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Social Distortion
Old 14th March 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

Social Distortion

I saw you worked on Social Distortion "white light, white heat, white trash"
How was working with Mike Ness?
since he has been doing the same thing thing for years, did he do most of the songs in just a few takes or was he very methodical in how the recording process?
What mics/pre's were used on vocals and guitars?
Thanks for your time
Evan
Old 15th March 2013
  #2
Gear Nut
 
theatomicgarden's Avatar
 

White Light, White Heat, White Trash

I love this record. The guitar sound and the massive bass in particular. The way everything fits together is awesome.

This was 100% analog, correct? Any production highlights come to mind?
Old 16th March 2013
  #3
Michael Beinhorn
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 

Although you wouldn't think it, that record took forever to make and was very laborious. We went through 3 drummers in two studios, technical issues and everything else under the sun.

So many anecdotes from that record, I don't know where to begin. We were recording in NY at Right Track- trying to do guitars. Put everything down, went out for dinner. When we came back and turned everything on, there was a horrible hum coming out of the speaker cab.*

We thought nothing of it and tried to trouble shoot. After a few hours of swapping guitars, amps and speakers, the hum was still there. Undaunted, more equipment showed up the next day, but the hum was still there. This became an issue and the project ground to a halt.

We started going to other studios to see if they had the same problem. We wound up at Hit Factory after throwing a Marshall cab, head and guitar in a cab. We turned it all on and...the hum was still there. The funniest thing about that was Troy Germano- the studio manager- trying to tell us that he didn't hear it.

The next day, people from Con Ed- the power company showed up and tested the building. The studio was adjacent to and shared a back entrance with a peep show which gave the power company technicians no small pleasure as they descended on the peep show, strolled into the dressing area which was populated by scantily clad women as they searched for the source of our problem.*

With no solution in sight, they then proceeded to take an assistant with a guitar and portable amp and drove him around the city in one of their vans trying to see if the hum was localized to the studio or if it was atmospheric. Apparently they drove all over New York in this van and found a half block where there was a loud hum being amplified through the guitar pickups.

Apparently there was some kind of horrible EMF/RFI event taking place all over New York. Someone suggested we build a Faraday cage out of copper wire for the guitarist to stand in while he played. We did this as a last resort. Dennis Dannell went into the cage and started playing, but after a few minutes, he began compaining that he was getting a headache. I was incredulous and stood inside the cage- within a few seconds, it felt like my brains were being sucked out of my ears.*

Later that week, we moved the project to Los Angeles. Needless to say, things like this kept on happening.

I think Mike Ness is very talented and I enjoyed working with him. However, it took months to get his vocals. He is a very intense live performer, but I never felt he was giving it his all when we were recording. After a very long time (and about 3 more studios) he started to get it.

The record is 100% analog.
Old 16th March 2013
  #4
Gear Nut
 
theatomicgarden's Avatar
 

Good gracious! That sounds ridiculous. Could you get into some of the gear that was used?
Old 17th March 2013
  #5
Gear Head
 
RockRebel's Avatar
 

Wow. I would think that Mike would be on point, all the time.
Glad to hear he is just a critical as the rest of us.
Great story. Thank for sharing
Old 17th March 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
The Convicted's Avatar
Best Album they recorded. Every song on that album is heart wrenching. One of my all time favorites
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