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Soundgarden's Superunknown...recording info?
Old 30th May 2005
  #1
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enharmonic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Soundgarden's Superunknown...recording info?

I searched around the forum, but couldn't find a link to a very detailed discussion I remember reading a year or two ago about the signal chain used for this record. I listened to it practically all weekend, and for me...it's one of the best sounding rock records ever. I know a lot of that has to do with the musicians, but I have always been interested in learning as much about the sessions/gear/production as possible.

Can any of you fine lads point me in the direction of these discussions? I don't want to kick a dead horse or re-invent the wheel here...just need some help digging ...though I am never opposed to talking about one of my all-time favorite bands

Old 30th May 2005
  #2
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jason Corsaro recorded that one.
Old 30th May 2005 | Show parent
  #3
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There's a little thread about this at:

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/ind...6990cca50a0a08
Old 30th May 2005 | Show parent
  #4
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Gravity8058's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Superunknown

From what I remember they piped the K, Sn, and Toms back out into the live room through a PA and miced the room with some old CMV looking OOOOOOld neumanns. That would at least account for the great/huge drum sounds. By the way, I've tried that trick with CMV's and it works -- BIG.

Doug
Old 30th May 2005 | Show parent
  #5
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thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by largeunit
Jason Corsaro recorded that one.

And mixed by Brendan O'brien.


A lethal combination.
Old 30th May 2005 | Show parent
  #6
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enharmonic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks guys!

Old 21st August 2005 | Show parent
  #7
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bring back '93-'94!

The sonic golden era of rock perhaps? Brendan O'brien plus "----------" = BIG

Aparently they were in the studio (Bad Animals?) for nigh on a year... Wonder if they ever recouped?

The guitars on "Mailman" are just huge... They sound as if they're actually tuned way lower than C and the drums on Black Hole Sun and Fell on Black Days are chunky!

Anyone notice the clicks or distortion on the intro guitar on "Superunknown"? (the song)

There were some great sounding albums e.g. King's X Dogman... Brendan O'brien's involvement yet again...
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #8
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have been listening to this album A LOT lately. And no one seems to know real facts about the recording process.

It would be so nice to know more about the making of this amazing album..
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I think I remember hearing that cornell's vocals were all tracked using ribbon mics.

I love that record too....
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #10
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think the drumkit went down on 2" with an eight-track headstack. Anyone confirm or deny this?
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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Recycled_Brains's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"4th of July" is one of my all-time favorite songs/recordings. great album. anyone know what tuning that song is in? i'm pretty sure the low string is a B.

-ryan
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tuning: Low E -> C; A -> F; D -> C. The first three strings are the same.Tuning: Low E -> C; A -> F; D -> C. The first three strings are the same --- according to:

Unofficial SG Homepage: Tabs: 4th Of July

I remember an interview with CC about tuning a bunch of strings to the same pitch... Brilliant song.

As far as facts who really knows but that thread is damn interesting... Maybe mattct (engineer on DOTUS) knows a bit about that?
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #13
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recycled_Brains ➑️
"4th of July" is one of my all-time favorite songs/recordings.
indeed!

My fav sounding song off the album right now. I just love the drumsound! Sounds like he was almost only using overheads...
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by pace ➑️
I think I remember hearing that cornell's vocals were all tracked using ribbon mics.

I love that record too....
It was a U67 in the control room.

There was an interview back in EQ mag(when it wa actually decent) about how it was cut around that time.
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
Tuning: Low E -> C; A -> F; D -> C. The first three strings are the same.Tuning: Low E -> C; A -> F; D -> C. The first three strings are the same --- according to:

Unofficial SG Homepage: Tabs: 4th Of July

I remember an interview with CC about tuning a bunch of strings to the same pitch... Brilliant song.

As far as facts who really knows but that thread is damn interesting... Maybe mattct (engineer on DOTUS) knows a bit about that?

well... to clarify, I was an assistant on Down on the Upside, not an engineer, but I spent about 4 months total with the SG guys. All I have have to tell is second hand info from the band and Adam Kasper (who produced DOTUS, and worked on Superunknown)> I know that Studio X has a Klaus modded 67 and fey 47 that were used during that record (and rented for DOTUS). Chris liked to record his own vocals in the control room alone during DOTUS, and obviously (thanks thrill) he spoke about doing it that way on Superunknown as well.

as far as other info, they did basics with two 827's locked up because there were so many room mics. According to Brendan (whom I also assisted when he did some PJ records), he did not lean on them too much when mixing. Lots of Neve preamps, including some older ones, such as 1055's.

sorry I can't be of more help, but I don't want to try and sound like an authority on a record I did not work on.
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nice one Matt and Thrill, thanks for sharing
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Mondo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
the intro to "the day i tried to live" is one of my favorite guitar lines
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mondo ➑️
the intro to "the day i tried to live" is one of my favorite guitar lines
in fact that whole tune is a masterpiece of mixing the heavy with the catchy...and creating beautiful textures along the way.

really superunknown is the high watermark for this "kind" of music. it is nicely produced but never crosses the line into overproduced. it still feels like a raw rock band....but has the heightened quality of a carefully constructed studio project.
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #19
84K
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84K's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
one of my favorite sounding albums ever. Those were the days.
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I've always loved the way 'fourth of july' sounded. It sounds like they slowed the drums down a bit via vari speed to get some extra chunk. It sure sounds like a slowed down analog machine anyhow.
ERic
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I was stunned to find out during my time on DOTUS that 4th of July almost did not make the record. Getting the mix right proved difficult and some people ( I don't know if I was ever told who) had issues with the fidelity/noisiness of the guitars.

Thank god they did not give into their concerns. That song rules.

btw, Tigher and Tighter, from DOTUS is a song that was tracked for Superunknown but left off for arrangement reasons. They reworked it for DOTUS and I love the song. It would have easily fit on Superunknown.
Old 22nd May 2007 | Show parent
  #22
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I love the high vocals --- ultra mega compressed. You can hear the saliva clicking in his mouth.

Very cool.

The drums sound different on this track --- more roomy and overdriven

[EDIT] --- My fave track is Limo wreck. That's a Matt Cameron riff I believe! The >tap< and overdriven >thump< of the kick drum is just perfect and the snare and toms are just massive
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 ➑️
I love the high vocals --- ultra mega compressed. You can hear the saliva clicking in his mouth.

Very cool.

The drums sound different on this track --- more roomy and overdriven
yeah, that is the one track Brendan did not mix
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I'm curious what type of converters, if any, were being used.

Matt:

I see you mentioned the 827's.. so they didn't mix off them? That will lead me to believe they went ITB (which is why I asked about converters). Possible to share any insight on this?
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL Respect Due ➑️
I'm curious what type of converters, if any, were being used.

Matt:

I see you mentioned the 827's.. so they didn't mix off them? That will lead me to believe they went ITB (which is why I asked about converters). Possible to share any insight on this?
I am 99.9% certain it never hit Pro Tools, PT had not really made any inroads in the Seattle (rock) studio community yet. When I started at Bad Animals in January 1995 there were no PT rigs in any of the music studios (as opposed to whatever the three post rooms had). As a reference, when we were recording DOTUS in mid to late 1995, there was no PT rig at Studio Litho.

there is a chance it went to 3348 for mixing, but I did not work on it so I can't be sure. The reason I am guessing it was dumped to 3348 is because when I delivered Pearl Jam's Binaural to Brendan (in 2000) he had me transfer the tracks to 3348. Back then it was the format mix engineers worked with because they didn't have to chase sync issues with the analog machines in the middle of a mix.

as for mixing, i am sure it went to 1/2" and then probably DAT as a backup.
Old 23rd May 2007 | Show parent
  #26
R3k
Gear Maniac
 
R3k's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Beside anything

That album deserves mad respect for everyone involved.

Achievementthumbsup

How many billions of tings have to go right and in sequence and at the same space / time before anyone realises that it wasn't one single thing? h eh
Old 7th April 2008 | Show parent
  #27
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Zeppelin's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Everebody seems to agree that this is some of the biggest drumssounds ever, but I can't find any info on which mic's were used.
Anyone knows if they used a sm-57 for the snare?
Old 3rd December 2012
  #28
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Not so much info here but atleast you get what desk and tape machine/tape type they used
Bill Nye the Science Guy - Soundgarden in the studio - YouTube
Old 22nd February 2013
  #29
Fexurbis
 
fexurbis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
A lot of the info here is inaccurate. I'll be happy to provide any information regarding this project since I produced it.

-Michael Beinhorn
Old 22nd February 2013
  #30
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Blast9's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Great to have you here Michael!

Can you clarify the recording process re Chris Cornell's vocals? i.e. what gear was used and did you audition lots of mics?

oh... and what are your recollections of Mesa Dual Rectifiers back in the day? I understand these were used on the recordings?
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