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New Black Keys LP- Brothers
Old 16th May 2010
  #1
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utters's Avatar
 

New Black Keys LP- Brothers

woah this is one tasty sounding album...

recorded in muscle shoals apparently, self-produced apart from one track, mixed by tchad blake...

anyone round here work on this? any tales to tell?
Old 16th May 2010
  #2
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D.F.'s Avatar
 

It is amazing isn't it! Fantastic songs with such a natural feel.

Amazing choices of overdubs and sonics.

Gearslutz' very own Brian Lucey mastered it. Welcome to Magic Garden Mastering
Old 16th May 2010
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Yeah, it made me realize I need to figure out how to use distortion.
Old 16th May 2010
  #4
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the mastering studio is in the 'Studio Building Photo Diaries' thread =)
Old 18th May 2010
  #5
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duffy878's Avatar
 

I believe Danger Mouse produced "Tighten Up".
Old 30th May 2010
  #6
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New Black Keys

I've been listening to "Brothers" quite a bit the past week. I really like it. I'd like to know what they did on a lot of the vocals, very textured/distressed. It would be nice if someone "in-the-know" could shed some light.

Tim Cochran
Old 30th May 2010
  #7
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Johnny Favorite's Avatar
 

beautiful fuzzes and distortions, an early contender for album of the year.
Old 30th May 2010
  #8
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utters's Avatar
 

My favourite track at the moment is 'She's Long Gone'. Pure early Sabbath

There's a lead part on it which I thought was a harmonica, but in fact seems to be a guitar put through some sort of auto-filter

would LOVE to know how they got that sound... anyone?
Old 4th June 2010
  #9
Good news here ...
The Black Keys' "Brothers" Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard Album Chart with Band's Best One-Week Sales Ever | Nonesuch Records


Brothers was tracked to Radar, 7-12 mono channels per song, and was mixed by Tchad Blake in the box, with four limiters on the two buss. I raised some tracks by as much as 2db and lowered some by as much as 1db.

The drums were recorded with one or two mics only.

The effects seem like are a combo of good panning and the amp effects at tracking plus many plugs, yet I can't comment on exactly what he used. I hear LFO/ring mod types of effects, and bandpass eq at various times on the bass, guitar and keys. Moogerfooger and Meatball stuff as well, but it's all plugs I'm fairly sure. Also hearing something akin to the Ensonic DP Pro/Lanois effects or an Eventide chorus/delay/pitchshifter on a couple of tracks.

The vocals are distorted in every case except the final cut, "These Days", I assume at mixing, but don't know?


I'll ask Tchad if he wants to comment on anything ...
Old 5th June 2010
  #10
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onespecial's Avatar
 

Re: New Black Keys LP- Brothers

one mic on the drums. I love it!!

I wonder how many conversations they had about the sm7 or the AD conversion rates they had before they simply played the songs.

possibly their best record so far...
Old 5th June 2010
  #11
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Thanks for chiming in Brian! Great work to everyone involved in the making of this album. I've been a big fan of theirs for a long time now, and this one is easily some of their best work....so much so that it's been one of the few CD's constantly referenced during the making of my band's current project.
Old 5th June 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Utters View Post
woah this is one tasty sounding album...

recorded in muscle shoals apparently, self-produced apart from one track, mixed by tchad blake...

anyone round here work on this? any tales to tell?

yay! i ove these guys..i heard them on conan obrian about 4 years ago and have been a fan ever since.

i really like the direction there headed with the track 'everlasting life'
Old 5th June 2010
  #13
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Deuce 225's Avatar
 

Black Keys Brothers....

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Good news here ...
The Black Keys' "Brothers" Debuts at No. 3 on Billboard Album Chart with Band's Best One-Week Sales Ever | Nonesuch Records


Brothers was tracked to Radar, 7-12 mono channels per song, and was mixed by Tchad Blake in the box, with four limiters on the two buss. I raised some tracks by as much as 2db and lowered some by as much as 1db.

The drums were recorded with one or two mics only.

The effects are a combo of good panning and the amp effects at tracking plus plugs, yet I can't comment on exactly what he used. I hear LFO/ring mod types of effects, and bandpass eq at various times on the bass, guitar and keys. Moogerfooger and Meatball stuff as well, but all plugs I'm fairly sure. Also hear something akin to the Ensonic DP Pro/Lanois effects or an Eventide chorus/delay/pitchshifter on a couple of tracks.

The vocals are distorted in every case except the final cut, "These Days".

I'll ask Tchad if he wants to comment on anything ...
Thanks Brian! Still digging the Deluxe Version of Brothers, especially Never Going to Give You Up and These Days. It would be cool to know more about the vocal tracking and mixing.

Best,
Tim Cochran
Old 5th June 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Would love to hear more Tchad Blake on this. Thanks Lucey for the info.
Old 5th June 2010
  #15
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Man.... i love the Black Keys... I cant wait to hear this record.. especially after hearing about some of the production techniques used.... 12 mono tracks or less on each track.... That's inspirational... Seriously excited.....
Old 6th June 2010
  #16
Thanks for pointing me to The Black Keys!! Great great stuff
Old 7th June 2010
  #17
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ianbryn11's Avatar
 

i just got done listening to the Brothers album for the first time.. It sounds great! I love it.... wonderful job to all who where involved...

The drums sound amazing... ID like to know more about mic placement, and mic selection ect..... Did they track with EQ or compression? They sound so full and well ballanced... Overall the album sounds fantastic...

My favorite song from first listen was "Sinister Kid"....

But i honestly liked them all.. Can't wait to listen again...
Old 7th June 2010
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Brothers was tracked to Radar, 7-12 mono channels per song, and was mixed by Tchad Blake in the box, with four limiters on the two buss. I raised some tracks by as much as 2db and lowered some by as much as 1db.
Hi Brian, thanks for chiming in here (and thanks to the OP for bringing my attention to this album).

Can you please talk about the four limiter approach? I'd love to hear more about it.

Quote:
I'll ask Tchad if he wants to comment on anything ...
Great
Old 7th June 2010
  #19
love this album. this and dead weather are getting heavy rotation at the moment.

jeremy
Old 7th June 2010
  #20
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SHIRK's Avatar
Interview: Tchad Blake On Mixing The Black Keys’ Blakroc and Brothers Albums | The Black Keys Fan Lounge


Some interesting info in this interview. It seems Tchad's fallen in love with the Decapitator. How could he not...that plugin is awesome! I'd be interested to find outwhen and where it was used on the album.. I think I hear it on vox quite a bit...but I'm sure it's elsewhere as well. I think he mentioned using it on almost every track in some fashion.
Old 7th June 2010
  #21
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiff View Post
Hi Brian, thanks for chiming in here (and thanks to the OP for bringing my attention to this album).

Can you please talk about the four limiter approach? I'd love to hear more about it.



Great
THX Brian for telling me about this thread.
I love this album and had so much fun mixing it.
The mix buss = DD Reeltape>Cranesong Phoenix>McDSP ML4000>Oxford Inflator.
The idea is that all these plug-ins have, for me, undesirable artifacts that increase with their intensity, so if each one does very little you get the sum of the intensity comp/limit wise, plus the sum of the tone curves, all in different ranges, but less of the harsh artifacts that can build up with a single plug-in driven hard. Well, that's my theory anyway and I'm sticking to it.
Let me know if it works for you.
Old 7th June 2010
  #23
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHIRK View Post
Interview: Tchad Blake On Mixing The Black Keys’ Blakroc and Brothers Albums | The Black Keys Fan Lounge


Some interesting info in this interview. It seems Tchad's fallen in love with the Decapitator. How could he not...that plugin is awesome! I'd be interested to find outwhen and where it was used on the album.. I think I hear it on vox quite a bit...but I'm sure it's elsewhere as well. I think he mentioned using it on almost every track in some fashion.
Decapitator and Sans Amp rule. Decapitator has almost become my channel strip. EQ, compression and distortion all in one.
For "Brothers" it was always on the drum buss, usually on the guitar, bass and KBs. I don't remember using it on the vocals.
You can't go wrong with that box. Thank you Soundtoys.
Sans Amp was also used on bass and bass drum.
Old 7th June 2010
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Are you still using the URS and Massey stuff you mentioned back when doing the guest mod?

Any interesting uses for the Pro Audio DSP "DSM" plug in?

Any new tricks with ITB that we will eventually see in a Waves series a la CLA and JJP. I think I would actually buy yours if one emerged!

I love this record, it sounds really thick and has abandon in spades.
Old 7th June 2010
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchadb View Post
THX Brian for telling me about this thread.
I love this album and had so much fun mixing it.
The mix buss = DD Reeltape>Cranesong Phoenix>McDSP ML4000>Oxford Inflator.
The idea is that all these plug-ins have, for me, undesirable artifacts that increase with their intensity, so if each one does very little you get the sum of the intensity comp/limit wise, plus the sum of the tone curves, all in different ranges, but less of the harsh artifacts that can build up with a single plug-in driven hard. Well, that's my theory anyway and I'm sticking to it.
Let me know if it works for you.
Great to have you hear Tchad and great work on the album thumbsup

That chain makes perfect sense to me, by the way. I thought it was more like four traditional limiters.

I'd really like to hear more about your approach on this album (interview was good!). What about vocal processing/mixing?
Old 7th June 2010
  #26
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SHIRK's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchadb View Post
Decapitator and Sans Amp rule. Decapitator has almost become my channel strip. EQ, compression and distortion all in one.
For "Brothers" it was always on the drum buss, usually on the guitar, bass and KBs. I don't remember using it on the vocals.
You can't go wrong with that box. Thank you Soundtoys.
Sans Amp was also used on bass and bass drum.
Thanks for sharing! This is one of those times were you realize just how great Gearslutz is.

Guess I was wrong re: Decap on the vox. It was interesting to read what Mark had to say in his "Track by track" interview about the vocal chain and mic placement (km184 pointed at forehead). So were the vocals delivered to you in pretty much the same state we are hearing them on the album? ("Sinister Kid" for example) There's a really great character to Dan's vox going on in that one.

Across the board, I love the sounds you guys got on this album. The low end feels so right.

Thanks for the inspiration!
Old 8th June 2010
  #27
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHIRK View Post
Thanks for sharing! This is one of those times were you realize just how great Gearslutz is.

Guess I was wrong re: Decap on the vox. It was interesting to read what Mark had to say in his "Track by track" interview about the vocal chain and mic placement (km184 pointed at forehead). So were the vocals delivered to you in pretty much the same state we are hearing them on the album? ("Sinister Kid" for example) There's a really great character to Dan's vox going on in that one.

Across the board, I love the sounds you guys got on this album. The low end feels so right.

Thanks for the inspiration!
THX for the note. I really want to encourage ITB mixing and experimentation here. It's a very different and brilliant tool. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to master both analog and digital just to have fun and a broader range of choices. So I'm happy to answer questions y'all might have to help demystify.

The vocals came to me pretty much as you hear them. They were all very characterful. Some distorted more than others. All I did was tweak and add FX.
Guitars, bass and KBs also had loads of character with wonderful sounds and attitudes. Decap was added to the bass to extend the lo end.
The drums are what changed the most. They were usually on two tracks. Kick and mono kit. They had a great sound but by mix time Dan and Pat decided they wanted to hear the drums deeper, a tip of the hat to modern, so samples were added (kick subs derived from an old Red Remo student drum I've used for years, and mid to lo snare support samples) and lots of Decap distortion.
Speakerphone and Altiverb were used for stereo ambiance and echoboy used for short stereo delay.
Once all that happened, in some cases a little more Decap was needed on other instruments.
Soundtoys Filter Freaks were also used for flavor.
Old 8th June 2010
  #28
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utters's Avatar
 

I just love the fact that this, such a vibey sounding record, was mixed in the box. Obviously the tracking is key, but certainly nothing's spoiled by moving itb

+1 for having things like speakerphone and decapitator to really f*ck sh*t up.

It's a shame in a way, now I don't need to overdrive my korg tape echo, I just go to the decapitator 'distortion doubler' preset to totally nail the sound! easy peasy!
Old 8th June 2010
  #29
mongrell mixer
 
tchadb's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by recall View Post
Are you still using the URS and Massey stuff you mentioned back when doing the guest mod?

Any interesting uses for the Pro Audio DSP "DSM" plug in?

Any new tricks with ITB that we will eventually see in a Waves series a la CLA and JJP. I think I would actually buy yours if one emerged!

I love this record, it sounds really thick and has abandon in spades.
THX for that support.
Abandon is the key.
I am still using URS and Massey. DSM is awesome to capture a curve and mutilate drums but I don't seem to use it so much these days.
I don't think I have any tricks really. I did some presets for the Decapitator but they are so dependent on input level and timbre they'll sound completely different for anyone else but, there you are.

I forgot to mention on the other post that the Eventide Omnipressor plug-in was used on the kit for some parallel compression. That became my new Spectrasonics 610 and Level Loc some time ago.
Old 8th June 2010
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tchadb View Post
THX for the note. I really want to encourage ITB mixing and experimentation here. It's a very different and brilliant tool.

i totally agree, especially with the improvements in the sonics of plugins these days. softube and izotope sound really good to me as does soundtoys and the mpressor.

it's an exciting time for audio!

thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge tchad, i was wondering, are you using any outboard processing at all? and also, which monitors are you using at the moment?

cheers,
jeremy
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