Massive amounts of saturation?

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chris harris
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Massive amounts of saturation?

Post by chris harris » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:21 pm

I'm starting sessions tomorrow with a band that has sent me a link to Times New Viking as an example of how "blown out" they want their record to sound.

http://www.myspace.com/timesnewviking

The song that they referred me to is: Call and Respond.

They said, "not quite as blown out, but this is sort of what we're looking for this time around".

Now.... this time, we've got very limited time. Probably not enough time to track to the 2". So, we'll be going straight to digital. If we were tracking to the 2", I'd just punish the tape. And, if we were using a cassette 4-track, sounds like this would be pretty easy to achieve.

Any suggestions for getting what these guys are after, using fairly classy gear at a nice studio?

here is a list of gear that we'll have to work with:

http://www.belllabsrecordingstudio.com/ ... pment.html

The band is sort-of post-punk/noise with heavy distortion on both the bass and guitar. The drummer is fantastic and hits hard. You can check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/gps Song 1 is (I believe) a practice space demo of a new song. Song 2 is a little burst of noise that they did with a Kaos pad. Songs 3, 4, and 5 are songs from the last album that we tracked (though with a different intended result) at the same studio last year. Song 6 is from a very old recording session with another engineer.

I appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks!

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Post by masonpitzel » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:36 pm

If you don't have time to track straight to the 2", I'd say that at the very least the mixdowns should hit tape. Honestly, just hit the tape as hard as possible.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:39 pm

any way you could track through the 2" to digital? cause like you say, this sort of thing comes a lot easier if you can just beat the shit out of the tape. otherwise...calibrate all the converters to like -32 and crank all the pres?

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Post by antilog » Mon Dec 15, 2008 4:53 pm

damn, fun stuff... my mind is all over the place in directions avant garde and jazz, but rock is always in my heart....
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Post by chris harris » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:19 pm

I think that I will show up an hour early and do the patch bay calculus and trapeze necessary to track through the tape to digital. I'll also be mixing to tape, but in sticking with my position in the choices v. decisions debate, I want to get some fucked up sounds to start with. And, the band is way into it too.

Now, to kick it up another notch, I have to deal with printing that much level in a medium sized room with a band that is as loud as a rocket launch, all in the same room, no headphones. Last time, the bleed was actually really rad and made things much more fun to mix. We'll see how it goes runnin' real hot.

Thanks!

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:27 pm

all of them in one room bleeding like crazy is definitely the way to go. maybe mic a little closer than you might otherwise, since the hot levels will bring up the ambience? and i dunno if you'd need to since you're gonna track through the tape, but you could certainly push the fatso for some nice saturation on drums.

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Post by antilog » Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:29 pm

Damn, I sincerely hope I get to hear this...
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NeglectedFred
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Post by NeglectedFred » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:35 pm

OK, I'm truely missing something - that's all I'm saying about that...

On the other hand, if it were up to me, I'd probably start with a PZM slammed into something pretty hard..

I didn't see a PZM on your list, but maybe a tube mic in the room slammed into an 1176 all buttons.. Maybe put your fatso to use..

Just for the sake of maintaining control, I'd probably keep everything iso but the drums the first time around - while saturating the hell out of the room, then I'd retrack or double the guitars simultaneously in the room, a fair distance apart with close mics, while keeping up that same saturated room mic you had for the drums.
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:47 pm

Please let us hear this. Best of luck!

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Post by rwc » Mon Dec 15, 2008 11:57 pm

(2)EMPIRICAL LABS DISTRESSOR

sounds like a lot of this is going to be used. :lol:
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Post by kayagum » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:12 am

From a previous thread: http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopic.php?t=57016 The "Flaming Lips" drum sound. Just overload a Yamaha SPX900!

Direct link: http://www.cleversley.com/?cat=11
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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:28 am

This sounds like a op amp driven to insanity.

But before it gets driven to insanity, there is a hipass filter going on, to help only distort more of the mids - highs.

Any audio item, really, that has an op amp that you can overload, will do the trick. Typical ones are gear from the 80's and early 90's, when mass produced crap in black was all the rage.

I actually built a distortion box with left over Neve-ish op amps, and had a switch where you could add another op-amp before the final gain stage, and this would cause the final gain op amp to turn inot a GATE, if driven hard enough. Now THAT's too much distortion!!! It actually would turn OFF the signal if it got too loud!!!

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Post by chris harris » Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:51 am

Well.... the tape machine hasn't been used in a while. So, we chose to skip it and abuse some preamps and compressors instead. The band also wanted to go with a "always rolling, all the time" session. So, the digital route was the best for this session.

Here's what we went with for basic tracks:

Drums - 4pc. kit, hat, ride, 2 crashes

Kick - D112 - API
Snare - sm57 - API
Snare Bottom - i5 - Daking
Rack Tom - md421 - Daking
Floor Tom - md421 - Daking
OH Hat - m160 - Neve Portico - Fatso
OH Ride - m160 - Neve Portico - Fatso
FOK - 414 - Neve Portico
FOK SMASH - 414 - Neve Portico - Distressor

Bass - 2 amps, one crossover, 3 cabs

Bass Clean - re27 - GTQ
Bass Hi Dist - Fathead - GTQ
Bass Low Dist SMASH - sm57 - API - 1176

Gtr - 2 drool-worthy pedal-boards, Fender Twin

Gtr - r122 - API
Gtr SMASH - sm7 - Daking - 1176

Sounds awesome.
The nuked FOK mic is pumping beautifully with all of the bleed in the room.

We're finishing basic tracks tonight. Probably won't have vocals and mixes finished until the new year. But, I'll definitely post again when I've got something you guys can listen to.

Thanks!

???????
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Post by ??????? » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:46 am

That's a really interesting vibe.

Something that might be fun to try is to go to the pawn shop and get the cheapest solid-state guitar amp they have. Then take a pencil and poke a bunch of holes in the speaker.

Then at mixdown time, use a reamp to send various tracks through that shitty amp with busted speaker mic'd up with some dynamic mic, and squash the hell out of it. You can blend in "blown out" as an effect by sending various amounts of various tracks to the busted amp. A teeny practice amp with a 6" or 8" speaker would probably be ideal, this would keep the low end from building up and would make it easier to smash the hell out of the mic'd signal.

Never tried anything like that before, but that's just a brainstorm of one thing I might try if tracking a band that was going for that particular type of thing.

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:52 pm

What about taking your stereo mixdown and running it through that Empirical Labs Fatso? Might do the trick for the sound you're looking for.

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