Thursday, February 24, 2005

02.24.2005 SOME FUN OF MY OWN

With the time I had at Leopard Studio between bookings I did some recording of my own. Ever a fan of 60's psychedelic music I endeavored to re-create some of my favorite tunes and tones. Keeping in mind the nature of the technology of the time I limited myself to using a minimum number of tracks and I kept the mic'ing very simple. I used only the available instruments and amps, which Jimmy has at his studio. No EQ either, just amp tone controls.

I used just 2 mics for the drums. One Oktava MK-52 ribbon mic for the kick drum and another for an overhead. I ran these through API Mic Pre-amps. Getting just the right placement of the overhead took quite a bit of trial and error, as I had to record myself playing each time until I got all the drums sounding balanced.

For the bass sound I played Jimmy's very nice Fender Precision bass, which sounded great through Jimmy's Ampeg M-15 (re-issue) bass amp. I used a Sennheiser MD-421 microphone and API Mic Pre-amp. I set the tone controls on the amp so that it sounded very round and fat. Not much high-end at all. I isolated the amp with a single "gobo" in an attempt to simulate what might be done if there was a full complement of musicians playing live in the room. As with all the tracks the signal path was as simple and direct as possible; from source to mic to pre-amp to recorder.
Jimmy has several wonderful guitars and amps. For most of the tracks I played his Dan Electro through the Vox AC-15. The Vox amp does have a pre-amp gain stage for overdrive but for some tracks I opted to use his MXR distortion pedal to get a more "fuzz" tone. The Vox Wah pedal also came in quite handy. So did the "reverse" plug-in in ProTools. OK, some would say that's cheating but I had to reverse some guitar tracks to be true to the psychedelic form and since there were no reels to flip...
In all I recorded basic tracks for 3 songs. The first was "Corporal Clegg" by Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd. Then, using much the same setup, I recorded a song called "Lulu Arfin Nanny" by Kaleidoscope, and finally an original composition based loosely on another Sid Barrett track called "Madcap's Embrace". The experiment was a great success. My tracks really sounded vintage. Many thanks to Jimmy for letting me stay and play!

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