The studio is equipped with a new SSL Matrix Console,
replacing our fully loaded large-frame AMEK
"big" that has served us so well over the past 15
years. The Matrix fully integrates every aspect of the
studio, and has truly become the heart of the studio, as it
makes it possible for all of our analog and digital gear to
talk with each other for the first time, also saving every
single setting of every detail of tracking, mixing, and
Coupled with our array of WEISS processing, Shadow Hills,
Neve, Avedis, SSL, Avalon, and API preamps and processors,
tons of top quality plug-ins inside our Mac Pro HD3 Accel
system including the SONNEX Elite collection...there's nothing we can't handle.
And, we will NEVER give up analog! - The industry workhorse,
an analog MCI JH-24 2" 24-track, which has been with Keith
on every album he's produced is always ready for hours of
non-stop tracking, and is optimized and integrated into our new setup.
We also have our ATR-102 1/2" stereo tape machine, which is complete with Mark Spitz upgrades and
Our mastering capabilities are world class, minus
the high price tag. Keith's not only has he made some of the most
critically-acclaimed sounding records, his knowledge of
every detail and nuance of sound and the equipment at his
fingertips allow him to stand toe to toe with with best mastering
engineers around. More on mastering is
The Playground is a different approach to studio design,
providing an extremely comfortable and fun place to record
without the high cost that's usually attached to it. Keith
built the studio in a two-story brick house just outside of
the heart of downtown Chicago; the beautiful lakefront is only
two miles away.
There are four separate beds in four separate rooms, one of
them is a sleeping loft. There is a full size kitchen, two
bathrooms, and a large living room/dining area. During the
summer, there's a barbeque on the roof and a spectacular view
of Chicago's Skyline. Catering and Maid Service is available
at an additional fee.
Recording Rooms / More Living Space
The Playground has several unique rooms, from very "live"
to completely "dead," allowing for a virtually limitless range
of sounds. Also, there is plenty of room to stretch
out....there is no office, just an "at home" environment that
belongs only to the band.
The studio comes alive at night and with all
the lighting options, the vibe can change from elegant and
professional, to dreamlike spaces...whatever makes the band most
comfortable. And the main recording space is also host to
Dapple & Stone Gallery, which focuses on outsider art, so feel
free to apply for gallery space!
MICS: The studio has an ample array of
all the mics you'd expect to find in a world class studio, as
well as some unexpected ones and favorites of Keith.
Microtek Geffels, Earthworks, Cole Ribbon and others are some of
the more eclectic mics, and the Earthworks mics when coupled
with the WEISS ADC 2 A/D converter has to be heard to be
believed; there is nothing more true, crystal clear, and
colorless than that combination...great for some things, and
completely disconcerting for others!
DRUMS: The studio has a complete
Bonham-style old Ludwig kit complete with thick steel chrome
covering each drum shell. I have slowly assembled this kit
from years of experimenting...it has a 24" kick drum, a super
fat Drum Workshop snare, New Beat hi hats, an old Formula 2001
24" ride, and several great studio cymbals to choose from.
Also, there's an old Gretsch 1956 jazz kit and a Pearl Export
Kit for your middle of the road rock sound.
BASSES: There are two bass rigs, one of them a David
Eden rig, with a Fender Jazz Bass at your disposal. For a
rounder sound, there's a Mesa Boogie Bass Cabinet with (2) 15"
speakers in it. There is also a Joe Meek VC1 specifically for
bass tracking only...it's the best bass preamp I've ever
GUITARS: There are several of my favorite guitars at
the studio, including a Gibson Les Paul, a Fender Telecaster,
a Gibson ES-330, a Martin acoustic, two Harmony Rockets
(AWESOME FEEDBACK MACHINES!), a Fernandez fretless bass, an
Aria classical guitar, and a few others.
AMPS: As far as amps, there's my Mesa Boogie Triple
Rectifier rig, a JCM 800, a HIWATT for the fattest guitar
sounds ever (listen to Hum's "Stars"), a Traynor 2 x 12" combo
amp, a Matchless (Vox), a Marshall 1960 Lead Cabinet, and a
few others as well.
PEDALS: Pedals, ahh, pedals...there is more than an
ample supply of unique and interesting pedals, many of which
are different kinds of distortion. (I'm VERY fussy with
distortion sounds...there are just SO MANY to choose from!)
KEYBOARDS: There is an ever-growing list of keyboards
at the studio, including a Baldwin Piano, a vintage
Wurlitzer (Fender Rhodes) electric piano, a Moog Rogue, and
more. And that's not including every keyboard plug-in
available for Pro Tools.
MUSICIANS: There is also a large number of talented
musicians who I use on a regular basis such as horn players,
violinists, cellists, a string quartet led by Susan Voelz, a
B3 Player (not including myself), a great horn arranger, and
an AMAZING gospel singer...to name a few.
To get more
info, please feel free to e-mail Keith at
Call him at: (312) 455-8265
Or call his manager Sandy Roberton at World's End (323) 965-1540