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Author Topic: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini  (Read 40328 times)

mitgong

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I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« on: July 05, 2007, 05:42:39 pm »

Here is my rig in the Kentucky room at Steve's place in Chicago:

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x180/mitgong/IMG_5268.jpg

No surprises on the setup, except for some mics (which I didn't recognize) on the floor for ambience.  Altec 165/175 on the snare top:

http://www.electrical.com/item.php?page=135&pic=pictures /135.jpg

SM 98 on the down low.  Cymbal Royers and C24 summed to two channels.  I was gonna get my snob up on the D112 (there's a 421 on the batter side) but I figured I should shut up and use my ears.  I had enough to worry about, and unfortunately I didn't play very well.  But it was nice to see Steve's digs and watch him work.

Steve is exactly how he says he is.  He makes expert recordings.  Truth be told, though, the coffee wasn't all that I'd heard it would be.

Oh yeah.  Kentucky sounds incredible.  My drums loved that room.

Maybe I'll post guitar and bass amp pictures later.  You've seen it all before, though.
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j.hall

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 05:48:11 pm »

mitgong wrote on Thu, 05 July 2007 16:42



No surprises on the setup.


i'd honestly prefer some surprises.

every drummer, every drum kit, every song tracked identically?
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scottoliphant

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 06:12:58 pm »

i can't believe there's not a spot mic on that cowbell.

pete andrews

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 10:06:29 am »

Quote:

i can't believe there's not a spot mic on that cowbell.


maybe there's a piezo pickup in it.

-pete

spoon

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 10:40:27 am »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 05 July 2007 16:48

mitgong wrote on Thu, 05 July 2007 16:42


No surprises on the setup.

i'd honestly prefer some surprises.
every drummer, every drum kit, every song tracked identically?


C'mon now, you really don't believe that.

But, Steve seems to be about capturing the sound of the kit/drummer (in a particular room) as closely as he hears it. (Unless specifically asked otherwise.)

So given he has recorded many kits in the same room, he probably has a good approximation of what will work to that effect.  That these mics are "no surprises" speaks more to the time-tested quality of the mics than to the lack of surprises in the technique.

And it really comes down to how the OP liked the sound.

OP, how did you dig the sound of your kit (not your playing as you alluded to)?





pete andrews wrote on Fri, 06 July 2007 09:06

Quote:

i can't believe there's not a spot mic on that cowbell.

maybe there's a piezo pickup in it.
-pete


Bingo...I thought the OP covered that in the "no suprises" comment.
Gotta have that mic'ed


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pg666

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2007, 10:55:15 am »

well, it isn't exactly the same, i know he uses the Sony C37 on the snare quite a bit..

but honestly, people go to him largely because of the way he does drums, so if it looks the same 90% of the time, so be it. people can fuck around to acheive "happy accidents" with someone cheaper.

i have to say the drums on the new Shellac record make a pretty convincing case for his methods.
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mitgong

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2007, 07:00:03 pm »

Ha!  Steve's first question was whether the cowbell was enough of an integral part of the sound of many of the songs that he should put a separate mic up for it.  I assured him that that would not be necessary.

That room is one of the most complementary acoustic spaces my drums have ever been in.  They sounded awesome in there, and Steve captured that awesomnity.  His instinct was for a very ambient sound, which worked better on slower tempo songs than on the fast stuff.  But, hey.  It covered up my mistakes, too, right?  Keep telling myself that.  There was enough close micing going on to adjust per song.

He checked with us every step of the way to make sure he was getting what we wanted.
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jimmyjazz

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2007, 12:01:41 am »

I think that's the new Line 6 modelling cowbell.  I'm pretty sure I see the USB port.
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Careful Collapse

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2007, 01:13:25 am »

Those don't sound nearly as good as the real tube cowbells
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The Octopus

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2007, 12:04:55 pm »

While I am not entirely sure because there are no images, the 'floor mics' you alluded to were probably omni-directional (earthworks or something) triangulated and pointed towards the kick drum about 20 feet out. Essentially, this makes the entire room into two boundary mics, using the floor as what would be the backplate. This allows for a really clear wide stereo image.  

My only hesitance to suggest this was the technique used is that when I first heard of this, it was from behind the drummer, not in front. But I've done it in front and it works the same, perhaps slightly brighter.

Jeremy

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2007, 12:06:18 pm »

pg666 wrote on Fri, 06 July 2007 10:55

well, it isn't exactly the same, i know he uses the Sony C37 on the snare quite a bit..




and the c48. Which is my favorite snare mic right now.

mitgong

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2007, 06:12:03 pm »

Not Earthworks (but maybe omnis), and not 20 ft out.  Placement seemed a little more "casual" than that.

I found a picture, lower left:

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x180/mitgong/IMG_5274.jpg

My cowbell is analog.
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don kerce

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xonlocust

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2007, 07:45:57 pm »

looks like the Neumann 563 w/N55k capsule

 http://electrical.com/item.php?page=149&pic=pictures/149 -1.jpg

better pic

http://www.saturn-sound.com/images/neumann%20gefell%20cmv563%20&%20m55k.jpg

Podgorny

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Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2007, 12:00:21 am »

xonlocust wrote on Sat, 07 July 2007 18:45

looks like the Neumann 563 w/N55k capsule




Bingo (though I assume you meant M55k).

That combination is incredible on acoustic guitar.
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