The Above


Recording The Above

The Above's tracks were composed and recorded over a period of 7 years.  They were mixed at least twice, mastered twice, and in some cases, sections in several tracks were added or deleted prior to their final mix and second mastering.  All instruments and vocals were performed by Lenny Stearns.

All tracks were composed, recorded and mixed on Macintosh computers using Opcode Studio Vision Pro (now long out of production).  Various sections were composed in and imported from Propellerhead Rebirth into Vision. Plug-ins used were from Waves, Pluggo, and PSP Audioware, among others.  Mastering was done in Bias Peak using Waves and PSP Audioware plug-ins.

Guitar sounds were recorded using a Line6 POD 2.0, POD Pro, and Korg Pandora units. Electric bass was recorded direct using a Countryman DI through Mackie CR1604 mixer preamps.  A Line6 Bass POD was used on The Gift to re-amp the synth bass.  Acoustic guitars were recorded with an Audio Technica AT4033 mic through Mackie preamps.  Vocals were recorded through the AT4033 or a Neumann TLM103 mic through Mackie preamps or a TL Audio tube preamp.

The following is a list of gear that was used on the tracks -

Guitars and basses:

- '69 Fender Precision bass (No Solid Ground, Two Feathers)
- '99 Fender Relic '60 Stratocaster (backwards solo on Beautiful, ending solo in Beautiful)
- '92 Fender Custom Shop 3-pickup Telecaster (bridge in Beautiful)
- '93 Fender Custom Shop Custom Telecaster (bridge in Beautiful)
- '96 Fender American Standard Telecaster w/Joe Barden pickups (all guitar parts in The Gift)
- '86 PRS Custom (Two Feathers, I Don't Know Yet, ending solo in Beautiful)
- '96 PRS McCarty (solo on I Don't Know Yet)
- '93 Gibson Lonnie Mack Flying V (end of The Incredible Lightness of Beans)
- '78 Takamine F866 Jumbo steel string (Two Feathers)
- '73 Giannini nylon string (Two Feathers)
- '01 Yamaha nylon string (No Solid Ground)

Effects, stompboxes, etc.:

- Prescription Electronics Experience pedal
- 70's Thomas Organ Crybaby wah-wah pedal
- Lexicon MPX1 effects unit
- Lexicon PCM60 reverb
- Lexicon G2 guitar processor
- Urei LA4 compressor
- dbx 166 compressor
- BBE Sonic Maximizer
- Yamaha G-50 Guitar-to-MIDI converter w/Roland GK-2A pickup
- Line6 POD 2.0
- Line6 POD Pro
- Line6 Bass POD
- Korg Pandora
- HeatSound Ebow

Keyboards and synths:

- Korg Wavestation/AD
- Korg M1
- Roland Juno 106
- Roland R-8M
- Roland U220
- Emu Emax II sampler
- Emu Orbit V2
- Emu Proteus 3
- Emu Proformance 1
- Propellerhead Rebirth (softsynth)
- Linn Electronics LinnDrum drum machine (sampled and resequenced)

Mics, preamps, interfaces:

- Neumann TLM103
- Audio Technica AT4033
- TL Audio tube preamp
- Mackie CR1604 mixer
- Frontier Tango lightpipe converter
- M-Audio Flying Cow A/D-D/A converter
- Opcode Studio 4 MIDI interface


- Macintosh 8600/300 w/G3 upgrade
- Macintosh G4/400 w/1.25Ghz upgrade

Other instruments:

- Block flute/Recorder
- Tambourine
- Tibetan Buddhist ritual bell