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Dirt, Alice in Chains Condenser Microphones
Old 10th September 2015
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Ienjoyaudio's Avatar

Thread Starter
Dirt, Alice in Chains

Hello! Dirt is one of my top 10 albums. Ive listened to it front to back countless times.

Can you talk about the guitar tones you and Jerry Cantrell sculpted? I love the midrange focused guitar sound you achieved.

Also can you talk about what is was like to record Layne Staley? What microphone did you find fit his voice best?
Id imagine his voice to be very powerful and having a lot of dynamic range.


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Old 17th September 2015
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Jonas's Avatar
Hello Dave

Another vote...any Layne tracking insights would highly appreciated
Old 17th September 2015
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DaveJerden's Avatar

I always go for a fat low mids on guitar and Jerry loved the results. Jerry is a master coming up with interlocking parts. I learned from Frank Zappa the importance of low EQ on guitars.
Most people just go for high end that can sound shrill. 300hz to 1k bring out the "bark" with guitars. On Laynes voice I used a M49 Mic.
Old 17th September 2015
Gear Nut
Jonas's Avatar
Can you talk about the gear you used when tracking Layne's vocals - like the chain?
Old 18th September 2015
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RubbaDub's Avatar

Luckily my ears were trained growing up by some of these records you made. I so agree, most people need to chill with the highs on guitar.
Old 25th September 2015
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DaveJerden's Avatar

I try to keep the recording chain as uncluttered possible. For Layne's voice I used an M49,API pre amp, Summit compressor and no EQ. I try to record flat and EQ in the mix. I do EQ in the recording if the instrument is not "cutting" enough.
Old 25th September 2015
Gear Nut
Jonas's Avatar
Do you recall the way the lead vocals (not the harmonies or Jerry vocals) were laid down. All doubled, none doubled? other?
Old 27th September 2015
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DaveJerden's Avatar

All vocals by Layne (lead and backgrounds ) were tripled. All of Jerry's vocals were doubled. Layne was a master matching himself. And, most of the vocals were one or two takes . I usually lay
down 5 tracks of master vocals then I comp them. After I have a master lead track then we double and triple to that. Layne would normally get a master take in the first or second track and
then i would continue to try a few more takes to see if he would 'top" himself. He would give his all in every take.
Old 28th September 2015
Gear Nut
Jonas's Avatar
Wow that is great info and insight into Layne's ability + your approach...super great! Many thanks
Old 30th September 2015
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hi Dave,

How would you normally (if there is a normal?) pan the 3 tracks of lead vocals? And would there be different panning approaches for backing vocals?

Love these Q&A's. Thanks from me too!

Old 12th October 2015
Here for the gear

Hi, new here, just today. Feeling more & more like i really haven't been, (trying to be an industry professional & not just a fan & music lover), for long enough. That aside, i love this q&a thing. Dave writing about Layne sort of makes it a bit more real & not just day dreaming of a time that i can only wish about. I was 19 in 2002. so i kinda grew idolizing Layne. Now doing final 2 years of music study, its just great to read these threads.

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