Sunday, November 12, 2006

11.12.2006 9-VOLT AMP POWERS 4X12 CAB!?!?!?

Another productive Sunday afternoon recording with DOLOR at Tony's place, tracking vocals and solo guitar parts. Todd brought a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp to use on the solo for "American Life". We wanted a real southern blues sound for the solo. Todd played his modified Telecaster with no pedals and the amp turned up to 10, and the tone worked great in the track. I placed a Shure SM57 in front of the grill and my Altec 693 Ribbon behind the open-back cab; both pre-amp'd with the Vintech Dual 72. Todd’s solo work was awesome. Then, for the intro we tried the same sound but it wasn't quite distinctive enough on it's own, we wanted something more unique. Todd pulled out this little 9-volt powered "Smokey Amp", a practice-amp housed in a cigarette box. It's 2" speaker sounded pretty narley, but it also had a speaker output. I was amazed to find out that this thing could actually drive a 4x12 cab! A surprisingly loud 0.5-watt output actually sounded really good!!! I placed both the SM57 and the Altec Ribbon in front of Todd's 4x12 Sunn cab and we tweaked the levels from the two microphones to taste. A couple of takes through and a few more tweaks and we had what we were looking for. I was totally amazed by the Smokey Amp. Visit their website: After the guitar over-dubs were done we took a break to eat, then Mike Hamel arrived. We set up the AKG 414 and makeshift vocal booth and Mike did a very strong performance on the vocals for the same song, "American Life". That's three "in the can" and three to go.

Sunday, November 5, 2006


Sunday I brought my iBook / Mbox rig over to Tony's house to track vocals with Mike Hamel of DOLOR. I had recently gotten my iBook back from repair. As it turns out my computer's problems qualified it for Apple's "iBook Logic Board Repair Extension Program" and so Apple fixed it for free. It was nice not to have to lug a big CPU and monitors for a change. I did haul over a few Auralex acoustic panels to create a suitable vocal booth. Russ and I propped them up in a corner of the living room, which was already a nice soft acoustic space to work in. I set up the computer in the dining room again, along with my Presonus Eureka channel strip, which I used to pre-amp and compressed the signal from the AKG 414 Mike sang through. We all monitored through headphones. Mike belted out excellent takes of two songs, "Deadened" and "Live Or Die". Good work Mike! And kudos to Chris Bittner of APPLEHEAD for telling me about Apple's repair extention program!