The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Mercury by American Music Club
Old 18th May 2007
  #1
Gear maniac
 
nuemes's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Mercury by American Music Club

You engineered and mixed American Music Club's Mercury album. That is an amazing recording; at this moment I'd say the best album I've ever heard in every respect - songwriting, performance, sonics, mixing.

In Sean Body's book about Mark Eitzel and the band, Wish the World Away, he brought up that fact that the album did not sell well and that Mitchell Froom "got too close" to the recording process, somehow changing the album for the worse (personally, I disagree with that line of thinking).

How did you (and Froom if you know) handle that? Mercury was expected to be a huge commercial breakthrough. You guys helped the group create an amazing piece of art - did it floor you that it was rejected by the record buying public or did you anticipate that might have been the case?

Also, I'd LOVE to know your signal chain (mic, preamp) for Mark Eitzel's vocals - he has an unusual voice; I imagine difficult to record more than most.

Also anything else you'd like to add about the experience mixing/engeneering/working with AMC on a daily basis. I love those guys. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job on Mercury.
Old 18th May 2007
  #2
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Mercury/AMC

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
You engineered and mixed American Music Club's Mercury album. That is an amazing recording; at this moment I'd say the best album I've ever heard in every respect - songwriting, performance, sonics, mixing.

In Sean Body's book about Mark Eitzel and the band, Wish the World Away, he brought up that fact that the album did not sell well and that Mitchell Froom "got too close" to the recording process, somehow changing the album for the worse (personally, I disagree with that line of thinking).

How did you (and Froom if you know) handle that? Mercury was expected to be a huge commercial breakthrough. You guys helped the group create an amazing piece of art - did it floor you that it was rejected by the record buying public or did you anticipate that might have been the case?

Also, I'd LOVE to know your signal chain (mic, preamp) for Mark Eitzel's vocals - he has an unusual voice; I imagine difficult to record more than most.

Also anything else you'd like to add about the experience mixing/engeneering/working with AMC on a daily basis. I love those guys. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job on Mercury.
You know, I don't recall any artist or label who said, 'it's time for us to make the jump to multi-platinum, let's get the Froom/Blake team'.
If you hired us you knew generally speaking, where we all were going.
Never heard of that author or book but I can tell you if that's what he wrote about the making of Mercury then the rest is probably rubbish as well.
Mitchell got close to all his productions. You have to as a producer.
The making of Mercury was a wonderfuly creative experience for all. Mark is intensely emotional at all times and Mitchell and I thrived on that.
The band also, were very creative and wanted something different from their previous outings (as did all the artists who came to us). I'm pretty sure they liked their record at the finish. I loved it. One of our best.

GEAR???? don't remember specifics but I would lay odds it's a 251 thru a Neve 1084 to an LA3A on the vocals.
THX for your note on the album.
Old 18th May 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

There's a brilliant novel called "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius." Everytime I see the title on my shelf, I think of AMC's Mercury.

- c
Old 18th May 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 
joninc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
Mitchell got close to all his productions. You have to as a producer.
.
do you consider yourself to be "thick skinned" and have you had any dissappointments on some projects and how you let it go etc... we don't always see eye to eye on creative visions with our clients and ultimately we are working to help them realize their material/idea etc... BUT at the same time they have often hired us for our aesthetic sensibilities -

is that balance easy for you? (you have talked a lot about attitude so this has to relate to that right?)
Old 18th May 2007
  #5
Gear maniac
 
nuemes's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Sorry; I may not have been clear; this was Sean Body (the writer)'s take on the album, not Eitzels or AMC. In the book Eitzel states that he's very pleased with Mercury.

It bothers me that Eitzel & AMC are so talented yet have such limited label backing these days. Their new recordings suffer in audio quality. I hope the opportunity arises for you to work together again in the future.
Old 18th May 2007
  #6
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
Sorry; I may not have been clear; this was Sean Body (the writer)'s take on the album, not Eitzels or AMC. In the book Eitzel states that he's very pleased with Mercury.

It bothers me that Eitzel & AMC are so talented yet have such limited label backing these days. Their new recordings suffer in audio quality. I hope the opportunity arises for you to work together again in the future.
Yes I understood.
Bothers me too. I'd work with them again at the drop of a hat.
Old 19th May 2007
  #7
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joninc View Post
do you consider yourself to be "thick skinned" and have you had any dissappointments on some projects and how you let it go etc... we don't always see eye to eye on creative visions with our clients and ultimately we are working to help them realize their material/idea etc... BUT at the same time they have often hired us for our aesthetic sensibilities -

is that balance easy for you? (you have talked a lot about attitude so this has to relate to that right?)
I've been through many ups and downs in the studio. Lot's of disappointments which taught me to let go.
But I was also lucky enough to have worked with a like minded partner for 15 years where artists came to us for us. That's comfortable.
When a session is askew I'm usually the first one to say it's not working. I've taken myself off several gigs because of a big difference in vision.
Still hurts, but you have to learn to let it go. Some ideas are worth fighting for, others are interesting but inconsequential in music. Let them go.
An old maxim, 'Honesty is the best policy'. Be up front with your artist at all times. That will always be appreciated by the ones who matter.
Old 19th May 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
GEAR???? don't remember specifics but I would lay odds it's a 251 thru a Neve 1084 to an LA3A on the vocals.
THX for your note on the album.
RE-20 on the vocals. Mark sang sitting down. This was the first record on which you used the head as the drum oh. You placed it up above and behind Tim's [the drummer] head -- looking down at him. This was the first record you mixed on the API at Sound Factory with the Flying Faders system.

This is one of my favorite records of yours, Tchad...

Cheers,
John
Old 19th May 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post
RE-20 on the vocals. Mark sang sitting down. This was the first record on which you used the head as the drum oh. You placed up above and behind Tim's [the drummer] head -- looking down at him. This was the first record you mixed on the API at Sound Factory wtih the Flying Faders system.

This is one of my favorite records of yours, Tchad...

Cheers,
John
RE-20?!? I totally thought that was the fairy-dusted Froom Tele 251. That is a major revelation. Thanks John.
Old 19th May 2007
  #10
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post
RE-20 on the vocals. Mark sang sitting down. This was the first record on which you used the head as the drum oh. You placed it up above and behind Tim's [the drummer] head -- looking down at him. This was the first record you mixed on the API at Sound Factory with the Flying Faders system.

This is one of my favorite records of yours, Tchad...

Cheers,
John
That's incredible John, what a memory, but then I always could count on you to save my ass.
Old 19th May 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tchad blake View Post
That's incredible John, what a memory, but then I always could count on you to save my ass.
I was semi-young and impressionable, that's all. I can't remember what I ate for dinner yesterday, but I can see the Mark sitting, playing, and singing like it just happened. Those were quite the few years with you and Mitchell, very early in my recording career, and they made for some vivid memories, i guess...

Cheers,
John
Old 22nd May 2007
  #12
Gear maniac
 
nuemes's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno View Post
RE-20 on the vocals. Mark sang sitting down.
Tchad/John,

Was the RE-20 used pretty much throughout the album for vocals? Likely the Neve 1084 as well?

I'm suprised to hear a RE-20 was used; though I've not worked with one I got the impression they were similar to the SM7 which I have worked with and use often for rock vocals.

Many of the songs on Mercury have very delicate vocals; I would have never guessed an RE-20 would pick up so much detail.

On that note, Eitzel has a mid-bass heavy voice and I imagine the lack of proximity effect is good match for him.

Do you guys recall how recording went? Did you pretty much just do your thing as the band played or were they opinionated about the recording process?
Old 23rd May 2007
  #13
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
Tchad/John,

Was the RE-20 used pretty much throughout the album for vocals? Likely the Neve 1084 as well?

I'm suprised to hear a RE-20 was used; though I've not worked with one I got the impression they were similar to the SM7 which I have worked with and use often for rock vocals.

Many of the songs on Mercury have very delicate vocals; I would have never guessed an RE-20 would pick up so much detail.

On that note, Eitzel has a mid-bass heavy voice and I imagine the lack of proximity effect is good match for him.

Do you guys recall how recording went? Did you pretty much just do your thing as the band played or were they opinionated about the recording process?
I don't remember it being one way or another. Just a good collaboration.
Old 24th May 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuemes View Post
Tchad/John,

Was the RE-20 used pretty much throughout the album for vocals? Likely the Neve 1084 as well?

I'm suprised to hear a RE-20 was used; though I've not worked with one I got the impression they were similar to the SM7 which I have worked with and use often for rock vocals.

Many of the songs on Mercury have very delicate vocals; I would have never guessed an RE-20 would pick up so much detail.

Do you guys recall how recording went? Did you pretty much just do your thing as the band played or were they opinionated about the recording process?
I think it was just Tchad reacting to what he heard when we put up the first vocal mic -- whatever that was [probably Mitchell's 251]. I don't think it was much more than ' Oh, this doesn't work -- John, grab one of these will ya?'.

From what I remember, Mitchell did quite a bit of rehearsing with those guys before they came in. I remember basically getting everyone set up and getting right down to business [as usual with Tchad & Mitchell]. I want to say Vudi was using a Klein guitar [through maybe a Boogie amp?], and Mark was using one of those electric Chet Atkins nylon guitars for a lot of it.

As Tchad said, it was a great collaboration and it all went as well as could be be expected. Any drama that may have occured ended up on tape -- where it should be...

Cheers,
John
Loading mentioned products ...
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Alex Niedt / Q & A with Tchad Blake
3
jgrif08 / Work In Progress / Advice Requested / Show & Tell / Artist Showcase / Mix-Offs
40
GJS / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
4
entropy / The Moan Zone
35

Forum Jump