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A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms
Old 29th August 2007
  #1
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

A Perfect Circle - Mer de Noms

Does anyone have any information on the making of this album?
Old 29th August 2007
  #2
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I believe it was done in Billy's basement studio on a PT rig. He has said in interviews that most of the gtr tones are from amp farm. He used GRM tools for some of the effects.. The detuned acoustic delay on Rose is actually HP bleed. Maybe others know more. I love that album.
Old 29th August 2007
  #3
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malaclypse's Avatar
dude the drum sounds on that record kick ass!!!thumbsupthumbsup
Old 29th August 2007
  #4
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soupking's Avatar
 

Wow, that's really wild how it was done if that's the case. I personally like their music more than Tool.

The drums, vocals, and summation of sound layered upon the general harmonies in their work really sounds nice.
Old 29th August 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Wow, that's really wild how it was done if that's the case. I personally like their music more than Tool.

The drums, vocals, and summation of sound layered upon the general harmonies in their work really sounds nice.
Alan Moulder mixed some of that record- I always love his work- but a lot of it was done by Billy.
Old 29th August 2007
  #6
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I also like them better then tool.

and alan moulder is an awesome engineer, love a lot of his work.
Old 29th August 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller View Post
I believe it was done in Billy's basement studio on a PT rig. He has said in interviews that most of the gtr tones are from amp farm. He used GRM tools for some of the effects.. The detuned acoustic delay on Rose is actually HP bleed. Maybe others know more. I love that album.
This is complete and utter nonsense. First off, over 98% of the homes in Los Angeles don't have basements. There were a lot of politics involved in the recording of this record (i.e., it was started during sessions of another extremely high profile, yet to be released record). It was mostly recorded at the studio of another well known Los Angeles based artist.

It's all live guitars, basses and drums. The guitar amps are Rectifiers (duh). Josh Freese is the drummer.

That's all I can say about the record at this time. But whatever's been in print is a fabrication.

Enjoy the record!
Old 29th August 2007
  #8
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My friend said maynard stopped my his studio to record a few vox tracks. I was really excited that this might mean another PC album. Unforunately I found out that maynard has involved himself in yet another band, Pucifer. I hope the music is better than the nametutt
Old 29th August 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
This is complete and utter nonsense. First off, over 98% of the homes in Los Angeles don't have basements. There were a lot of politics involved in the recording of this record (i.e., it was started during sessions of another extremely high profile, yet to be released record). It was mostly recorded at the studio of another well known Los Angeles based artist.

It's all live guitars, basses and drums. The guitar amps are Rectifiers (duh). Josh Freese is the drummer.

That's all I can say about the record at this time. But whatever's been in print is a fabrication.

Enjoy the record!

Maybe you're right--I wasn't there. But that contradicts everything I have heard and read.

Billy never used rectifiers live- so even if they were real gtrs on "tape," I doubt they were rectifiers. From what I have read in different magazines and seen in video interviews years ago when the album first came out- Billy used a LP and either miced a clean sound from a custom built amp- or just used the preamp section of that amp to get the signal up to line level before using amp farm in the box.


Also Josh wasn't there in the very beginning of the recording. Check out this wikipedia excerpt:

"They were then joined by bassist/violinist Paz Lenchantin, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, formerly of Failure and drummer Tim Alexander, formerly of Primus.
After some rehearsals and warm-up shows, the band hit the studio. Alexander was soon replaced, however, with session drummer and member of The Vandals, Josh Freese, but his performance can still be heard on the album version of the song "The Hollow"."


It's very possible that different things were done @ different studios, however I haven't read or heard that so far, and if I was involved in this record I would definitely be taking credit for my part. Do you have more information than what has been propagated in various interviews?
Old 29th August 2007
  #10
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Man I love that record and APC, but I don't really think it sounds that great.

Thirteenth Step was and improvement sound and song
wise, but still not be on my all time best song records list. If you put that record on some good monitors in a good room the drums lose some of their luster IMHO.

However I do use the song The Package as a great way to test the bass response of monitors. I heard the bass sound was a Sans Amp DI direct in.
Old 29th August 2007
  #11
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller View Post
Billy never used rectifiers live- so even if they were real gtrs on "tape," I doubt they were rectifiers. From what I have read in different magazines and seen in video interviews years ago when the album first came out- Billy used a LP and either miced a clean sound from a custom built amp- or just used the preamp section of that amp to get the signal up to line level before using amp farm in the box.
He used a Marshall and a Dual Recto at one point in his live rig with a Lexicon MPXG2 doing the effects.
Old 29th August 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryangeller View Post
Maybe you're right--I wasn't there. But that contradicts everything I have heard and read.

Billy never used rectifiers live- so even if they were real gtrs on "tape," I doubt they were rectifiers. From what I have read in different magazines and seen in video interviews years ago when the album first came out- Billy used a LP and either miced a clean sound from a custom built amp- or just used the preamp section of that amp to get the signal up to line level before using amp farm in the box.


Also Josh wasn't there in the very beginning of the recording. Check out this wikipedia excerpt:

"They were then joined by bassist/violinist Paz Lenchantin, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, formerly of Failure and drummer Tim Alexander, formerly of Primus.
After some rehearsals and warm-up shows, the band hit the studio. Alexander was soon replaced, however, with session drummer and member of The Vandals, Josh Freese, but his performance can still be heard on the album version of the song "The Hollow"."


It's very possible that different things were done @ different studios, however I haven't read or heard that so far, and if I was involved in this record I would definitely be taking credit for my part. Do you have more information than what has been propagated in various interviews?
Yes, but as I stated, there's a lot of "politics" involved and the majority of what I know can't be released on a public forum.

Sorry.

Enjoy the record!
Old 29th August 2007
  #13
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Quote:
The guitar amps are Rectifiers
no diezels? i've heard many times before that howerdel is HUGE on diezels, and that he was the one who talked adam jones into adding one to his rig
Old 29th August 2007
  #14
GCW
Gear Head
 

Here are a few interesting quotes from interviews with Billy Howerdel...

This first one is talking about Mer De Noms

"I've got a big 20-space rack with a Marathon 9600 with a Pro Tools MIXPlus system, an Avalon 737 and the new Apogee 2-track, a little Mackie mixer, a tube mic, a basic guitar and an acoustic, and I pretty much do everything. I've got a little keyboard with SampleCell. I do everything except live drums. I've tracked three songs on the road, on the last tour, that are probably keepers for the next record.


So does Maynard then come in and cut vocals in your hotel room?
He'll mostly do it at home. He's talked about doing it on the road when he goes back out with Tool; he could do it then, and I can just send him files. But we'll probably do it when he gets home. We'll just do it at my house.
So he has a similar setup that he works on?


Yeah, I've pretty much got him set up with something similar to me. It's pretty much the same thing, so we're pretty interchangeable. We have hot-swap drives; I'll just throw my drive into his rig, and we're set. It just depends on where he wants to sing it."



From memory of another interview I read ages ago he used a Les Paul Classic through a Marshall JMP 100, into Pro Tools through the avalon and the apogee. The whole record was recorded either in Billy's house or in hotel rooms. Apparently the song "Judith" was created and recorded in one night!




He got the bass sound on Mer De Noms using a Warrick bass, straight in to the Avalon and through Waves Ren compressor and Ampfarm.




The drums were recorded live in a studio with Josh Freese. I remember Josh saying in an interview something like, I thought these were just high quality demos... it turned out it was the album!




It's an excellent album. Probably not the greatest sounding album of all time, but the quality of the songs and arrangements made it a good listen.




Also...



The next album "Thirteenth Step" was also recorded at Billy's house, although he had a pretty decent studio at this stage. Here are some interesting quotes.

"We created most of the sounds on the record using TDM plug-ins [software-based digital signal processors] with Logic and Pro Tools hardware. I use GRM Tools and Ultra Tools from Wave Mechanics a lot, and there really isn't a hardware equivalent of those effects. You get married to that sound, but then there's nothing you can put in your guitar rig to use those sounds live. I got an Eventide Orville [multi-effect processor], which can make any effect you can imagine, but it's very challenging to program. I had to A/B the sounds from the record with the ones I came up with on my rig. I'm still working it out; it's a work in progress. It sounds pretty good now, but it's going to get better. People should probably wait until we come to town for the second time on this tour. If you like raw sound, come to the first leg. If you want it to sound more like the record, come to the second leg."

JEORDIE WHITE "The studio at Billy's house is set up so you can just plug in and play, although it rarely worked out that way. We made a lot of adjustments as we went along, I was really impressed with Billy's attention to detail on the sounds. He made good use of ProTools and Logic. But we mostly concentrated on getting good performances instead of chopping things up and putting them back together. We didn't do that much editing. We paid more attention to the tones that we recorded. I was surprised by how long we took. In the band I was in before, we'd just go for it. There's not a right way or a wrong way – just two different ways of approaching things.
"



Read the whole interview here:



GUITAR WORLD NOVEMBER 2003

Hope this is helpful!
Old 31st August 2007
  #15
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Kyle S's Avatar
 

Hell yeah. ill be digesting that interview over the next few days.

on the album not sounding good in the studio - it sure does sound great on a cool fall night on a country road with the windows down and the **** cranked!
Old 31st August 2007
  #16
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His home studio is absolutely amazing and beautiful. The drum room that you hear on Thirteenth step when the drums are simply a room sound were recorded in there. It sounds a lot bigger then it is. I clapped in there and I felt like I was in a well tuned cave about 10x the size of it. The whole place is well done and definitely an inspiration for me. I personally love Thirteenth step the most. Some of the largest sounding tracks on that one. I believe the bass was recorded with, well I'm not sure of the name. But it's got like 15 tubes in it. Awesome bass sound!
Old 31st August 2007
  #17
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Oh and a very widely used amp by him is an amp called the naked built by Dave Friedman of rack systems. Amazing amp based on marshall.
Old 31st August 2007
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBOY View Post
His home studio is absolutely amazing and beautiful. The drum room that you hear on Thirteenth step when the drums are simply a room sound were recorded in there. It sounds a lot bigger then it is. I clapped in there and I felt like I was in a well tuned cave about 10x the size of it. The whole place is well done and definitely an inspiration for me. I personally love Thirteenth step the most. Some of the largest sounding tracks on that one. I believe the bass was recorded with, well I'm not sure of the name. But it's got like 15 tubes in it. Awesome bass sound!
His house is for sale now (studio gear not included) for 2.4 million.
Old 31st August 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
Yes, but as I stated, there's a lot of "politics" involved and the majority of what I know can't be released on a public forum.

Sorry.

Enjoy the record!
Ok. Then why are you even bringing that up? Do you know this for a fact? I would imagine that if their albums can leak out onto the internet before they are released, their dirty laundry would make it to internet forums as well. After all it was recorded in L.A. (where there's absolutely NO gossip)

Were you personally involved with the recording of this record? Do you know the band or something? You're coming across as saying that you have inside information about the record that contradicts what we have all heard about it's creation. I'm not saying that you're lying (I have no way of knowing if the information that you're hinting about is true or not because I was not involved with this record). However, if you were involved in this project or know some of these people personally, why bring it up at all? It would be unprofessional if you were involved and unfriendly if you were their friends. It's not really any of our business anyway. And if you were NOT involved with this recording or don't know them personally, then you did not obtain this information first hand, therefore you're not really coming across as credible.

Your comments come across the wrong way to me. I'm not accusing you of anything at this point. I'm just talking about perception. I don't really like it when people tell me that "I know some great gossip, but I'm not going to share it." Like I said, why bring it up at all then?

Either way it's a good record.
Old 31st August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
His house is for sale now (studio gear not included) for 2.4 million.
But the studio build is still included right? The look of it is fabulous. I believe red stained wood floors and the walls are painted red with a black wash over them. Gear is personal preference. But the style is amazing and they did a pretty good job with the acoustics in the place considering the control room is shallow but wide.
Old 31st August 2007
  #21
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i worked at Extasy Recording as a programmer/protools engineer at the time for the owner. I watched Josh Freese overdub his drum tracks which was amazing. He was in Guns and Roses at the time and decided to leave so he could join A Perfect Circle. We talked several times and he was super cool, ended up using him on a project I produced later on. I got to talk to Billy a few times and he actually played us some of the tunes in the studio and we were blown away. I think alot of it was done at 16 bit at his house (not totally sure about this.) I remember him mentioning he used the Lexicon MPXG2 for alot of the guitar sounds(I assume the overdrive/distortion also) and he highly recommended GRM Tools. Alan Moulder mixed in studio A on an SSL J series.
Old 31st August 2007
  #22
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gm5k's Avatar
 

one of my favorite albums
Old 31st August 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexarametric View Post
Ok. Then why are you even bringing that up? Do you know this for a fact? I would imagine that if their albums can leak out onto the internet before they are released, their dirty laundry would make it to internet forums as well. After all it was recorded in L.A. (where there's absolutely NO gossip)

Were you personally involved with the recording of this record? Do you know the band or something? You're coming across as saying that you have inside information about the record that contradicts what we have all heard about it's creation. I'm not saying that you're lying (I have no way of knowing if the information that you're hinting about is true or not because I was not involved with this record). However, if you were involved in this project or know some of these people personally, why bring it up at all? It would be unprofessional if you were involved and unfriendly if you were their friends. It's not really any of our business anyway. And if you were NOT involved with this recording or don't know them personally, then you did not obtain this information first hand, therefore you're not really coming across as credible.

Your comments come across the wrong way to me. I'm not accusing you of anything at this point. I'm just talking about perception. I don't really like it when people tell me that "I know some great gossip, but I'm not going to share it." Like I said, why bring it up at all then?

Either way it's a good record.
Why bring it up?

Well, I guess because people that don't live in Los Angeles aren't privy to the "inside" information. At one point in time (14 years ago), that was me. I wanted to know everything about everything, from recordings, to guitars to amps, consoles, tricks, etc. but I was living in the Midwest. All I had to go on was articles and publications.

Once I moved to Los Angeles, I learned NOT to believe everything (or anything, basically) that I'd read in print. It was basically all nonsense, from Van Halen's "supposed" guitar recording technique to Billy Gibbons proclaiming that "Eliminator" guitars were recorded with one microphone surrounded by a circle of 20 amps. And so much more. Much, much more. All nonsense.

In essence, what I'm saying is to "Use your Ears". If you love a record, YOU figure out how it was recorded and what was used to record. Know what a Rectifier and a Les Paul sound like, know what a Marshall sounds like, know what Royers as overheads sound like. Don't just blindly follow some stupid article written by someone who worships the engineer, producer or musician performing and is getting paid .30 cent per word.

And last but certainly not least, don't believe everything you read.

And yes, I'm privy to certain information. I'm sorry if that offends you.
Old 31st August 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malaclypse View Post
dude the drum sounds on that record kick ass!!!thumbsupthumbsup
Just sound replacement
Old 31st August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
The guitar amps are Rectifiers (duh)
Marshall Head into VHT Cab from what I understand
Old 31st August 2007
  #26
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Long_Shaded_Eye's Avatar
 

To me, Mer de Nom really sounds really bad BUT 13een Step is great..... Mr Wallace are you here ?????

I don't know anyone involved in those records (I'm not from LA, even not from US lol) BUT i'm sure the drums & guitare on Mer de Nom sounds very thin & digital. If it's not amp farm or a plug in, I'm sure it's a Mesa with a lot of mid. It doesn't sound miced with a 57 anyway, cause it's not the "classic guitare tone" (again, just my opinion ... i'm not a pro). On the drums it seems like there is a lot of exiter (like bbe stuff) ... the hi-hat just hurt me.

On 13een Step I also think that the bass is a mix of sansamp (or nice DI) & the Mesa Boogie 400+ (like 14 tubes in this one).

Of course Mer de Nom is STILL a great album cause the songs rules.
But , sonicaly AT LEAST , 13een Step is far better to me. Very organic stuff on this one. Anyway Josh Freeze is peraps the best rock drummer on earth ....

Again it's just my opinion. And also agree there is a lot of "politics" involved when it comes to big band like this.
/Nick.

Old 31st August 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P View Post
Why bring it up?

Well, I guess because people that don't live in Los Angeles aren't privy to the "inside" information. At one point in time (14 years ago), that was me. I wanted to know everything about everything, from recordings, to guitars to amps, consoles, tricks, etc. but I was living in the Midwest. All I had to go on was articles and publications.

Once I moved to Los Angeles, I learned NOT to believe everything (or anything, basically) that I'd read in print. It was basically all nonsense, from Van Halen's "supposed" guitar recording technique to Billy Gibbons proclaiming that "Eliminator" guitars were recorded with one microphone surrounded by a circle of 20 amps. And so much more. Much, much more. All nonsense.

In essence, what I'm saying is to "Use your Ears". If you love a record, YOU figure out how it was recorded and what was used to record. Know what a Rectifier and a Les Paul sound like, know what a Marshall sounds like, know what Royers as overheads sound like. Don't just blindly follow some stupid article written by someone who worships the engineer, producer or musician performing and is getting paid .30 cent per word.

And last but certainly not least, don't believe everything you read.

And yes, I'm privy to certain information. I'm sorry if that offends you.
I'm not offended. But if I knew what you know (and if whatever it was were true) I would either spill my guts or not mention that I know anything.
Old 31st August 2007
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bexarametric View Post
I'm not offended. But if I knew what you know (and if whatever it was were true) I would either spill my guts or not mention that I know anything.
Well, since this is a public forum and my name is listed in my signature, it's probably best that I not spill the beans on everything I know about everything I know. I gave you some pretty juicy info but you'll have to connect the dots yourself.

Regardless, I think "Mer De Noms" is a great record and "13 Step" even better. It's too bad we'll probably never hear another PC record.
Old 28th April 2013
  #29
Gear Nut
 

I know this is 6 years late but I love this album and I had to write something.
1-Listen to Mike P. "enjoy the record" cause its amaizing.
2-I think the album sounds amaizing. Who ever recorded it did an excelt job. It has a very unique sound and its what give this album character. Also keeps me motivated to keep recording. heh

Imagin how crap it would have been if it were recorded like metallicas black album . rock music/metal IMO should not sound perfect like that.

So.. Enjoy the record. They did it all for yoooouuuuuu
Old 29th April 2013
  #30
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woodsman's Avatar
 

alot of people claim to know how it was done, but the stories are all different. i would tend to believe the interviews.
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