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TOOL in Sound City
Old 1st February 2014
Gear Maniac
OlofBerggren's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
TOOL in Sound City

Hi Sylvia!, I just came across a video from the session in Sound City with the band Tool. By listening thru the VHS/youtube quality I notised that the drum sound is something from another world, fat jucie toms, thick and warm snare ect.

Can to remember anything from that session, drums, mics, tape?

My guess is the Neve and 2" tape and you!
Old 6th March 2014
Radiant Being
SylviaMassy's Avatar
🎧 5 years
During the Tool project I really learned how to record drums better than anyone (haha!). Of course it helps if the drummer you are recording is one of the best in the world...

Danny Carey's "Undertow" kit was a wood-shelled Sonor with deep toms. I miced both top and bottom heads of the toms with Sennheiser 421s, flipping them out of phase with each other. I equalized the top head mics for the best attack, then brought up the bottom mics in the blend for the body of the individual tom.

The snare was a ridiculously deep brass shelled Sonor. I also miced the top and bottom of the snare with a Shure SM57 and Sennheiser 441, using the blending similar to the toms. Top head equalized for the attack and tone of the snare, bottom head brought up for the zizzle of the wires.

The overhead was miced with an AKG C24 in a M/S pattern, as described in another post in this Q&A. The M/S overheads were super wide and Danny's bright Paiste cymbals had a gorgeous sustain.

Danny plays like a monster. He would shred those Remo Ambassador heads. We were changing heads between takes. We did not switch brands to Remo Emperor or any other thicker skins, we wanted that fresh crisp sound of the Ambassadors. So we went through a whole lotta heads.

The recording of the drums went so well on "Undertow", this is the technique I still use today. Here are photos from the Tool sessions, below. You can see more on the Tool page of my website here:

Sylvia Massy Tool

TOOL in Sound City-drumstool.jpg

TOOL in Sound City-tool2.jpg

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