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instruments
Take an Interactive tour of the instruments used in the making of The Dream of ‘I’. Features music from the album and individual instrument samples.

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Aerosol Grey Machine: analog heaven

by Justin Winokur, lightly edited by Doug Wyatt (June 2005).
Photos by Justin Winokur.

Aerosol Grey Machine Studios is a vintage analog keyboard museum. The demos for Doug’s album were originally composed using Logic and various synths. Here in the studio the final tracks replace and augment many of those preproduced tracks using acoustic instruments, and instruments like these. The collection includes: Roland CompuRhythm CR-78, Yamaha CS-60, Arp Pro Soloist, Minimoog, Hammond organ, Rhodes Mark II Stage Piano, Hohner String Performer, Logan String Melody II, Hohner Clavinet D6, Moog Taurus. All the keyboards route through a handmade Strohm line mixer. The only MIDI instruments owned by the AGM are a K2000 and an Akai S2000 sampler. Lundquist admits, “I never use those.”

From top to bottom: Arp Pro Soloist, Hohner String Performer, Logan String Melody II, Hohner Clavinet D6, and the Minimoog.

Christoffer admits that there is one digital effect unit in the studio. But, the dusty Yamaha SPX90 isn’t even plugged in. He prefers echos from the Binson Echorec, Roland Chorus Echo, Korg Stage Echo—and that’s when he’s not using real tape echo. The Binson Echorec uses a magnetic head to record audio onto a mechanically rotating metal drum. Below the echo units are EQs and preamps by Vintagedesign and three Strohm custom tube EQs. On the right are vintage tube guitar amps as well as an early 50's Champion tube amp—each patchable to an array of speakers in the main studio.

The console is a 1979 Trident 80B.

After many months of searching and searching, Christoffer was finally able to find enough analog tape to keep him up and running—for a while, at least. Doug, Justin, Christoffer, and drummer Jens Jansson took a break from recording to carry in 1300 pounds of analog tape.

Wyatt project, Day 10: Drummer Jens Jansson and producer Christoffer Lundquist take a break from recording to help carry in the 1300 pounds of analog tape that arrived.

Doug

Christoffer prefers the custom, handmade gear made by Swedish guru Strohm. Top right: The small Tandberg tape machine is used for the unique distortion brought by its tube preamp. The other tape machine is used for tape delay.

Doug carried his Roland RD-700 weighted MIDI controller on the plane. The 62” tall case, weighing in at 145 pounds, brought many stares. It hasn’t seen much use since its arrival into analog land, though.

Doug prepares for a take using one of the toy pianos.

On one of the songs, Doug and Christoffer decided to set up mics and have Doug smash a chair with a hammer.

Doug sits with the ruins of a wooden chair after the take. The hammer broke, too. Lundquist jokes, “When the hammer broke we were afraid it was going to fly through the control room window. That would’ve been very expensive.”