Bestest Records Vol. I (1998​-​2007)

by Various

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During my high school years ('92-'97), I became quite interested in multitrack recording. Within the storage spaces of the music programs band room, I found that they had had a Fostex 4-track machine (cassette driven Model XR-7) stowed away. I recorded several small demos with it over a few years, and loved the discovery that a band or artist didn't need to play everything at once to create a final product. The year I graduated, the music department purchased the (then new) Digidesign Session 8 software. My first introduction to a digital audio software based workstation. The band teacher was kind enough to allow me to spend time with it after I graduated, and I thought it'd be fun to have a band come in and record a demo for a small fee.
The Vermins, a local punk rock band that had played several shows in the Kamloops area was interested in becoming guinea pigs for what would become my first recordings at this level. The sessions were a lot of fun, and word got out that I was "recording demos for cheap". Dr. Evil (a Kamloops band recently transplanted from Williams Lake) came in and did an EP almost immediately after The Vermins demo was mixed. In the summer of '98, I purchased my own digital recorder, a Roland VS-880. It was portable, easy to use, and man, it sounded pretty good. Equipped with a few cheap K-Mart karaoke microphones, and my new fancy porta-studio, I was off in my '74 VW van bouncing from one jam space to the next producing and recording demos and full CDs for the indie scene in Kamloops!
I did this until the fall of 2001, when I moved to Vancouver to study music. While there, I was fortunate enough to spend some time at The Armory, Mushroom, Greenhouse, and The Warehouse studios, playing sessions and picking the brains of some very talented producers and engineers.
When I moved back to Kamloops in 2004, I set up a project studio downtown, where I recorded several more bands with a Roland VS-2000 (16 track digital).
I've compiled here some songs from those bands I recorded from February 1998 to the end of 2007. Ten years of an amazing local indie scene, and I had a lot of fun getting to know some great musicians in that time. This was a unique time for recording, I think, because access to digital recording was just starting to get better. Still expensive, but do-able. It was only a matter of time when software would become so readily available, even free! (Garage Band) that indie groups would stop seeking out people like myself for inexpensive demos, and opt to do them at home for free.
I am in a larger studio now, working on a Pro Tools HD system that is more amazing than I ever thought would be possible back in the day. Although I can now create something that is as good as anything out there, I still miss the days of setting up in some kids basement, having a couple of beers and pushing "record", to see what they were all about. My only regret is not meeting up with more of the scene at the time. This is but a small snapshot of what was going on in Kamloops during these 10 years. Hope you enjoy...


released January 5, 2013

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Kris Ruston Kamloops, British Columbia

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