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Tiny Ruins takeover: Olympic Girls tech insight – part II (bass, mellotron)


Tom Healy plays electric guitar in Tiny Ruins. He produced, engineered & mixed albums Brightly Painted One and Olympic Girls. On the recording process for the latter, Tom says:

Cass used a 60’s Hofner courtesy of Hollie’s dad, and Cass’s stylish Seafoam Green P Bass that can sound soft and funky and one second later super gritty. And then the big double bass. We worked lots on tones. Cass is a wellspring ingenious and distinct bass lines. Her rolling bass hook on the chorus of “Holograms”, those wonderful dreamy improvisations on “Sparklers”, the big anchor of the double bass entry on “Bounty”, or the 60’s bounce of the Hofner in “My Love Leda”. They were fun sessions.

One memorable bass moment was at the end of “How Much”. The solo was the Hofner with ALL the modules engaged in my DIYRE Colour Palette. It is a build-it-yourself bunch of distortion modules. I remember at the time we we trying to find the balance between something a little off kilter and feral and something that was still nice to listen to. By memory we had to go beyond what we initially felt comfortable with. Then I slapped on some tape echo and it was perfect! And then Cass shredded a few glorious takes and we headed home excited to hear Hollie and Alex’s thoughts.

The Mellotron which appears in a few songs was owned by a friend out in Kumeu (beyond the edge of west Auckland). He has a beautifully maintained old mellotron with Flute and Cello sounds I think. At the end of “Cold Enough to Climb” you can hear the tape loop on the mellotron finishing. I think each note has a 15 second tape loop play before it runs out. That was a really fun day – Cass Hollie and I kinda just picked out a song or two each and had a go. It is such a beautiful instrument and really feels like it leaves a colour from the 60’s or 70’s in the songs it appears in.



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