Thursday, March 5, 2009

Song A Day 3/05/09

2/27/2009 Contest Winner

The crowd noises were taken from Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (the title track). You can hear bleed-through of Paul's bass during the fadeout.

2/27/2009 Nothing Is Impossible

The lyrics are either expressing wide-eyed optimism or vicious cynicism, take your pick. It's not a particularly good recording. Drums were recorded using a modified Glynn Johns mic setup, but with a 414 as the main overhead. As a (failed) experiment, I recorded the bass using a close mic (U87) plus a distant mic (414 - about 6 feet away from the speaker cab). Both mics picked up a muddy, indistinct bass sound. On the other hand, the electric guitar (Jay Turner through Tremolux, no effects) came out nice.

2/28/2009 Lincoln Ought to Be

I wanted to end song-a-day 2009 with a hard rock song, and here it is. The meter changes from 7/4 to 4/4 and back again, which adds a bit of variety to what is otherwise a straightforward tune.

The guitar tracks were Les Paul and Jay Turner into a VVT Earthquake 5.1, a frighteningly loud and powerful hand-wired, all-tube monstrosity that was custom built to Peter Johnson's exacting requirements. Thanks for letting me borrow this amp, Peter! It's got 3 separately controlled gain stages in 'lead' mode, so I spent a lot of time tweaking the knobs until I found the kind of tone that was right for the song. Note that I used the middle position on the pickup selector for the solo to get a smoother, less strident kind of 70's guitar sound.

Drums were recorded using the Glynn Johns mic setup, with a 57 as the main overhead. Bass was a combination of tube DI and U87 miked 4x10 cab through the SVT. As an experiment, I tried to get a low-mid kind of bass tone through the amp. After mixing everything, I think it's usually better to get more of an upper-mid, thinner kind of miked sound.