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Recording Johnny Cash
Old 29th January 2014
Lives for gear
Santiago's Avatar

Recording Johnny Cash

Hi sylvia,

What can you tell us about the recording of Unchained with Johnny Cash? I'm in awe of the American Recording series, and in this record in particular his voice was really strong.
Old 30th January 2014
Those Johnny Cash sessions have been the most memorable of my career so far. He was strong, and tall in stature but had a fragile character from what must have been a hard life. He was the first to say that he "don't sing too good", and he wasn't too fancy on the guitar either... but what an engaging deep voice. What a storyteller. What a true legend.

I tried several mics and compressors on his voice, but thought the Telefunken U47 mic worked the best, with a classic Gates Sta-Level broadcast tube compressor. When Rick Rubin flew me to Nashville to work with Johnny at the Cowboy Arms Hotel And Recording Spa, I packed that mic and compressor in my suitcase. I like that combination because it softly brings all the detail forward in an intimate performance. During many vocal sessions I will use that combination with an additional Urie 1176 after the Sta-Level to bolt down any wildness that might come out of the vocalist.

So many wonderful things happened during the Johnny sessions, I could go on-and-on...
Old 30th January 2014
Lives for gear
TornadoTed's Avatar
Originally Posted by SylviaMassy View Post
I could go on-and-on...
Please do
Old 30th January 2014
Well, please do.....
Old 30th January 2014
Lives for gear
Aisle 6's Avatar
Do go on and on.
Old 31st January 2014
Gear Head
riquier's Avatar

Hello Sylvia, thank you for taking the time to talk to community.

Speaking of Johnny's allegedly not being much of a guitar player (I've always wondered HOW MUCH he actually played on live performances), was any of his guitar playing predominantly used on that record or did he strum it simply for the sake of a better overall performance ?

If so, what chain would you use on his guitar ? what mics and what patterns in order to minimize bleed on the vocal mic and vice versa ?

Thank you, kind regards !
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