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R/E/P => Recording - Engineering & Production => Topic started by: rosshogarth on March 04, 2011, 03:30:10 am

Title: John Travis ..... lets get to know you
Post by: rosshogarth on March 04, 2011, 03:30:10 am
Hey John.
I would love to here some interesting experiences in the making of Kid Rock and his creative process
Would you like to share  ?
Title: Re: John Travis ..... lets get to know you
Post by: JohnTravis on March 04, 2011, 11:14:32 am
Hey Ross,

I was going to start posting soon, honest!
That record was crazy to make, most of it was written in the studio pretty much on the fly. We were at the White Room in Detroit which was in downtown Detroit and my hotel was about 5 blocks from the studio. One night at about 3 a.m I offered to walk home and everyone said "That's not going to happen, anyone walking around here at this time of night will be dead within 3 blocks". There are a lot of crazy stories from those sessions, the band setting up a 5 person hot tub in studio b, an 'exotic dancer' girl trying to smash down the studio door at 4 a.m one night etc etc. But I'm guessing are you wanting to know more about recording process right?

Going in to the record we had already decided that there were no rules, we were all fans of "Paul's boutique" and a wide range of classic recordings and wanted to use the band members in the way hip-hip producers used old records. On most of the songs there are only a few mics on the drums, one was just one PZM mic stuck to the wall.

The white room had two main studios but a couple of good rooms connected to the main room, so we set up three drum kits with completely different micing techniques in each room. One room had two 221's on the kit, another had the Glynn John's three mic thing going etc. We also had three different bass rigs and several guitar set-ups. As we started putting together a song we would decide which drum, bass or guitar vibe would fit that song and proceed from there as if it was something we were sampling from a record.

The record was actually mainly recorded to 2 inch though with programming done on an old mpc60 and it was only about 6 weeks in that we started using protools. So when people ask me about the programming on cowboy like the harmonica or the jaw harp, they don't realize that that was all played live to a 2 inch and wasn't sampled at all.

Similarly a lot of the drums on the record were a hybrid of samples recorded with a drummer playing that were then programmed in the mpc and actual live drums that were not cut up at all.

Ok my first post and thanks Ross for calling me out, I owe you one.
Title: Re: John Travis ..... lets get to know you
Post by: rosshogarth on March 04, 2011, 01:58:24 pm
Thanks John !
ah yes the White Room
for those who are not familiar
our pals the Nehra Brothers who own Vintage King also own the White Room in Detroit
They are and were musicians first
Mike happened to get a serious gear bug along the way
for synchronicity
myself and our co moderator Ron, both worked at White Room with the Nehra Brothers when they were signed to I think EMI as Second Self
Ron will have to complete me on the details as far as the label at the time

I know how shady that area of downtown Detwoit is
what a vibe too

with a gear note on the side
I always and still think that an old MP 60 or my Linn 9000 has way more "feel" than any computer has ever had when spitting out samples
Title: Re: John Travis ..... lets get to know you
Post by: JimK on March 05, 2011, 12:03:53 am
Hi Ross and John,

I'm not sure if you both knew that the White Room is no more. The doors closed a little over a year ago. Sad to see it go. I don't miss the elevator, however.

Ross, I actually met you there one afternoon, probably 1998 or so. I was working on a project with Mike Nehra at the time when you came through for a quick visit. I remember you telling me what Pro Tools operators were making in L.A. at the time. My jaw did drop.

Second Self, wow, that's a name that takes me back!

John, did you work closely with Al on Kid Rock's record or were you guys in at different times for different sessions?

Btw, I think that block where the White Room was is pretty much the same as when you were both last there, in spite of some positive growth and improvements right around the corner.
Title: Re: John Travis ..... lets get to know you
Post by: JohnTravis on March 05, 2011, 12:29:28 pm
Hi Jim,

I did work with Al Sutton on those sessions, he was the assistant engineer, but Al is such a great guy and so competent that I definitely let him do some additional engineering on some of the tracks. I had been hired to produce 6 songs and Bob was always going to do the rest, so he ended up working with Al on the other songs and Al ended up mixing the record at Ben Grosse's studio in Burbank while I was off working with Sugar Ray.