How It Was Made: Ross Goldstein - Timoka

Ross Goldstein takes us into the studio to show how he made his new cinematic, eerie and experimental record.
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Ross Goldstein

Songwriter, composer and psychedelic thinker Ross Goldstein has released his new album Timoka. The album blends the lines between a experimental ambient record and a movie soundtrack, lurching the listener back and forth between various styles and sounds. ”Lunar Day” could be the soundtrack to a suspenseful 60’s noir film, while “Bas Relief” takes you to space on an exciting new journey. The album is short, but sweet, using gongs, bells, and different types of echoing percussion to help create weightiness to each note. It is a project that leaves you on the edge of your seat, using space in the mix and around you to provide a 3D sort of listening experience.

The project was largely made on a Mellotron, which you can hear throughout the record. With that in mind, we wanted to see how this whole thing was made and what the studio process was like.

See past How It Was Made features.

You can stream the album now and pick up your copy here.

“Timoka was recorded at home during the winter of 2018-19, in an old school building overlooking the mountains in Catskill, NY. I have a Ping-Pong table in my living room and it served as a worktable while I was recording. Most of the tracks were recorded in one session - usually starting after lunchtime and going until 2 or 3AM.

Mellotron M4000D:

Mellotron M4000D with Pre-Amp

Mellotron

The music was made with a new digital Mellotron (M4000D with touch sensitive keys) and various sounds found on the additional sound cards 2 and 3. One sound that I used frequently is the trilling strings “Gino” - whole step and half step trills. I believe that these strings were originally recorded for the artist Gino Vanelli in the 70s.

Mellotron M4000D with Pre-Amp

Mellotron & sound card

I recorded the Mellotron direct / line in using a Focusrite Scarlet 2 pre-amp into my Apple laptop. The basic tracks were recorded in Garage Band and then later on they were transferred into Pro Tools for mixing and final edits. I used my computer speakers and home stereo speakers (JBL) to monitor the tracks while I was recording

Mellotron Sound Card

Sound cards

EMT 140:

Another choice was made during the mixing to use only one reverb setting for the entire album, creating a continuity of space and location. The EMT 140 classic plate reverb plug-in was the right fit. Following that the tracks were panned and EQ'd and then sent off to Carl Saff for mastering. Carl also mastered my previous album The 8th House.

EMT 140 Reverb

I often would decide if a mix was final while listening in my car, a 2016 Subaru, and for many years the car has been my favorite place to listen to recordings and make final mix decisions.”

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