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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => j. hall => Topic started by: mitgong on July 05, 2007, 05:42:39 pm

Title: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mitgong 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall 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?
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: scottoliphant on July 05, 2007, 06:12:58 pm
i can't believe there's not a spot mic on that cowbell.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pete andrews 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
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon 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


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mitgong 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: jimmyjazz 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Careful Collapse on July 07, 2007, 01:13:25 am
Those don't sound nearly as good as the real tube cowbells
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: The Octopus 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
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: The Octopus 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mitgong 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: don kerce on July 07, 2007, 06:24:36 pm
http://radmonkeycowbells.com/

d
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: xonlocust 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
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Podgorny 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.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Greg Dixon on July 08, 2007, 07:50:12 pm
He's using a lot more mics than I would expect from someone who's such a purist. Not a criticism, just an observation.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: J-Texas on July 08, 2007, 11:46:14 pm
don kerce wrote on Sat, 07 July 2007 17:24

http://radmonkeycowbells.com/

d


When you need more cowbell!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G66bLLYg4BQ Classic
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on July 09, 2007, 01:59:29 am
I was actually surprised at the minimal mic setup from Steve. I've heard that he puts up to 30 mics on some drum set recordings that he's done. Apparently on Nirvana's "In Utero", he did this.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: TRA on July 09, 2007, 12:03:11 pm
Greg Dixon wrote on Sun, 08 July 2007 18:50

He's using a lot more mics than I would expect from someone who's such a purist. Not a criticism, just an observation.




Agreed.  I was just thinking that looking at the pictures.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 09, 2007, 12:32:15 pm
RSettee wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 06:59

I was actually surprised at the minimal mic setup from Steve. I've heard that he puts up to 30 mics on some drum set recordings that he's done. Apparently on Nirvana's "In Utero", he did this.


you did notice the mics under all of the drums, correct? it's not 30, but not exactly 'minimal'..
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on July 09, 2007, 01:12:24 pm
30 drum mics??????????

for the drum sounds he gets, he probably only needs 3....maybe 8
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 09, 2007, 01:54:19 pm
I dunno, a purist appraoch to micing a kit would mean you hear on the recording what was going on in the room. Putting mics on the top and the bottom of toms makes sense because you hear both heads in the room don't you?

While I find it nice to see what other guys are doing this really isn't a big deal to me. Just like when people brag about how they got Steve to record them and people seem so impressed. He's just like the rest of us, you can work with him if you pay him.

Please note that there are no opinions in this post about Steve's drum sounds.  

Glad putting drums in a corner works for somebody.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon on July 09, 2007, 02:47:59 pm
Fibes wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 12:54

I dunno, a purist appraoch to micing a kit would mean you hear on the recording what was going on in the room. Putting mics on the top and the bottom of toms makes sense because you hear both heads in the room don't you?

While I find it nice to see what other guys are doing this really isn't a big deal to me. Just like when people brag about how they got Steve to record them and people seem so impressed. He's just like the rest of us, you can work with him if you pay him.

Please note that there are no opinions in this post about Steve's drum sounds.  

Glad putting drums in a corner works for somebody.



Good point about micing both sides.  I figure the room mics would capture that, but I guess the real deal is it is giving him/them options for mixdown.

I think recording with Steve is "brag"-able.  Yeah, he is a regular guy like all of us, and anyone with the scratch to pay for it can record with him...but he does have a TON of experience.  
And really now...he isn't like the rest of us in that many regard his recordings as archetypes for various styles.  
Also, he did record one of the most influential bands of non-main-stream rock...The Pixies.

That adds a very tangible amount of cache to the entire situation.

You may not have expressed opinions about Steve's drum sounds, but J hinted at it.
j.hall wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 12:12

30 drum mics??????????
for the drum sounds he gets, he probably only needs 3....maybe 8

J, did you have an unpleasant experience with Steve or are you really not a fan of his recording techniques?

Regards,
David
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 09, 2007, 03:53:42 pm
i'd bet that "30 mics" was probably more like 12-15. still a lot, but time has a way of distorting things..

one thing interesting about that room is it's entirely surrounded by an airgap into the basement (creating sort of a giant bass trap), so the corners thing isn't quite as applicable. i'm not sure i'd ever record with Steve (mostly because i couldn't afford it), but he knows exactly what he's doing.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 09, 2007, 03:59:00 pm
For some working with Steve is something to brag about, I just don't understand the concpet since Steve works with anyone who has the balls and money to.

I find very often people have this idea that certain folks are unobtainable, Steve isn't one of them which IMO is a very cool thing. The fact that he doesn't overcharge so he can work where the art is happening is comendable. In many ways he has the name recognition most of us would kill for and many would abuse the privledges.

Anyhoo, when i hear "did you hear that SA has agreed to record band x" I just gotta laugh 'cause i know that money and enough lead time in booking is all it takes.

Does that mean it's not a good thing? No, not at all, it's just not like being knighted or something...

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 09, 2007, 04:12:23 pm
Quote:

Anyhoo, when i hear "did you hear that SA has agreed to record band x" I just gotta laugh 'cause i know that money and enough lead time in booking is all it takes.

Does that mean it's not a good thing? No, not at all, it's just not like being knighted or something...



there was a pretty average local band (well, they used to be local to me) who made a record with SA maybe 5 years ago and were sorta playing it up in zine interviews at the time. "well, we sent him a demo and he really dug it!". it says right on the EA page you don't need to send them a demo to record there, hehe.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 09, 2007, 07:00:09 pm
pg666 wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 16:12

Quote:

Anyhoo, when i hear "did you hear that SA has agreed to record band x" I just gotta laugh 'cause i know that money and enough lead time in booking is all it takes.

Does that mean it's not a good thing? No, not at all, it's just not like being knighted or something...



there was a pretty average local band (well, they used to be local to me) who made a record with SA maybe 5 years ago and were sorta playing it up in zine interviews at the time. "well, we sent him a demo and he really dug it!". it says right on the EA page you don't need to send them a demo to record there, hehe.


Exactly.

I find it a bit sad that Steve has set up a nice work ethic and people take ADvantage of it.


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mitgong on July 09, 2007, 07:25:14 pm
I certainly didn't mean to brag (and I got nothing to brag about that weekend, believe me).  I just thought y'all would be interested in the room and the pretty microphones.

Working at Electrical with Steve was no more expensive than any similarly appointed studio in a medium to major market, and probably less than most.

I agreed to make the trip to Chicago because I didn't want to have to think about anything other than my playing, and having heard Steve's work and read about his approach I figured I'd be in good hands.  

That said, the guy who leads my band was definitely interested in having "recorded by Steve Albini" written on the record, and thinks it will help him get "label attention".

Whatever.  The "celebrity" thing might have led to my red light fever.  There were a lot of impressive posters up on the walls in there.  The place is definitely set up for people who have their shit together.

My drums sound awesome, even when I'm playing them.  Steve captured "my" drum sound, not his (room approach notwithstanding).

The only hard thing about getting to work with Albini is the wait.  He's booked months out.

I've always liked the sound of my drums in the corner.  

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Greg Dixon on July 09, 2007, 07:25:44 pm
j.hall wrote on Tue, 10 July 2007 03:12

30 drum mics??????????

for the drum sounds he gets, he probably only needs 3....maybe 8


Agreed. I have nothing against Steve and some of my attitudes towards recording, are quite similar. Overall though, I find his recordings (and I haven't heard that many) a bit muddled and indistinct. I wish he'd have used more eq and compression to minimize the murk and add a bit of punch.

spoon wrote on Tue, 10 July 2007 04:47



I guess the real deal is it is giving him/them options for mixdown.




I'd be surprised if he's leaving those decisions to mix down. I wouldn't expect him to spend very long on the mix. For Steve, it appears to be all about how you capture it in the first place.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: scottoliphant on July 09, 2007, 10:39:55 pm
Greg Dixon wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 18:25



Agreed. I have nothing against Steve and some of my attitudes towards recording, are quite similar. Overall though, I find his recordings (and I haven't heard that many) a bit muddled and indistinct. I wish he'd have used more eq and compression to minimize the murk and add a bit of punch.




regardless of what folks think about his style, he's doing something right. his recordings age less than most (to me), mostly because of his aversion to compressing everything. surfa rosa came out in 1988, just a hair shy of being 20 years old. pretty amazing.  


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 10, 2007, 09:26:26 am
mitgong wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 19:25

I certainly didn't mean to brag (and I got nothing to brag about that weekend, believe me).




I wasn't speaking of you.

My observations of others were just brought up in this thread.


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 10, 2007, 02:03:20 pm
Quote:

i'll add this. i've heard multi tracks from the in utero sessions and if i remember correctly, there are 10 mics on the kit. the room mics sounded amazing, everything else was pretty sub-par.


You know, I've heard them too.

I remember the room mics giving me gossebumps and the snare track making me feel like a genius.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon on July 10, 2007, 03:03:06 pm
Ah, got it.

Cheers.


j.hall wrote on Tue, 10 July 2007 11:57

spoon wrote on Mon, 09 July 2007 13:47


J, did you have an unpleasant experience with Steve or are you really not a fan of his recording techniques?




i've never recorded with steve, and can't say that i will.  without steve present it's really useless to get into it.  and honestly, he knows how i feel about his methodologies.

i couldn't care any less what he does or doesn't do.  he's made countless more records then i have and to be completely honest, i think that matters more then my opinion of his work.

i'm a shellac fan, but i'd say that i avoid records with his name on them, other then shellac.

steve is very intellegent, and understand the theory and science of sound and recording better then most engineers.

i respect him for not backing down for what he believes in, i just don't agree with what he believes in.

i'll add this.  i've heard multi tracks from the in utero sessions and if i remember correctly, there are 10 mics on the kit.  the room mics sounded amazing, everything else was pretty sub-par.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Red Tape on July 11, 2007, 06:28:02 am
Are these In Utero multitracks available to mere mortals?
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: CCC on July 11, 2007, 06:59:07 am
Red Tape wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 06:28

Are these In Utero multitracks available to mere mortals?


I'd guess that the lost Watergate tapes would be easier to get one's hands on.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: scottoliphant on July 11, 2007, 09:34:02 am
next imp  Smile
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on July 11, 2007, 09:52:44 am
scottoliphant wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 08:34

next imp  Smile



you really want to mix richard nixon's voice?  seems boring.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: yanik on July 11, 2007, 11:38:50 am
j.hall wrote on Tue, 10 July 2007 12:57

i've heard multi tracks from the in utero sessions and if i remember correctly, there are 10 mics on the kit.


Could be ten tracks, but I believe there would have been more mics.

For what it's worth I think the drums on In Utero sound spectacular, so it might be a matter of taste. Or the fact that none of these tracks was meant to be used on its own.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 11, 2007, 12:13:50 pm
Quote:

For what it's worth I think the drums on In Utero sound spectacular, so it might be a matter of taste. Or the fact that none of these tracks was meant to be used on its own.


i think Grohl's drums sounded pretty shitty (listen to some of the live recordings). 16/18/24 inch cheapo drumkit w/ pinstripe heads?! blech. that could have something to do with the lousy sounding trap mics..

it sounds as good as it does due to his humongous drumming in a big and flattering live room.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: The Octopus on July 11, 2007, 01:21:27 pm
It is unfortunate that the majority of ones exposure to a recording by Steve is that Nirvana record. Even for someone who has heard the multitracks, that record was recorded 14 years ago.

I think the finished product of In Utero sounds like pure bullocks.
The mastering really screwed up the phase on that record and introduced a good amount of mud by boosting lower mids (500hz-ish).

A decent comparison would be the PJ Harvey record he recorded that same year in the same studio.


Jeremy

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: M Carter on July 11, 2007, 01:22:32 pm
I don't see how it matters what the close mics sound like individually if the whole kit comes together in the end anyway....

Matt
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon on July 11, 2007, 04:19:02 pm
Good point.

I dont remember how In Utero sounded though....

I thought Title TK (Breeders) came out swimmingly though.  Nice drum sounds, in particular.


David


M Carter wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 12:22

I don't see how it matters what the close mics sound like individually if the whole kit comes together in the end anyway....

Matt

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 11, 2007, 04:23:40 pm
M Carter wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 13:22

I don't see how it matters what the close mics sound like individually if the whole kit comes together in the end anyway....

Matt


Sure, but if you heard the tracks you'd realize that the "coming together" would have required more work than you'd think.




Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 11, 2007, 04:29:13 pm
Quote:

I thought Title TK (Breeders) came out swimmingly though. Nice drum sounds, in particular.



that is a really good one. the drums are pretty unusual in places (sounds like a beginner's kit at times), but everything fits together perfectly.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on July 11, 2007, 05:50:12 pm
ok, i just went to iTunes and listened to the samples of that Zao record he made last year.  still not impressed, nor interested.

tell me the "best' sounding SA record and i'll go check it out with an open mind.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: jimmyjazz on July 11, 2007, 07:13:11 pm
I think it's really poor form to criticize (alleged) raw tracks from a record that turned out pretty well, and which was a big commercial and critical success.  Do you think it's possible that Steve Albini had something else in mind for those tracks that you can't conceive as being useful in a final mix?  

Have you never recorded close-miced tracks that turned out useless in a final mix?

I find it reprehensible to presume that one knows what was used, what was discarded, and furthermore to judge the trees when the forest is beautiful.  That's not consistent with the spirit of engineering a good record . . . not at all.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 11, 2007, 07:38:07 pm
Quote:

ok, i just went to iTunes and listened to the samples of that Zao record he made last year. still not impressed, nor interested.

tell me the "best' sounding SA record and i'll go check it out with an open mind.


not that Zao record!

actually, i think it sounds alright, but i think there are people who do the metal stuff better. matt bayles, kurt ballou, etc..

check out Nina Nastasia's "the Blackened Air" or for something more rockin', Silkworm's "Italian Platinum" or "Lifestyle".
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on July 11, 2007, 07:50:46 pm
jimmyjazz wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 19:13

I think it's really poor form to criticize (alleged) raw tracks from a record that turned out pretty well, and which was a big commercial and critical success.  Do you think it's possible that Steve Albini had something else in mind for those tracks that you can't conceive as being useful in a final mix?  

Have you never recorded close-miced tracks that turned out useless in a final mix?

I find it reprehensible to presume that one knows what was used, what was discarded, and furthermore to judge the trees when the forest is beautiful.  That's not consistent with the spirit of engineering a good record . . . not at all.


I don't think i'm being clear about my stance on this.

I'm not criticising the tracks, as you said the end result was a good record.

To be point blank, i think it proves that not all happens in the tracking end and that sub-deities can rest assured that at tracking the record is far from complete.

I track plenty of stuff that isn't totally there, and to align it with Steve's philosophy it went down not ready for prime time because we were there to capture the moment not the perfect snare sound.

We all get caught up in the engineering end of stuff way too much and I find it reprehensable to think what we do is overly important since some of the most moving and timeless pieces of music are plagued with technical mis steps.

So, I admire Steve and his willingness to let the chips fall as they may because it takes a big man to do so.

I'm not saying that Steve fucked up and would never EVER pretend to understand what goes on in someone elses mind or their session but i do want to stress the importance of not taking our work over the artists inspiration.

BTW I tried to post this sentiment earlier and lost it to a DSL outtage.

That Low record he did is a good one. Visionary band, transparent engineer.

When it works it works.




Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: The Octopus on July 11, 2007, 08:52:07 pm
j.hall wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 17:50

ok, i just went to iTunes and listened to the samples of that Zao record he made last year.  still not impressed, nor interested.

tell me the "best' sounding SA record and i'll go check it out with an open mind.



While it is quite subjective what could be the 'best', which you implied by your quotes, I can tell you my favorite recordings by him.
I really like everything about Nina Nastasia's "The Blackened Air". I think Mclusky's "The Difference Between you and me is that I'm not on Fire" is perfect.
Bedhead's "Transaction de Nova", The Jesus Lizard's "Down", and Uzeda's "Stella" are all recordings I really enjoy. Not to diminish the art - I love all of these artists too.


The implication that there is an "Albini sound" is slightly irritating. once you listen to more than In Utero, Surfer Rosa, and Razorblade suitcase, you'll note a lack of consistency in any area other than his format of choice and perhaps his work ethic.


Jeremy



Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on July 12, 2007, 05:29:28 pm
give me some time to check all that stuff out.

about In Utero.....Scott Litt mixed the singles.....those mixes are KILLER.  but i'd bet a good chunk of money that he used samples for the drums.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 12, 2007, 10:11:50 pm
Where is Scott?  Let's ask him.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on July 13, 2007, 04:23:25 pm
if you know him, ask him to stop by.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 13, 2007, 09:45:23 pm
I do know him, but don't know where he is right now, or how to contact him.

Paging Scott...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Andy Peters on July 15, 2007, 09:08:48 pm
The Octopus wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 17:52

The Jesus Lizard's "Down"


Not as good as Goat, so don't get your hopes up, Cheese.

-a
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: ryst on July 17, 2007, 09:29:57 am
Fibes wrote on Thu, 12 July 2007 00:50

jimmyjazz wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 19:13

I think it's really poor form to criticize (alleged) raw tracks from a record that turned out pretty well, and which was a big commercial and critical success.  Do you think it's possible that Steve Albini had something else in mind for those tracks that you can't conceive as being useful in a final mix?  

Have you never recorded close-miced tracks that turned out useless in a final mix?

I find it reprehensible to presume that one knows what was used, what was discarded, and furthermore to judge the trees when the forest is beautiful.  That's not consistent with the spirit of engineering a good record . . . not at all.




That Low record he did is a good one. Visionary band, transparent engineer.

When it works it works.







If you are referring to "Things We Lost In The Fire", then yes, that was a very good sounding record.  Especially "Dinosaur Act".  The low end on that track is incredible.


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on July 17, 2007, 01:54:19 pm
The mics above/ under the snare gets the compression wave (the top soundwave) and the rarefaction wave (the bottom soundwave). There's two parts to a soundwave, and plus, that gets alot more of the snap of the drum. The bottom of the snare is where you get all the snap.

Some great sounding Albini records:

--Didjits' "Full Nelson Reilly". May be one of the top five drum sounds that i've heard on record. The mix is still....well, the vocals sound weird, but this is one of the toughest, rawest rock n' roll records that i've heard since the heyday of the Stooges. I figured this out on a hunch--"Reggie Stiggs" is Steve's alter ego on that record, he's not listed. I had a feeling that he did it, and asked Rick of the Didjits, and yeah, Steve did it. Steve also confirmed it here in a question that I asked awhile back. Not bad for going just off the sonic qualities of the album.

--Jesus Lizard, "Liar". I was listening to this again the other day, and man is that record spot on.

--Sadies, "Live In Concert Vol. 1"
--Sadies "Precious Moments"

-High On Fire, "Blessed Black Wings". Not sure if you guys are a fan of metal, but this record is insanely heavy. Albini's work on that record just makes a bludgeoning album heavier. Love it. Plus, John Golden mastered it, and the Albini/ Golden team is a top notch sound duo.

There's more, but that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. IMHO, he usually could need a mixing engineer, because his mixing levels are pretty inconsistent. In his own words, he's not a producer, and he chooses really to leave the original mix levels when tracking--so i'd say that he isn't really a mixing engineer, anyways. The new Stooges album sounds terrible (sorry Steve!).
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: The Octopus on July 17, 2007, 02:39:24 pm
Andy Peters wrote on Sun, 15 July 2007 21:08



Not as good as Goat, so don't get your hopes up, Cheese.

-a


Goat is probably a better record, but I like the recording/mix of Down better.









RSettee wrote on Tue, 17 July 2007 13:54



There's more, but that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. IMHO, he usually could need a mixing engineer, because his mixing levels are pretty inconsistent. In his own words, he's not a producer, and he chooses really to leave the original mix levels when tracking--so i'd say that he isn't really a mixing engineer, anyways. The new Stooges album sounds terrible (sorry Steve!).


I think the inconsistency is more based on the different preferences of the bands he records than on a lackadaisical approach to mixing (e.g. leaving the faders how they were during tracking).

Jeremy
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on July 18, 2007, 12:18:49 pm
j.hall wrote on Wed, 11 July 2007 22:50


tell me the "best' sounding SA record and i'll go check it out with an open mind.


get the new shellac record. hard for me to imagine anyone not liking the sound of that one.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: John McEntire on July 21, 2007, 01:55:43 am
J,

In addition to the many records people have mentioned, I would definitely suggest checking out any of the LPs Steve worked on with Neurosis, and also The Ex... killing.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on July 22, 2007, 11:20:01 am
Oh....I forgot this one--Dirty Three's "Ocean Songs". Definetely highly recommended, not only for Albini's work, but also the band--it's their best, IMHO. The kick is gigantic, the drum sound captures alot of the slightly jazzy qualities of the band, and considering that Dirty Three have alot of space in their arrangements and are very dynamic (just drums, guitar, viola/ violin), it's nice to hear Albini record a non-rock album, because he captured the band's sense of space and dynamics very well....the album is not compressed very much, there's many crescendos. Very, very well done. It's all instrumental, so there's no vocals to bury either (Steve usually makes vocals sound weird to my ears).
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on July 22, 2007, 06:55:11 pm
The Octopus wrote on Tue, 17 July 2007 13:39


I think the inconsistency is more based on the different preferences of the bands he records than on a lackadaisical approach to mixing (e.g. leaving the faders how they were during tracking).

Jeremy



Oh yeah, for sure....I still think that he needs a mixing engineer half the time, especially if he leaves the faders pretty much where they were.

Also good by Albini: Didjits' "Que Sirhan, Sirhan" (once again Albini under the pseudonym "Reggie Stiggs")-- "Little Miss Carriage" was extraordinarily thin sounding, but "Que Sirhan, Sirhan" really kicks ass. One of Albini's best overall mixes and best drum sounds, I think.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: M Carter on July 23, 2007, 12:11:33 am
I'd sure love Steve to mix shitcopter....
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Baddo on July 23, 2007, 03:38:41 pm
M Carter wrote on Sun, 22 July 2007 23:11

I'd sure love Steve to mix shitcopter....


Well, would you like him to be transparent? or to add his sonic footprint?
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 23, 2007, 03:52:06 pm
I'd like for you to move that guitar.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: CHANCE on July 24, 2007, 02:03:58 pm
compasspnt wrote on Mon, 23 July 2007 12:52

I'd like for you to move that guitar.



I read that, looked at his avatar, and had an instant nose cleaning with Dr. Pepper. LOL
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mr jason on July 25, 2007, 12:13:13 am
You been sniffing cough medicine fumes again Terry?
Luckily, I'd just finished my sandwich, otherwise that would've been all over the puter keyboard.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 25, 2007, 12:50:34 am
For the record...in the event of future avatar change...here is the pic in question:

index.php/fa/5772/0/
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: scottoliphant on July 25, 2007, 01:12:07 am
maybe he'll let you have it, photoshop in some palm trees in the background...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: ballison on July 26, 2007, 04:53:01 pm
index.php/fa/5784/0/


Compass point edition haha
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 26, 2007, 07:11:40 pm
Most excellent.

I will soon add that to our website!


oh, with the permission of Baddo, of course
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: wwittman on July 26, 2007, 08:43:40 pm
J-Texas wrote on Sun, 22 July 2007 23:33

...He makes a very good argument, ...



he does?

I must have missed it.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: wwittman on July 26, 2007, 08:45:46 pm
RSettee wrote on Mon, 23 July 2007 00:30

..., as much as he really just stays out of the way. As far as i've been told and what he's said, he leaves alot of the fussing up to the band and just records them....


I do believe that he's admitted that he has a certain sonic imprint, though he really just goes in and gives bands what they want, rather than some producer suggesting alot of things. ...





yeah. doesn't it SUCK when the producer actually tries to HELP the band?

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 26, 2007, 10:03:41 pm
Most bands, such as The Beatles, need a Producer.

Some few, such as Led Zeppelin, do not.


Steve must be fortunate to work with those that do not.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: J-Texas on July 26, 2007, 10:04:16 pm
wwittman wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 19:43

he does?

I must have missed it.


Razz  Bitter? I won't be going there...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: J-Texas on July 26, 2007, 10:06:18 pm
The palm trees really take away from the guitar.  Laughing
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: maxim on July 26, 2007, 10:57:58 pm
"Some few, such as Led Zeppelin, do not"

although, arguably, jimmy page is a producer (unlike any of the fab four)

no band needs TWO producers...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: compasspnt on July 27, 2007, 12:17:24 am
Yes, that was why they didn't need one.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Baddo on July 27, 2007, 01:32:53 pm
ballison wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 15:53

index.php/fa/5784/0/


Compass point edition haha


that's cool, do you mind if I d'load it? I can switch between both bi-monthly  Rolling Eyes  Very Happy

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 18:11

Most excellent.

I will soon add that to our website!


oh, with the permission of Baddo, of course



you are fully authorized.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: canada on July 27, 2007, 06:20:15 pm
Off-topic
I called Guitar Center early in an emergency to ask, "Hi there, do you have any 1/4" tape in stock?"

The kid on the phone said, "...And...What would that be used for?"
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: wwittman on July 29, 2007, 01:27:04 am
J-Texas wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 22:04

wwittman wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 19:43

he does?

I must have missed it.


Razz  Bitter? I won't be going there...


bitter??? hardly

Well I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused... as someone once said.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: J-Texas on July 29, 2007, 09:20:17 am
wwittman wrote on Sun, 29 July 2007 00:27

J-Texas wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 22:04

wwittman wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 19:43

he does?

I must have missed it.


Razz  Bitter? I won't be going there...


bitter??? hardly

Well I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused... as someone once said.


Smile  (that's all I could do)
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on July 31, 2007, 05:56:21 pm
Quote:

metal and hard-rock records are becoming so homogeneous. everyone is using the same drum samples and amps. the two bands greg mentioned (Mastodon and Pantera) actually have a recognizable sound compared to most of the crap i hear when i flip my sirius to the hardattack, octane or buzzsaw channels.


yep, but on the flipside these types of bands often have cartoonish expectations that don't always translate in an 'organic' recording environment. see: the bands with 3 downtuned guitarists and a drummer playing blast beats the whole time. i know metal bands who practice with their own PA and drum triggers. i think it's pretty silly having a $1,500 drumset triggering 16 bit samples into Peavey speakers, but to each his own..

the reason those type of metal records done with Albini (Zao, High on Fire, Bloodlet) sound so distinctive is because literally NO one who works in that genre records like that. hearing a metal record with actual drums on it is unfortunately rare.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 02, 2007, 01:23:51 pm
wwittman wrote on Thu, 26 July 2007 19:45

RSettee wrote on Mon, 23 July 2007 00:30

..., as much as he really just stays out of the way. As far as i've been told and what he's said, he leaves alot of the fussing up to the band and just records them....


I do believe that he's admitted that he has a certain sonic imprint, though he really just goes in and gives bands what they want, rather than some producer suggesting alot of things. ...





yeah. doesn't it SUCK when the producer actually tries to HELP the band?




Haha, yes! Seriously though, his approach seems to cater to the underground/ indie mentality of leaving things as sparse and "live" sounding as possible (this being ironic, because Albini is a huge Zep fan, and you'd assume him to have an elitist attitude towards them). I wouldn't recommend his approach for every band--Butch Vig is a much better choice, he usually gets the most commercially out of bands, while retaining their edge, but then again, those bands are after that from him. I could swear that Vig got Albini on Chainsaw Kittens' "Flipped Out In Singapore"....

Getting back to the general discussion, the first record that Albini worked on that created a big buzz (he worked on records previous), was the Pixies stuff. Bands went after him to sound like that, and in Steve's case, he often had bands that were doing a similar style, musically (ie: the whole Scratch Acid, Rapeman, Jesus Lizard, and Urge Overkill--yes i'm serious! They used to be an abrasive artpunk noise act for the first 5 years of their existence, which Albini recorded them on). So in fairness, he often had bands that were using the same gear, playing the same way, looking for the same techniques that he got on certain records--you know, and the next band trying to be the Pixies, etc.

In fairness to Steve, he works mostly with rock bands, and let's face it, alot of people play through the same equipment, the same Marshall equipment, same Big Muff pedals etc. So it's kind of hard to capture a band's "unique sound" when they're using the same equipment (you could say the same about Jack Endino...half the bands he was working with were using Big Muffs, like Mudhoney, early Nirvana, Nebula, Fluid, etc...so alot of them end up sounding the same, tonally).

Really, honestly check out Dirty Three's "Ocean Songs". You simply need to hear that in order to realize what i'm talking about. Steve captured the space on that record beautifully. It's arguably one of the most defining "audiophile" recordings that I own, and I use it to test out the limits and accuracy of stereos. It's a a beautiful, cathartic album that truly captures a sense of space in the recording. I'll try to post a track of the album somewhere so that it can be heard. I'd say that's his most underrated album--I don't usually hear people recommending it. There's tons of peaks and valleys and dynamic and room sound on it. When he's not working with bands that have the same equipment, he can really expand, IMHO.

Aren't the bricks in Steve's studio worth something insane to buy them? It's some rare terracotta or something. Though he's done some inferior sessions, I always respect what he's doing in theory, because he always tends to aim for something more, with the tons of mics that he uses, to the bricks, to the rooms, theory, etc.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: dconstruction on August 02, 2007, 01:50:05 pm
Funny you should mention Chainsaw Kittens.

Going to see Tyson Meade play with local Dallas band Red Monroe tonight.  Red Monroe's quite excited.

http://www.myspace.com/redmonroe
http://www.myspace.com/chainsawkittensrock


L
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on August 02, 2007, 03:04:57 pm
Quote:

Aren't the bricks in Steve's studio worth something insane to buy them? It's some rare terracotta or something.


adobe in half, regular brick/cinderblock in the other half.

granted it's probably expensive to ship that stuff from Arizona or whatever, but it's not like a genie sprinkled fairy dust on them or something. this was the kind of stuff Greg was talking about..


i also doubt bands like Rapeman and Scratch Acid were trying to sound like the Pixies..


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 02, 2007, 04:14:30 pm
dconstruction wrote on Thu, 02 August 2007 12:50

Funny you should mention Chainsaw Kittens.

Going to see Tyson Meade play with local Dallas band Red Monroe tonight.  Red Monroe's quite excited.

http://www.myspace.com/redmonroe
http://www.myspace.com/chainsawkittensrock


L


Tyson is playing a solo set, or? I know that he was a teacher in Singapore or something. Now there's a band that should have made it--"Pop Heiress" is just deadly, from the production, to the execution, to best of all--the songs. It's a trip down 70's memory lane--punk, powerpop, glam, Bowie, Pistols, T-Rex, Cheap Trick. Great voice, unique style. I wish they had continued the direction that they had going on "Pop Heiress" for longer, even though the albums after that are okay.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 02, 2007, 04:22:28 pm
pg666 wrote on Thu, 02 August 2007 14:04


i also doubt bands like Rapeman and Scratch Acid were trying to sound like the Pixies..


True. I think one half of the bands that he was working with were going for that Pixies sound, and the other half were going for the Rapeman/ Scratch Acid/ Jesus Lizard at any given time. The reason why I think that the Pixies album sounds great (as opposed to Slint's "Tweez", which is quite flat), is because the Pixies albums were major label ones, which undoubtedly got bigger budgets and more time to work on them for. I think that some of Steve's albums are dependent on the band's budgets and time--the time that they have to make the album, vs. Steve's time that he has booked by other bands that want to work with him. Like us all, there's only so much that you can do in so much time...but i've heard from other bands and in Steve's own words that he's helped bands out, like the Didjits, for next to nothing.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: NelsonL on August 02, 2007, 05:28:12 pm
Rsettee, I think you have the wrong idea about Steve's work with the Pixies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfer_Rosa

Budget = $11,500

Days = 10

Label = 4AD (No Elektra yet, not a major)

I remember cassette copies that just said 4AD/Rough Trade, so this part I know for certain is true. It was re-released by Elektra later on.

Anyway, I'm staying out of the debate-- just wanted to clarify that point.

Also, Tweez and Pod are the same drummer FWIW.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on August 02, 2007, 06:57:42 pm
Quote:

Also, Tweez and Pod are the same drummer FWIW.


yep. Britt Walford="Mike Hunt" (schoolgirl giggle)
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 03, 2007, 12:37:17 am
I don't think that there's anything really overly negative about this. It's a pretty good discussion, I think. J never said that Albini was a talentless hack, he was just saying that sometimes Albini's intentions outweigh the results. I think it would get pretty boring if all we did was just agree on what Steve did.

Aside from his technical merits or demerits, Steve has some pretty weird opinions, and I think it's hard to tell what he's saying just to rile people up, and what he truly means. And sort of like where this thread has gone, he's sort of achieved that--I think that he always sort of maintains a bit of a controversial persona, because even that has sort of created a bit of a mystique about him, you know, "does he actually mean that? Or is he just being purposely difficult again", hahaa.

Quote:

Rsettee, I think you have the wrong idea about Steve's work with the Pixies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfer_Rosa

Budget = $11,500

Days = 10

Label = 4AD (No Elektra yet, not a major)

I remember cassette copies that just said 4AD/Rough Trade, so this part I know for certain is true. It was re-released by Elektra later on.


Yeah? Hmm. I was wondering if 4AD was with a major yet by that time, but I think it ended up being one of the most popular of Steve's then small career. It's quite possible that the Pixies may have been alot more organized and musically with it than most of the other bands that he worked with at that time--it's certainly true of the Pixies in general at that time, that they were exceptionally great for an underground act for that time.

Steve did do excellent work on those records, because the flipside in the underground was that you had very flat recordings from punk/ indie bands, like Husker Du (terribly flat, actually), the "SST sound", Dischord, etc. Steve really brought a sense of audiophilia to those recordings, and I think that what most fans were reacting to was that the Pixies sounded that much better than the average indie band. Which, in neither The Pixies nor Steve's case really mattered who made who sound better (Pixies= great songs, tight act, Steve= great recording techniques), they really both worked in tandem. Hell, they sounded better than most major label bands at that time--because it was a really in your face sound, without being really overprocessed in those days of horrible gated drums and long tail reverbs that really dated recordings (again, see SST Records' production which sounds absolutely anemic today. I love those bands and the songs, but Spot really needed an actual set of ears at those studios). I mean, that's why those Pixies records stand up well even by today's standards, because they elevated the sound and possibilities from smaller budgets. When I mentioned "big budget", I thought that they did the album for 20-30 grand (big budget for a small indie label/ band), but actually, it being just over 11 grand really emphasizes what Steve really did for bands and his own rep, at that point.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon on August 03, 2007, 09:33:45 am
RSettee wrote on Thu, 02 August 2007 23:37

Hell, they sounded better than most major label bands at that time--because it was a really in your face sound, without being really overprocessed in those days of horrible gated drums and long tail reverbs that really dated recordings. I mean, that's why those Pixies records stand up well even by today's standards, because they elevated the sound and possibilities from smaller budgets. When I mentioned "big budget", I thought that they did the album for 20-30 grand (big budget for a small indie label/ band), but actually, it being just over 11 grand really emphasizes what Steve really did for bands and his own rep, at that point.


Better than most major label stuff for sure.  Was that not still the hair band / Bon Jovi days...but I digress....

$11K for 10 days in 1988 was a good chunk of change.  Not quite big budget, but bigger than most indie bands of the Pixies then-standing had.  But you are right, they were _very_ tight with those songs.

That was the last album that was not really over-processed.  After that, Gil Norton took over and those very gated-reverb snares you mentioned are in full effect (among other things).  
I still think it sounds great, but Surfer definitely sounds more like them live than Dolittle (which had the "mega" budget of $60K btw).

Cheers,
David


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: bradwood on August 03, 2007, 12:15:35 pm
Thanks, RSettee, for putting some perspective on SA's contributions. Its easy to forget how awful most recordings sounded in the late 80's (awful to these ears, anyway). It was amazing to see Husker Du live & experience their full power compared to their records. New Day Rising was an improvement, but I still reached for the bass control on whatever stereo it was playing on. Steve's, Butch Vig's & Iain Burgess'  recordings were the rays of hope in a pretty bleak landscape. Its not easy at all to capture loud guitars, loud bass, loud drums & loud vocals accurately- I've tried for 20 years & I still feel inadequate at times. When Brian Deck & I started our studio in 1988, we wrestled, as any recordist does, with how to deal with extreme volume & dynamics. Steve & Iain were gracious with answers to every stupid question we bothered them with (until Iain moved to France & started living the good life). Those guys were in marked contrast to the tools we worked for who would literally cover the console with track sheets so you couldn't see their eq or compression settings & would stonewall every question. This job of recording is a damn mystery & Steve has helped dispel a lot of the myths about the process. Do I like every record Steve's recorded? Not by a long shot, but I can't forget the huge contribution he has made to our industry at a time when it really needed it. Thanks again, RSettee, for the reminder.


Best- Brad
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: NelsonL on August 03, 2007, 12:35:55 pm
13 songs came out in 1990-- I think it sounds really cool, not at all flat.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on August 04, 2007, 04:15:14 pm
bradwood wrote on Fri, 03 August 2007 11:15

Those guys were in marked contrast to the tools we worked for who would literally cover the console with track sheets so you couldn't see their eq or compression settings & would stonewall every question. This job of recording is a damn mystery & Steve has helped dispel a lot of the myths about the process.



good perspective, thanks brad!
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 08, 2007, 01:26:49 pm
bradwood wrote on Fri, 03 August 2007 11:15

Thanks, RSettee, for putting some perspective on SA's contributions. Its easy to forget how awful most recordings sounded in the late 80's (awful to these ears, anyway). It was amazing to see Husker Du live & experience their full power compared to their records. New Day Rising was an improvement, but I still reached for the bass control on whatever stereo it was playing on. Steve's, Butch Vig's & Iain Burgess'  recordings were the rays of hope in a pretty bleak landscape. Its not easy at all to capture loud guitars, loud bass, loud drums & loud vocals accurately- I've tried for 20 years & I still feel inadequate at times. When Brian Deck & I started our studio in 1988, we wrestled, as any recordist does, with how to deal with extreme volume & dynamics. Steve & Iain were gracious with answers to every stupid question we bothered them with (until Iain moved to France & started living the good life). Those guys were in marked contrast to the tools we worked for who would literally cover the console with track sheets so you couldn't see their eq or compression settings & would stonewall every question. This job of recording is a damn mystery & Steve has helped dispel a lot of the myths about the process. Do I like every record Steve's recorded? Not by a long shot, but I can't forget the huge contribution he has made to our industry at a time when it really needed it. Thanks again, RSettee, for the reminder.


Best- Brad


No problem! Hey, is the Brad Wood that recorded the Veruca Salt and Liz Phair albums? If so, I thought you did a good job of getting those bands a unique sound of their own, bridging the gap between the glossy hi fi thing and the intimacy of what was going on in the indie rock world.

Butch, Ian and Steve really did elevate the sound of the underground. Ian's work on the Didjits' "Hey Judester" and "Hornet Pinata" still sound very good to this day and captured that band correctly. I forgot one guy though--Jack Endino...thank him, too. Another guy that did a great job on underground recordings way back, was Brian Paulson--who recorded Slint's "Spiderland", which is arguably one of the greatest sounding records--for 1991, for any year, for any big budget album, let alone a Touch and Go record! His career never really took off, he assisted on some Dino Jr. records, and I didn't see his name on many records other than a Royal Trux album.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: pg666 on August 08, 2007, 02:15:11 pm
Quote:

Another guy that did a great job on underground recordings way back, was Brian Paulson--who recorded Slint's "Spiderland", which is arguably one of the greatest sounding records--for 1991, for any year, for any big budget album, let alone a Touch and Go record! His career never really took off, he assisted on some Dino Jr. records, and I didn't see his name on many records other than a Royal Trux album.


He's done some high quality work for Arcwelder, Flour, A Minor Forest, and US Maple. the latter's 2001 record 'Acre Thrills' sounds spectacular off of vinyl.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: bradwood on August 08, 2007, 02:22:14 pm
RSettee wrote on Wed, 08 August 2007 10:26I forgot one guy though--Jack Endino...thank him, too. Another guy that did a great job on underground recordings way back, was Brian Paulson--who recorded Slint's "Spiderland", which is arguably one of the greatest [i

sounding[/i] records--for 1991, for any year, for any big budget album, let alone a Touch and Go record! His career never really took off, he assisted on some Dino Jr. records, and I didn't see his name on many records other than a Royal Trux album.




Jack was not much of a direct influence for me- probably because of his location- but when Spiderland came out it was like a bomb went off. Everybody shat the bed & nothing was the same afterward. Brian P has kept pretty busy- check out the new Sea & Cake- but seems to keep an admirably low profile. Anyway- now that we've completely jacked this thread- let's hear more about the session. Does that adobe brick still smell like poo?


Best- Brad
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 08, 2007, 04:04:41 pm
Duly noted! I must, for whatever reason, not buy many albums by other bands that he's worked with. I think that he's probably my favorite producer/ engineer, sonically--he really has got some awesome sounds on recordings.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: mitgong on August 09, 2007, 12:39:57 am
The studio had a smell I've only ever smelled in other studios.

THE SMELL OF FEAR.

Just kidding.  No stinks.  Folks smoke there, though.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: bradwood on August 09, 2007, 01:51:42 pm
mitgong wrote on Wed, 08 August 2007 21:39

The studio had a smell I've only ever smelled in other studios.

THE SMELL OF FEAR.

Just kidding.  No stinks.  Folks smoke there, though.



Talk of smells reminds of a Tar session @ Idful Music (circa 1989?) when SA visited and, by way of helping the recording process, proceeded to crush tiny vials filled with some sulfer-type liquid in the live room, lounge & control room. Talk about an eye-watering, cowshit rotten egg gag-inducing stench. Then, he runs. A top-drawer gag & the effect was short. I think it set off a chain of retribution, but I can't really remember the final outcome. I'm sure it smelled lovely...


Best- Brad
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 09, 2007, 04:03:17 pm
Those little glass vials? Heh, those were those stinkbombs that were going around. And I agree, those were rotten egg salad meets pungent chili fart type noxious. Always fun to break in school--they really caused quite a ruckus!
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: TheViking on August 10, 2007, 06:00:31 pm
So...   about that picture of the drumset with the microphones around it...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: NelsonL on August 11, 2007, 04:50:23 am
Funny thing, this thread actually did get me thinking about what I like about SA drum sounds and has influenced the session I'm doing right now.

Gtr. player is actually dancing in the control room as he solos--but that's unrelated.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: goldstar on August 15, 2007, 06:51:27 pm
Hey, what happened to the reply I read from Albini a few days go? and the one from j?  I'm surely not the only one who saw it, am I?

Frank
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Tom C on August 16, 2007, 04:04:59 am
Welcome to the REP, the land of disappearing postings!
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: ted maul on August 16, 2007, 04:05:27 am

it has been noted, all very shaming.

http://www.electrical.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=482853#4828 53
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: spoon on August 16, 2007, 10:49:40 am
goldstar wrote on Wed, 15 August 2007 17:51

Hey, what happened to the reply I read from Albini a few days go? and the one from j?  I'm surely not the only one who saw it, am I?
Frank


Yeah we all did.

J seemed fine with it as he mentioned apologizing in another thread.


J, what happened to Steve Albini's post?


Regards,
David
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: TheViking on August 16, 2007, 12:13:51 pm
Strong personalities are common in our industry so it's expected that some people (like both Steve and J) will talk some smack from time to time.  I personally think the bigger man is the one who can admit fault and move on.

Let the two dudes with the disagreement hash this out.   They're big boys, they can handle it without more BS from us.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: rankus on August 16, 2007, 01:20:57 pm
ted maul wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 01:05


it has been noted, all very shaming.

 http://www.electrical.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=482853#4828 53


Quote:


Hey Steve. Well it looks like J.hall not only likes to diss you on his prosoundweb forum and make up Albini quotes that you never said, he apparently is a big fan of CENSORSHIP:

See for yourself...

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/18224/0/

He completely deleted your response where you were sticking up for yourself, and left the rest of the thread there with some of his dumbest remarks removed.

Do you know the mastering engineer Alan Douches? He has a good story...



Shameful indeed.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 16, 2007, 01:21:48 pm
No Frank, you're definetely not going insane....I saw that post from Steve, and J's response to it. Sometimes people say things that they regret--lord knows i've edited posts or made some disappear in my day....
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: rankus on August 16, 2007, 01:23:39 pm


Not the same thing as editing somebody else's posts though Ryan....

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Greg Norman on August 16, 2007, 02:50:30 pm
What the fuck is this?  You deleted my posts too??

This kind of internet persona cropping is completely retarded.  Do you sign on as other members talking yourself up too?

The irony being, you're spreading misinformation like we talked about.  Or did we....

We all do and say stupid things in life.  Own up to them.  Don't be afraid of yourself.

I'll be happy to repost this plenty of times.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on August 16, 2007, 03:14:01 pm
http://www.orlyowl.com/upload/files/lame.jpg
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on August 16, 2007, 06:38:14 pm
here is the deal.

i publically appoligized to steve after having a failed memory of past conversations.

i figuerd the whole thing had been put to rest, but people decided it best to push the knife in deeper.  i found it inappropriate of myself to derail a thread so badly, and even WORSE of others to not move on, after i "bent over and took it like a man".  at the point i realized a legitimate discussion was trashed by myself, and then others refused to let it go, i simply cleaned up the thread to return it to it's original point.

so once again i have to throw myself to the lions for not explaining this.

sorry!!!!

i had no "cover-up" intentions.  you can like it or not like it.

Quote:

greg norman wrote:
We all do and say stupid things in life. Own up to them. Don't be afraid of yourself.



thanks, i actually did.

Quote:


Do you know the mastering engineer Alan Douches? He has a good story...



completely out of context, uncalled for, and you must not know ANY of the details of that situation to even bring it up as comparable here.

i'll continue to leave the thread unlocked.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on August 16, 2007, 06:42:30 pm
ted maul wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 03:05


it has been noted, all very shaming.

 http://www.electrical.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=482853#4828 53



welcome ted, thanks for the first post!
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: electrical on August 16, 2007, 07:17:04 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 18:38

here is the deal.

i publically appoligized to steve after having a failed memory of past conversations.

No you didn't. You said some bullshit about there being "room for interpretation" or something (I'd quote it for you but I can't find it right now), instead of saying you were sorry, or even something like, "I have a chip on my shoulder about this guy and I made some shit up so I could make fun of him."

I don't particularly care what you say about me, so your apology would be both unnecessary and ineffectual, but you clearly want to be given credit for apologizing, something you didn't do.
Quote:


i'll continue to leave the thread unlocked.


So people can post in it, content which you can then delete. Big of you.

You'll stop chafing at the mere mention of my name or methods when it dawns on you that this isn't a competition, that there are no judges, and it isn't a zero-sum economy. By that I mean that nobody is "winning," so nobody is "behind," everybody's work has to stand on its own merits over time, and I'm not taking work away from anybody else, not even you.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: electrical on August 16, 2007, 07:19:19 pm
TheViking wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 12:13

I personally think the bigger man is the one who can admit fault and move on.

You think that takes a bigger man than not acting like an asshole in the first place?
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: ted maul on August 16, 2007, 07:22:45 pm
j.hall wrote

welcome ted, thanks for the first post!


You're welcome.

And I think it is shameful. I'm happy to identify myself as being a forum member from EA, in the couple of years I've posted there I've always been impressed by the honesty, transparency and even hand of the moderators, not to mention the calibre of the contributors. When someone started a thread discussing this I read the exchange and later saw what had happened to it. Even if there was no malice intended I think it's dishonest to nip and tuck a debate (sweeping other contributors away in the process) because you're unhappy with how it reflects on you. A very dodgy business regardless of your justification.

Anyway, let's hope that's an end to it..Onwards and upwards...
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on August 16, 2007, 08:07:52 pm
ted maul wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 18:22

 Even if there was no malice intended I think it's dishonest to nip and tuck a debate (sweeping other contributors away in the process) because you're unhappy with how it reflects on you.


i didn't do it because of how it reflected on me.  but i doubt you'll believe that

have a great day!
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: j.hall on August 16, 2007, 08:31:49 pm
electrical wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 18:17


No you didn't. You said some bullshit about there being "room for interpretation" or something (I'd quote it for you but I can't find it right now), instead of saying you were sorry, or even something like, "I have a chip on my shoulder about this guy and I made some shit up so I could make fun of him."



seems like a no win with you, but i'll give it a second shot:

Dear Steve Albini,

Please accept my sincerest apology for spreading misinformation about you on my forum.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on August 16, 2007, 11:04:25 pm
I got the apology the first time.

Then again I could be seen as part of the cabal.

One thing i can attest to is that J. is sincere about his misinterpretation of words from long ago. Don't ask me about the why it's not there anymore...

Philosophically I respect Steve's stance although I wish the current climate (where I'm at) allowed the results to be more positive.

There are so many factors that go into the making of a record I find it hard to place the blame (for failure or success) squarely on anyone which is why I side with Steve on the "body of work" concept.

Either way, or in no way, it doesn't add up to a hill of beans because we are all individuals doing the best we can.

To get back on topic, it's good to see photos of other peoples set ups although
we all know deep down every room coupled with a certain drummer and kit yields very different results.

<places SM2 over the d(r)ums and sips a beverage>


Peas,


Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: jimmyjazz on August 18, 2007, 12:17:55 am
j.hall wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 20:31

electrical wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 18:17


No you didn't. You said some bullshit about there being "room for interpretation" or something (I'd quote it for you but I can't find it right now), instead of saying you were sorry, or even something like, "I have a chip on my shoulder about this guy and I made some shit up so I could make fun of him."



seems like a no win with you, but i'll give it a second shot:

Dear Steve Albini,

Please accept my sincerest apology for spreading misinformation about you on my forum.



I think your censorship is reprehensible, and I think you should resign your post as a moderator.  I am dead . . . fucking . . . serious.

For the record, I do hope my fledgling career can survive the imminent backlash.  Oh dear.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Hank Alrich on August 18, 2007, 12:03:31 pm
j.hall wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 17:07

ted maul wrote on Thu, 16 August 2007 18:22

 Even if there was no malice intended I think it's dishonest to nip and tuck a debate (sweeping other contributors away in the process) because you're unhappy with how it reflects on you.


i didn't do it because of how it reflected on me.  but i doubt you'll believe that




This must be the shallow end of the PSW pool.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: bblackwood on August 18, 2007, 09:46:33 pm
Guys, I think we've used j.hall as a punching bag long enough - I've known him longer than most here and consider him one of my best friends, and I know him well enough to know that when he edited this thread, he did so hoping the topic could continue without the distraction he caused with his failing memory (he is getting old). I know him well enough he did so not in an effort to 'cover his butt' but in an effort to increase the S/N. And yes, he's human enough to not have thought it through to realize how it might look to people looking for conspiracies.

This forum is a great asset to the indie community, and j.hall is as well. Those who have been here for any length of time will agree, so please, let's drop it.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Maggot Detector on August 19, 2007, 03:12:44 pm
bblackwood wrote on Sat, 18 August 2007 20:46

Guys, I think we've used j.hall as a punching bag long enough - I've known him longer than most here and consider him one of my best friends, and I know him well enough to know that when he edited this thread, he did so hoping the topic could continue without the distraction he caused with his failing memory (he is getting old). I know him well enough he did so not in an effort to 'cover his butt' but in an effort to increase the S/N. And yes, he's human enough to not have thought it through to realize how it might look to people looking for conspiracies.


I personally doubt his deletion of said posts were in the interest of having a focused discussion. The fact that you're one of his "best friends" isn't very reassuring either.

Having lurked  here off and on for a couple years and not being much of a fan of Mr Hall's work in mixing or in moderating this forum...to be honest, this has been a VERY satisfying thread(s) for me.

And I think Steve Albini is a cool and talented individual who obviously thinks this whole clown show is kinda hilarious (cue dancers and confetti)

[Ad hominem attack removed by Admin]
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: WallyWest on August 19, 2007, 04:23:32 pm
Coming out of the woodwork after years of "lurking" just to have a dig at Mr Hall doesn't say much about you either.
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: RSettee on August 20, 2007, 10:14:42 am
Look, here's the way I see it--some things were said, and J never said that he didn't think Steve was a world class engineer. He was responding more to people's interpretation of Steve's work, and there were some things that J said that maybe he shouldn't have, but haven't we all done that?

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: CHANCE on August 21, 2007, 01:55:18 pm
I was just reading thru all these posts and feel that the whole topic should be deleted. I haven't read one constructive post. The one thing that impressed me about PSW in the beginning, was good info, good guys, and very interesting. If there is a beef between two people, it should be kept between those two people and not in a gossip style format in a public forum. I for one am not interested in Steve or J. I have a passion for recording and am interested in their talents and techniques. I once heard it said that if you took a box of feathers (ie gossip) put them at someones door step, and a strong wind comes and blows those feathers all over the city, you could never retrieve all those feathers and a lot of damage can be done to these engineers integrity. The only thing I want to know is What ever happened to that piano? LOL
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: Fibes on August 21, 2007, 02:14:54 pm
Chance,

Why did you bring this back up?

It could've dropped away.

Sorry, just my POV.

Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: CHANCE on August 21, 2007, 02:46:47 pm
Fibes wrote on Tue, 21 August 2007 11:14

Chance,

Why did you bring this back up?

It could've dropped away.

Sorry, just my POV.





Why did I ?  Why did you ? LOL
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: jimmyjazz on August 21, 2007, 05:58:31 pm
STOP BRINGING IT UP.



Dammit, did I just bring it up?
Title: Re: I just (tried) to make a record with Steve Albini
Post by: bblackwood on August 21, 2007, 06:02:45 pm
Fine, since you won't let it go, I'll do it for you.