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Whats the quickest & most complicated Nashvile session you have been on
Old 2nd August 2002
  #1
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Jules's Avatar
Whats the quickest & most complicated Nashvile session you have been on

You Nashville guys don't mess around do ya?

I spend till 6pm setting up a rock band to track live usually...

Give us some stories uncle Dave...

Old 2nd August 2002
  #2
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Re: Whats the quickest & most complicated Nashvile session you have been on

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
You Nashville guys don't mess around do ya?

I spend till 6pm setting up a rock band to track live usually...

Give us some stories uncle Dave...

Which do you want, quickest or most complicated?

The quickest had to be the live album I did back in May - I( started taking gear out of the studio racks at 2:00PM, started set-up at the venue at 4:00PM, went live on the radio at 8:00 with the band starting at 8:30. It was a nine piece western swing band. (I was also doing the house mix and the broadcast mix, with Bob Ohlsson working as tape op and monitoring off the DA-78's). By 11:30, we were tearing down.

The mix (a couple of weeks later) took a day and a half, including a half a day of the band listening to the performance and approving or discarding any songs they didn't like. Total of 34 songs recorded, the band said that they were happy with 26, and I mixed 17. There was one edit of the music, and one song was re-mixed. The album is, I believe a little over 63 minutes long.

By one standard, the most complicated could be considered the same band, which is working on their next studio album here - again, 9 members - Electric guitar, archtop acoustic, upright bass, drums, two fiddles, accordion, and a female vocalist. And both fiddle players and the accordion player also sing. The ground rules are: the whole band in the tracking room, playing live. No headphones, and no overdubs. Also, no fixing mistakes allowed. If anyone is unhappy with their performance, we cut the track again. The first session took a while to set up, since deciding where to put gobos (and where they weren't needed) took a while. But with the band arriving around 9:30, we were rolling tape before 11:00. Got 4 or 5 songs done before 2:00, when the bass player and both fiddle players had to leave for other sessions.

But here's what I think of as 'complicated'. A girl hired me to produce and record her album, here at my place. On her second trip to Nashville, she brought a friend who she wanted to have sing all the harmonies. Unfortunately, the friend didn't sing very well. THAT's complicated...
Old 2nd August 2002
  #3
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Jules's Avatar
Wow!

I just did a live-ish album, I wish I had some of your skill set.

I found when the singer tipped back his head to 'help me out' with mic technique on very F loud parts (probably something he had developed from live shows) his voice echoed round the less than ideal 'live' area in the rather funky facility we were working in..evileye

This means all the 'loud' vocal parts have '**** room' sound on them and the bounced into the other acc instrument mic (mostly off the ceiling)

Oh well lesson learned.. I bet Nashville rooms are predominantly 'dead' in a 70 fashion? To avoid this crap... Am I correct?
Old 2nd August 2002
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Wow!

I just did a live-ish album, I wish I had some of your skill set.
...
Oh well lesson learned.. I bet Nashville rooms are predominantly 'dead' in a 70 fashion? To avoid this crap... Am I correct?
It's not my skill set - it's the fact that this band is made up of great players who work in the studio all the time. That makes more difference than anything I could do.

But my room isn't particularly dead - one 13'x18' wall is floor to ceiling bookshelves, but no more than 30% or 40% of the other three walls have any absorption on them. The floor is hardwood, and I've got two 3' by 8' fiberglass panels on the ceiling to fix a flutter echo problem. There's definitely ambience (which is why I like the drum sound in the room so much more than in a drum booth), but the players are the real key. That and the fact that I accept leackage as part of that recording method.

There are 70's style dead rooms here, but it's not necessarily the norm. Where's Brian T? He's worked in more rooms in town than I have, and most likely in better ones...
Old 3rd August 2002
  #5
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There is simply no way to overstate the raw, unadulterated talent of Nashville players. It's just off the chart.

Granted, country music has a simple and usually predictable form. so from that angle, it's not too hard to land in the right spot. But without sitting in the chair and interfacing with these guys during a session, there's no real parallel for the experience. Solos often go down on the tracking pass. Keeper solos.

I've seen amazing first takes on songs that none of the players had ever heard 10 minutes before. That 10 minutes would include writing their own charts in a single pass and discussing the groove and who would "step out" where. Freakish is the bass/drummer combos who, as far as I can tell, have telepathy for working out the patterns they play to be nailed together. As a bass player since I was 12, I still can't see how they do it without telepathy.

As an engineer, the speed and professionalism of the players will absolutely push you to perform very well and very quickly yourself.

If you're in Nashville and ever have a chance to sit in on a tracking date with the "A" team players, do not miss it. Whether you like the musical genre or not, you will likely have your horizons broadened by the experience.

Now Nashville producers, OTOH, most often fairly well suck. The players have to be great to compensate.

No, I'm not kidding.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 3rd August 2002
  #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
There is simply no way to overstate the raw, unadulterated talent of Nashville players. It's just off the chart.

Freakish is the bass/drummer combos who, as far as I can tell, have telepathy for working out the patterns they play to be nailed together. As a bass player since I was 12, I still can't see how they do it without telepathy.

Regards,
Brian T
It IS telepathy. And remember that the piano player has to share in that, because he's often doubling the bass with his left hand...
Old 3rd August 2002
  #7
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alanhyatt's Avatar
 

Brian, your right on there. I was in a session there and these cats are not human!!

You guys are very lucky becuase its not about the style of music there, it about the players, and they are amazing. Johnny Hiland blows me away, and there are more like him, and that is wht kills me!!! No wonder you guys kick out great stuff.....

regards,

Alan Hyatt
PMI Audio Group
Old 4th August 2002
  #8
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
If you're in Nashville and ever have a chance to sit in on a tracking date with the "A" team players, do not miss it. Whether you like the musical genre or not, you will likely have your horizons broadened by the experience.
I was in Nashville a couple months ago and I had the pleasure to work with a group of string players called the Love Sponge Trio. The artist was one of the most poorly adjusted, but nice, 17 year olds I have ever encountered. He had the idea for the string parts in his head so he just sang them to the string players. I was a little embarassed for the kid, but those guys were so kind and professional. They took his ideas and made them great. We had our tracks in less than an hour. I listened to that CD today and was again humbled by their skill and diplomacy.
Old 4th August 2002
  #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lord Alvin


I was in Nashville a couple months ago and I had the pleasure to work with a group of string players called the Love Sponge Trio.
I don't know that group - who was the leader/contractor?
Old 6th August 2002
  #10
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin


I don't know that group - who was the leader/contractor?
I wish I could tell you, but I really don't remember any names. They were hired by the producer and I just set up mics and recorded them. We were working at Emerald and all of the folks there seemed to know them well. I would suggest you look into them if you need any string parts. They were fantastic.
Old 6th August 2002
  #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lord Alvin


I wish I could tell you, but I really don't remember any names. They were hired by the producer and I just set up mics and recorded them. We were working at Emerald and all of the folks there seemed to know them well. I would suggest you look into them if you need any string parts. They were fantastic.
I'll keep the name in mind, but there are som many great string sections here...
Old 8th August 2002
  #12
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
t IS telepathy. And remember that the piano player has to share in that, because he's often doubling the bass with his left hand...
I spend so much time hand-cuffing piano playes to prevent this.... " remember, the bassist plays those low notes, the guitarist plays those high notes and you and the singer share eveything in between....

Quote:
I don't know that group - who was the leader/contractor?
Maybe they just use that name when working with....
Quote:
most poorly adjusted, but nice, 17 year olds
Old 8th August 2002
  #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith


I spend so much time hand-cuffing piano playes to prevent this.... " remember, the bassist plays those low notes, the guitarist plays those high notes and you and the singer share eveything in between....

Well, yeah - but this is genre specific. Playing on a 4/4 county shuffle with any of the Nashville piano guys, I can just say, "Every 8 bars?" Then we'll play the whole song with his left hand doubling every note I play, including transitional licks. The first time. This is a great town for musicians...
Old 8th August 2002
  #14
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Well, yeah - but this is genre specific
Yeah.. I got cha... and it does work great in that particular genre.
The sound co I was working for did a bunch of dates with Ray Price about a year ago, killer band, really fun toi watch...
Old 8th August 2002
  #15
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith


The sound co I was working for did a bunch of dates with Ray Price about a year ago, killer band, really fun toi watch...
It's pretty amazing that Ray still sounds that good after so many years...
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