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CLASSIC COUNTRY?
Old 11th September 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
CLASSIC COUNTRY?

I have been lurking about on here for a long time, but I have never posted. I am hoping to start recording a classic country record soon - in the vein of early haggard, buck owens, gram parsons, waylon jennings, hank williams, johnny cash, willie nelson, etc etc - old school stuff maybe on 2" tape.

To clarify, I am NOT talking about modern "country" as in what is coming out of nashville and all over cmt. I'll need to hire session guys that are down for the old style and old sounds too.

If any of you engineering types have any interest or experience with records like this, please drop me a personal message. Thanks.

I just thought of this, I guess you can feel free to comment on here if you think of anyone that isn't yourself.
Old 11th September 2006
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Where?
Old 11th September 2006
  #3
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
If you're REALLY gonna do 'old school' country, why not record it to 3 track tape?

Seriously, there are lots of guys around (here) who are capable of doing that sort of work; we just don't get a chance to do so very often. Assuming you have the budget to hire the good guys to play, it's always great fun doing a record like that...
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yep. It's all about the players.
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
jeff deff's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I play in a Honky Tonk band playing old Merle and Lefty tunes and the like. I think there are some important elements to getting that old time sound.

First, have everyone play together in the room, don't try and get seperation, try and get all the players comfortable so they can hear each other. This style of music has a lot of interaction between players so it's vitally important everyone hear each other. Also, the bleed of the instruments into all the mics I believe is part of the sound. When country started to sound bad was when they started going for that really dead, total-separation-between-instruments sound, in my opinion.

When we recorded we were lucky to have a place to track to 2 inch tape on an old A80 Studer. We also had an RCA 77DX for the lead vocals. For drums we used a mono overhead (Neumann M147) and a kick mic, that's all. Don't put 12 mics on the drums, two are enough. Lots of old country records sound like the drums are hardly mic'ed at all and are just bleeding through the other mics.

For upright bass we used an Audio Technica AT4050 which did a suprisingly good job. For acoustic guitar we used a DI which was slightly disappointing, but worked, though I would spend some time trying to mic it in the future. We were afraid that bleed would be too problematic from the other instruments and the DI sounded OK and was easy to set up. For pedal steel we used an AKG D112 and we used an SM57 on telecaster. We also had a room mic up to capture the overall sound.

We used absolutely no compression when tracking. This I believe is key to the sound too. We haven't yet mixed this project, and may use a little compression or limiting on the lead vocal, but I hope we can use as little compression as is acceptable for a recording now-a-days.

For reference, I would listen to Merle Haggard's Roots Vol. 1. This record was recorded around 2000 and they tried to recapture the old country sound. I think they did a great job and it is a timeless record. I wish there was more written about how they recorded it and some photos.

Good luck.
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
thanks jeff. great advice. i sure agree on the players all being together in the same room. that's key.
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Get Jim Christie on the drumkit. His contact info is at the link below. Worth a shot. Ain't nobody better.

http://www.ksamuelson.com/TonkTalk/JimE_Christie.html

(btw, check out his work on Exene's "Old Wives Tales")

You're talking sixties/seventies, right?

'cause it's a lot different from either the forties or the fifties.

I love all that stuff!
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff deff View Post

For reference, I would listen to Merle Haggard's Roots Vol. 1. This record was recorded around 2000 and they tried to recapture the old country sound. I think they did a great job and it is a timeless record. I wish there was more written about how they recorded it and some photos.

Good luck.
+1 on that one.

I love classic country(pre 1980) ...love to hear how it turns out..
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by T.RayBullard View Post
+1 on that one.
Love the (fairly) recent Merle/Cash duet too.
Old 11th September 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
T.RayBullard's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
Love the (fairly) recent Merle/Cash duet too.
My favorite Merle is Merle and George Jones..the album A taste of yesterdays wine..
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