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The Bad Plus: Tchad Blake Condenser Microphones
Old 29th January 2007
  #1
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The Bad Plus: Tchad Blake

These Bad Plus recordings blow me away. The upright and drums sound clear and present yet dense and surprisingly deep compared to most jazz records. I was wondering if anyone knows whether Tchad Blake was throwing Sans-amp on this stuff or what all went into these sessions....
Old 29th January 2007
  #2
jhg
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I just saw them on Friday at the Village Vanguard, they are damn great (musically and sound wise) live. Put them in a great room(like one in Real World Studios) and I don't think a lot would have to be done to them.
Old 26th February 2007
  #3
mongrell mixer
 
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Sans Amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog View Post
These Bad Plus recordings blow me away. The upright and drums sound clear and present yet dense and surprisingly deep compared to most jazz records. I was wondering if anyone knows whether Tchad Blake was throwing Sans-amp on this stuff or what all went into these sessions....
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
Old 26th February 2007
  #4
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Sans Amp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frog View Post
These Bad Plus recordings blow me away. The upright and drums sound clear and present yet dense and surprisingly deep compared to most jazz records. I was wondering if anyone knows whether Tchad Blake was throwing Sans-amp on this stuff or what all went into these sessions....
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
Old 26th February 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
Thanks so much for responding!
Old 26th February 2007
  #6
Jam
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Tchad

Thanks for sharing the info.

BTW love the work you did with Brendan Benson

Jam
Old 26th February 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
Hey Tchad...

That's great information...very cool - most intriguing! Thanks for passing that along. I was just listening to some vinyl this weekend, one of which was the Low album 'Trust'. Flipped it over, thinking to myself that this record sounds really good (although that is like a "duhhh, what do you think...it's Low!" moment) and saw you mixed it. Had no idea you had worked with Low. Nice work!

Speaking of which, some info on THAT record would be very cool. Man, do I love that band.
Old 26th February 2007
  #8
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Hey Tchad,

Welcome to the board and thanks for responding.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 26th February 2007
  #9
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Local 47's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum.
Lovely!! Are you using these at mic level? Before the preamp? Or rather as a line level insert after the preamp? Thx, Doug
Old 27th February 2007
  #10
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Anderson's Avatar
 

Hi Tchad,

Just wanted to thank you for all the nice mixes! Big inspiration for me.

Sia Furler's "Color the small one" would be my favorite. Wonderful album with great sound & vibe. Ahhh... "Breathe me" piano and drums... And then that cello coming in the end...

( Anderson <- big fan )

Thx for dropping by...
Old 27th February 2007
  #11
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Saw these guys a coupla weeks ago at Massey Hall (Toronto) and had a thread up about them right after - I was floored, and wished I picked up a recording while I was there.

thx for chiming in Tchad: been a very big fan for so many albums/productions! heh

BTW - I saw Ethan Iverson remove some mics outa the piano at that show - was wondering if anyone knows what he uses? His piano sound SMOKED Roy Hargrove's pianist (can't recall his name?!?) who obviously didn't use the same rig.

Love these guys! thumbsup
Old 27th February 2007
  #12
Dan
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Thanks for posting Tchad!
Old 28th February 2007
  #13
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by centurymantra View Post
Hey Tchad...

That's great information...very cool - most intriguing! Thanks for passing that along. I was just listening to some vinyl this weekend, one of which was the Low album 'Trust'. Flipped it over, thinking to myself that this record sounds really good (although that is like a "duhhh, what do you think...it's Low!" moment) and saw you mixed it. Had no idea you had worked with Low. Nice work!

Speaking of which, some info on THAT record would be very cool. Man, do I love that band.
Hi, I don't have much info on that one. I mixed it at Real World. All the reverb you hear is actual ambience from the recording session in a church. All I did was clear it up a little. Fun record to do.
Old 28th February 2007
  #14
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Local 47 View Post
Lovely!! Are you using these at mic level? Before the preamp? Or rather as a line level insert after the preamp? Thx, Doug
Both. If the player wants to fiddle I'll give them the box and DI it to the desk. Most of the time I have it on an effects send coming back line in.
Old 28th February 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Hi, I don't have much info on that one. I mixed it at Real World. All the reverb you hear is actual ambience from the recording session in a church. All I did was clear it up a little. Fun record to do.

Yeah...I didn't expect that there was too much manipulation on that one, although there definitely is some interesting space and texture throughout the record. The song 'Tonight' is a nice piece with a pretty cool sonic palette...especially that moment as Mimi's last phrase dissolves and merges with the background drone. That's a sweet moment. I actually tried to emulate that on a recent mix. I had almost forgotten about a documentary I saw that offered a thumbnail sketch of the recording of Trust in that huge cathedral. I remember thinking that space would be fun to record in, but the acoustics may have been a little over the top. Guess not though...the record sounds great and, yeah, I would expect a Low record to be a really fun piece to work on. Then again, I'm a bit biased with my respect for that band. I've even got a project going at the moment in which we're doing interpretations of Low's music using entirely acoustic instrumentation (banjo, violin, mando, ac. guitar, etc.) and this is what had led me to pull out Trust and their other records.

Cheers!
Old 1st March 2007
  #16
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
A followup to this: you mention using 3 X 451's on Ethan's piano (plus the KU100) - is this tracking to protools? With stock CK-1 capsules?
Where do you position them? Spaced across the soundboard or closer to the hammers?

I often felt criticized when using 451's on piano - many would say they're too bright etc., and sometimes on a Yamaha or Kawai they are presenting the piano as very bright, but often the best way to poke thru a dense mix, or in contrast against heavy handed bandmates...
Old 1st March 2007
  #17
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal. Mechanical filters, used on some tracks, comprised of a Sure 57 jammed into a Digeridoo or suitable pipe, pointed at the SN from two feet in front of the kit. Also had an Ahuja vocal mic (East Indian 58) over the kit being sent to an old Teisco 360 guitar amp, in the room behind Dave, sometimes with the tremelo on. Piano was recorded with a Neuman KU100 + 3 AKG 451's, a bit of EQ, no other treatment.
Mostly Neve1073 pre's on drums, bass=SSL G, Piano=vint. API pre w/550a eq +SSL G's on the 451's.
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.
Hope this helps.

tb
Dude.Tchad. you made my day! AWESOME! I was just surfing along, then I see you've responded to some threads...I search for mine thinking "Wow, a golden opportunity to revive this" and BAM, I'm sh!ttin me britches as I see you already responded. I know Dave, and when I first heard what you two did with the "Flim" cover I was just about to give up, because I wasn't sure how I'd ever come to realize a recording as well as this, however it now serves as a reference and continued inspiration.

Thank you again for all your work. Truly inspirational.
Old 1st March 2007
  #18
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

VERY cool. Thanks for taking the time, Tchad. Your work is inspirational.
Old 3rd March 2007
  #19
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugHead View Post
A followup to this: you mention using 3 X 451's on Ethan's piano (plus the KU100) - is this tracking to protools? With stock CK-1 capsules?
Where do you position them? Spaced across the soundboard or closer to the hammers?

I often felt criticized when using 451's on piano - many would say they're too bright etc., and sometimes on a Yamaha or Kawai they are presenting the piano as very bright, but often the best way to poke thru a dense mix, or in contrast against heavy handed bandmates...
For The BP, they were close to the hammers, stock CK1. Ethan likes Steinway concert grands. They're not traditionaly bright and yes, to overcome the distorted bass and hard drums that piano needed help.
Left -cntr-right, 3 inches above.
Old 3rd March 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
For The BP, they were close to the hammers, stock CK1. Ethan likes Steinway concert grands. They're not traditionaly bright and yes, to overcome the distorted bass and hard drums that piano needed help.
Left -cntr-right, 3 inches above.
Cool: I know a few longtime AE's who still prefer the 451/CK-1's for piano duties - I wonder if this goes hand in hand with the darker pianos being tracked? (Steinway/Bosendorfer).

Thx again Tchad!!!
Old 26th April 2007
  #21
Gear nut
 
Local 47's Avatar
 

Rock drums

Hi Tchad,
Were the drums on "Give" and "Suspicious activities" recorded in the same way? I mean, between the different songs within an album? Cause a few of the drums still sound a little more jazzey, while others (anthem for earnest, 1979 semi-finalist, iron man etc) have this very groovy rock sound going?
Thanks, Doug
Old 26th April 2007
  #22
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Local 47 View Post
Hi Tchad,
Were the drums on "Give" and "Suspicious activities" recorded in the same way? I mean, between the different songs within an album? Cause a few of the drums still sound a little more jazzey, while others (anthem for earnest, 1979 semi-finalist, iron man etc) have this very groovy rock sound going?
Thanks, Doug
We changed things all the time. Different SN or K, hats, mic placement. Every piece needed something a little different.
Old 28th April 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Hi, I don't have much info on that one. I mixed it at Real World. All the reverb you hear is actual ambience from the recording session in a church. All I did was clear it up a little. Fun record to do.
I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer even though you didn't track the album ... And I really love that album so I'll try and shoot

You said that all reverb on the album comes from the recordning in a church (none added during mix). But I'm wondering how the the reverb from the church-room was recorded? I can see at least a couple of possible ways...

1 Spill ... so that the guitar ends up not only on the guitar-tracks but also to a minor degree on drumtracks, basstrack etc. recorded simultaneously
2 Dedicated ambience tracks either recorded during the basic take of the song (ie. one stereo ambience-track for all the basic instruments) or dedicated ambience-tracks recorded for each instrument if they were overdubbed later...
3 Or is it just your additive compression pulling the reverb out from some ordinary close-mic'ed tracks
4 Something entirely diferent?!?

I'm simply asking cos I love the sound of that album so it would great to know just a bit about how that sound was achieved during tracking/mixing...

We could take the first song on the album 'Thats how you sing amazing graze' as an example ... but any other song would also be cool if you recall that better!

Thanks

Thomas
Old 2nd May 2007
  #24
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

low

Quote:
Originally Posted by tho_dk View Post
I have a couple of questions you might be able to answer even though you didn't track the album ... And I really love that album so I'll try and shoot

You said that all reverb on the album comes from the recordning in a church (none added during mix). But I'm wondering how the the reverb from the church-room was recorded? I can see at least a couple of possible ways...

1 Spill ... so that the guitar ends up not only on the guitar-tracks but also to a minor degree on drumtracks, basstrack etc. recorded simultaneously
2 Dedicated ambience tracks either recorded during the basic take of the song (ie. one stereo ambience-track for all the basic instruments) or dedicated ambience-tracks recorded for each instrument if they were overdubbed later...
3 Or is it just your additive compression pulling the reverb out from some ordinary close-mic'ed tracks
4 Something entirely diferent?!?

I'm simply asking cos I love the sound of that album so it would great to know just a bit about how that sound was achieved during tracking/mixing...

We could take the first song on the album 'Thats how you sing amazing graze' as an example ... but any other song would also be cool if you recall that better!

Thanks

Thomas
All of the above. I didn't try to control it. I don't remember specifics so I'm afraid that's all there is.
Old 2nd May 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 

OK ... Just trying to straighten the last bits out to be ready to totally copy you and never try to do anything original myself
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Separate Sans Amps (what they now sell as the 'Classic' model) were used on the bass DI, kick drum, and snare drum. Sure Level Loc on a single Senn.441 stuck in the middle of the kit. SpectraSonic 610's mixed into the OH Neuman KU100 clean signal.
... so additive compression on OH's and Sans Amp on kick and snare and no drumbus-compressor...
But how about compression on kick and snare (and toms if they get dedicated mics)? From what I've read in different threads here you dont mention any compression on them... Does that mean NO compression at all or does it mean that you generally speaking just compress them a bit for taming dynamics?
If so any favourite comps or just whatever is available?

Thanx again for doing this - not only your sounds but also your attitude is so very inspiring...
Best regards
Thomas
Old 3rd May 2007
  #26
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

kit comp

Quote:
Originally Posted by tho_dk View Post
OK ... Just trying to straighten the last bits out to be ready to totally copy you and never try to do anything original myself

... so additive compression on OH's and Sans Amp on kick and snare and no drumbus-compressor...
But how about compression on kick and snare (and toms if they get dedicated mics)? From what I've read in different threads here you dont mention any compression on them... Does that mean NO compression at all or does it mean that you generally speaking just compress them a bit for taming dynamics?
If so any favourite comps or just whatever is available?

Thanx again for doing this - not only your sounds but also your attitude is so very inspiring...
Best regards
Thomas
Snare most often gets the compressor treatment. Kick and toms, if it's convenient (SSL) or there's a problem.
Distressor, DBX160x, Omnipressor...whatever.
It's always this or that. I use drumbuss comp when needed. More now than in the past. Changing taste I guess.
Old 20th May 2007
  #27
Gear nut
 
Local 47's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Mixed on SSL G with an Al Smart C1 across the stereo buss.tb
Tchad, even when mixing on an SSL (with a quad comp) you'd uses a C1? The SSL being too aggressive? Thx.
Old 22nd May 2007
  #28
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Local 47 View Post
Tchad, even when mixing on an SSL (with a quad comp) you'd uses a C1? The SSL being too aggressive? Thx.
SSL is not too aggressive, I just like the sound of my Smart. It's what I got used to plus on J & K Series they changed the ratios.
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