John Mayer's Continuum Vocal Chain
Dean Landon
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#1
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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John Mayer's Continuum Vocal Chain

I purchased J.M. latest CD Continuum, and it's actually very well produced, recorded and mixed.

Does anyone know what kind of vocal chain was used to record John's vocal?

Thanks!
#2
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
  #2
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Vultures...

Don't know about the vocal chain...

But I think 'Vultures' is probably the phattest sounding track of the year. The low end on that track is amazing...

Would love to know how they did his vocal as well though...

Cheers,

Louis
#3
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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The record was done with Joe Ferla, Dave O'Donnell & Chad Franscoviak @
The Village, Royal Studios, Avatar and Right Track/Sound on Sound.

Vocals were Mic -> 1073s -> 1176 (or two chs with one into a Fairchild 670)
Neumann U47 (most), Neumann M269c & RCA 77 (“I'm Gonna Find Another You”)

*Renaissance Vox plugin was used on the vocals.

Heres the rest also

Electric was done with a SM57 and a M88, Room mics were either U67s or U87s
then a U47 or a Telefunken 251 in front of them all.

Acoustic was done with AKG C24 into 1073s.
Bass DI'd with an Avalon U5 as well as FET 47 & RE20 (sometimes)

Drums were D112/RE20/421/M88 on the kick (compressed with 1176); snares got 57s on top and bottom;
M88s on the toms; an AKG 451 on hi-hats; and on overheads, he either used a U67 or U87, with a Coles 4038
in the middle (compressed with Fairchild)

All info collected from MIX
#4
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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Nice gearsluttin' BCains! That record sounds beautiful in my car.thumbsup
#5
12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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Its a great sounding album, thats for sure.
Dean Landon
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12th November 2006
Old 12th November 2006
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCains View Post
The record was done with Joe Ferla, Dave O'Donnell & Chad Franscoviak @
The Village, Royal Studios, Avatar and Right Track/Sound on Sound.

Vocals were Mic -> 1073s -> 1176 (or two chs with one into a Fairchild 670)
Neumann U47 (most), Neumann M269c & RCA 77 (“I'm Gonna Find Another You”)

*Renaissance Vox plugin was used on the vocals.

Heres the rest also

Electric was done with a SM57 and a M88, Room mics were either U67s or U87s
then a U47 or a Telefunken 251 in front of them all.

Acoustic was done with AKG C24 into 1073s.
Bass DI'd with an Avalon U5 as well as FET 47 & RE20 (sometimes)

Drums were D112/RE20/421/M88 on the kick (compressed with 1176); snares got 57s on top and bottom;
M88s on the toms; an AKG 451 on hi-hats; and on overheads, he either used a U67 or U87, with a Coles 4038
in the middle (compressed with Fairchild)

All info collected from MIX
BCains,

Thanks for the info. Continuum sounds much better than his "Heavier Things" CD, which was also overly compressed, and mastered for distortion. I like his song "Belief". I has Sting vibe to it, and it's very well mixed.
Dean Landon
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12th November 2006
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCains View Post
Its a great sounding album, thats for sure.
Do you know if they recorded this via Pro Tools?

Was it 24/48 or 24/96?

Thx!
#8
12th November 2006
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Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I gotta say I just got his album yesterday and I thought the sound had a very cosy feeling to it... if that makes any sense...


BCains, how'd you get all that info?
#9
13th November 2006
Old 13th November 2006
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Hey you're welcome, they used both pro tools and tape, for the vocals - not too sure
about the rest of the tracks though. Regarding where i got the info, it was all found on the MIX website.
#10
13th November 2006
Old 13th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
BCains,

Thanks for the info. Continuum sounds much better than his "Heavier Things" CD, which was also overly compressed, and mastered for distortion. I like his song "Belief". I has Sting vibe to it, and it's very well mixed.
Seriously, this record ought to win a Grammy for Most Tastefully Mastered Album of the Year

Or hell, just Album of the Year. These songs are terrific.
D K
#11
13th November 2006
Old 13th November 2006
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D K
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This record has the phattest bottom i;ve heard in a pop release in the last 5 years at least - I have never heard Pino sound so good

Thank you for finally allowing me to hear and FEEL the damn bass again !!!
#12
13th November 2006
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Was Produced by Joseph Puig????????
#13
13th November 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMIEL View Post
Was Produced by Joseph Puig????????
Nope. Produced by John Mayer and Steve Jordan.

Love this album!

Craig.
#14
13th November 2006
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Obviously the production will be different, but if you like this album, you simply can't miss the John Mayer Trio (eponymous) disc. Many of the same songs appear, and it was released prior to Continuum. In some cases the "raw, live" performance outdoes the Continuum one; in other cases, the excellent production of Continuum shines more brightly.

Cheers for the gear info, too.
#15
5th December 2006
Old 5th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limestone View Post
But I think 'Vultures' is probably the phattest sounding track of the year. The low end on that track is amazing...
Check out Michael Brauer's comment dating back to 15th July 2006... also here on Gearslutz! (page 2 on "Brauer multi-buss and drum routing" topic).

I also bring the bass up on two channels. One has a compressor and EQ that is all about the notes of the bass, the other, which I bring up later, is about the anchor or bottom end of the record. (When the new John Mayer record comes out, check out "Vultures" and while your listening to the song, re-read this post and it'll make better sense.)

thumbsup
#16
5th December 2006
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My Recordings/Credits

Quote:
Originally Posted by nadumr View Post
Seriously, this record ought to win a Grammy for Most Tastefully Mastered Album of the Year

Or hell, just Album of the Year. These songs are terrific.
I agree totally, also Room For Squares was well done on the mastering end that was Scott Hull.
#17
5th December 2006
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This is the best album I have heard in a long time. I can't stop listening to it!
#18
6th December 2006
Old 6th December 2006
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havent picked up this album yet. no time :P I have really liked the radio play of waiting on the world to change though. well written song and a cool vocal effect the bit o dirt on it makes it sound kinda older R&B.

gonna pick this up soon as I get a chance.

Thanks for the info BCain

S!
#19
16th December 2006
Old 16th December 2006
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fat bottom

hi guys,

I'm glad you like the record. I'm proud of this one. I mixed a batch and so did Manny. The sound of my mixes is a classic Mediasound vibe that we learned working there. The reason Steve Jordan came to me to mix is because he remembered that sound from when he was a session player at Media and I recorded him on a regular basis as a staff engineer. (mediasound was a recording studio located in NYC from 69-86, and produced guys like Clearmountain, Tony Bongovi, Mike Barbiero,St Germain, Goldberg and many others)

Prior to my getting the call, John and Steve had already rejected mixes from some other mixers because it didn't have the right vibe to it. When Steve called me(i had already spoken with john a few weeks prior to steve calling) he asked that I please give it the feel that was the classic R&B we did at Mediasound. The bottom end didn't go down as low nor was it as big back then but the vibe is totally Media. When he came by to listen to the mix, he just had a big smile on his face and gave me a hug because it was just the sound he was looking for. I did a live Ednet session and John heard the mix from LA, he too was a happy man. But I gotta say the recording was awesome and Chad did most of the recording. He also mixes the live show.

Calbi did a great job of mastering the record and keeping it nice and musical.

Well, I guess your wish may come true because the album is up for a Grammy as Album of the year.

michael
#20
16th December 2006
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Something that struck me with Continuum is that John's vocals really have very little low end resonance on them.. they really cut through the mix but I would not call them "big" at all. Not much below 180hz or so.. kind of surprised me... but obviously everyone loves this mix so something must be working there! (Maybe time to sell all those lovely cardioid LDC mics?)
#21
16th December 2006
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awesome job, michael.

sounds wonderful - best sounding record i've heard in a WHILE.

and thanks so much for contributing here.

really an honor.
#22
16th December 2006
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The CD has been in my car for a couple weeks non-stop. At first I liked the record then I started to not dig it. Then the other night I was driving to rehearsal at around 10pm, it was cold out and foggy so I was taking lots of back streets and the second half of the record took over my soul and brain. It was so wierd. I felt like a kid again in my parents house listening on headphones to 'The Wall' or something. The second half of the record is magical. I love the way he sings 'Gravity'. The guitar playing makes that record. Bravo.

It must have been great to work on something so good? You just don't hear stuff like this much these days. What a mood that's set. Music to make babies to.
#23
16th December 2006
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I love the sound of Continuum as much as you guys/gals. Great job on the tracking, mixing and mastering. There are little things that I don't like here and there but they're relatively minor. I think John is one of the best musical talents to have come out in a very long time. People will be listening to his stuff 50 years from now and longer. In fact as popular as he is he's still really underrated. Room for Squares is easily the best acoustic guitar songwriting sing along album that I've listened to over and over. I probably kept that cd in my truck for a month straight without taking it out. I love getting road helmet while listening to body is a wonderland, good stuff. The guitar tone in the solo of that song is insane, I hated when the radio stations used to cut that solo short, it really used to piss me off. The accidental note didn't fit right with the solo cut short like that...

bcgood

P.S. I found a cool little article following a day in the life of Greg Calbi...

http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_mastering_manhattan/
D K
#24
16th December 2006
Old 16th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MHB850 View Post
hi guys,

I'm glad you like the record. I'm proud of this one. I mixed a batch and so did Manny. The sound of my mixes is a classic Mediasound vibe that we learned working there. The reason Steve Jordan came to me to mix is because he remembered that sound from when he was a session player at Media and I recorded him on a regular basis as a staff engineer. (mediasound was a recording studio located in NYC from 69-86, and produced guys like Clearmountain, Tony Bongovi, Mike Barbiero,St Germain, Goldberg and many others)

Prior to my getting the call, John and Steve had already rejected mixes from some other mixers because it didn't have the right vibe to it. When Steve called me(i had already spoken with john a few weeks prior to steve calling) he asked that I please give it the feel that was the classic R&B we did at Mediasound. The bottom end didn't go down as low nor was it as big back then but the vibe is totally Media. When he came by to listen to the mix, he just had a big smile on his face and gave me a hug because it was just the sound he was looking for. I did a live Ednet session and John heard the mix from LA, he too was a happy man. But I gotta say the recording was awesome and Chad did most of the recording. He also mixes the live show.

Calbi did a great job of mastering the record and keeping it nice and musical.

Well, I guess your wish may come true because the album is up for a Grammy as Album of the year.

michael

Your work is wonderful Michael!

I am just an amatuer trying to get better but this has record has now become the benchmark for me as far as what I want the bottom end of my recordings to sound like
#25
16th December 2006
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Not to be a party pooper, but I don't get the hoopla surrounding John Mayer. I just do not enjoy his music at all. Also, that Vultures song has the weakest snare sound I've heard in a while (nothing against the mix or anything... it just sounds like the snare was tuned very LOOOOWWWWW.... almost flappy). I like at least a little crack on my snare. But then again, I'm an opinionated ass
#26
16th December 2006
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If you go down the level of "hey this snare sound is lame"...sure-I don't disagree on that specific example. Show me an album I can't pull a track out of and go "thisX sound is lame".

Quote:
Not much below 180hz or so.. kind of surprised me... but obviously everyone loves this mix so something must be working there! (Maybe time to sell all those lovely cardioid LDC mics?)
I don't know what exactly surprised you. Can you name a pop vocal...male or female that DOES have a lot of "resonance below 180hz"? IMO, condensers that bump down there are for newbs who think that "big bad voice of God" vibe has a use outside of voiceovers.

You're not the first I've seen comment on how little low end is in pop vocals. I wonder if it's not a surprise because you don't listen to pop vocals? Show me the low end resonance in Daryl Hall? Heck--there's way more NOW...through the 70s and 80s, his sound was about dropping a LOT of low end out. George Michael? Jason Mraz? Marvin Gaye? Richard Page? I mean...who is it that has the "big low end" in finished pop mixes?
#27
16th December 2006
Old 16th December 2006
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He's not a bad gtr player. But doesn't it seem he's in love with himself?
#28
16th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
I don't know what exactly surprised you. Can you name a pop vocal...male or female that DOES have a lot of "resonance below 180hz"? IMO, condensers that bump down there are for newbs who think that "big bad voice of God" vibe has a use outside of voiceovers.
Dunno.. to me it just sounds effected... maybe it is just the contrast with such a big deep mix... and the main vocals sound like an AM radio sitting in there.
But hey, maybe thats why it all works overall. Like you mentioned its not a voiceover, and it doesn't make sense to judge something out of the context of the whole mix. No doubt my ears have a lot to learn!
#29
16th December 2006
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Even for non-Mayer fans, I can't help but recommend for the second time, the John Mayer Trio "Try" album. It's startlingly good.

Not everyone has to like it/him/anything. I don't get the hoopla about hundreds and hundreds of artists.
#30
17th December 2006
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I for one love the way his voice sits on top of the mix, it's perfect. The whole album is awesome and beautifully mixed.

In fact, it's become my go to ref CD for this type of material...
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