The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Old 31st January 2007
Question Sledgehammer


Man, this is one of those tracks of iconic proportion!

The drum space! The poppin synth bassline (is it layered w/ a real slap? 1176?) The vocal space! That ethnic synth flute trill...

Everything about that track seemed to go down right. Can you tell us a bit about those sessions?!

Thanks man,
Michael Thomas

Last edited by blackwatch; 1st February 2007 at 01:30 AM.. Reason: Wanted to add my name...master Swedien wanted it that way you know
Old 31st January 2007
OK - if this is the Sledgehammer question thread..

Is the amazing bass Chapman Stick or is it a conventional bass? Bass is hard to keep audible sometimes were there any tricks to get this one so clear?

I suppose the tambourine is real important, it smashes its way through the track got any top tips for tambourie mixing?

Old 1st February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar

Its true that bass can be a tricky instrument to balance in any mix, but for me I tend to push it up just because i love what it does to a track, especially if it is melodic.

The true credit for that bass sound has to go to Tony. He has a unique style and always makes his parts really sing in the track. In this instance he used his Music man bass with a Octave pedal.

If memory serves me , then the recording path was
Bass>Octave Pedal>Direct Box>SSL E series Mic Pre with a Decca Tube Compressor inserted across the buss output to the tape machine ( A Studer A80, thats 24 tracks to you DAW heads out there !).

In the mix Peter and dan really wanted the part featured so we just turned it up until the bottom of our jeans started flapping. It was really a fun line and it just makes you want to move. We even had a dance associated with it, but it was really a visual thing.

Last edited by Kevin Killen; 2nd February 2007 at 02:57 AM.. Reason: grammer
Old 1st February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar

Michael, good question.

Pretty much the philosophy for the entire record was to create an immediate vibe when tracks were being cut. So if we came up with an interesting effect ( we called them treatments !) we commited it to tape. Sometimes in mono, sometimes stereo, depending on the song. We also have a blue folder that everything was documented in , which included all the outboard settings and effects supported by polaroids. Because Peter likes to write the lyrics last, we had to be able to re-create a sound should the song arrangement change , and so many did !

So for Sledge, dan was messing around with the AMS RMX16 and between that and some pretty vicious eq on the console the snare effect was born. Everyone loved it so it got commited to tape. Another trick we employed was placing effects in series, a reverb into a delay into a chrs into another delay into a final reverb and just listening to the final output. Effects were often spun back into each other to create those dimensions you hear on the tracks. It also made it fun for the band as they began to play off the effects, sometimes with truly interesting results.

Enjoy listening to them again with that in mind.
Old 1st February 2007
engineer / producer / mixer
Kevin Killen's Avatar


Sorry forgot to answer that Tambourine question.

To be honest i do not have one approach to tambourine. Mostly I ensure that the tone is complimentary to the track during tracking. If anything I will try some brick wall limiting to create a "room space" around the instrument so that it will not require a lot of reverb in the mix. Plus , open up the mic pre and have the musician stand back 10 feet...... kinda cool

Old 1st February 2007
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump