Farmyard Studio, The Fixx, Stephen W. Tayler, Rupert Hine
Not had any luck in finding info or photos re: Farmyard Studios.
Not too much info about The Fixx's recordings or Stephen W. Tayler's approach.
For me personally, I favor "Shuttered Room" and "Reach the Beach". Some of the best records from the 80s.
I know Jamie West-Oram has stated that for "One Thing Leads to Another" he used the Ibanez Blazer strat copy thru dynacomp and MXR chorus into two Marshall JMP combos for stereo. Lots of PPG on those records. Beyond that, don't know much and would be curious to hear more.
Hello there! These records were really important to me, and represented an important milestone in my career. I have since done many other records with numerous artists, including the mixing of The Fixx's new album, 'Beautiful Friction', which I consider to be their best since 'Reach The Beach'.
Thank you very much for responding! I will check out the new single when I get home.
Can you expand at all on the recording of "Reach the Beach"?
In particular, the drums--aside from one or two instances of drum machine, sound like they were recorded live, but treated in such a way as to sound synthetic. Perhaps slowed down some? Were you utilizing any room mic'ing, or are we mostly hearing certain digital reverb units? EMT 250? Lexicon? RMX16? Also, I'm curious to know what console you had at the time. Thanks again!
Oh, the new single is not my mix... but the rest of the album is.....
I think the new album sounds like classic Fixx.....
There were a ton of photos from back then, but sadly not of the recording process..... mostly all the antics the band and crew got up to while the recordings were being made.... sadly I don't have these! Farmyard was a residential studio in the country where everyone lived for the duration of the projects. Happy memories!
We were sampling the drum hits, not loops, although on some tracks the drums were programmed in the Linn and then retriggered... sampling times were very short back then! Back then 1 second stereo sampling in the AMS cost about £1,000, so by the time we had 10 second capability it cost about £10,000.... imagine!!! We had to do a tape pass for each triggered sound that we wanted to keep. Drum parts would be programmed with the Linn, and then the sounds would be recorded one by one.
We take so much for granted these days... it is no wonder we stretched the capabilities of tape techniques back then.
What was great was that we would commit each part and sound to tape as we went along.
S S S Saved by S S Saved by S Saved by Zero, was done in the same way!! triggered by the Linn, which was synced to the tape.
Thank you for taking the time stephen. One thing leads to another has a width and depth and "groove" not even approached in today's production IMO. It stands the test of time, as does the whole record.
Thanks guys!! I'm just listening to 'The Shuttered Room' again.
Always makes me feel emotional, and that there was so much instinct involved in those recordings. I can feel every fader move and the excitement in the room as it was mixed. Red Skies, wow, Lost Planes, which was one of the first tracks we ever did together. Amazing.
I always come back to this album to remind me of what excited me about record-making. Not perfect, but what attitude. Reality check.
I should listen to this before every album I mix!! It's not so much about the sound, but about the attitude.
The arrangements are truly a notch above most other records. There are little synth parts that crescendo at the end of an 8 measure section to lead into another part with some tension. A lot of bands don't even consider those sorts of dynamics. And then the songs have a lot of variety between the various sections, where there would be little background vocals and chants just to mix it up a bit 3/4 of the way through the song. I'm a big proponent of 'production'. It's nice when a band is open to outside influence to help get the most out of each arrangement.
It is always a pleasant surprise when the person in question chimes in with the answers! Thanks Stephen for your response.
I always thought the Fixx were of the very best production back then and even now the guitar sounds are sumptuous, lovely, brilliant!
I was chatting with the front of house guy backstage in Boston when they played there in the late 80's. I had noticed that all of the guitar speaker cabinets were kept in a tall road case and the case had a mic inside and remained closed for the show.
Maybe you were doing live sound with them as well back then so it may have been you? Anyway, I thought it was curious at the time and have never seen it done by anyone since.
In fact, I went to visit the band when they were doing a rehearsal for their current live shows a few weeks ago. I suddenly realised that I had never had the opportunity to see them live... I've always been too busy in the studio and I was never in the same country when they were performing.
So it actually felt like they were doing a gig just for me.... I felt really emotional, and they sound absolutely brilliant!!
The Fixx are wonderful, and it means so much to me that I was there at the beginning, and am still involved with them now.
Just another who remember Fixx and agree with all the comments always great musicianship , interesting songs and the engineering and production were some of the best and when you hear a Fix Track it doesn't sound dated !
Props to u and the band good luck with the new record !
Was just watching a YT video od deep purple on the Jon Lord post live in the 60s doing sweet child in time amazing playing guess i mention cus Fixx always had great chops !
I went to one of those quaint, old-fashioned places called a "record store" and bought the CD today. Only three songs in so far, but it sounds excellent, Stephen! Any fun info about the mix?
The band sounds like they are in fine form - great arrangements with lots of space, Jamie's killer tones, Cy's vocals are perfect, Rupert's got his atmosphere's percolating away better than ever, and Adam & Dan are still one of my favorite rhythm sections ever.
Listening to the new record via itunes download as I write this.It's great.Saw them at the coach house in S.California this summer.I'ts like visiting another planet because bands like this don't really come around too often.The records are great but they bring it live too.If theres anything I'm missing from the new stuff is some of the fancy...really wide.. spacial stereo pitch shifting and chorus from Jamie's clean and compressed marshall JCM-800's.I'm being totally nit picky.Sounds like he used to get this width at the amps first with the mxr chorus and then it was recorded in stereo.Livewise it probably got too crazy expensive to lug around 2 marshall halfstacks and his rack and pedals in 2012,I'm a guitar nerd and a huge fan.