Jim Putnam Mt. Wilson Repeater I always like to get a new Radar Brothers album, they're comfort music to me, like mac and cheese on a cold winter evening. So when I finally got around to getting a copy of Auditorium, I was pleasantly not surprised. For those that might not know, Jim Putnam is one of the two Putnam brothers, the other being Bill Jr. that re-founded Universal Audio, their father being Bill Putnam Sr., the man who invented the modern mixing console and the 1176 and LA-2A compressors. (Both interviewed in Tape Op 24) Jim is also the singer/songwriter/guitarist with the Radar Brothers. At a recent press event for UA's new UAD-2 card at Broken Radio Studios, the legendary Coast Recorders room built by Bill Putman Sr. and now run by Tape Op contributor Matt Boudreau, I was pleasantly surprised to see both Bill and and Jim there. The Putnams are both super nice people, so I always enjoy bumping into them. I had a great time at the event and ended up talking about music with Jim all night at the dinner. As we were leaving he gave me a copy of his new solo album, which I listened to in the car on the way back home. Like all the the previous Radar Bros. discs, this one was recorded by Jim in his garage studio, Phase Four Intergalactic Recording, on two inch 24 track tape with his Sphere Eclipse console and mixed to analog 1/2" tape. Jim's had the Sphere for a couple of years now and is stoked on it. It has the paragraphic EQs which he says are "the best sounding EQs I've ever heard." Jim has some cool old vintage gear, UA and otherwise, in his studio so this is a statement to be taken seriously. Mt. Wilson Repeater on the other hand was Jim's entry into learning Nuendo. Having never actually used any of the UA plug-ins, Bill finally sent Jim a computer with Nuendo, a UAD1 and all the UA plugs already installed. No excuses Jim. Mt. Wilson is Jim learning to use Nuendo and it's proof that it's the carpenter not the tools that make the house worth living in. It's mostly instrumental and is a great listen, sometimes sounding like the Radar Bros sans vocals, but also moving into some minimalistic soundscapes and taking full advantage of some of Nuendo's tools not available in the analog realm. When it came time to mix Jim routed Nuendo's 24 outputs through the Sphere and mixed to the same Sony APR-5000 1/2 inch machine. (www.radarbros.com, www.myspace.com/mtwilsonrepeater) -JB

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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