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Old 18th June 2007
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Originally Posted by gurubuzz ➡️
What was the components and mixing technique for Bass And drums for

"So Long"

And if you have the time can you comment on the vocal path.

I think that's the name of the song - Lyrics "I hired a detective......

....he said you were living in France"

The rhythm behind the vocals Including guitar sounds like one homogeneous sound....

That recording is in another place in the universe.

Spacious and's like a great movie really puts you somewhere..and you don't want it to finish.

When was the last time you listened to it Mike? It's great...
Thanks for the compliment! I do remember that track as being particularly clear sounding and one of my favourite productions. I think the core reason is that the arrangement was so empty that you could hear the sound quality - less is more!

Being so long ago the details are a bit faded, but I remember we recorded and mixed at The Manor studio in Oxfordshire, so I called up my old mate Richard Manwaring, who engineered that album and several others with me and was also the chief engineer at the time. He tells me the console was a Helios, though not the one that was later installed at The Townhouse and later went to the US. (Mick Glossop may have some more input on that.) The multitrack was an Ampex MM1200 24 track.

The drums, bass and rhythm guitar were recorded together with maybe a couple of bass notes patched up and I would have double-tracked the basic guitar straight away with out much change to the sound. At that time the drum mikes would have been U47 on the kick, 57 or 58 on the snare, U87s for overheads and Sennheiser 421s, or possibly Beyer M88s on the toms. The bass was a U47 and DI blend. Guitar was a Telecaster through a Peavey combo mike with U67s - interesting that Tony, Mick and Haydn also favour that classic! Vocals were most probably a U47, though I'm a big fan of the valve M49 Neumann and we would have used that if there was one around. 1176's on bass and guitars - and a ganged pair over the mix.

Nothing too unusual there. But as I said earlier, I think the key is the arrangement - something I stress to students in my production lectures. If you think about sound in terms of frequency assembly, then the first principle has to be to get the music sorted first - the engineering will be so much easier. And with more space to hear the reverbs and delays the total production can shine. Not forgetting that it's the performances of the artists that are the point of all this in the first place!

Best wishes