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Author Topic: QOTSA recording process..  (Read 4418 times)

redelephant

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QOTSA recording process..
« on: June 01, 2004, 05:09:26 pm »

So I was reading the new Modern Drummer magazine that features Dave Grohl on the cover. In it they were discussing the recording process of the new Queens of the Stone Age record, Songs for the Deaf. Dave goes into length about how they recorded drums live without a click track, and without using any cymbals. He says that he used pads that reflected cymbal sounds in his headphones, and then later went in and overdubbed the cymbals.

So, is this normal recording practice? It seems to me that if you're going to be rock and not use a click, you better at least hit some fucking cymbals. Right!?! No wonder the drums sound really up front.. no room at all.

I am curious as to what you fellow indie rockers think of this practice.

Oh and QOTSA may not be 100% indie rock, but this record really has that indie flavor despite its commercial success.
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j.hall

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2004, 10:43:20 am »

there is no seal (or stamp) of approval for what is and isn't indie rock

the drum sounds on that record sound really "sound replaced" to me

sudder to think, pony express record (which is brilliant sounding) was recorded the same way.

the drums on that record sound very natural and nice.  i argued for about 30 minutes when i was told the cymbals were overdubbed

personally, i don't see myself ever doing that.....but it is a great way to really focus on mic'ing a drum kit, and could allow you to do some really cool things.

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rvdsm

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2004, 12:53:58 am »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 02 June 2004 09:43

the drum sounds on that record sound really "sound replaced" to me


Second that!

j.hall wrote on Wed, 02 June 2004 09:43

sudder to think, pony express record (which is brilliant sounding) was recorded the same way.

the drums on that record sound very natural and nice.  i argued for about 30 minutes when i was told the cymbals were overdubbed


I still don't believe it.


What I would rather know is how the drum tracks for De-loused in the Comatorium got to sound so damn good. Confused
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We walked along and talked along till we came to the levelest ground....then I picked up a stick of wood and I knocked that Boston bitch down!

j.hall

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2004, 09:44:08 am »

rvdsm wrote on Wed, 02 June 2004 23:53


I still don't believe it.



BELIEVE IT!!!!


Quote:


What I would rather know is how the drum tracks for De-loused in the Comatorium got to sound so damn good. Confused

[/quote]

there was an interview in Mix with the tracking engineer on that record

he was interviewed while they were making the record and it was quite good

they went to PT, and rented an enormous amount of mics and outboard from oceanway

he said they went through about 15 kits while rehearsing looking for the one kit that was perfect for the parts he played and the style of music that was at hand.  i think they used an old ludwig vistalite kit.

after that, rubin wanted to work in pro tools for various reasons, but emphasised natural tones.  they used PT as a tape machine and printed the sounds they wanted......lots of tube gear......

if i remember the interview that well.....i'm pretty sure that's what they did
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drew

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2004, 05:26:38 pm »

Shudder's drums were replaced by Andy Wallace but they were not recorded like you described. (99% sure) I have the mixes that were done before AW got a hold of it. I love his mixes BTW. The drums were tracked to an Ampex MM1100 (?) 16 track. Slave mixes were then done to an 827 and the 16 trk tapes didn't come back up til mixing.
drew
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j.hall

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2004, 05:35:06 pm »

so i was right to begin with

hahahahaha

i heard that from a guy that was in a band that toured with shudder to think in support of pony express record

he's sort of a pompous ass, but i eventually figured he spoke with them, he must know.

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redfro

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2004, 11:40:17 pm »

I just got done doing a project where we tried the overdub cymbals thing, and I can tell you it's a mixed bag. On the one hand you have great control over the mix, but you really loose the feel. I'd have to say I wouldn't do it again, but it was an interesting experiment.

Then again, no bleed in the hi hat mic.....
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Wes Pitzer
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spectacular g

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2004, 08:41:42 pm »

who cares... it rocks Harder than the rest
music is great!!!! it can save the WORLD if we let it  Twisted Evil

p.s. a sixty year old woman told me today... following a political rant... after golf... that...  
I should be the mayor of DETROIT!!!!


now that is indie Cool

QOTSA ROCKS!!!!
Chris Goss Is a GOD!!!! Cool

next time,
jfg
puttin' the D back in motown
puttin' motown back on the MAP

respectfully yours Cool    
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spectacular g

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2004, 09:01:07 pm »

Let's just have fun, and be audio nerds, and music lovers Confused
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rodolisin

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2004, 04:59:01 pm »

Just to clarify a couple of things...
1. Eric Valentine recorded "Songs for the Deaf" (all but 2 of the songs)
2. He recorded all of Dave Grohl's drums to a tape machine (either Ampex MM1200 or Studer A800, I'm not sure which)
3. NONE of the drums Eric recorded were sound replaced or beat detectived or any of that stuff (I've worked with him and we've talked about it).
4. The most editing that was done was splicing a take or two together on some crazy drum fills, everything else was one take with some punches.
5. Songs for the Deaf is a kickass record, and you can attribute the drums sounds to great tuning, great mic'ing, and most importantly incredible playing by one of the greatest, most hardest hitting rock drummers out there.

Hope this helps clarify,
Matt
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redelephant

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2004, 05:20:21 pm »

rodolisin wrote on Mon, 19 July 2004 21:59

... and most importantly incredible playing by one of the greatest, most hardest hitting rock drummers out there.


Amen! Dave Grohl is a drum god in my book. Always innovative and so solid.
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Thomas Lester

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2004, 02:26:26 pm »

Speaking of Shudder to Think....  what are those guys up to these days?  I recorded a session with them a good while back (about 8 years ago) when they were trying to get into the television market.  I cut a song for them that I think was for a Nicelodean show.  

They are great players...  I think we cut the whole thing in one or two takes.  Great guitar tones... easy to work with.

trexrox

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2004, 10:23:43 am »

rodolisin wrote on Mon, 19 July 2004 16:59

Just to clarify a couple of things...
Matt


Thanks for the clarification Matt... I love the drum sound on this record, and not once did it sound "replaced" to me.  Just evidence of what CAN be done in a studio without Pro Tools.
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JPRisus

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2004, 08:18:28 pm »

rodolisin wrote on Mon, 19 July 2004 16:59


5. Songs for the Deaf is a kickass record, and you can attribute the drums sounds to great tuning, great mic'ing, and most importantly incredible playing by one of the greatest, most hardest hitting rock drummers out there.


Agreed that Grohl kicks ass... but i dunno, the drums on that disc definitely sound a bit "odd" to me... i'm not doubting you one bit regarding the samples, but compared to ANY other recording of Grohl, those drums sound, well, quite different. I definitely thought something strange had happened the first time I heard it, and over a year or whatever later, sounds the same to me... not in a bad way, don't get me wrong. There's just something wierd about them... who knows!
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J.P. Sheganoski
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JPRisus

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Re: QOTSA recording process..
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2004, 12:59:20 am »

redelephant wrote on Tue, 01 June 2004 17:09

So I was reading the new Modern Drummer magazine that features Dave Grohl on the cover. In it they were discussing the recording process of the new Queens of the Stone Age record, Songs for the Deaf. Dave goes into length about how they recorded drums live without a click track, and without using any cymbals. He says that he used pads that reflected cymbal sounds in his headphones, and then later went in and overdubbed the cymbals.

So, is this normal recording practice? It seems to me that if you're going to be rock and not use a click, you better at least hit some fucking cymbals. Right!?! No wonder the drums sound really up front.. no room at all.

I am curious as to what you fellow indie rockers think of this practice.

Oh and QOTSA may not be 100% indie rock, but this record really has that indie flavor despite its commercial success.



FWIW, lotsa albums have been tracked that way... Deftones did a few like that IIRC. The idea is that you can get a great room tone with no annoying cymbal bleed, then add the cymbals later, since cymbal leakage in the room mics can prevent some very cool techniques . Also opens up a whole new world for hihat and ride patterns, that is if you're not concerned with the athenticity of your drum part.

Funny they used this technique, since there's no audible room tone on that CD at all. Almost seems pointless, especially with a drummer like Grohl. Maybe that's what sounds so damn wierd to me... i always assumed it was due to either bad samples or way too compressed close mics. Maybe some nice room tone would have added a more natural vibe, gave the kit some glue, etc. Even in my tiny drum room, a mono room mic adds a certain X factor that's necessary IMHO.


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