Category Archives: Cookie Marenco

Session #5 Lyrics, Vocals, Guitar OH MY! The Final Mix Revealed.

On Day One, we’ve cut and resampled Kai Eckhardt’s bass part, cut live drums with Brain (Bryan Mantia), added miscellaneous resampled keyboard parts, thrown everything back on to analog 2” tape and slowed the tempo WAY DOWN!  Now, Day Two comes.  Melissa Reese and Greg James, have written a lyrical outline but before we lay down vocals, Melissa and I shape up the lyrics.   This took as much time as agonizing over the concept of the music.

Once we’re happy, Melissa cuts some kick ass vocal tracks in no time, Greg slams on some distorted guitar and I mix it, all recorded and mixed from 2” tape to keep that big fat analog sound.  We mix to DSD with several *stem tracks.

“I Am Shiva”  The Song is DONE! Continue reading

Posted in Artists in Residence, Cookie Marenco | 2 Comments

Session #4 When Collaboration becomes Fun by Pushing the Creative Envelope

If you’ve been following this series about creating and collaborating on a new song, you’ve noticed it’s been a few months since Session #1 at Indaba Music.  In the studio, however, we’re coming to the end of Day One after receiving 15 wonderful bass tracks provided by Kai Eckhart.  It was a challenge to say the least.

At this point, we’ve butchered and resampled live performance tracks, recorded to 2” tape, thrown it all back to digital in Logic, and are now laying the digital tracks back to 2” tape to record live drums and get ready for vocals.  Valence Records Label founder, Gregory James, is sitting patiently as Brain (Bryan Mantia), Melissa Reese and myself collaborate on the song structure and prep for vocals and guitar.  Continue reading

Posted in Artists in Residence, Cookie Marenco | 1 Comment

Session #3 Collaborating with Brain (Bryan Mantia) and Melissa Reese on Song Structure, Valence Records Project




Brain is an incredible drummer.  He’s worked with everyone from Primus to Tom Waits, Buckethead to Guns N’ Roses latest incarnations.  What people don’t know about him is his creativity as a composer.  As a collaborator in the studio, he is my top choice of musicians to work with. 


Why?  He leaves his ego at the door.  Brain gives 200% for every project no matter how oblique or where someone is on the ‘fame’ scale.  He can be serious and focused, then turn around and say something completely outrageous to lighten the mood. At the same time, he’s truly one of the best drummers I know.  From soft to loud, fast to slow, groove behind or ontop… his sense of composition is amazing behind the kit or computer.  He is the ultimate professional, which takes more than heavy chops. Continue reading
Posted in Artists in Residence, Cookie Marenco | Leave a comment

Week 2 Collaborating With Brain — Setting Up the Basics

Hey all, I was thrilled by the response from Week 1 Blog!  Thanks for downloading Major and Minor parts by Kai Eckhart on bass.  I’d love to hear more of the two track mixes!

I left off with …

What would YOU do?
A.  Cry to the label that they just spend money for something that was not complete?
B.  Stop Kai in his creative process half way through the session and question what he was doing which also puts a BIG cramp on the vibe, creativity and future relationship?
C. Take it in the gut and just put the time in to do the remix?
D. Or come up with a solution that is win win win? Continue reading

Posted in Artists in Residence, Cookie Marenco | 4 Comments

Week 1 Collaborating with Kai Eckhardt… What Would YOU Do??? 


Week 1 Collaborating with Kai Eckhardt…  What Would YOU Do???


The inspiration for a series on collaboration came from this first session with Kai Eckhardt.  Kai is an extraordinarily gifted bass player and one of the most creative people in the music business.   

However, even when you think you have a session ‘under control’ with the finest musicians on the planet you, as the producer, could be finding yourself up S**t Creek.
 You’ve always got to keep your mantra on:
  Continue reading

Posted in Artists in Residence, Cookie Marenco | 16 Comments