From Practice Rooms to the Laundromats: In The Studio with The Stationary Set

The Stationary Set
Haunt On
Recording Studio: Secret Society, Brooklyn, NY
Record label: Self-released
Release date: April 2012
Producer: Mike Beck and The Stationary Set
Mixing Engineer: Mike Beck
Mastering: Tony Gillis


We always do all our pre-production in our studio at Scientific Laboratories in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s been our home for years now and it’s where we do all our rehearsing, arranging and have even done tracking for some of our earlier releases. It’s home. 

It can be seen in our new video for the alternate version of “Don’t Be Alarmed” off of Haunt On, which we filmed and tracked live. It kind of looks like a mad scientist’s college dorm room, but don’t let the rat’s nest of wires fool you – we know what (almost) everything does and where it (usually) goes.

That said, we are sort of in pre-production year round, regardless of our release or gig schedule. So, when it comes time to fine tune before tracking begins, we’ve got 80% of the work already done.


We have a pretty big sound. We learned early on that we can get into trouble with piling things on – to the point that the track loses its swagger and becomes a little disjointed.

We’ve approached the recording of the last few records with the idea that it should sound like a band playing instruments in a room and not a band playing computers in a studio.

So, for that we tracked as much as possible live and played around with the environments. We think you can hear it on the record; we were all there at the same time.

Though we have pretty big arrangements, the spine of our songwriting is pretty age-old. We like to play with that regularly by documenting our songs in different ways. Our Silent Killer session on YouTube, for example, had us walk into a Laundromat and play a set on battery-powered and acoustic instruments – all filmed and recorded live.

A similar approach was taken for our new video for “Don’t Be Alarmed.” [That track] is by far one of the most produced songs on Haunt On, with big guitars and a dubstep-influenced chorus. However, we reinterpreted its sentiment for the live tracking of the video by employing melodica, acoustic guitar, multiple acoustic percussion instruments, some vocal looping, and an adorable little toy Casio. The song lives just as well that way.

I think hearing/seeing that and then listening to our record, you can get a sense of how many folds the band really has. Plus, it can be just as rewarding to play songs on a ukulele in a living room as it is in a big studio with a Tele through a gazillion machines. Both of which we love.


The video for “Don’t Be Alarmed’ will be released in conjunction with CMJ Music Festival along with a surprise cover song that we’ll be releasing for free. We’ve never dabbled in covering other artists before, but we feel strongly about our connection to this particular song.

Continuing our quest to capture our music in different ways, we’ll be filming and recording a live concert video over the course of three nights this month (October) at Rockwood Music Hall here in NYC.


Andrew Lutes: vocals, guitar

Joshua Hoisington: vocals, guitar, keys, programming

Josh Davis: guitar, keys

Gabriel Kubitz: bass, vocals

Logan Baldwin: drums, aux electronics



Zoom Stereo Recorder**

AKG 414

Shure SM57

Pro Tools HD

Ableton Live

**We used a Zoom Stereo Recorder in lieu of a room condenser and were pleased with the results. We “marker snapped” before the take and gridded the Pro Tools tracks and the Zoom tracks in Ableton Live to get a more accurate room effect.

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photos by Deneka Peniston

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