Electrical Audio Session w/ Steve Albini, Studio A (photos/info)

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by mikoo69, Aug 12, 2010.

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  1. mikoo69

    mikoo69 Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010

    I wanted to share pictures, info and music from my band's recording session @ Electrical Audio w/ Steve Albini. We spent 3 days with Steve cutting a 9 song record in July. The record was done live, with no overdubs except vocals.

    Day one we tracked all guitar, bass and drums live.
    Day two we tracked vocals and began mixing
    Day three we finished vocals and mixed.
    Day four, we spent half a day finishing the mixes.

    The record is available for free download @ Grandfather - Why I'd Try (320kbps mp3)

    or you can go to Grandfather on Bandcamp for FLAC, AAC, and other higher quality audio formats.

    Session Photos are up on our facebook page, which have detailed pictures of mic placement: Grandfather on Facebook (Like/Friend/Share Us on Facebook to keep updated w/ shows, news, etc.)

    Input List:
    All mics through Neotek desk preamp except as noted

    Drums (Kentucky)
    Bass Drum Front: Beyer M380 -> 1176 Limiter Slow Release, 20:1
    Bass Drum Batter: Shure SM98
    Snare: Sony C37e -> NTI EQ
    Rack Tom: Josephson E22s Top and Bottom
    Floor Tom: Josephson E22s Top and Bottom
    Overheads: Royer 122 (L&R) -> 1178 Limiter -> GML EQ + 678k + 3726k
    M-S Stereo: AKG C24 M.S (0 + ∞) -> Electrical M-S Matrix
    Room Ambience: Neumann CMV563 + N55k Capsules (L&R) -> 20ms Stereo Delay
    Rimshot: Shure SM98 -> GML Limiter

    Bass Guitar (Alcatraz)
    Low: Beyer M380 -> Urei LA12 Limiter “Auto” – 3dB
    High: Josephson E22s -> John Hardy M2 Preamp -> HPF 280Hz

    Electric Guitar (Center Field)
    Low: RCA74 (“Junior Velocity”) -> GML Preamp
    High: Audio Technica Pro37 -> GML Preamp
    Room Ambience: Crown PCC

    Vocal (Kentucky facing Center Field)
    Main: Neumann U48 -> John Hardy M2 Preamp -> 1176 Fast Release 20:1
    Vocal Ambience: Crown PCC -> Expander Keyed to Vocal Mic

    The record was completed and brought to Chicago Mastering Service the day after to have mastered to vinyl, digital and CD by Bob Weston. There are also photos of the mastering session on our facebook page.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the recording. Steve and Bob were both amazing to work with, and we couldn't be happier with the end result

    Grandfather Equipment List: Grandfather's Equipment List
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Thanks for taking the time to post all this. I always find it very interesting to see and hear what people are using. Especially when you post it this way for all of us. Good to see the Royer 122 being used, they are starting to catch on more. I have two myself and love them. Good to see the chain with the John Hardy M2. I would love to have one of his preamp.

    Wow, pretty efficient 4 days. bang bang bang pow! I'll have a listen soon.

  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Love your tunes. Great style. Recording sounds great. Mix sounds great. Nice to hear natural drums.
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Extremely efficient given 13 mics used on drums.
    I often use more than the suggested drum mics, but never 13 - and even then, I have a few throwaways.
    I'm curious to know if any of those drum mics got scrapped?

    Like Chris, I'm always interested in what people are using and on what.
    I know it's more about the technique than the tools, but it's nice to get an in-depth look at mic choices and recording chains -
    especially when such information comes from established pros that many try to emulate.
    (I've often been asked to record drums "like Albini", but more of a reference to his RHCP days - I'm sure his methods have changed since then)

    Thanks for the info, and I'll be digging in deeper first chance I get!
  5. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Paris, France
    Hey. I did not get the chance to hear the result yet but tanks for taking the Time to post that.
    That's great.
    I always heard that mr albini uses very low to almost no eq while mixing. What about that???

    Thanks again.
  6. mikoo69

    mikoo69 Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    soapfloats: no mics were scrapped, however in the mix, the ambient floor mics were turned down in parts where we felt a drier drum tone fit the mix better. everything else was pretty consistent.

    niclaus: yes steve tends to get the tone he likes in the room first. i.e. if something has too much or not enough high end, he will swap the mic. that being said, he occasionally used EQ from the Neotek board to cut out some low rumbling frequencies.
  7. mikoo69

    mikoo69 Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    hey niclaus, wondering if you checked out the music yet?
  8. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Paris, France
    I just did. It was my "waking up" music...
    I like it very much.
    The sound reminds me of the SLOY album "Plug"... That's the Albini's touch...
    I really enjoyed the second track...
    Nice job!
  9. mikoo69

    mikoo69 Active Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    just got the vinyl test pressings

    the vinyl sounds amazing. it's difficult to explain exactly what the qualitative difference is, though certain parts really stand out in a way i never heard them. listening on vinyl really accentuates the nuances and intricacies of the recording, i.e. the warbly guitar in the "By Myself" verse and on "The Outcome" sounds even more warbly. The softer parts of the record almost sound like the vocal is sitting in the room with you, it's that natural sounding.

    I'm not sure how else to explain it, but i will say this record definitely benefits from being listened to loud on vinyl. i guess you'd have to hear it.

    Josh (singer/drummer) hand stamping the vinyl artwork:

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