This weekend I recorded CHAOS at LEOPARD STUDIO in Stone Ridge NY. CHAOS recorded six original songs and one cover, tracking all the basic rhythm tracks, drums, bass, guitars and leads. This session was the bands second studio project with me. The last session was almost exactly one year ago, at The Barn in Cold Spring. That session at The Barn was basically a live recording. This time we did layered tracking; with Brittany recording all of her drum parts first while they rest of the band played scratch tracks direct through the board. Then we mic'd up each amp one at a time and over-dubbed all the bass and guitar parts. All the members of CHAOS were well rehearsed and did excellent work. As always it was a pleasure to be working at LEOPARD because the studio is well equipped, the vibe is really laid back and owner Jimmy Lonesome Goodman is always such a pleasant host.
Jimmy spent Saturday morning helping me get the rather extensive drum mic-ing set up. We used two Sennheiser MD-421s in the two kick drums, and those ran through my new Vintech Dual 72 pre-amps and then were each compressed with DBX-160As. The snare drum was mic'd with an SM-57, which we tracked through Jimmy's Avalon 737 with compression and some EQ. We put SM-57s on all six of the toms, summing them through the Soundcraft mixing console and then routing them to a stereo track via an Avalon 747, also with some compression and EQ. On the high-hat I used an SM-81 through a channel of API 312, and I used a pair of Rode NTK Tube Condenser Mics through API 312s for the overheads. I also used Jimmy's U47 through an API 312 pre-amp for the room mic. For the boys tracking direct I set up my Line-6 POD and Jimmy's MXR Distortion Pedal for guitarists Chris and Joe, while Bassist Carl played direct through my Presonus Eureka.
Having returned the Royer R-121 Ribbon back to Alto Music, I decided to try out one of my old Altec 639 "Birdcage" mics on the guitar cabs. To my delight the Altec sounded really good and I ended up using it for the bulk of the guitar sounds, blending it with an SM-57 and MD-421 in various amounts, mostly favoring the Altec and Sennheiser. I also used the Altec to mic up Jimmy's Ampeg B-15 bass amp, which we used not for bass but for clean guitar tracks, all of which we double-tracked. For Carl's Bass amp I used an Electrovoice ND-868 on the bottom cab, a Sennheiser MD-421 on the top, pre-amplified through the Vintech 72 and DBX-160As, and he also ran direct through the Avalon 737. I blended the mic combinations through aux channels in ProTools so each mic combo only used one track. Over all the session ran really well and we achieved all our objectives for the weekend. We plan to return to Leopard in a few weeks for another round of basic tracking.