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Board in Cleveland 

Lava Room studio adds heavy artillery.

Low guitarist Alan Sparhawk, at the Grog Shop January 28. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Low guitarist Alan Sparhawk, at the Grog Shop January 28.

Lava Room Recording has added a recording-mixing console that could help make Cleveland a destination for big-name recording artists and producers. The West Side studio purchased an SSL 4056 G+ board as part of a quarter-million-dollar studio upgrade, according to Chief Engineer Mike Brown. According to literature from the Solid State Logic company, 74.5 percent of America's No. 1 singles have been recorded on G+ series consoles. The nearest comparable boards are in Minneapolis and Nashville.

"People are going to start bringing their work into Cleveland," says Brown, a Berklee College of Music graduate and studio partner. "Typically, people are going to New York, Nashville, and L.A. to use this equipment, and they're paying quadruple. This console separates the men from the boys."

The mixing board is not new, but it has been used well. Lava Room bought it from a private European studio, and during the 1990s it was in New York City's Electric Lady Studios. Aerosmith, Elton John, and Barbra Streisand are among the artists who have recorded on it. Loaded with the Pro Tools HD4 recording software, the board combines analog sound and digital quality.

Brown hopes that over time the studio can attract bigger labels and talent, luring them with state-of-the-art equipment and low rent.

"This board typically draws top-name producers and engineers into a studio, because they want to work on this particular equipment. When we picked up that gig from Velvet Revolver, we would have got some mix work out of that, but the engineer wanted to work on this type of board, and we didn't have it. The same thing happened with Tim Owens' Beyond Fear record. This makes Cleveland a destination."

· The fifth full-length album from Cleveland's Brandtson is almost complete. The indie rock/emo stalwarts recorded the disc in Kansas with Ed Rose (Motion City Soundtrack, Coalesce) and are set to mix it with Chris Fudurich (Jimmy Eat World, Matthew Sweet). Titled Hello, Control, the album is set for a March release on the California-based Militia Group. The disc marks the recording debut (remixes notwithstanding) of new bassist-programmer Adam Boose, formerly half of electro duo Furnace St. (Furnace St.'s Lisa Jorgensen is now playing with electro outfit Missile Command).

· Ripper Watch: Audio of Tim "Ripper" Owens performing the Judas Priest classic "Grinder" with American Dog at The Classic Metal Show's 10th anniversary party at Lakewood's Hi-Fi Club January 14 is available online at www.kwtfworldwide.com.

· Punkers the Atomic Crash and frontman Derek DePrator are featured in Revenge of Introverts, an eight-minute film they describe as "a short about a transgendered folk singer and his rock band, the Atomic Crash." The film is available as a free download at http://www.current.tv/studio/media/1293304.

· Akron hard-rock crew Prism Theory will make an in-store appearance at the Strongsville FYE (1204 Southpark Center), from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, February 4. The band will perform and sign autographs.

· Akron-Kent-Cleveland punks The Professional Againsters have wrapped work on their full-length debut, which is set for an early spring release. Members of the group have played in the Rubber City Rebels, CD Truth, and Missile Toe. The Againsters play the Lime Spider Saturday, February 4.

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