskmakers and uploaded, we were away. A transatlantic album in six months.

Next time I'm making a record, I'm not worrying about analogue philosophy, or sonics or mastering. I'm going to Aurora. I'm going Cinnamon Sound Studio. Why would I go anywhere else? Do yourselves a favour, put aside any preconceptions you have about recording studios. Go up to the mark with the latest technology, surrender to it and let it work for you and make you sound like you've always wanted. Even if it's a Fairchild compressor from 1964, or a Pultec's all do-able, without the need for a patchbay from a British post office in 1978 with 336 mini cables hanging out the back.

Chris Radostits is doing the right job. He's brilliant at it. His studio gave us a new lease of fitting that Cinnamon Sound Studio is situated in Aurora, Illinois, as Aurora means "new dawn"... Get with it people!"

Paul Kappa - The Amazing Kappa - Liverpool, England