Friday, October 14, 2011

Dirt Floor Recording Studio

Welcome to Dirt Floor!

My name is Eric Lichter and i own and operate Dirt Floor,an old school analog studio which has been making fantastic sounding Folk/Americana/Roots and Singer/Songwriter based records since 2006! If you're a Singer/Songwriter, i can help flesh out your music by adding tasteful backing instrumentation! Instrument List: Keys- Hammond organ-Wurlitzer and Rhodes pianos,upright piano,MOOG,ARP synths,Farfisa organ,Vibraphone and marimba. Amps- vintage Ampeg,Vox,Magnatone,Fender,Gibson,and HiWatt amps abound! Guitars-Martin,Gibson acoustics,Les Pauls,Strats,Tele's,Baritone,Gretsches,Fender bass,etc,etc... Drums- vintage Premier kit. Recording Gear & Mics- Amek Classic and Soundcraft console Vintech,HHB,Universal Audio,Altec pre's 3M 2" 16 track tape recorder Tascam 1" 16 track tape recorder Neuman,AKG and Senheisser mics. LOTs of other magical toys as well... Recording rates- $300 per day(7 hours) $350 per day with my musical input Contact me with ANY questions! Eric 860 759 8363

Friday, February 26, 2010

Analog Tape VS. Digital/ Vinyl vs. Ipod (thank you Shelby Lynne!)

Analog Tape VS. Digital/ Vinyl vs. Ipod

A Studer 2-inch tape machine is a huge cumbersome beast that takes up a lot of space and might need pampering and attention when you make records. It requires that you use big, heavy rolls of 2-inch tape that need changing when you record 2 or 3 songs on them. And hardly anyone produces or manufactures vinyl records anymore. And nobody has a turntable. But it's making a trendy comeback.

Just because something is easier doesn't make it better. It certainly doesn't make it sound better. I had a digital recording rig in my home studio for a month or two and got so depressed. I quit writing songs, my guitar collected dust and I thought my creative life had ended. So I jerked it all out of the wall and threw it in the garage and that's where it will stay.

My new album, Just A Little Lovin’ was made on a 2 inch tape machine. I demanded it. I like working with engineers and producers who love and appreciate tape. I love the sound, smell, and feel of tape. That's why I enlisted legendary record producer Phil Ramone and the brilliant recording engineer Al Schmitt. They didn't mind my insistence. They put up with my hardheadedness. Hardly anyone uses tape anymore because they claim it's so expensive and it's just easier to use a computer. Most engineers can operate any computer rig in studios these days. But if you ask them to run a Studer and put on a reel of tape, they run down the hallway screaming for Mommie. I'm sorry, but I can't get turned on looking at a computer screen. First of all it's not more expensive. By the time digital users spend the time and money to buy the software needed to put that "tape sound" on their digital record, they have spent more time and money than I have. While their downloading "tape sound" software, I'm kicking back on the houseboat drinking beer with a fishing pole in my hand listening to Django.

It's not for everybody. Tapes not perfect like digital. If you want to sing the word "love" 40 different times and 40 different ways then digital's for you. Tape requires attention. You can't just push the space bar and go to lunch. For example: When I put on my vinyl (yes vinyl) of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, my favorite part is towards the end when you hear the "print through" of Robert's vocal's. You know the part when he sings "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah". For years, before I made records I thought that what I was hearing was on there on purpose, for effect. But while making my new record the same thing happened. There is no reason, it's just a tape thing. Sometimes that happens. It's not as noticeable or as cool as Zeppelin but if you listen to my first track, “Just A Little Lovin’”, towards the end you will hear my voice. I made a record with print through. Wow. Everybody wanted to fix it but I insisted on keeping it. This is a true testament to using tape. The “real” comes through. It makes me proud to be such a hard head.

I was born in 68. Mama and Daddy had albums. I grew up listening to their vinyl. I have discovered that having a vinyl collection is so much cooler than having an Ipod. Now, I have an Ipod and I admit they are genius especially for travel and convenience. But they aren't really any fun. I don't call up my friends and say "Hey why don't y'all come over and bring your computers and let's have a party"? Hell no! I say bring pot, wine and vinyl. That's sexy. It's really a great excuse to get together and listen to music. Everybody takes a turn looking through the collection and it's interesting to see what each person plays. The vinyl way is just me. I think if if we all listen to more music together it really doesn't matter how we do it. Music will save us all just like it always has. We feed our souls with it. Vinyl just creates a little more discussion for us. You get to look at the covers, the liner notes, sometimes the lyrics are included. Plus you can roll a doobie on it. That's hard on an Ipod.

Times are tough. Concert tickets are high and records are too. Hell, everything is high and nobody has any dough. With our economy and the way it's headed, my guess is that we'll all be staying home drinking bottles of Two Buck Chuck listening to music, however we choose to do it. Cheers music lovin' fools!

Keeping the dinosaur way alive y'all..........
Rockingly yours,

Shelby Lynne

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the Gretsch White Falcon has left the building...........

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Most of my life i've lusted after the Gretsch White Falcon,after seeing Stephen Stills and Neil Young playing them...In 2005 my dream finally came true,when i purchased my very own reissue model( i don't have an extra $80,000-$150,000 to spend on an actual 1958!) That guitar is somewhat responsible for my wife and i meeting..See, she became a fan of my music from afar,and she LOVED Gretsch guitars..She had her own 1962 Anniversary that she dragged around in the trunk of her car....She came to a show i was playing in Woodstock NY,where i was playing the Falcon. I knew when i met her that she'd become my wife..She could talk about Filtertron and Hi-Lo Tron pickups,and Bigsby tremolo's with the best of them..She played me her songs and i fell in love with her right then..The White Falcon had alot to do with that..I recorded quite a few records wit that guitar,and played alot of shows too..Lately it hung on the wall,more a piece of art than an instrument to be played..I made the decision to sell it because it wasn't,by me.....I'm happy with the new home it found down in Kentucky,and new owner Aaron is one hell of a musician. I know he'll treat it right.That makes me happy.....

Monday, February 15, 2010

A New Year-A New Dirt Floor........................

Since opening Dirt Floor in the summer of 2005, i've seen business slowly and steadily increase,..through word of mouth and the solid, often militant way i choose to run things here...I know as i sit here,through these first few days of 2010,that the old methods of running this place no longer work for me,and if i want to stay on top, i have to make some changes,and that goes for the kind of artists i work with as well as a few different rate options.
A normal workday runs from 10am-4pm, at a day rate of $350,which usually includes my musical input on various instruments, backing vocals and arranging. Many of my own clients,as well as other musical friends have been telling me that this is far to low for what i'm giving and what the client is getting.Many of the artists who leave Dirt floor leave with a record which contains an awful lot of input from yours truly,with little appreciation for just how much work that is..
I work very hard to give my clients an album that they can be proud of. More importantly I work to make albums that I can be proud of. This means digging into a creative well that sometimes seems dried up and pushing my ears to the absolute limit hour after hour. Some days I feel my own craft suffers as a result of giving so much of myself to create another artist's product. I confessed these feelings to a fellow artist/..engineer who has had world recognition and accolades in the studio and on the stage. I asked him, "How do you get over feeling taken advantage of when you build an album for someone and they nickel and dime you? How do you not feel unappreciated when the artists for whom you've crafted sparkling songs simply forget to acknowledge that their album is at best a partnership and more realistically the engineer/..single instrumentalist..s reconstruction of their idea?" His response: "You start getting paid what you're worth. It's amazing how easy it is to ignore being ignored when you've got money in the bank". Well, that says it all doesn't it?
This is the year i take back my own name as an artist,while still giving as much of myself as i can to all current and future Dirt Floor clients...

Happy New Year!