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Live At San Quentin
Old 24th June 2005
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Talking Live At San Quentin

Anybody know anything about the recording of this album? I have a song arranged in a Johnny Cash style, and I thought about maybe recording it similarly as well. One thing I was wondering about was how many mics were used on the drums and how they were miced up. However, any information about the session would be useful. Thanks.
Old 24th June 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 

from the pictures it likes ev dynamics.......
Old 26th June 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Raw-Tracks's Avatar
 

Here is a Mix Magazine letter to the Editor from Bill Halverson, who was there:
http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_feedback_24/

"SETTING THE CLASSIC TRACK RECORD STRAIGHT Thank you for the Classic Tracks article ("Classic Tracks: Johnny Cash's `Live at Folsom Prison'") of July 2000 that took me back to Folsom Prison. I was there working for Wally Heider Recording and am on the far side of the stage with a cigarette in hand in the picture you used for the article. As Barbara Schultz mentioned, "There weren't a lot of records kept regarding the technical aspects of this recording." Some of those technicalities are in the memory banks of guys like me who were there in that prison cafeteria/echo chamber. On July 13, 1968 (32 years ago), I was a second engineer and truck driver at this recording and many other electrically charged live recordings, such as Chuck Berry Live at the Fillmore. I had serious doubts and serious anticipation as I drove through the imposing iron gates toward a huge prison in the middle of nowhere.

I'd like to add my memories to Jim Marshall's. I was at a little table with intercom so I could move mics or respond to any other problems that might come up as we recorded. Wally Heider Recording had a Bill Putnam-designed UA 12-position, 4-track console with EQ (ñ3 @ 100 Hz, and ñ3 or 6 @ 7.5 kHz). Wally didn't like compression to tape live, so we used no limiters. The vocals, amps and drums were all Shure 546, except overhead drums which were both Sony C-37 condensers. We preferred not to use a Shure windscreen, but instead the one on Cash's mic is an Electro-Voice 666 windscreen. We had one Scully 4-track and one Ampex 351 4-track.

Columbia Records had union engineers, so neither Wally Heider Recording nor I received any credit for our work on that day, as is true for many other wonderful musical events. My part is now only in my memory, since Wally's death in the '80s.

Again, thanks for reminding me I was at Folsom Prison 32 years ago. Without a doubt, it was a memorable day.

Bill Halverson Producer/Engineer Portland, Tenn."
Old 26th June 2005
  #4
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the reply. Even though that was a different recording, there may be some similarities. It sounds like there were at least 3 and probably more mics used on the drums at least for the Folsom recording.

OK, the CD I have is Johnny Cash's Greatest Hits 1958-1986 rather than any of the originals. Now on it, I notice that the songs from Folsom prison have the drums in the center more typically but the ones from San Quentin have the 'Beatles' kind of thing going on with the drums clear to one side. Of course, the micing/tracking could still have been similar.

Anyone else know anything about it? Thanks.
Old 26th June 2005
  #5
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

A black Shure 546 is called an SM-56. One without the built-in shock mount is called an SM-57.
Old 28th June 2005
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I guess I'm just surprised if they did use multiple mics on the drums for the San Quentin album as well, because no matter what I listen to songs from it on, I hear mostly snare and little else.

Bob, thanks for the explanations on that mic model.

I never really realized there were three guitars in these songs before either until I really started listening to them the past few days. I am guessing Cash is playing the acoustic that is barely audible most of the time at the right? I always thought he was doing the muted part before as it seems so standard in his songs. Which is Perkins and which is Wootton? It appears to me that they ride the muted rhythm part real hard or mute it when the lead comes in and it almost sounds like one electric guitar part.

Anybody else know anything about this?

Thanks.
Old 29th June 2005
  #7
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Raw-Tracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyesore
Thanks for the reply. Even though that was a different recording, there may be some similarities.
Oops, sorry. Didn't realize it was a different prison. I never could keep my prisons straight. I need to work on that.
Old 4th July 2005
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I found these couple of picture from the session. I can't really see anything but the vocal mics but can't really tell what they are - they don't appear to be 57's to me. If anybody can identify anything... Thanks.
Attached Thumbnails
Live At San Quentin-san_quentin.gif   Live At San Quentin-san_quentin_bird.gif  
Old 4th July 2005
  #9
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Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

pick a large roo, that is sonically bad. put awesome talent and vibe through those ev mics. slap back provided from cement dining hall. get drunk. record to tape.
Old 4th July 2005
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pumadrum
pick a large roo, that is sonically bad. put awesome talent and vibe through those ev mics. slap back provided from cement dining hall. get drunk. record to tape.
What does a kangaroo sound like anyway, so that I can make sure I get one that's sonically bad?

And of course you need to practically be Van Halen to play the solo to "San Quentin".

.....and Kurt Cobain had trouble remembering 3 chords so surely my guitarists will too.

I think we can nail the prison vibe though...

So those are EV mics in the picture I posted then?

It looks very much like an auditorium to me, this dining hall.

Sounds like maybe someone else got drunk.

I agree that "Johnny Cash At San Quentin" is nowhere near the best recording fidelity-wise, and I guess I wondered why because I think the room is probably not as unusable as you suggest, and I just thought it would be cool to emulate for this one particular song.

It appears you and I both have some talent, and maybe we'd be better off using it elsewhere... ...but I couldn't resist myself.
Old 4th July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

the kangaroo got drunk and dressed the dining room to look like an auitorium.
Old 5th July 2005
  #12
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

They look like they could be 546s.
Old 5th July 2005
  #13
Gear Nut
 

yeah, i think bob's right
Old 6th July 2005
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
They look like they could be 546s.
Thanks. They probably are then.
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