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#61
3rd August 2010
Old 3rd August 2010
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Wow, GREAT thread.

3EB is one of the few records that left a definite impression on me, as far as production goes (obviously, a lot of the tunes are just great too). The production is masterful. Seriously Eric, it changed my life!

Oh and Eric, this is OT, but I've ALWAYS wondered: what was the source/chain of those swirly synths during the intro and outro of Motorcycle Driveby? It's one sound that's always baffled me. And the finger picked acoustic... what was the chain? It's always sounded larger than life...
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#62
3rd August 2010
Old 3rd August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ev33 View Post
Just to be sure this fact doesn't slip by. The drum track on Motorcycle Drive By was recorded in one take 1st try, no punching or editing.


Wow...
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#63
3rd August 2010
Old 3rd August 2010
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did anyone get a chance to have a quick listen? Im curious for any feedback

...or was it that bad??
haha..hmmm
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#64
3rd August 2010
Old 3rd August 2010
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Winey - I'd absolutely love to have Urbano stop in to talk about the recording!
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3rd August 2010
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Matt - great sounding hihats. What kind are they? The snare sounded great in the mix with guitar. It sounded a bit too dry by itself but really worked in the mix of things. What were your muffling techniques on the drums?
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3rd August 2010
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Eric - a few more brief questions...

You mentioned you try and tune the drums to the song. Can you explain this a bit more? Which drum do you tune to the song?

On the song Jumper did you use towels to dampen the toms? If so, how did you retain so much low-end punch and sustain?

Regarding the Ampeg J12T...can you explain more about this amp? Did Cadogan use effect pedals for the distortion? Or, just the amp's natural distortion? Is your Ampeg J12T a stock amp or did you modify it?

Thanks much.

Josh
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3rd August 2010
Old 3rd August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruanddu View Post
Eric - a few more brief questions...

Regarding the Ampeg J12T...can you explain more about this amp? Did Cadogan use effect pedals for the distortion? Or, just the amp's natural distortion? Is your Ampeg J12T a stock amp or did you modify it?

Thanks much.

Josh
Aw man. Don't drive the price up. I have a Jet II in my room that sounds like a cross between a tweed deluxe and ac15. I'd like to get another before they go up too much. No one bothers plugging into it much because it says ampeg and not fender, but it's one of my favorites. I tried to put a vintage 30 in it once but it actually wouldn't fit. The cheap stock speaker ended up sounding much cooler anyway. It breaks up nice after 4 or so and gets downright mean at 7-8. It's clean and beautiful at 2-3. Much like a 50's tweed. Reverb and trem are perfect. Eric has good taste!
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#68
4th August 2010
Old 4th August 2010
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Quote:
ruanddu Matt - great sounding hihats. What kind are they? The snare sounded great in the mix with guitar. It sounded a bit too dry by itself but really worked in the mix of things. What were your muffling techniques on the drums?
thanks josh!
e.. i use real frankenstein shit hey.

for hats lately Ive been using a 14' Sabian HH Fusion hat bottom and Zildjian Kcustom Dark hats top. I've also got a little tape on them..

The snare is this 14x5.5 Brady Wood Snare... its amazing! its the only Brady I've ever liked and also the only wood snare I've ever liked e
I think I have a couple of strips of tape on the snare too.. but mainly spent awhile getting the tuning in the right place.

thanks for the feedback.
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5th August 2010
Old 5th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison View Post
Wow, GREAT thread.

3EB is one of the few records that left a definite impression on me, as far as production goes (obviously, a lot of the tunes are just great too). The production is masterful. Seriously Eric, it changed my life!

Oh and Eric, this is OT, but I've ALWAYS wondered: what was the source/chain of those swirly synths during the intro and outro of Motorcycle Driveby? It's one sound that's always baffled me. And the finger picked acoustic... what was the chain? It's always sounded larger than life...
The cool floaty shimmering sounds in the beginning and end of Motorcycle Drive By are actually guitar. Just another example of how brilliant and innovative Kevin is. Those sounds are achieved by rubbing a brass slide on the strings over the fret board with a boss reverb pedal and a morley wah going into a marshall that is only breaking up a little. It was most likely a 57 or 441 on the amp and then that mic'd signal was sent to an H3000 patch to give the real expansive reverby sound. The guitar is in an alternate tuning that plays an ethereal chord when the slide is rubbed on the strings.

The acoustic guitar was recorded with a Neumann SM69 in an M/S configuration. The mic pres were most likely Neve 1081s. I'm pretty sure it was only compressed when mixed, but I don't remember what was used.

EV
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5th August 2010
Old 5th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ev33 View Post
The cool floaty shimmering sounds in the beginning and end of Motorcycle Drive By are actually guitar. Just another example of how brilliant and innovative Kevin is. Those sounds are achieved by rubbing a brass slide on the strings over the fret board with a boss reverb pedal and a morley wah going into a marshall that is only breaking up a little. It was most likely a 57 or 441 on the amp and then that mic'd signal was sent to an H3000 patch to give the real expansive reverby sound. The guitar is in an alternate tuning that plays an ethereal chord when the slide is rubbed on the strings.

The acoustic guitar was recorded with a Neumann SM69 in an M/S configuration. The mic pres were most likely Neve 1081s. I'm pretty sure it was only compressed when mixed, but I don't remember what was used.

Wow... thank you so much. You have no idea how humbled I am that you took the time to answer my question. I remember when I picked up the album... I was about 17. I remember being enthralled, flipping through the liner notes to see who was responsible: Eric Valentine.

Seriously man, it's an honour! All the best!
#71
9th August 2010
Old 9th August 2010
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Hey Eric,

Sorry to be bother with more questions but thought I try one last time to see if you can answer these questions?

Eric - a few more brief questions...

You mentioned you try and tune the drums to the song. Can you explain this a bit more? Which drum do you tune to the song?

On the song Jumper did you use towels to dampen the toms? If so, how did you retain so much low-end punch and sustain?

Regarding the Ampeg J12T...can you explain more about this amp? Did Cadogan use effect pedals for the distortion? Or, just the amp's natural distortion? Is your Ampeg J12T a stock amp or did you modify it?

Thanks much.

Josh
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11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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I finally had a chance to try out a setup inspired by the underhead technique that Eric originally posted in here. Take a listen and let me know what you think... Excuse everything but the drums, I put down a quick guitar lick and looped it line in from my pedal. I have a cold so the vocals are really crappy, and the bass sound is a synth bass from xpand. I just needed something quick to lay the drums over...

SoundClick artist: Matt Anderson - page with MP3 music downloads

This was recorded in a pretty large room, here's a picture of the room from another session, I wish I would of thought to have taken pictures yesteday, sorry....



I had a pearl drumset and zildjian cymbals. The crashes were as high up as I could get them and still reach them, a bit over 5 feet in height total.

-x2 Royer 121 under cymbals, panned 100% to give the mix a bit of a spread

-u87 under the snare in figure 8, one side pointing at the snare and one side pointing at the kick (Eric discussed learning this from Jacquire).

-Blue baby bottle in front of the kit about 4 feet up off to the side to pick up snare, kick, and some hats. It's as close as I could get to a neumann bottle with an m7 capsule...

-u87 in the room in omni, about 10 feet from the kit and around 3 feet up.

-All mics were running into an API lunchbox with 512's

-I ended up sampling the snare in the room that day and adding some if it into the track. I compressed the room mic pretty heavily and did a lot of EQ on it, the only other track I EQ'd was the u87 under the snare

Overall it was a fun experience. It was a lot more open sounding than I was originally intending, I can see how you can get a great punchy sound in a smaller room. This first attempt was kind of a rough draft, I had never done anything like it so a huge learning experience. I think I will get much better results the next time I try it, I have a much better idea of what to expect now. It was also tough for me because I'm not a good drummer and was recording myself, I can't wait to try it with a great drummer and spend some time to tune the set a bit better....
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#73
11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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woah!
dedication to the cause... did you write a song to experiment with this?? haha

yea yours sounds really open.. but bloody nice.. and the vibe seems to fit really well with the music.

I tried the U87 under the snare thing and LOVED what it did to the kick... but I couldnt really get it to work with the snare :(

how much of the royers did u use in the mix?
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11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandem5 View Post
woah!
dedication to the cause... did you write a song to experiment with this?? haha

yea yours sounds really open.. but bloody nice.. and the vibe seems to fit really well with the music.

I tried the U87 under the snare thing and LOVED what it did to the kick... but I couldnt really get it to work with the snare :(

how much of the royers did u use in the mix?
You know, I had the same reaction to the u87 under the snare. It was amazing on the kick drum, it sounded kind of distorted and really added some nice color, the snare was just too bright and was on the verge of being brittle. I shifted the u87 around a bit to the side of the snare and it was a bit better. Next time I might actually just put it in cardioid and face it towards the kick. Maybe it will still pick up a little bit of the snare and make it sound a bit muddy (Which the mix could of used before I mixed in a bit of the sampled snare).

I didn't use too much of the royers in the mix. Adding them in just a bit to widen the stereo image when the crash cymbals hit. Although I did not use much of them in the mix, you could definitely tell when you took them away. One thing that was a bit annoying with the royers (and Eric or someone else already pointed this out) is that ribbons figure 8 pattern do such a great job at separating things out and giving you space in the image, that the snare sounds like it is coming from just the left speaker when you listen to the ribbons soloed. It was not really an issue when it came time to mix though.
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#75
11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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Quote:
I didn't use too much of the royers in the mix. Adding them in just a bit to widen the stereo image when the crash cymbals hit. Although I did not use much of them in the mix, you could definitely tell when you took them away. One thing that was a bit annoying with the royers (and Eric or someone else already pointed this out) is that ribbons figure 8 pattern do such a great job at separating things out and giving you space in the image, that the snare sounds like it is coming from just the left speaker when you listen to the ribbons soloed. It was not really an issue when it came time to mix though.
haha that was my reason for starting this whole thread in the first place..e

ur right though.. it doesnt seem to matter so much when you put it in the mix. I find it does the same sort of thing as using an m/s compressor on standard AB or XY overheads.. which is something I find myself doing a lot of if I dont use the underheads.
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11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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If anyone is interested and curious, I just bounced all my separate drum tracks out and put them in a zip folder, you can click on the sendspace link below and download it.

I had some reverb on my master track, but I bypassed it for these bounces. If you throw the waves in a session and put the faders at unity, you will have my mix. Here's how I labeled the tracks:

ribbons- The two royer 121 ribbon mics under the raised up crash cymbals. These are completely dry, I didn't do anything to them.

under- This is the u87 that was under the snare in figure 8 getting that and the kick. I EQ's this track a bit.

kit- The blue baby bottle in front and off to the side of the kit, I believe this track is dry also.

room- U87 in the room in omni. I compressed it with an 1176 and EQ'd this track a bit.

compression- This was a bounce of a kind of side chain compression that I added in very gradually to the mix. This is a sum of all the drum tracks compressed to hell with an 1176, all buttons in...

sample- This is the snare sample I did and added in. You can take it out and hear what I meant when I said it was lacking some snare sound.

Let me know what you think, it might even give you some ideas of what to expect if you have never tried this.


Download Drum Bounces.zip from Sendspace.com - send big files the easy way
#77
11th August 2010
Old 11th August 2010
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Eric Valentines Underhead issues

I just heard Wombats new single 'tokyo' on the radio.. Wow Eric, you've done it again! That's the punchiest bass I've heard (atleast coming from my car speakers) can you tell me about how you recorded the bass? Nice synths too, what did you use there?

Keep up the good work! You are truly an inspiration.. Reading this thread and the sound on sound interview, makes me respect you even more! It's inspiering reading how you care about sonics and always try to push things forward, still remaining focus on the songs and make the artist grow (qotsa & tbs especially comes to mind). Can't wait to hear what you got cooking for the new taking back sunday album.. That reminds me: what amps did you use on louder now? That's some great tones! I guess much comes from Freds playing, he was really an amazing guitarist.

Thanks for taking the time! I know you are a busy guy. Really appreciate it!
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13th August 2010
Old 13th August 2010
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If anyone has time or is curious, I would love some feedback on my drums. I'm going to be using this approach on an upcoming album and want to improve on it as much as possible.
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#79
13th August 2010
Old 13th August 2010
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i think that it works better as a dryer drum sound personally man. That way you can really hear the spread from the underheads and the fatness of the mono room

thats just me though.. i find that this sort of approach works better in my iso booth than live room.
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13th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
You know, I had the same reaction to the u87 under the snare. It was amazing on the kick drum, it sounded kind of distorted and really added some nice color, the snare was just too bright and was on the verge of being brittle. I shifted the u87 around a bit to the side of the snare and it was a bit better. Next time I might actually just put it in cardioid and face it towards the kick. Maybe it will still pick up a little bit of the snare and make it sound a bit muddy (Which the mix could of used before I mixed in a bit of the sampled snare).
Yeah... I use the 87 kick\snare in cardioid and focused more on the kick beater letting the bottom of the snare sneak in. I've personally never even tried it in Fig 8.
I messaged Urbano to pop in here but he's pretty busy touring out of the country right now.
#81
14th August 2010
Old 14th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruanddu View Post
Hey Eric,

Sorry to be bother with more questions but thought I try one last time to see if you can answer these questions?

Eric - a few more brief questions...

You mentioned you try and tune the drums to the song. Can you explain this a bit more? Which drum do you tune to the song?

On the song Jumper did you use towels to dampen the toms? If so, how did you retain so much low-end punch and sustain?

Regarding the Ampeg J12T...can you explain more about this amp? Did Cadogan use effect pedals for the distortion? Or, just the amp's natural distortion? Is your Ampeg J12T a stock amp or did you modify it?

Thanks much.

Josh
On the drum tuning, I try to get the drums to sit on notes in the scale of the key of the song. Lets say Dmaj. A lot of times the rack tom will sit nicely at "A" and the floor tom will sound good at a low "D". The snare drum is trickier because the overtones can be so complicated. With that I have to listen in the control room to see what dominate overtone is coming through the mic. It can be very different than what you hear sitting at the drum. Sometimes I use a little casio keyboard to help identify what I think the most audible overtone is and than bring the keyboard out to the drum kit as a reference to get the drum in tune with the song. If the drummer plays really had it can be impossible to keep the tuning stable, even with lug locks. Definitely have to be very vigilant to keep it in tune. One thing that can be worse than a drum that is just tuned randomly is a drum that was intended to be playing a note in the key but drifted 30 cents flat. It sounds pretty heinous!

On jumper yes we did put towels (or in this case T-Shirts) on the toms. We were going for that Beatles/Abbey Road thing. That was a unique drum setup on that record. Those drums were recorded at skywalker ranch as were (God of Wine, Thanks A Lot, Good For You, and London). Skywalker has a ridiculous cavernous sound room for recording orchestras with 3 good sized booths on one end. for all of the songs except jumper I put the drums in the middle drum booth. At first, Everyone thought I had lost my mind. We were paying a billion dollars a second for this giant room and I put the drums in the booth!! The reality is that spaces that large aren't that great for aggressive rock drums. I like to have some walls close enough for the drums to react to so you can get a build up of sound that makes the whole thing sound thicker and punchier (when it works out right). At Skywalker, you can have it all. The center Booth sounds great. I opened the doors to the 2 adjacent booth for a smaller trashy room sound and then left doors open to the big room for an amazing big room sound. The big room sound when its coming through the door of a booth ends up sounding like what I always wished a 480L would sound like. Just a really perfect drum reverb patch. Skywalker has a really cool feature of these motorized dampeners on the ceiling and huge adjustable dampeners on the side walls. You can tune the brightness and decay time of that room with incredible precision. Jumper was the only song where the drums actually sat dead center in the big room. I was just going for what I had always heard was done on some beatles stuff. Abbey Road has very large but pretty dead sound rooms (when curtains are pulled). I was just trying to duplicate that.

The Ampeg J12T that I use is a amp that I stumbled onto at some point and ultimately Kevin ended up really liking. It was a re-issue from the mid nineties. I have 2 of them. They are the first generation of the re-issue that is only 15 watts I think. It just has Volume, Tone, Depth, Speed, and Reverb. Mine are not modded and I typically don't use them with pedals. This version of the amp has an insane amount of gain. There is a really good recent example of it on the Slash Solo record. The opening riff on the Iggy Pop Song "We're All Gonna Die" is pure J12T. One of the very very few moments where Slash didn't use his modified marshall.

EV
#82
14th August 2010
Old 14th August 2010
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Please answer the Wombats and Taking Back Sunday question a few posts up

Can't say this enough, but thank you for taking your time to answer our questions. Really means a lot!
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14th August 2010
Old 14th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LinusWendel View Post
I just heard Wombats new single 'tokyo' on the radio.. Wow Eric, you've done it again! That's the punchiest bass I've heard (atleast coming from my car speakers) can you tell me about how you recorded the bass? Nice synths too, what did you use there?

Keep up the good work! You are truly an inspiration.. Reading this thread and the sound on sound interview, makes me respect you even more! It's inspiering reading how you care about sonics and always try to push things forward, still remaining focus on the songs and make the artist grow (qotsa & tbs especially comes to mind). Can't wait to hear what you got cooking for the new taking back sunday album.. That reminds me: what amps did you use on louder now? That's some great tones! I guess much comes from Freds playing, he was really an amazing guitarist.

Thanks for taking the time! I know you are a busy guy. Really appreciate it!
Hey,

This is probably the quickest release of a song I've ever been involved with. I literally finished that mix a little over a week ago. The bass sound was Tord's 70's P-Bass into 2 amps. Amp 1 was a Black Face fender Bassman into a dual 15" showman cab with a Neumann U67 on it. Amp 2 is an Ampeg SVT with 8x10 cab with a 421 on it. both mics went through a Pultec tube mic pre and were compressed with a modified Gates Sta-Level. Both were EQ'd with the Undertone console EQ. Quite a lot of EQ on the Bassman/U67 part of it.

The synths are mostly VIs. Hybrid, Indigo and the Arturia V2 collection. We also used a vintage Roland JX3P and Moog Lil' Phatty.

Amps on Louder were mostly a 70's 100W Marshall JMPmkII for Fred and an Orange OR120 for Ed. The Marshall was an amp Fred brought with him. On the OR120 we used a boss parametric EQ pedal to accentuate mids. There were a variety of combo amps used occasionally for clean sounds or as a blend with the main amps. AC30, Matchless, Silvertone. we used a variety mics 57, Royer 121, 421, M582.

Hope some of that info is useful!

EV
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14th August 2010
Old 14th August 2010
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Eric, hello friend,

Are some of the tools you've used throughout the years to split guitars to multiple amps available over the counter or do you use something customized?
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#85
17th August 2010
Old 17th August 2010
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i cant believe it!
my band got invited to CMJ in NY in october.. so looks like i will coming to the states afterall

I JUST miss AES though :(
very interested to see this new undertone gear though eric. might see if i can hang around for another week or so.

is it going to be REALLy expensive Eric? haha
#86
18th August 2010
Old 18th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineEars View Post
Eric, hello friend,

Are some of the tools you've used throughout the years to split guitars to multiple amps available over the counter or do you use something customized?
I have tried many things over the years. There are 2 systems I have settled on in recent years. When working in Pro Tools I use a DI Re-Amp combo to do the splitting. I use an Avalon U5 for the DI. I've found it to be the most transparent. The Re-Amps I am using are custom though. The benefit of the Re-Amps is the flexible ground isolation from the transformer. The down side is the sound of the transformer. The transformer definitely colors the sound.

When I'm not using the Pro Tools DI/Re-Amp thing I use the Alan Smart "Smart DI" system. It is flexible and seems to be more transparent than all the other stuff I have tried. I haven't actually had a chance to try the Radial stuff which seems to be the current fav out there.

With all these systems the stumbling block is the transformers. That is the part that is loosing transparency. I plan on trying to come up with a better solution for this with (Larry Jasper) the brains behind the custom console we built at some point.

EV
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#87
21st September 2010
Old 21st September 2010
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hey eric,

so one thing I love about your work is that you make excellent and unique use of what sounds like the 800hz-1.5khz range.
Particularly in your snares, kick and guitars.

is this something you eq into the sound or try to capture with particular mics etc?

thanks eric

kindest
Matt
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#88
12th October 2010
Old 12th October 2010
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Interstate '76

Hi Eric,

Is this the same setup you used to record drums on Interstate '76?

WT.
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12th October 2010
Old 12th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WinstonTone View Post
Hi Eric,

Is this the same setup you used to record drums on Interstate '76?

WT.
I76 doesn't come up very often! The I76 stuff was recorded sometime back in the mid 90s. That was well before I started using underheads. I76 was all done with very simple minimalistic mic setups designed to emulate the sound of the various classic songs that inspired the recordings. Basics were recorded directly to analog tape on a NEVE 8068 at Royaltone studios. No computers or samples were used on the recordings. Overdubs and final mixes were done at H.O.S. studios in Redwood City on a NEVE 8038.

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#90
12th October 2010
Old 12th October 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandem5 View Post
hey eric,

so one thing I love about your work is that you make excellent and unique use of what sounds like the 800hz-1.5khz range.
Particularly in your snares, kick and guitars.

is this something you eq into the sound or try to capture with particular mics etc?

thanks eric

kindest
Matt
The mid range stuff is something I always wrestle with. It is a frequency range I always find to be the most harsh if not tamed the right way. I have found the best way to deal with it is to punish it with some degree of distortion to help smooth it out. Analog tape has always been good for that and there are particular pieces of outboard gear that distort nicely to help. For snares I like to use this Orban 8 band EQ or a rack mount chandler tube driver to distort the mids. Tape machines are good for guitars because its more subtle.

Lately I have been playing with HEAT as a tool for taming mids. So far it has been pretty good. Not sure yet if I would actually choose to use it over a real tape machine. Its nice to listen to while tracking though.

EV
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