Wrapping Up

Mixing & Mastering.

Down to the wire / making last minute adjustments.

Even with all the preparation we had earlier this year, it's in pure "Allred" fashion that we submitted the record an hour before the deadline. Mitch hardly slept for a week. But he made "Brave New World" my pinnacle release. Listening back to the final mixes in the car on our way to In-N-Out, we knew that was it, the record is done.


How lucky I am to have made this record, at this time, with these people. There's something predestined about it all. In one month, these songs are no longer mine. They are yours. I gave it all I could. And I hope it shows.

On top of that. A video was shot in the midst of the mixing process. My old friend Trent Michael Davis, not only shot the album photos but directed the "Golden" music video.

Holding back tears has been a regular occurrence making this record. It's been a hard month for my family and I can't help but think of them while listening on play back. Hearing a 5 piece string section play along to a song I've performed so many different ways. But we finally did it. Captured the moment I moved out here. When I left my past behind with a forgiving heart and a open mind. To forge a new future. February 3rd can't come soon enough. 

DAYS 9 and 10

Ochestration & Strings. 

Growing up with MTV Unplugged and VH1 Storytellers left such an impression on me. 90's songs like Oasis's "Wonderwall", Green Day's "Good Riddance", and Goo Goo Dolls "Iris" are the soundtrack of my adolescence. They all included big string arrangements that added to a cinematic feel. A dream of mine has always been to include a string section at my shows and on recordings. Finally, the time has come.

By putting my education to good use, Mitch Davis and I prepared parts for Cello, Viola and Violin.

On "Brave New World" and "Golden"

The the book ends of the record. 

Ammon Chung (Viola) & Robert Seely (Violin) tracked over Jason's Bladh's cello part. And all at once, these songs came alive.

I think, in a small way, I finally know what it's like for a director of a movie to show up to the scoring stage for the first time. My eyes watered with amazement listening back. As if your imagination gives way to reality. Stepping outside yourself to hear a song with fresh ears. Surpassing every expectation you had. 


From 2008 - 2010 you may have been fortunate to catch a show with me alongside Jason Bladh. He recorded cello on "Tomb" and countless others. He was by my side driving across the country in a beat up, green, conversion van. Playing my first sold out shows and opening for Blink 182 and Yellowcard

You're lucky if someone comes back around, especially as a musician. I'm grateful to be recording and performing with him again after so many years. Picking up where we left off.

To me, cello is one of the most pleasant instruments. It's the perfect companion to the voice and acoustic guitar. Harmonically, It can bring a song to life, encasing that emotion. It heightens so many aspects of a mix.

Nothing was more fitting than to have him play on "Golden" this evening. A song that he has played a hundred times.

Finally documented. Finally realized.



This time around I've been approaching recording like a painting.

What if Bob Ross was a musician? 

What elements would he add?

Voice & Acoustic Guitar are the main focus. Adding to them has been the challenging part. Aiming to capture sounds that bring out a songs personal nature and character. Choosing from a specific pallet to enhance that Raw Honesty. It's a hard balance when they can be distractions more than anything else. This time I've tried to make the arrangements feel like ONE instead of separate parts fighting to be heard.

So what do you add to the canvas to compliment those focal points?

Piano was obvious and then...

Electric Guitar w/ Swells & Shimmers

I experimented with atmospherics a little on "Seasons" last year. And through many of my talented guitarist friends, I've discovered some pretty incredible sounds. The Strymon Big Sky and Timeline are the most impressive reverb and delays I've ever heard. I've found that if they are used in a subtle fashion, they can transform a mix.

After two decades of buying and trading in guitars. Playing Takamines, Taylors, Martins, Guilds, Epiphones, and Fenders. I've found that Gibson's inspire me more than any other guitar and they just have the right feel. I've settled on a ES-339 Memphis for my electric needs. Theres Something about 57' Humbucker's running through a 1x12 all tube combo.

Small & Simple.


It's become a rarity these days. Still, theres something interesting that happens if the same person that writes the song, sings and plays all the instruments. It can feel more connected. For many songs on this record the piano is the glue that connects them all.


When I was little, there was always music in my head. It used to keep me up at night. I had no idea how to control these melodies that would plague my dreams. Perhaps an instrument would help? At 7 years old, my hands were too small for guitar so my parents signed me up for piano lessons. I quickly found that I had no discipline for sight reading and scales.

When I should have been practicing, I was just "doodling". But after pushing myself to learn the structure of many classical works. I started to see patterns that would organize those sounds in my head. So after school, or late at night, with no one in the house, you'd find me locked to that bench creating my own world anchored by a small upright piano. 

I was addicted. Thus started my love affair with music composition. I imagine my parents thought it was pretty strange that their 7 year old son was spending countless hours on a piano, rather than watching tv, playing sports or video games. I was no Mozart by any means. And I'm pretty sure it sounded awful to everyone else. But to me,

It was My Escape.

Music in it's purest form.

At first, my songs were instrumental. At the age of 14, I performed for the first time in front of an audience. I accompanied a slide show for 20 minutes with continuous music. Memorized and played in the dark no less. After it concluded, I remember my father saying "That wasn't half bad". I guess some progress had been made. 

Some things never change. I still dive into that world often. Those small piano melodies have become vast landscapes that can capture anything I can imagine. But it's no longer in my head. No longer a secret thats lost in the confines of my living room. I get to share it. Its recorded in the hope that a connection is made.

This is why I continue to do this.  

Recording the other night I realized, I still feel like that 7 year old. Lost in the music. Young at heart, knowing there is so much music left in me. Waiting to come pouring out.



Although I've kept it a secret. People tuned into Instagram live at the studio yesterday to catch the tracking of the last song on the record. GOLDEN. One last time. Being given the chance to do a version at the highest quality with a string section. I'm compelled to take one more crack at it.

If every soul had a song, this would surely would be mine. It was written at a time when I moved 5,000 miles from home, scared, defeated and alone. But I chose to forgive people that caused me so much pain. I can't tell you how many people talk to me about this song on a regular basis and what it means to them.

This is the connection I long for. Through music I can reach a whole other level of communication with others. This is for all of you, these past 13 years that you've been there. It's all come full circle.

Recording backing vocals, piano and electric guitar start next week. Then we'll be on to mixing & mastering.


Studio vs. Live performance has been a touchy subject over the years. A common thing fans say is "You're much better live, than on the record". Since 2004, With each new release, I've tried to overcome that. 

Attempting to capture that on stage presence and feel. In the past, I've had to play it safe in the studio. Singing to save my voice for the next song. There was only so much time. Making records is expensive. There's a budget. I had to stick to it.  There were limitations. 

That is no longer the case. Signing to a label has finally given me the opportunity to take the time to get it right. There's no rush. Taking one song at a time. Averaging 15 to 20 takes per song. I've found, once you sing it through 6 or 7 times, you start to warm up to it. Thats what it's like to play an hour set and in the midst of it, be in "the pocket" as it were. Thats where the magic happens. Thats how you capture those live moments. This time around, I haven't been afraid to push myself either.

One major difference, is that I have a day job. Heading over to the studio after an 8 hour work day is quite a change from before. They've been really long days. But, luckily I'm a night person. My voice thrives in the evening.

Interesting Fact: Almost every "Allred" record I've tracked vocals during the day. 


5 days total just on main vocals. That's never happened to me before. One more song to go and I'm finally going to be able to do something I've dreamed of for over a decade. Everything feels new and It's an amazing time to be alive.


Digging up the past. During the process of song selection, I sifted through the back catalogue to see if there were any songs that might fit this new record. It turns out that a few were chosen after the demoing stage. One that even goes back 13 years.

If you could, would you go back? 

What do I have in common with the 22 year old that wrote this? 

Revisiting these songs isn’t as strange as you might think. It helps when they're still included in the set list. They are still close. In many ways these words mean more to me now than at the time they were written. You live with them so long, they become a part of you. Old songs become like old friends. The time has come to finally do them justice. I’m ready.

Other tracks that were chosen are so brand new, revisions were made as recording was taking place. This will be an all encompassing release. Emphasizing: 

Where I’ve been / Where I am / Where I hope to be.

One more week of tracking vocals in Salt lake and on to keys and electric guitar.


Low lighting and a microphone brings back memories of my 16 year old self tracking my first songs in my basement. In some ways so much has changed, but it still feels the same. I’ve spent almost half my life doing this but the process hasn’t really changed. Memories mixed with melodies. 

I write & rewrite / play & replay / sing & resing

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again with the same result. Sometimes you feel like you’re on the verge of that while recording records, until you realize that the outcome is always different. This is my life.


 Obscura Studios (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Obscura Studios (Salt Lake City, Utah)

After 3 months of demoing and preproduction, official tracking for the new "Allred" record is underway. I've never taken this much time to map out tempos, keys and structures to songs. But these ones are special. Some of them have sat with me for years, others are brand new.

 (Gibson J45 Standard & Gibson J45 Custom Shop)

(Gibson J45 Standard & Gibson J45 Custom Shop)

All that preparation still doesn't make the tracking any easier. I used to be very impatient with the recording process. I'm more of a perfectionist now when it comes to tracking acoustic guitar. Even though I love the rich tones of the acoustic, It's a imperfect instrument. The frets squeek, the strings go out of tune and the tone can sound muddy or tinty at times. 

 Mitch Davis (Producer - Engineer)

Mitch Davis (Producer - Engineer)

Luckily, Mitch Davis is engineering. We tried some really different micing techniques that felt satisfying on play back. (2 Beyerdynamic MC930, 3U Audio C12) After multiple takes, tired fingers and a sore back we pushed through to finish all 7 tracks in a few hours. On to the next step, Main Vocals.