Archive for the 'Journal' Category

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My Heart Is

It’s been a while, huh? I’ve been busy being a part-time stay-at-home daddy and part-timer producer in between moving the car for street cleaning.

Lily is growing amazingly. She’s walking like a champ. She’s eating everything. Her favs are curry chicken/shrimp and edamame. She’s also been known to eat onions. Clearly she has Mommy’s palate. It still amazes me how Lily completely skipped mushy food. Which is good because kids with food all over their face kind of drives me nuts.

This past week I’ve been tracking this band from Annapolis. This is the first band I’ve done at the Studio where I feel like I’ve had the time to do what I want with them. And vise-versa for them with me. We tracked drums the first day. The drummer had 8 toms. I am serious. 6 rack toms and 2 floor toms. Usually one uses 2 overhead mics. I had to use 3 including one “center” mic. It was amazing. In that Alex Van Halen kind of way. The funny (slightly irritating) thing was that the drummer rarely used his toms. Go figure. Regardless the tracking went well and at the end of the day we tracked acoustic guitars. The second day was all electric guitars and vocals. Today was finishing the leads and I added some percussion. At the end of the day we did  a rough mix and while nowhere near finished it’s a good start. Even after 3 12-14 hour days I am kind of exhausted, but it’s an awesome exhaustion. While I love recording hip-hop, and seem to do a lot of it, there’s something about setting up more than one mic that really gets me going. That and the difference between good and bad hip-hop is vastly more contrasting than other genres I’ve recorded.

Oh and the other night we did our first Micro-Show at the Studio and it went great. We had a bunch of people show up and the recording is grrrrrrreat. That and people from WTMD and the City Paper showed up. Yay! Emily is the queen of marketing and promotion. THE QUEEN.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Anyone else ready for some single digit weather? This 60+ degree BS has to end soon or else we’re packing our bags for Montréal.

Journey’s Greatest Hits’ Snare Drum Production

Besides being a perfect Greatest Hits record there are some serious problems with the drum production. Primarily in the snare drum.

Why waste time. Let’s begin:

Only The Young – Too much gate. Too much mid-lows and mids. Perhaps where Robert Mutt Lange got the idea for the snom (snare/tom) on Hysteria. I am itching to hear some more attack and brilliance.

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Don’t Stop Believin’ – While this is the perfect song, it just kills me to not hear the snare on the 2&4. It’s probably the rockist in me. Again, the snare is a little flat and low in the mix.

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Wheel In The Sky – Other than the drums being mixed backwards (hi-hats in the right channel? Seriously?) the snare is tuned like a piece of cardboard.

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Faithfully – The perfect ballad? What I do love about the recording are the actual dynamics in the drum fills. Hear that on the radio these days? Didn’t think so. This snare works for the most part. I do desire more attack. The fluffy ‘verb and levels are what does it for me. I’m still yours, too, Steve Perry.

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I’ll Be Alright Without You – Aside from the fact that I always thought this was a Tina Turner song this song’s snare is pretty decent. It is still borderlining on cardboardy, but it does have some of the high end in there that more than makes up for it. And you have to love the tasty hi-hats at 1:46.

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Anyway You Want It – What is going on here? Can you tune the snares any more tightly? Sounds more like a hammer squashing a bug to me. Splat!

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Ask The Lonely – Simply thin and low in the mix. I think it’s all there I just need more.

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Who’s Crying Now – This snare I can get. Ironically it’s my least favorite cut on the record. Let’s move.

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Separate Ways – Why bands cover Come On Eileen and not this song is beyond me. Toms on the 4 for the verses set up the snare on the 2&4 on the choruses. Like Don’t Stop Believin’ this is also the perfect song. And the snare almost works for me (the hi-hat definitely accents the snare’s harmonics) but I just wish it was a little more defined on it’s own.

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Lights – Cardboard. But decent sounding cardboard, this time.

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Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’ – Where to start. EXPENSIVE CARDBOARD! (priced up from the stellar Lexicon reverb) And Mr. Snare Drum, why ‘o why are you at 2 o’clock?! Please come back home to 11 o’clock.

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Open Arms – Steve Smith, you are a monster at the 51 BPM tempo sans click track (at least rumored to be). And your snare drum is completely dreamy and perfect just like the song.

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Girl Can’t Help It – Flanging drums in the intro? At least this snare has balls. The 80s was bad to a lot of things, but not this snare.

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Send Her My Love – What’s up with the reverb pre-delay? Other than that, I can digest this one.

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Be Good To Yourself – Does anyone else think this snare was sampled? Either way, this snare drum is where I want it to be in this song. Great way to end a compilation. With good snare.

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One random tidbit: After listening to these songs rather quickly after testing to see that they work, I realized that a lot of the snare reverb ‘verbed out in the right channel. I had never seen such consistency with this before. Especially spanning over a number of different records. Anyways. Just an observation.

Ps. Disregard this. The record is perfect. What was I thinking?!

Zerbert

Lily finally discovered the Zerbert and does so on her Mommy’s belly.

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