Earlier this year, we told you about Grateful Dead member Bob Weir's state-of-the-art recording facility in San Rafael, Tamalpais Research Institute (TRI). TRI is furnished with a Meyer Sound Constellation system, which allows the acoustic properties of the room to be altered with the touch of a button. This means that if you want the room to sound like a cathedral or a basement, it can.
The folks at TRI call their studio "the ultimate playpen for musicians" -- and now, they're holding a contest where one lucky winner will get to work there. The Race to TRI invites acts of all ages and genres to submit music for a chance to win a day of recording at TRI. Here are the rules:
Contest participants may submit 1-3 tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Sept. 14. TRI Studios will choose the top 10 submissions, then allow listeners, viewers, and fans to vote for their favorite on the TRI website. In addition to the day of recording, which includes recording/mixing one track of their choice, Pro-Tools, and a Final Cut Pro session with a short HD video captured during the recording session, the winner will receive two M80 microphones from Telefunken.
"This is going to be big fun, both for us and for whoever wins," says Weir. "It's going to be an ongoing project, and we'll just see where it takes us."
Since its opening in March 2011, an impressive list of artists have played at TRI, including Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Lukas Nelson (son of Willie), George Pajon Jr. (Black Eyed Peas), Josh Tillman (Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty), the National, Chris Robinson (The Black Crowes), Les Claypool (Primus), and, of course, all the local Grateful Dead alumni, like Phil Lesh. Earlier this month, TRI hosted a tribute for Jerry Garcia's 70th birthday with a lineup of musicians that included Phish's Mike Gordon, Vampire Weekend's Chris Tomson, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals' Neal Casal and Jon Graboff, the Black Crowes' Adam MacDougall, singer-songwriters Jonathan Wilson, Cass McCombs, and Harper Simon (son of Paul Simon), and Norah Jones' guitarist Jason Abraham Roberts.
"It was a magical feeling walking into TRI," Roberts says. "The walls are covered in Dead memorabilia and the vibe is just there. I had read about the Constellation system before going to TRI, but didn't quite understand it. After hearing how huge it can make a quiet band sound I was blown away! I've never been in another place where you could feel the sound as you played."
So, local musicians, here's your chance to check out TRI for free.