Karl Blau To Teach Class On Lo-Fi Recording

Karl Blau To Teach Class On Lo-Fi Recording
Karl Blau is a man of many trades. There’s Karl Blau the songwriter, the producer, the multi-instrumentalist, the label head, the DIY all-ages concert slinger. And now we get Karl Blau the teacher. The Pacific Northwesterner is taking time out from his busy day job as a K Records recording star to teach the masses a thing or two about putting sounds to tape, in a new class "Quality Home Recording: Creative, Fun, and Sonically Rich.”

The one-day hands-on course focusing on home recording takes place November 1 in Blau’s hometown of Anacortes, WA, at the Department of Safety, where he will educate students on how to "achieve contrast in your recordings through various mic placements and EQing, get good strong levels without distortion, and learn how to bounce tracks while keeping a sound recording quality.” The emphasis of the class will be stand-alone machines, though (i.e. not laptops or computers), so be prepared to embrace the tape hiss and good old-school analog.

"I've been thinking of doing this for years, but hadn't been home long enough between tours to really give it a try,” Blau told Exclaim! in an interview. "We're going to practice recording together. We'll mic up drums, amps, acoustic instruments and basically record a song together, talking about the process as we go. Then we'll ‘mix down’ the song, which is taking all the tracks — be the number 4, 8 or 16 — and bounce them into the stereo image on a cassette deck or something.

"People leaving the class should have a firm grasp on the concepts of mic-ing, signal flow, bouncing tracks and mixing down. Another concept that I'm likely to stress in this class is having fun with recording.”

If you’re on the West coast and can swing by Anacortes for the weekend, the three- to four-hour class will only cost you a mere $15. However, there is a "15 human limit,” so if you’d like to attend, email oliver@thedepartmentofsafety.com to pre-register. For more information, you can also visit the Department of Safety website.

In other Blau news, despite his great soul-tinted new album, Nature’s Got Away barely being a month old, he tells us he is already heading to Olympia next week to begin recording a new record at Dub Narcotic. There’s no word yet, though, on when this one will be ready for public consumption.

Karl Blau "Song for Kevin”