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the new "The National" Album "Boxer"
Old 17th May 2007
  #1
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Alexi's Avatar
 

the new "The National" Album "Boxer"

..once again this Band surprises me with a jawdropping release......what a great record. Has anybody worked with them? I believe they recorded the Album in New York.....some New York Gearslutz out there willing to share some info?



greetings


alex
Old 18th May 2007
  #2
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Daedalus77's Avatar
I am a huge fan, too. Loved the last two albums. Haven't had time this week to get Boxer but can't wait.

Would also love to hear production notes on this one...
Old 18th May 2007
  #3
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jomo1234's Avatar
 

The record was done by the amazing Peter Katis at his studio in Bridgeport, CT. Truly one of the nicest guys around...and he's got the sluttiest studio I have ever seen!!!
Old 18th May 2007
  #4
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KrisNY's Avatar
 

Alexi's usually right on the money as far as liking awesome stuff, but honestly, production aside for a second, (gasp!) these guys bore the living daylights out of me. I've seen them live twice, and I feel like they're trying too hard - the singer especially. The riffs and melodies aren't too interesting... I dunno. They just really don't do it for me.
Old 20th May 2007
  #5
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Alexi's Avatar
 

.....funny thing, i saw them live twice and thought they were even better than on the record.......is anybody from tarquin studios posting on the board?


I am very curious about the vocal chain.....


cheers
Old 18th June 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 
rootsandruins's Avatar
 

intern

Hey, i actually worked as an intern on this album for 3 months at Tarquin Studios
in Bridgeport, Connecticut. What an amazing opportunity. The amount of slutty gear
that Peter Katis has blows my mind. And he knows how to use all of it. Which is even more impressive. As far as the vocal chain goes, I am pretty sure he was using a telefunken ela-M 251 mic through a vintage Neve pre amp...and I am not sure about the compressor I think it might have been the Chandler/EMI TG1. But yes, the final product was even better than I anticipated. I haven't stopped listening to it since it leaked, errr I mean came out.

I also saw them live twice playing the material from the new album and it sounded fantastic at bowery ballroom in NY (the best part was, Peter Katis's indie rock band from the 90's The Philistines Jr. opened for them) and again in Montreal. It's been very interesting to watch from the outside how a song goes from it's bare bones stage, through all of the overdubs, and then removing overdubs, and then doing different overdubs, and then completely retracking the song and then hearing it mixed and mastered, and then hearing it live.
Old 18th June 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Totaly digging this record. It feels like Interpol, but different in a way. not sure how.
Old 18th June 2007
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Audiophile20's Avatar
 

Great album. Solid production. The band hits thats perfect late night vibe.

Highly recommended and it's getting some great reviews from around the net.
Old 18th June 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Alexi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rootsandruins View Post
Hey, i actually worked as an intern on this album for 3 months at Tarquin Studios
in Bridgeport, Connecticut. What an amazing opportunity. The amount of slutty gear
that Peter Katis has blows my mind. And he knows how to use all of it. Which is even more impressive. As far as the vocal chain goes, I am pretty sure he was using a telefunken ela-M 251 mic through a vintage Neve pre amp...and I am not sure about the compressor I think it might have been the Chandler/EMI TG1. But yes, the final product was even better than I anticipated. I haven't stopped listening to it since it leaked, errr I mean came out.

I also saw them live twice playing the material from the new album and it sounded fantastic at bowery ballroom in NY (the best part was, Peter Katis's indie rock band from the 90's The Philistines Jr. opened for them) and again in Montreal. It's been very interesting to watch from the outside how a song goes from it's bare bones stage, through all of the overdubs, and then removing overdubs, and then doing different overdubs, and then completely retracking the song and then hearing it mixed and mastered, and then hearing it live.
what a great replie,


do you happen to know anything about how the drums on the album were tracked?



greetings


alex
Old 18th June 2007
  #10
Gear Head
 
rootsandruins's Avatar
 

drums

I actually spent a lot of my time miking the drums and getting good drums sounds. The drums were tracked to a Studer 24 track 2 inch tape machine and then imported into pro tools. Throughout the course of tracking the drums, we used quite a few different mic set ups. I don't remember which set ups went with which songs, but in general, I think a lot of the dark meaty sound came from the 1953 Neumann U-47 in front of the kit. I know we crossed a couple Coles in front of the kit, just above the U-47 for some of the tracks and even used a royer 121 as a room mic as well as leaving the ela-M 251 on as a room mic. Everything was also close-miked with an audix i5 on the snare and a few seinheiser 421's elsewhere. For overheads, AKG C-451's which I don't think were even used much in the mixing. As far as pre's and compressors go, I can't be sure, but you can check out the gear list on tarquinrecords.com to get a better idea. I hope that helps! (This internship allowed me to get familiar with some of the best mics around and hear them in different applications which I'm so grateful for.)

cheers.
Old 18th June 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
ColourSurround's Avatar
 

I just heard of these guys recently, never heard the actual songs but I took a chance anyway and ordered the CD. Pretty stoked to check it out and hear them live.
Old 22nd June 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
Legacy Audio's Avatar
After reading this thread I just went out and bought the album. Great stuff and it gets better with each listen. Both the songs and production are very good. Thanks fellow slutz.
Old 22nd June 2007
  #13
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juicylime's Avatar
 

I think it's a pretty good album and it seems to be growing on me. reminds me of Tindersticks, who I love.

My favourite song on the album is Green Gloves, it borders on the sublime.
Old 25th June 2007
  #14
Gear Addict
 
CrazyBeast's Avatar
 

Really been digging this! I agree about the Tindersticks vibe.

Mistaken for Strangers is an awesome (and awesome sounding) tune...
Old 29th June 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

Loving this album like it's predecessors. The first I'd heard of it was when I was up late and had MTV2's "120 Minutes" on in the background while working on something and as soon as it came on I knew who it was but that percussive guitar (I think) sound in the intro grabbed my attention instantly.

Roots, can you divulge any secrets on how that particular sound was achieved?

Remarkable band. I saw them 4 times in 3 different countries on the Alligator tour and they've yet to disappoint. "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers" has got to be one of the best album titles ever.
Old 29th June 2007
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Great album, love the drums on "Mistaken for Strangers"
Old 15th July 2007
  #17
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

Hi, everybody. Is it too late to respond to this thread???

The vocal chain for most all of the BOXER LP was a Telefunken elam 251 into a Telefunken V276 (solid state) pre into a Klein & Hummel UE-200 EQ into a Chandler TG1 compressor (Limit Mode, quickest release) into an SPL de-esser into a Gates STA-LEVEL compressor into an Apogee ADX16 A/D converter into ProTools HD. Long chain, I know! All sessions were 24bit/44.1kHz.

The drum set ups on the album were a little different for almost every song. Some songs had over a dozen mics and some as few as only one mic (plus overdubs). Some songs hit tape and some went straight to ProTools. We really tried to NOT make every song sound the same.

Peter
Old 15th July 2007
  #18
Gear Addict
 

Love em!
Saw them at bimbos in sf recently and thought they were amazing and sounded spot on and put on a good show with little to no talking between songs.
Old 3rd August 2007
  #19
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Alexi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PKatis View Post
Hi, everybody. Is it too late to respond to this thread???
...Some songs had over a dozen mics and some as few as only one mic (plus overdubs). Some songs hit tape and some went straight to ProTools. We really tried to NOT make every song sound the same.

Peter


mr katis,


do you still remember on which song only one mic was used for the drum recording?



greetings


alex
Old 4th August 2007
  #20
I don't think the last two records are as solid as "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers", but "Mr. November" off of Alligator is the best closing track for an album I've heard in a long time. "The Boxer" is a good album, but I don't think it's breaking any new ground for the band. The guitarists has a side project called Clogs that is great live, I saw them with The Books. I guess you could call it modern chamber music.
Old 6th August 2007
  #21
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexi View Post
mr katis,


do you still remember on which song only one mic was used for the drum recording?



greetings


alex
Hi, Alex.

The song we actually used only one mic on was called "You've Done It Again, Virginia", but the song ended up a B-side. I don't know when or where it will come out, but it's kind of a cool drum sound. The drums were played very softly and sparsely and recorded with the mic very overdriven and severely low-passed. In the end, I also hand placed dry snare hits over every snare hit with a sample we made for the song "Gospel".

The think the drums on Gospel were recorded with just one mic, one drum at a time, but I'm not certain because they were recorded in the basement which we generously called "Studio B" more like percussion overdubs after most of the other music and vocals were finished.

Songs like "Slow Show", "Apartment Story" and "Squalor Victoria" were simple five mic set-ups recorded with pretty aggressive EQ and compression straight into ProTools. Songs like "Fake Empire", "Mistaken For Strangers", "Brainy", etc. were recorded with a bigger set up (in&out of kick, top&bottom of snare, toms, ohs, hh, front of kit, stereo rooms, very distant room) and went to a Studer A827 2" @15ips/CCIR w/ Quantegy456 and then into PT. Probably never turned on the overheads or hihat mics. "Brainy" had T-shirts over all the drums.

Thanks for your interest...

Peter
Old 23rd August 2007
  #22
Gear Nut
 

guitars

Mr. Katis,

Do you have a "go to" pre for electric guitars? Your guitar sounds are absolutely stellar. the best around...

-j
Old 26th August 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

Hi, J.

I think I've recorded guitars a million different ways (different combinations of mics/placement/pres/compressors/tape VS no tape/etc.). But in truth, most of the time that I'm recording "regular electric guitars", it's with a 57 and a pre and no compressor. I generally prefer tube pres for guitars, my favorites being Thermionic Cultures's The Earlybird and my old Telefunken V76s.

For solid state pres, I love my Neve 1079s and the Chandler TG Channels. If the pre has a HighPass filter, I try to use it as aggressively as I can without killing the sound. But when in doubt, I leave a lot of low stuff in there until I mix.

If I do choose to use a compressor(arpeggio parts, etc.), I have three awesome compressors for guitars: 1. Innertube Audio's Atomic Squeeze Box 2. Pendulum Audio's 6386 3. Thermionic Culture's The Phoenix. Generally slowish attacks, quick releases, low ratios and high thresholds.

Some times I'll use a second mic (usually a ribbon), but I'm actually not a very big fan of the Royer 121. I've never been able to make it sound that good. I love adding a good room mic when it's appropriate. It can help create a huge stereo spread... but a big mess if it's on too many parts.

Thanks for your interest. PK
Old 26th August 2007
  #24
Gear Nut
 

thanks!

Thanks for getting back! That info was really helpful actually... as a coincidence, i have an earlybird 2.0 coming next week for a demo! along with a culture vulture...

aside from the guitar stuff...
I am looking for something to distort some vocals with... just to give them a bit of edge... not the full on haze...

is the culture vulture useful for that? The various distorted vox tones on TOTBL have always been fascinating to me... i've often wondered how one goes about achieving that mix of dist and clarity in a vocal... besides the great performance and a nice ELAM!

also looking into a pcm 70 v 3.0 for some outboard verb on the vox... can't really afford the EMT plate right now... even though there are a few for sale around here in the 2,000.00 range...

Thanks again, i can't tell you how much i appreciate the advice...



-jason
Old 27th August 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

Hi, again.

The distortion on the vocals on Interpol's TOTBL isn't really an effect. Paul hated the sound of his vocals being totally clean. So the overdrive you hear is actually the preamp overdriving when he sings loudly. He didn't care that I couldn't UN-distort it later. He needed that energy to get into it. The vocals on that record are WAY more distorted than you might think...but not on the quiet parts so it's not obvious. Everything was recorded to 24 track 2" (my old Studer A-80 MarkII/Ampex 499/30ips).

At that time, I didn't really own many fancy mics. Some of the vocals on the album were sung into a high quality condenser, but most were sung through a hand-held Sennheiser 421 into an Ampex AM10 solid state pre. It's a strange(4 into 1 mixer-type/1960s?), rather thin sounding preamp but overdrives very nicely.

To be honest, I don't remember what type of compressor I used, but I only owned two good compressors at the time: a silver-face 1176 and a TubeTech CL1B.

All the reverb on that record was either an Alesis Microverb or an SPX-90. Yes, it's true...I didn't have my plate or springs or anything special at that point.

I have piles of cool gear now, but TOTBL was recorded and mixed with a pretty minimal amount of gear. My preamps in my board (a Neotek IIIc) were used for all the drums and basics and then a pair of old Telefunken V76s were used for the guitar overdubbing.

So I guess my point is that if the music is cool, even crappy reverbs sound cool...
Old 27th August 2007
  #26
Gear Head
 
PKatis's Avatar
 

Oh, I forgot to mention that I really like the Culture Vulture, BUT it's very hit or miss. In my experience, it's NOT good at subtle distortion. The Earlybird is a really solid, great sounding preamp. The Phoenix compressor lives on my mix buss.
Old 27th August 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 
lpkyer's Avatar
 

my favorite record of the year no doubt !
Old 27th August 2007
  #28
Gear Nut
 

I'm glad this thread came back, I'm getting back into the album, really love the string and orchestral stuff on the record, for example Squalor Victoria.
Old 27th August 2007
  #29
Gear Nut
 

thanks again!

Thanks agian for checking in Mr. Katis. this info is incredibally helpful to me in many ways!

When Antics came out i remember sitting in the car listening to it with a producer i was working with at the time. he's a great guy and assists Rick Rubin all the time... We're sitting there and i'm going "Can't you hear that distortion on the drums that comes in every now and then? what is that? I love that!"

He looked at me like i was crazy and was like "what are you talking about?" Ever since then i've been spooked by that sound. Like i was a nutter or something... but i could HEAR it... then i saw your post about the culture vulture on OH's and i was like "Holy **%$*!!"

Today gearslutz is officially the make a wish foundation for me.

I'm gonna step back now and let some other folks chime in... but i have so many questions left!

Thanks again!

And stick around! This place needs guys like you!
-jason
Old 27th August 2007
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Is this the Ampex?

This the pre you are talking about?
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