dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

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joninc
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dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by joninc » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:46 pm

Did a bunch of radiohead listening yesterday.. specifically IN RAINBOWS and HAIL TO THE THIEF.

Noticed how dark the drums are on most of those recordings. Cymbals never harsh and sticking out... but at the same time, it's not muddy. Less compressed sounding overall too than I might have guessed.

Also listened to the Black Dub album a few nights ago and again - the drums are really soft on the top end. Lanois' own Shine album also sounds incredible too. Even a track with just 1 electric guitar and vocal sounds ENORMOUSLY WIIIIIIDE and so thick and rich.

Peter Katis is another genius at this type of thing - rich low end and still nice and clear (listen to the Swell Season album he did - or the Kurt Vile "b'lieve I'm goin down" mixes) .

There's sort of a velvety thickness that's so lovely on a lot of these producer's work (Lanois more so in the past 10-15 ish years than earlier works) - it makes you want to lean in and crank things up and it feels lush and rich.

In the past I was thinking this had a lot to do with thick low end - bass, kick etc... - but I am realizing that my own work can be very bass heavy but still strident/toppy and I think it has as much to do with rolling top end out of bright things (esp drums and guitars). Maybe there's more low mids present overall too....

Both high air stuff and upper mids are really gentle - gives the vocal lots of space.

Maybe the compression approach is also less heavy handed and allows for things to breathe more?

What do you think?
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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by losthighway » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:06 pm

Love these records too.

I think you might also be hearing more ribbons and dynamic mics on drum sets, fewer SDCs. I would guess fewer mics in general. They also go for a pretty dry sound, so it's easier to keep the understated drums in focus. Also that drummer has a lighter touch so it's easier to keep the cymbals in check.

All of the recent Wilco/Jeff Tweedy records with Tom Schick have a similar approach I think.

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:41 pm

RE: Radiohead.

I got to work with them for a few days as they were passing by where I used to work.

On, Amnesiac / Japan singles.

We used two mics on the drums, as this was how they were liking doing things then.

It was a Shure SM58 inside the kick, and a Bruel & Kjaer omni 4006 about 3 feet above the drummer's head,
placed so it heard approximately what he did.

I have not worked with Lanois, but have been to his studio, it is a lovely house, and all wired for sound.

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by losthighway » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:11 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:41 pm
We used two mics on the drums, as this was how they were liking doing things then.

It was a Shure SM58 inside the kick, and a Bruel & Kjaer omni 4006 about 3 feet above the drummer's head,
placed so it heard approximately what he did.
:shock:

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by vvv » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:31 pm

Awesome, Nick!

Can you name any specific singles?
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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:54 pm

vvv wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:31 pm
Awesome, Nick!

Can you name any specific singles?
Whatever went as a single to Japan, from the album "Amnesiac". I am not sure if any of that ended up on the album itself. They do record pretty dry, then FX the shit out of things.

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:56 pm

losthighway wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:11 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:41 pm
We used two mics on the drums, as this was how they were liking doing things then.

It was a Shure SM58 inside the kick, and a Bruel & Kjaer omni 4006 about 3 feet above the drummer's head,
placed so it heard approximately what he did.
:shock:
Less mics, less problems. :)
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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by losthighway » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:07 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:56 pm
losthighway wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:11 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:41 pm
We used two mics on the drums, as this was how they were liking doing things then.

It was a Shure SM58 inside the kick, and a Bruel & Kjaer omni 4006 about 3 feet above the drummer's head,
placed so it heard approximately what he did.
:shock:
Less mics, less problems. :)
I get it, but a 58 on kick? Whoa.

Well, they must have known what they were doing cause I enjoyed the results.

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by joninc » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:27 pm

wonder what song this was...

Japan CD
"Pyramid Song" – 4:51
"Fast-Track" – 3:19
"The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
"Trans-Atlantic Drawl" – 3:03
"Kinetic" – 4:05
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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by mike_ender » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:05 am

Man those b sides are all really great. Bravo, whichever it was!

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by drumsound » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:05 am

losthighway wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:06 pm
Love these records too.

I think you might also be hearing more ribbons and dynamic mics on drum sets, fewer SDCs. I would guess fewer mics in general. They also go for a pretty dry sound, so it's easier to keep the understated drums in focus. Also that drummer has a lighter touch so it's easier to keep the cymbals in check.

All of the recent Wilco/Jeff Tweedy records with Tom Schick have a similar approach I think.
All of this.

Lanois loves an RCA 77 fairly low over the drums. And on amps, and vocals.

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Re: dark vs thick - listening to Godrich/Lanois productions

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:07 am

joninc wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:27 pm
wonder what song this was...

Japan CD
"Pyramid Song" – 4:51
"Fast-Track" – 3:19
"The Amazing Sounds of Orgy" – 3:38
"Trans-Atlantic Drawl" – 3:03
"Kinetic" – 4:05
I remember working on only three songs, probably three from this one.

Another silly thing that happened that time, was that they recorded voiceovers for South Park. LOL.
Trey and Matt were hilarious. I had almost forgotten that whole hour of fun.
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