Mike V and I finished recording vocals tonight for his Young Lion Apprentice debut, Save The Soundtracks. As usual, vocals were tracked using Jeremy’s (Swivel Chairs) Microtech-Gefell UM70s. Most of the vocals on the record were done with this mic (at some point Mike Kennedy from Audible had it for Isolette‘s vocals, so I switched stuff around). I used a few different preamps, including the Yamaha PM-1000, Electro Harmonix 12AY7 (which is out of commission and needs to be repaired), and my Burr-Brown modified Presonus MP20 (with the RNC “Really Nice Compressor” inserted). I believe the other mic we used at times was one of my Audio Technica AT4050s, which we ran through the MP20/RNC.
Mike recorded everything at home on a Tascam 424 MKIII 4-track. He can chime in here if he wants to and go into his gear list or his fondness for Rustica Pizzas (Basil pesto / sun-dried tomato white pies) that fueled the sessions over here. Anyway, we started transferring at 24-bit 96K and mixing last summer. I think at some point he wanted to re-record some vocals that he wasn’t happy with (originally recorded with an SM58), and I was having a difficult time getting some of the vocals that he recorded at home to sit in the mix. The mixes are pretty rich for 4-tracks; lots of delay and reverb direct to tape. We made the decision to redo all of the vocals back in September or October in order to have them cut through the instruments. In the past two weeks we finished them up after a few sessions this Fall and a break for the holidays. I think that it took five or six sessions, tops. Mike and I are a lot happier with the way that things sound between now and last Fall.
Tonight was especially cool since I was able to use my 1977 Maestro Echoplex as tape delay for Mike’s vocals on “Withered Arms”. (The Echoplex was a gift this Fall from Dave Palaitis of Lifetime, a life-long friend.) It is amazing that something that sounds so noisy at times (and that at times deceives you into thinking that a hamster runs around on a track inside of it) can actually sound so good. I have to get this thing into the shop so that I can use it for more and more vocals, even those that are up front in the mix. It is a little scratchy and noisy right now. However, I’m totally in love with this thing. Thanks again, Dave! We recorded the vocal track and then used the Radial X-Amp reamp to get it to the Echoplex. Then the EP-3′s output was fed to the PM-1000′s DI.
We’ll finish some mixing tweaks in the next week and then master Save The Soundtracks.
Spent the weekend seeing various shows in Philly. Gildon Works on the 14th at L’Etage, BC Camplight and Bloodfeathers at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday the 16th, and then Audible at their Y-Rock taping yesterday at WXPN Philadelphia’s Studios.
I also spent Saturday mastering Audible’s Isolette EP with MK, and will be finishing up some small corrections this evening.
Mike V, aka Young Lion Apprentice, was in the Laundromat all afternoon recording vocals for his upcoming full-length. We used the 1970s MG UM70s through my 1970s Yamaha PM1000 preamp. Lots of transformers between the mic and preamp in this signal chain folks. We finished vocals for four more songs. There’s three more to go before mixing tweaks and mastering.
Looking forward to a little soup before some more mastering work.
So… Philly’s Audible invited me to help out recording an EP this summer. We started tracking in late August at Audible’s garage practice space in Philadelphia’s Fishtown. Tracking was done over a few days and nights and consisted of the basics…guitar, bass, and drums. However, we tracked Mike, Kris, and Steve live, focusing on capturing a more cohesive sound from the start. After the basics were done, we spent some time on guitar overdubs with Mike, Jim, and Ed and then finished up at the garage by reamping Kris’ bass tracks for a more vibey tone. Double-miked bass cab. When you can’t decide between an SM7b and an RE20 for something, well…use ‘em both.
Mike and Kris then spent the Fall adjusting to parenthood and tracking overdubs at home. Guitars, keys, vocals, baby sounds. We’ve been mixing since late December over here at The Laundromat (my basement project studio), and Mike has been checking these mixes at his day gig over at NFL Films (you know, at a real world-class recording studio…yes kids, those places still exist!)
Which brings us to this evening (am I long-winded or what?).
Slightly tweaked two songs’ mixes, tracked Mike and Mary’s vocals for “14 Weeks”, and then finished up by mixing it.
The Isolette EP is now finished and ready for mastering!
Spent tonight with Mike and Mary of Audible working on the last song for the record. “14 Weeks” is going to be stripped down compared to the rest of the songs that we’ve been working on together since August. Simply acoustic guitar and vocals.
We spent the evening recording an old metronome and Mike’s Gibson J-45 in my living room, with a distance mic to capture the ambiance of the space. OktavaMod MK-012 pointed where the J-45′s neck meets the body from approx 6″ out in front, and a 1970′s Microtech-GefellUM-70s approximately 8′ away in omni to capture the sound of the room, which is all hard wood and plaster. Sounds really great.
Vocals are going to happen on Tuesday evening, and then this song is finished.