Friday, January 27, 2012

Making of Violet Mary 3: Bass, Guitar and Cue Mixes

To recap: the first session was simply to get drum sounds. We made it about 90% of the way there before Scott and I hit the wall, so I took a sample and we called it a night. I know that we'd be starting the next session by looking over the snare sound again before moving on.

Tonight, we started by switching out the snare. The problem with the sound we had was that it was too ringy and lacked a mid-rangey "splat" that I'm looking for. Scott had two other snares he wanted to try. The first was a brass snare he uses at rehearsals. It's beautiful on the rehearsal recordings; very dry, immediate and fat. We threw that under mics and it was close, but possibly too dry. After monkeying with positions on that snare, we swapped it out for his gigging snare: a Pearl Reference snare. We all knew it was the one almost immediately. Just dry enough, just fat enough, but not characterless. We futzed the mic positions a bit and shazam, good sounds.

Next up is the bass. Marty's running direct, but I also want to take advantage of his stereo board. His pedalboard, which is part of his personal tone, has stereo effects that help shape and color his tone. We decided to take a completely dry sound, pure and direct, alongside the wet tone. This will give us the most flexibility in the mix.

Cranfill will be tracking the first 4 sounds with his Bitmo Modded Epiphone Valve Jr. through a 1x12 with a 70/80. The Valve Jr. really has a Tweed Deluxe thing going on, perfect for laying fuzz tones or boosts on. I miked the speaker at a 45 degree angle around the cap edge with a SM57. I then ran that 57 through API 550 and 2500 on the computer. The API's have an aggressiveness to them that just loves guitars.

I opted for my Port City Sahana head, which is a 50 watt Plexi clone, through my 1960BX cab in the iso-box. It's miked with a 57 as well as a ksm32. The 32 is off axis at the cap edge, and the 57 is straight on and dead center. This will be a bit more cutting than Cranfills sound, and should complement it. I'm not going for a huge sound on these first few tracks. Definitely a Marc Ford / Rich Robinson deal. Also been listening to a lot of The Elm's live CD. Great Les Paul into Marshall tones. For these first 4 songs, we'll be going for those kind of tones along with acoustic tracks.

The first four tunes will be:
Take The Train
You and I
Lonely Bird

Be looking for another update this weekend from our first tracking session!

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