Palace of Ether was recorded and mixed from February 2011 to May 2013 at The Surface. The drums were recorded in two separate sessions at the Sherman Tank in 2010 (tracks 1-5) and 2012 (tracks 6-15), each spanning several days. Cubase was used for the recording, editing, and mixing.
The overriding purpose of this album is the presentation of the long-form title piece; its conceptual origins date back to 1997. Although it has significant textural range, care was taken to maintain continuity between the sections and throughout the whole, by limiting the span of sounds for each instrument and using similar sounds in subsequent sections when appropriate. At times this was challenging, as my preferred approach starts with few if any limits, eventually dialing things back as necessary.
The first five songs were also well-considered, and intended as a foil for the rest of the album. Several of these were developed over years of performing them live. Illumination dates all the way back to its somewhat unrecognizable original version from 1988. All of them went through some re-visioning and expanding before appearing in their final recorded form.
The guitars used on this project were a US Masters Vector Versatek, a Kramer XKG-10, and a Yamaha AEX500-N. The first five songs are in standard tuning, the Palace of Ether suite uses a D-based alternate tuning I developed. Guitar amplifiers included the Roland VGA-7, several smaller amps, and software including Guitar Rig 4 and Amplitube. The synthesizers included numerous virtual instruments, the most often used were Absynth 5 and Sonik Synth 2. Other equipment used extensively: Sonuus G2M, Presonus MP-20, my bucket of pedals, and plug-ins by Native Instruments, Waves, IK Multimedia, and many others.