Another "HOW did they record/produce this so well?" query

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by RoscoeElegante, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I know that even during the height of Mellencamp’s fame, the drummer Kenny was taking lessons from a guy here in Toronto.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  2. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree that “Cherry Bomb” is a fantastic textural achievement and a pleasant arrangement. Don’t know about how it was recorded, but I know I happened to choose that song years ago to audition several pairs of Grado headphones, and it sounds great through nice ‘phones too.

    Never was there a more appropriate context to hear intermingled accordion and violin.
     
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  3. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Holic

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    I remember Cougar :)
     
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  4. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks, Geoff. But this puzzles me, as I don't hear this effect on the song's instruments, as Carcinogen said he heard lots of gating here. Maybe the gating is being done so well it is "natural" sounding. I hope some recording expert can chime in here.
     
  5. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Well, the snare has a great thwack but not a ton of body behind it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was gated, but could be the snare, how it was miced and how Kenny plays it in the space it was recorded in. The toms don’t have much ring either. This ain’t Ringo’s kit.

    I like the drum sound but Id just be guessing at how they achieved it.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  6. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    FWIW back when I recorded drums it was often easier to get a “huge” drum sound than it was to get a natural sound. Gates, heavily compressed room, and parallel compression on anything that needed to “pop” more. Even poorly recorded stuff or in bad rooms. Scoop out the boxy 400 hz stuff, add a bit of of high mids to get the stick or beater, some high pass filtering where needed and a bit of compression, usually overheads on a buss and the drums with skins ie. not cymbal heavy on another. And they’d sound like drums on a record. Kinda. I m not claiming I was fantastic at this. But they didn’t sound much like the drums did in the room.
    I’d guess some of that is going on here. But with a better drummer in a better room with a fantastically tuned kit, better engineers and equipment? They may not have had to do much to get the drums to gel and fit the song.
    So, all that’s to say if you’re trying to recreate this there are multiple levels of equipment and experience that we mortals lack. It ain’t easy! There is no magic button or piece of gear that will instantly get us there.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
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  7. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    I read a drum recording article somewhere that used the snare in the Wallflowers’ “One Headlight” as an example of a snare sound that does not exist in the real world, with tons of compression and gated room mics trying to capture and emphasize the ambient ringy-ness so the drum would kind of sound “realer than real.”

    I would like to visit a reality where real drums sounded like the drums on Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” (and numerous others). In this reality, I would also have Bonham’s drum skills.
     
  8. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    great hooks and getting the guitar, fiddle and accordian on the hook and clean and natural sounding... with more grindy, ampeggy type guitar parts with lots of open strings... lots of room in the songs for them to breathe...

    the biggest thing is those songs and hooks... without songs like that.. well, it wouldnta mattered.
     
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  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    It sounds to me like the accordion, violin and main vocals are recorded in one hit possibly in an open space with natural room reverb through staggered mics well off peaking. Possibly Vox in foreground with musicians in background. Doesn't sound like any processing except ambients in a successful attempt at a live folk gig feel.

    The continual snare sounds like an overdub, possibly over an ineffectual original on the track to give it some punch.

    Other than that I agree with 'less is more' arrangement, players who know how to contribute without tripping themselves or others up.

    He's always had tasty sidemen (and women).

    For a track probably intended as an album filler/b-side it gets some airplay.
     
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  10. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    I liked pink houses on MTV and bought the record...and thought to myself "rolling stones" (noticed a strong influence) and "that's how you do it".
    But that i meant merging country and rock. There wasn't a lot of country in sweden back then.
    I bought his next album to but this by far my favorite...
     
  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    Simplicity.... every instrument just sounds natural, they way it should.

    Great "simple" arrangements (ie: rehearsed), played well on well maintained instruments along with very good mic choice/placement at the source. Capture that and the rest is easy!

    The snare is mixed really hot.... IMO, a little too hot. That's the only unnatural thing I hear about it. To me it's a nice sounding snare with a little compression and reverb.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  12. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Afflicted

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    I like that snare sound and use it in some of the jobs I do. To accomplish it I put an AKG C451 on the top and an SM-57 on the snares. I do it kind of strangely: I run the SM-57 at 90' along the side of the rim and move it up and down to adjust the degree to which I capture the snare hash. I've worked enough half-way jobs (either just recording or just mixing) that I prefer to not send out an out-of-phase snare bottom and trust the mixer to reverse phase and this trick takes care of that. After that, we are hearing a hefty amount of the lower mic. Lots of people try to get their snaresound with more "head than hair" and bleed in the snares. This sound has plenty of lower mic to give it hair. There is also a bit of carve on the mids on the snare to make it punch without occupying to much real estate. The kick is nearly all click, not much body meat at all until you get down to subwoofer range, leaving the bass to dominate the bass regions.

    Everything else is carved to fit a bandwidth slot, and there is plenty of both fader jockeying and spare playing to drop most everything out when the vocals are in. The guitar and harp are fitted in like keyboard pads, as is the squeezebox when it is a rhythm instrument. The guitar sounds well-compressed to keep it in its slot.

    The lead and fill instruments are well-arranged (played?) and then managed in the mix to be call-and-response with the vocals.

    So, the engineer seems to be as busy as a one-armed paper hanger in this instance but does it in a subtle way that gives the impression of a "raise the faders and the mix is done" sound. Another good example of a guy who does this is Elliot Scheiner who mixed the Eagles Long Road Out of Eden, Fairwell I, and was the mix supervisor for all of Clapton's Crossroads Festival videos. An early exemplar of the mixing style was Ted Templeman's '70s work with The Doobie Brothers.

    Bob
     
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  13. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    Sorry to disagree, but an expander is a compressor in reverse... a gate is an entirely different animal.

    Gates were used to close the mic's on the drums to stop the drum mic from picking up anything OTHER than the drum it was suppose to. This was a very common technique... nothing unique at all. It was used in the vast majority of studios.

    Phil Collins did something different... he put a GATE on the REVERB that followed the drum which then chopped that reverb off unnaturally before it could decay. The effect is better known as a gated reverb... but it was applied most often to a snare drum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
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  14. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    You are correct. And also re Phil Collins drums. Gated reverb. A sound I despise with a fiery passion.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  15. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not Produced, "RECORDED". This is why there are great producers and average producers. Tracks like this were not an accident, they were quite on purpose, a vision.

    This is also why many tracks have GUEST session players as well , not that they are better players but they have a STYLE that fits the song exactly. Great Producers already know what they want to hear before the music even begins. They don't settle.
     
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  16. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    There's only ONE way to do it:

    Carefull and diligent EQing and compressing by a mixer/sound engineer who really knows his craft.

    It ain't exactly rocket science...
     
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  17. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Scarecrow and Lonesome Jubilee were my first two favorite albums back in high school (Uh-huh is right up there). Those guitar parts by Larry Crane and Mike Wanchic were fantastic, and my first inspiration to pick up the Tele. Went out and bought a Mellencamp song book as my first attempt at playing, got a cheapo acoustic for Christmas from my parents, and learned Pink Houses as my first song ever. Those two albums are his peak, in my opinion, but everything he did up to Big Daddy is fantastic. After that, I sort of stopped buying his stuff. But Scarecrow and LJ are masterpieces of Americana rock.
     
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