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Old 10th September 2019
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Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post

Hi all,

This was a song I originally wrote in 2018 after acquiring Toontrack’s Superior Drummer 3 software, which has among its many drum sounds a kit called “John” that really nails the sound of Bonham’s kit in the big room at Headley Grange on “When the Levee Breaks” and “Kashmir.” I had used Sony’s Acid loop drums almost exclusively prior to that for my demos, but most of their loops started to sound pretty mushy and unusable below 100 BPM, and I really wanted to explore that slower, heavier, Zeppelin-ish territory. So I wrote this song basically to learn how to program Superior Drummer 3.

Originally, the track had my 2007 Gibson Everly Brothers acoustic on the right-hand channel, recorded with an AKG C414 large diaphragm condenser, and Roland’s VG-99 guitar modeled version of the Nashville-tuned guitar on the left. In recent years, I’ve increasingly enjoyed using the Roland Nashville tuning patch a lot to add some unique colors to my recordings, but the actual guitar sound was quite digital sounding – a bit like an acoustic guitar with a piezo pickup. So last month, I finally bit the bullet, and bought a Nashville-strung Taylor GS Mini from Sweetwater. When it arrived, I had a very happy evening replacing the Roland modeled Nashville-tuned guitars with the real deal, mic’ed with a Neumann U67 reissue large diaphragm tube condenser aimed at the 12th fret. I also used the U67 on my lead vocal. All of the mics went through a Chandler Ltd. Redd.47 tube mic pre, and a little bit of Warm Audio’s WA-2A opto-tube compressor.

The electric guitar solo is a 2000 Gibson Les Paul Historic 1959 reissue via Radial Engineering’s J48 direct box into a Fireface UFX+, run through Overloud’s TH3 amp modeling software, and given just a hint of Eventide H949 Harmonizer plugin as a slight thickening effect.

When the electric comes in, some additional percussion enters as well. To record these (a couple of different tambourines and a cowbell), I deliberately chose a very echo-y room -- my two car garage, with an AKG 414 close-up, and a Rode NT5 small diaphragm condenser aimed at the opposite corner of the room to record the reflection. By taking these stereo tracks and converting them to two mono tracks, I could place each instrument and its echo exactly where I wanted them in the mix.

The bass track is a 1983 Fender Precision Bass, recorded into the J48 direct box, and then processed with Eventide H9000’s #1209 Bass Room FX Chain. It reminded me of some of the bass sounds on Guns & Roses’ Use Your Illusion albums. I also added just a little bit of an 1176 compressor plugin in “all buttons in” or “British mode” to add some overdriven harmonics to help it cut through the mix.

The pad is a Roland VG-88 organ patch, which I ran through the H9000’s SpaceTime algorithm for a slow Leslie organ effect.

For the last verse, a guitar playing harmonics enters. These were simply open-string 12th fret harmonics on a clean VG-99 electric patch, which I “tuned” into melodic patterns with Melodyne’s pitch-correction software (which can be a great sound mangling tool as well). This part was enhanced with the #1157 Mirrored Raindrops FX chain on the H9000.

And the massed backup vocals came from my lead vocal heavily processed with TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive 3 unit.

Let me know what you think!


Let me start off by saying that I love the song. Has a definite Zep feel to.

Unfortunately, the mix doesn't work for me. The drums sound like the only thing audible is the overheads and even they're turned down so low that the drums are barely audible. Plus, they sound like they were hi passed and heavily compressed. They just don't fit with the rest of the song, especially with the vocals that are so dry.

If you're really going for a Zep sound, take one of their similar tracks musically and use it as a reference track. I am sure you'll hear the difference. Bonham's drums would never sound so non existent.

Otherwise, really liked the song a lot. Just needs some love mix wise.