Home studio at the top of the charts

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b3groover
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Home studio at the top of the charts

Post by b3groover » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:48 pm

Hey folks,

Some of the old-timers here might remember this thread from almost five years ago where I discussed recording my first full-length CD in my humble home studio. In the last five years, I've upgraded a few small things but I've mainly focused on my skills as an engineer including learning about mic placements, potential phase issues, gain staging, proper use of compression, etc. I've tracked several full-length CDs in that time with decent success.

The latest is from my jazz trio organissimo and as of last week it was #5 on the national JazzWeek charts and has been in the Top10 on that chart for five weeks.

It took a long time to finish this album. In fact, the first sessions were in 2010 and the last were just the past summer in 2012. The reason it took so long is that I joined a nationally touring band and I'm on the road most of the year now. So we had to track this in between stints at home.

I am most proud of the organ sound itself. The ultimate recorded jazz organ tone, in my opinion, is from the Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery album "The Further Adventures of Jimmy & Wes" on Verve, engineered by Rudy Van Gelder. I've been seeking that tone since I first started recording myself on the Hammond 16 years ago. I think I finally achieved something which, though not exactly the same, is a satisfying homage. If anyone is interested in how I mic'd the Leslie cabinet, I'll do another post.

Anyway, the CD is called "Dedicated" and it's doing really well. It's on iTunes and Amazon and all that. Samples are at the web link below. Curious to know what you all think. Thanks!

organissimo - Dedicated
www.organissimo.org
organissimo - Dedicated (new CD)
"This shitty room is making your next hit record, bitch!"

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digitaldrummer
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Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:08 pm

the samples sound great Jim. I ordered a CD!

and of course we want to know all about the recording too... :D
Mike
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MichaelAlan
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Post by MichaelAlan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:18 pm

Up In the Playroom is awesome. Killer bass tone!


Mike
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b3groover
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Post by b3groover » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:46 pm

Thanks, fellas!

The recording process was quite simple. I've been experimenting recently with only using the preamps in my Yamaha N12 mixer and Steinberg (aka Yamaha) MR816x. The only outboard preamps I used on this project were my JLM Dual 99v on the overheads. Everything else went through the Steinberg/Yamaha pres.

I'm glad the bass tone was mentioned because I'm proud of it. I've always had a hard time capturing that rich, full bass tone from a Leslie. I think I finally figured out a way to do it.

The organ is my 1954 Hammond C2 with TrekII percussion installed. I connected it to a Leslie 47 with a 122 amplifier (since my C2 is not compatible with the 47 style Leslie amps). I chose a pair of original Tung Sol 6550 power tubes due to their gorgeous tone in the amp.

To mic the cabinet, I used a Stellar RM-7 stereo ribbon in an M/S configuration about 18" away from the cabinet, with the MID element dead center with the Leslie's top rotor and judicious use of pop filters. Using the free Voxengo MSED plug-in to decode the mid/side information, I was able to control exactly how much stereo spread I wanted.

On the bottom end, I used an EV RE20 shoved up into the port. There is no back panel port on the single speed Leslies like the 21H, 22, 22R, and 47, but there is a port right above the bottom rotor, in the shelf that the 15" woofer sits on, on the right hand side if you're facing the Leslie's back (the back with the amp exposed). I put the RE20 up into there, flipped the phase (since I'm mic'ing the back of the speaker) and did some EQ to tame the overt resonance frequencies of the port. The result is solid low end for days. And I still get the sense of motion from the lower rotor, despite it not being mic'd, due to the sensitivity and positioning of the stereo ribbon.

Drum overheads were my trusty pair of Audio Technica ATM450s through the JLM Dual 99v preamps as I mentioned. Kick was a Superlux PRA-218B in the port and on some of the sessions a Royer tube modded MXL 2001 on the front head. Snare was my Royer tube modded MXL 603s on top and a Beta87 on the bottom. Toms were various Audio Technica dynamics (ATM25, ATM23, etc.)

Guitar was mic'd with a Stellar RM-3 ribbon. For the first few sessions, the guitarist used a new Fender Twin. About a year ago he bought an original '64 Fender Deluxe Reverb that just sounds incredible, so we re-amped everything through that (thankfully I took a DI).

That's about it, really. I overdubbed various keys (Wurlitzer electric piano, modular synth, some Moog Voyager) afterwards and mixed and mastered through the Neve 8068 at Glenn Brown Productions in E. Lansing. My goal is to always get the cleanest, best sounding raw signals and then utilize Glenn's incredible ears and outboard gear to finalize the mix. I did pre-mix the entire album myself. We used stems at Glenn's so that he could further tame the low-end of the organ, for example, and parallel compress the drum bus.
www.organissimo.org
organissimo - Dedicated (new CD)
"This shitty room is making your next hit record, bitch!"

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Post by GooberNumber9 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:40 am

MichaelAlan wrote:Up In the Playroom is awesome. Killer bass tone
+1

Also, as a big Jimmy Smith fan, I think you killed the organ tone. Not the same, but great-sounding in its own way.

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Post by Jay Reynolds » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:37 pm

I guess that makes me an old-timer now :)

Great news, man!
Prog out with your cog out.

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b3groover
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Post by b3groover » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:14 am

GooberNumber9 wrote:
MichaelAlan wrote:Up In the Playroom is awesome. Killer bass tone
+1

Also, as a big Jimmy Smith fan, I think you killed the organ tone. Not the same, but great-sounding in its own way.
Thank you. Yes, it's different but I think the solidity of the bass is similar.

Currently #6 on the charts after dropping to #7 last week. Still doing really well.

BTW, I finally got my MAP/Melcor/API preamps fully working including the phantom and I've done some tests with them on snare and kick. Wow. Might have to go that route for the next one.
www.organissimo.org
organissimo - Dedicated (new CD)
"This shitty room is making your next hit record, bitch!"

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Post by b3groover » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:28 pm

We had a good run. We were in the Top 10 for 8 weeks until this past week when we dropped to #11. Not too shabby! I'm very proud of this record.
www.organissimo.org
organissimo - Dedicated (new CD)
"This shitty room is making your next hit record, bitch!"

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