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recording techniques
Old 1st July 2002
  #1
recording techniques

Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
Michael . . . clicked on the www. at the bottom of your post in this thread. Great looking studio! You deserve a great place . . . you have done great work for many years.

I personally would love to hear your technique in getting those great guitar and drum tones over the years. Especially some of the 80s huge sounds . . . or should I say over the top (lol) . . . I sometimes miss those huge drum and guitar sounds I must say.

Some here may not know of some of the classics you have worked on. It would be a great thread to start. maybe your guitar tones to begin with.

I would love to steal your ideas. lol

John Lennon said "there was only one song ever written and Chuck Berry (probably Jimmy Johnson) wrote it. Since then everything has been ripped from that" . . . so I have no problem ripping from you *smile*
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanx for the kind words, knox. And no problem with the recording technics as much as I can remember. Is there a certain record you have in mind? I tried to cater to the different artists with different sounds as much as possible. Maybe we should move this to another thread, so we don't get too far OT on this one.
Ok, moved it over here. Let me know what particular record you wanted to know about and I try to answer as much as I can remember.
Old 1st July 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've got one. Are James and Lars such ego maniacs that they mixed Cliff right off Master of Puppets?
drew
Old 1st July 2002
  #3
how did you guess?heh

In fact it was James sitting to my left and Lars sitting to my right and this was the conversation:
left ear: All I hear is f*cking drums"
right ear: The f*cking guitars are killing me.
me: Guys what about the bass?
both ears: He's not here...
Old 1st July 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No More Tears guitars were pretty damn HUGE. That song came FLYING off the radio. Made everything sound tiny next to it
Old 2nd July 2002
  #5
Quote:
Originally posted by Knox
No More Tears guitars were pretty damn HUGE. That song came FLYING off the radio. Made everything sound tiny next to it
Well, I didn't record "No More Tears" just mixed it. During the mix I used a UREI 530 (my fav EQ for guitar) and ...err...a BBE 802, no compression. Rooms/reverb came out of the 480L can't remember the settings on that one. I did work with Zakk on the recording of the next project (very similar guitar sound) and we used a stock Marshall 800 with a stock 800 cabinet. Microphones: SM57 right in the center of the cone, Fostex M11RP (ribbon) also middle of the cone of another speaker about a 1.5" away, and a Beyer M88 slightly off to the side of yet another speaker, all in the same cabinet and phase aligned. Mic pres were all Hardy M-1s. The amp was crancked and (as you know) Zakk was using a LesPaul with EMG Humbucker pickups. BTW Zakk is hands down one of the best gittaar players I have worked with. He would ask me to cycle the tape around the solo part for five minutes while he came up with a guitar solo. After about 5 minutes he asked me to record an did the solo in one take. Then he wanted to double the solo and I thought "Yeah right", but he doubled it in ONE take, pretty amazing.
Old 2nd July 2002
  #6
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i played one of zakk's les pauls. over at this crazy biker guys place in LA, hed be wrenching at 4am. i was drinkin next door, figured what the hell, go talk to him... so i was shooting the **** about modding guitars with this guy. he was telling me about some silver wire he uses thats like $5 an inch. anyways, he was like "im working on one of zakks les pauls", it was an ESP. brought out this little practice amp and said "wanna play it?" man, that thing was one of the most beautiful guitars. it had such, i dunno... it was loud without an amp. the action was incredible. i could play **** so easily on that thing. well, maybe it was jake e lee's, i was drinkin... but the guitar was beautiful. i would love to own it.

ahhh, good instruments. cant buy em like that at the store. hell, a LOT of what i record is pawn shop gear. gotta love that.

so a bbe on the guitar. maybe i will try that. in fact i have a track just in mind for what i think it will do to it.


so did you do clicky kicks? how was that done "professionally", i always taped a quarter to the head.
Old 2nd July 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Microphones: SM57 right in the center of the cone, Fostex M11RP (ribbon) also middle of the cone of another speaker about a 1.5" away, and a Beyer M88 slightly off to the side of yet another speaker, all in the same cabinet and phase aligned.
Would love to hear what technique you use for phase aligning your gtr mic's? Have you ever tried the new box from LittleLabs (IBP)? It seems like it may be a pretty cool device for this sorta thing.
Old 3rd July 2002
  #8
Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L


Would love to hear what technique you use for phase aligning your gtr mic's? Have you ever tried the new box from LittleLabs (IBP)? It seems like it may be a pretty cool device for this sorta thing.
Yes the IBP is great, got two of them, I think one of those should be in each channel of all mixing consoles. I use it for aligning different mics on the same cabinet and on OH mics. Also came in handy on the kick for the phase difference between the little speaker and the SM 91. Works wonders on acoustic guitar when you use more than one mic and all from the comfort of your control room.

Before I had the IBP, I would turn up the amp with no guitar connected so I could hear the white noise from the amp through the speakers. Then I listened with closed headphones, one mic in each ear (same level is important) and moved one of the mics a little bit at a time until the noise seemed to be in the middle.

In the early days, when I didn't know much about the importance of phase, we just put mics (sometimes 16 or more) in front (or behind) the speakers and moved them until it sounded goodheh
Old 3rd July 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Worth $550? How many do you need? Can you use it as a measurement tool? By moving the mics until they are in and then moving it to the next mic.
drew
Old 4th July 2002
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener

Before I had the IBP, I would turn up the amp with no guitar connected so I could hear the white noise from the amp through the speakers. Then I listened with closed headphones, one mic in each ear (same level is important) and moved one of the mics a little bit at a time until the noise seemed to be in the middle.
That's pretty cool... I usually flip the polarity on one of the mics and move it around till it cancels out as much of the other mic as possible, then flip it back.

The IBP seems like a very cool little device. I'm seriously considering grabbing one or two of these things...
Old 5th July 2002
  #11
Quote:
Originally posted by drew
Worth $550? How many do you need? Can you use it as a measurement tool? By moving the mics until they are in and then moving it to the next mic.
drew
Yes, worth $ 550 IMHO. Two or three is probably plenty: one on the guitar setup, one on overheads or kick and one on Bass (DI/mic), if you do a live tracking gig. Then you can use it on acoustic guitars etc. for the overdubs or even during the mix when you'r mixing stuff that wasn't recorded at your place. Don't think you can use it as a measurement tool. You don't physically move the mics, you adjust the phase between them by feeding one of the the two mics through the IBP and turn the phase knob until it sounds right, once it's in the circuit it stays there.
Old 5th July 2002
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i wonder what the difference is between that and moving the tracks in time.
Old 5th July 2002
  #13
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I'm with Alpha.

In PT I have started using a sample increment delay plug in "Time adjuster" to do this job on elec gtrs... There must be one in DP, Logic & VST etc too.

with 4 sources (JMP1 di, VALVE FX di, AMP & mics) routed to AUX inputs in the DAW - we piped out pink noise and tweaked around till there was as little phase shift as possible between all the elements.. the resut? That all faders of the guitar sound sources had pleasent ADDITIVE signal, NONE caused phasey 'loss' when blended in. These tracks then fed an internal digital bus that could be picked up by a track(s) and recorded to.

Surely the is the same?

Alpha on our DAWS our option IS a 'time machine' WTF is it in the Little Labs box I wonder?

I will see if I can get Herr Little to comment here.

Old 6th July 2002
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
i got so used to doing it visually (lining up the tracks), i find i couldn't function without it

don't people also use delays for this?

one situation where it would benefit to do it 'live', would be for a monitor mix (base amp + di, for instance)
Old 6th July 2002
  #15
Well, I'm sure it works fine with lining up the tracks, but the cool thing is that you can sit in your control room and twiddle the knobs until it sounds right while you're listening to the changes, kind of like an EQ. That doesn't necessarily mean the tracks are exactly aligned. In case of the speaker/SM91 combo for the kick I was able to dial in exacly the right amount of punchy low end without it getting woofy (?) even though the tracks might have not been totally aligned. Also, sometimes I find it hard to "see" the relationship between waveforms, as in the example above, the speaker did not have any high end content and the SM91 only had some small amount of low end, so the waveforms don't look very similar. Also, I rather hear what it sounds like before it gets printed.
Old 6th July 2002
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
i'm with you on this one, it's just i'm in a situation where i have to make do (that box is high on the list of future purchases)

btw, it's not necessarily about lining them up peak to peak (cheek to cheek), after a while you learn what it sounds like, kind of audio-visual biofeedback loop
Old 9th July 2002
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules

Alpha on our DAWS our option IS a 'time machine' WTF is it in the Little Labs box I wonder?

I will see if I can get Herr Little to comment here.
The IBP works by using an allpass or bandpass filter (I forget which) for frequency phase adjustment rather then time.
Old 9th July 2002
  #18
Little Labs
 
littlelabs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
rollz tut

Hey first time posting on this thing. Jules asked me in. Thanks Jules...you lil freak. Anyway the advantage an IBP has over the time slip methods is. You can compensate for the phase response of what you are adding and combining with the original signal. Say you have the direct signal and a miced cabinet. The cabinet and head and mic s phase response will be radically different than the direct signal. With a time slip method as on your DAW you can align them in time so the leading edge will be in time but you will not be compensating for the other factors. Also you might find if you align them too much in time like you lose depth. You quite often want to have those little delays between your mics but still be in phase. Dimension is important . I like all these wacky icons. Thats my two cents..HI Michael!
Old 10th July 2002
  #19
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
That's very cool to know!

I guess it's ski mask time! (again)


heh
Old 10th July 2002
  #20
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The problem with nudging samples is that, at least for me, it isn't fine enough although certainly lots better than only having 180 degrees available like we had in the '60s.
Old 10th July 2002
  #21
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i dont think mine ever align on peaks, whatever... i just nudge until it sounds "better", sometimes i dont adjust it at all. the difference in waveform between the DI and CAB is far more than just time delay. its most certainly going to be constructive/destructive regardless if you time align or IBP it.
Old 10th July 2002
  #22
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's absolutely an earball thing.
Old 10th July 2002
  #23
tee
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"I'll just earball it" - gotta Love that!
Old 10th July 2002
  #24
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
For the record, my method, the "Time Machine" way, is live, I am able to combine levels of different sound sources from multi mic gtr set ups all in phase, then commit by routing to one mono or stereo track, done and dusted.. I dont think I could ever track some stuff then "hope for the best" and spend time AFTER the overdub messing around bringing it all into 'better phase'.

Alpha check the Time Machine way out sometime!

Old 10th July 2002
  #25
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
The problem with nudging samples is that, at least for me, it isn't fine enough although certainly lots better than only having 180 degrees available like we had in the '60s.
Back in the days when we had a shop... we had the fabled "REDD 37" desk in for repair... it had assignable and switchable "phase adjustment" on it... in other words this stuff has been around since the 60's...

The "IBP" is an absolutely indispensible tool in my book... I won't even consider working without two close at hand...

Your mileage won't vary...
Old 15th July 2002
  #26
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Back to the topic but not really...

I just saw that you worked on the Plasmatics "Coup D'Etat" record. Any anecdotes about your session with those folks?

- jon
Old 15th July 2002
  #27
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I bet peeling off gaffa tape of a "rack" was never so much fun!

Old 16th July 2002
  #28
Quote:
Originally posted by cymatics
Back to the topic but not really...

I just saw that you worked on the Plasmatics "Coup D'Etat" record. Any anecdotes about your session with those folks?

- jon
Oh boy, that was a looong time ago. I was just starting out as an engineer. The one thing I DO remember: Wendy was singing in the control room (very small) with a SM58 and the control room monitors were cranked to 12 but all I could hear was her voice in my left ear, totally overpowering the speakers. She was very nice and the whole session was a lot of fun. Dieter Dierks (producer and studio owner) had just bought a mobile truck filled with Telefunken V 72/76 preamps, at least 50 of them. If i had known then what i know now, I would have a whole ****load of Telefunken pres and old Neuman/Telefunken tube mics. The contents of the truck got sold off very cheap at the time.

The console was a MCI 636, the machine a Telefunken 32track (thirty two) 2", no Dolby. Never seen those anywhere else in the world. Control room monitors were ElectroVoice something "five" and the mix went to a 1/4" Studer 2 track. Sorry, don't remember any more details of the recording set up except that everything was very loud.

Jules, no tape to peel offheh
Old 16th July 2002
  #29
Lives for gear
 
rmx16's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Michael,
How did you mic Wendy's chainsaw?

Peace
Rob
Old 17th July 2002
  #30
Quote:
Originally posted by rmx16
Michael,
How did you mic Wendy's chainsaw?

Peace
Rob
No mic, it was DI heh
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