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Jules produced, Brad Blackwood mastered, Real Traps drum room, Loudist's carpet
Old 19th August 2004
  #1 admin
Jules's Avatar
Jules produced, Brad Blackwood mastered, Real Traps drum room, Loudist's carpet

Here is a song I produced recently by a UK band called Munkster.

More details to follow!

Attached Files

julesprod.mp3 (4.98 MB, 2587 views)

Old 19th August 2004
Gear nut
JohnMcD's Avatar

Hey, I hope I'm not out of line posting within this thread.

Very nice balance in the mix. The drums are very "punchy". More so than other MP3's I've listened to. The music was dynamic between the verse and chorus, which was amusing.

But the one thing that bothered me was that it seemed a little "dark". No high end sparkle or shimmer. It's still cool though, intentional or not. It could've been the speakers I was listening through on the computer. I came to this conclusion because of cross referencing it with one of Bang's MP3 posts and other previous MP3 post throughout Gearslutz. sounded good.

I'd love to hear more info about what went on with this track.

Old 19th August 2004
Lives for gear

sounded pretty good (on computer speakers anyway)

only thing is I couldn't hear the kick, maybe more click? and i thought snare was too low but I'm a hip hop guy, and you know we love us some loud drums!

Could you post the unmastered version I'd like to see what difference BB's L2 overcompressing ass did....

O favorite part of this song was when the cymbal rides were going...nice
Old 19th August 2004
  #4 admin
Jules's Avatar
This isn't a work in progress BTW

It's done and dusted and will go out as is - warts n all...!!

Old 19th August 2004
Lives for gear
heinz's Avatar

wow those drums sound fat and happy over here, really nice work! ! !
Old 19th August 2004
Lives for gear
studjo's Avatar

Jules congratulations to that production - I like it very much.

I like the squashed "room" behind the snare.
The ring sounds very different from the "hit" of the snare. I like it very much.
Very dry and driving kick.

I like that you guys didn't go overboard with the high end of the track. A lot of stuff today is just too trebbly (for my taste)

I like to hear more from that record

Old 19th August 2004
  #7 admin
Jules's Avatar
Transient Designer on a 441 up high aimed at the snare - helped the 'ring' sound.

Sounds like someone hitting an empty oil drum to me...


The bridge ride cymbal section was key to me - I concentrated almost more on that than the chorus - I was obsessed with it in fact. I called it the 'mirror ball' section while we were working - cause I wanted a magic two part SHA-ZAM! effect on the guitar - (sha = downstroke zam = upstroke) and Cymbals needed to hit side to side as well for it to 'trip out' +Included as one of the sounds is a Variax dobro sound - providing a bizarre dry acoustic effect.... All in an attempted Joe Jackson-esque "Stepping Out" wonderland of shimmer...

And then I woke up..

With the clang of an oil drum....

The clang snare is a production tip of the hat to the Weatus hit "Teenage Dirtbag..." I was kinda aiming for Elvis Costello meets Weatus..
Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
DanV's Avatar

The right channel was consitently louder by about 1db throughout the track --- must be Brad's secret technique heh

I thought it all was set pretty well but I wished that the screamy part had a tad more instrument - and a tad less upfront vocals. A good thing going on with the difference on the snare between screamy and chill sections although I wished the oil can vibe was a little more sporadic between hits instead of occuring on every one - makes it a little too marchy for me to feel the groove. Drums are good in an XTC drums and wires sort of way... Making plans for nigel are we?

Loudists carpet also has a great tone!
Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
loudist's Avatar

More Nappy Shag!!

He he he... sounds good Jules, I liked the subtle in and out of a vocal effect... nice.

How did you get rid of the singers english accent?
Old 20th August 2004
  #10 admin
Jules's Avatar
Its all in the carpet action!

Recording British vocalists singing American style music poses a producer some problems sometimes.Sounding what you are not is to be avoided IMHO. This comes up a lot over here as I imagine it does other parts of the world outside the US.

Well spotted on the vocal, my (insane) selective word 'reverbing' adds mysterious 'interest' to the the lead vocal

A bit like an eye spyhole in a portrait in an old comedy movie...

"Did I just see the eye's of that picture follow me?... Nah..... I must be mad"


In my rolling on Loudists carpet not so humble opinion

Next week, more Abbot & Costello mix tricks...
Old 20th August 2004
  #11 admin
Jules's Avatar
Yes there could have been more music behind the ch vox I agree, but you sure can hear those ch vox though!

Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
Mike Tholen's Avatar

that snare sound rules.
Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
jazzius II's Avatar

Cool mix (and track) is indeed off centre!
Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
studjo's Avatar

does anyone care about being off centre for 1dB except mastering engineers?

(pls don't flame too hard)

Old 20th August 2004
  #15 admin
Jules's Avatar
I kinda specialize in slightly off centre mixes and mixes where you can hear the click track or time code in quiet passages !

Call it a trade mark!

I will investigate however - thanks.

Old 20th August 2004
Lives for gear
matucha's Avatar
warning: I don't understand rock at all...

The snare sound is nice at some points, but I can't help myself it is dull when the wall of guitars is up. I'd feel it more 1kHz with dipping something in the 200Hz range. Or it is too long for the rest of the song.

I miss more of ~1kHz in the places between choruses. Choruses seems to be nice, but then ~1kHz are is kind of empty to my ears.

Overall it is a bit heavy sounding to me, but on the other hand it is smooth, I like the top end (it is right, the heavyness comes from the bottom) and the vocal sound. The bottom is a bit boomy here (but hey I have a bad boomy room ;-( ).

And the RMS? -16 to -12dB in the chorus... and off center ;-))))
Old 21st August 2004
For those who are curious, the unmastered mix was indeed right heavy - it was how it was mixed, as Jules stated above. For years I battled with keeping things perfectly balanced without fully uunderstanding the dynamic that happens while mixing.

Most of the time when something comes in a little side heavy, it's either an arrangement issue or a mix one - either way, more energy was placed on one side than the other. In this case Jules obviously mixed it this way. If you pay attention, you would be amazed at the number of commercial releases that are heavy on one side or the other. No big deal until it becomes grossly audible.

So that's why it's heavy on one side - Jules wanted it that way, he signed off on it, and now you hear it.

Glad everyone likes the over-all sound. Jules is a good mixer, imo. Makes it easy.
Old 21st August 2004
  #18 admin
Jules's Avatar
an old joke:

Lady to Butcher - "I want a nice fresh chicken"

Butcher - "Here's one" (handing it to her.)

Lady (picks up the chicken, smells it under the wings, in the body cavity, under the thighs and legs) and says - "This chicken stinks!"

Butcher - "Lady, can you pass a test like that?"

Old 22nd August 2004
Lives for gear

very inspiring! song and insights (cymb+git, drums, rev, transient designer....)

i would like MTV to play such songs, coz at the moment GS is really distracting my listening time from TV...

regarding the chicken,
in case an L2 or similar was involved, and from what I hear in the L2/L3 comparison, next generation limiters will please the lady even more, and it's an easy move.
ahh, i see it's not limited in a "usual" way, must be a very warm comp with a very round knee...
Old 24th August 2004
Lives for gear

Jules - are the mintraps helping the drum sound get less murky?

Any comments about the difference in that direction?

I'm going to add some 705 panels to my live room, so wondering about the change.
Old 25th August 2004
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar

very nice ... GREAT³

little more info bout the room treatment , mini traps & carpets


Old 31st August 2004
Gear addict
rynugz007's Avatar

im lovin the ring on the snare.

jules, care to share how you got the snare sound? Was it a tracking thing or mix trick?
Old 31st August 2004
  #23 admin
Jules's Avatar
Having spent 20 years trying to perfect my 'ambient' drum sound - we arrive in the new Millennium, and are in the 'dry room sound' era...

So - I attempted to organize a room that can deliver contemporary drum tone.....

That snare sound is an example of 'internal drum reverb' - or in other words a dry drum signal with little ambient of close reflection signal - very compressed. I didn't use any reverb on it.

I also took a big leaf out of Mike Shipley's book and organized (subtly) different drum sounds for the different sections - for example I automated the parameters of SansAmp plug in to become more distorted and 'ringing' as the song gets closer to the chorus... This was a real example of a forum tip in action. I was so impressed with his comment that 'some people can make do with the same sound from the start to finish of a track, but not me" - that I decided to put a custom sound for each section plan in action on this song.

I also took special care to make the vocal reverb strategy - interesting.

Not rocket science for some of you I am sure but there were several 'break throughs' for me on this track.

Also Brads mastering was a nice icing to the cake!

Old 1st September 2004
Gear maniac

Verry good production. Reminds me of Police stuff.

Can U share with us your vocal chain in this case?
Old 4th September 2004
Lives for gear
DirkB's Avatar

Nice work Jules.

I agree very much with the fact that there are some great tips to find in this forum.
I learned to major things here: automation everything and mult the crap out of something that needs processing.

Now, I normally have 1-2 mults on kick and snare to get the sound I want and I also automate a lot to build up excitement. One very simple thing: a nice full kick without much click can work great in an open verse, but when the heavy dirt guitars kick in, move the room mic a little back and open op the click mult .

This forum really has helped me alot!
After the AW thread I even started automating the master fader and the bass, which were absolute no-no's for me...

Old 4th September 2004
  #26 admin
Jules's Avatar
Er vocal.....To be honest I can't 100% remember.....I am sorry. I think it was Helios mic pre into a UA 1176 to Fatso to Prism Converter. Mixing I used the URS SSL eq and perhaps the warmth on the Sony compressor - I used the Fatso one more time too...
Old 9th September 2004
Gear Nut

hey jules i may have missed it in this thread but what was your guitar chain? as in guitar>amp>mic>pre>comp?
Old 10th September 2004
Gear Nut

Nice job Jules and Brad, I dig it!
Old 10th September 2004
  #29 admin
Jules's Avatar
Guitars would have been using.....


Les Paul(s)
Telecaster (V nice one)
Line 6 Variax


Marshal head(s)
Ampeg combo
Line 6 Vetta I with V2 software upgrade
NOTE: we used a Little Labs PCP distro to split the signal out to as many as 3 amps at the same time.


Shure 57's
Royer 121
Sen 441


Helios & Neve 1073
(with perhaps some extra EQ from a blue Focusrite 215)


Dbx 160 vu
UA 1176
ADR vocal stressor


Cranesong Hedd
Prism Dream ADA

Once in PT using plug ins

URS - Neve & API eq's
Sony & UA 1176SE compressors
Cranesong Phoenix

If I remember correctly.....

The track took 5-6 days to do (recording & mixing)
Old 10th September 2004
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar

room treatment , carpets & minitraps ?!?!?!


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