This is my general information. For specific songs, check out the "Read More" links on my blog's
My humble recording gear:
- (2) AKG C-414 mics - These are my workhorses. All vocals and guitars are done through these.
- (2) Shure SM-57 mics - I use these for toms.
- (1) Sennheiser MD-421 II mic - Used for snare and guitar amp.
- (1) AKG D112 mic - I only use this for the bass drum.
- (1) Audio Technica AT822 stereo mic -
This is nice small-diaphragm stereo mic used for random stuff.
- (2) Apex 205 ribbon mics - Noisy, but an awesome value ($80)
and a super-warm and comfy sound. My new go-to mics for electric guitar,
and some vocals.
- Aphex 1100 preamp - Very transparent, but it's become noisy over the years and they can't fix it.
- Portico 5012-H preamp - Awesome vintage tone, very focused midrange.
- Audiofire Pre8 - A beautiful little interface.
- Roland DS-50A Monitors - Near-field monitors used for mixing down.
I also use my crappy Labtec computer speakers for an embarassing amount
of mixing and recording.
I use a PC recording rig with Reaper 4 (although everything from Ashes back was done in Sonar). I rely heavily on Waves effects, which completely kick ass. Every instrument is played by me, thanks to the wonders of overdubbing. My usual bag of tricks:
- On my first CDs, acoustic guitar was usually recorded in stereo (until my last few CDs), usually with mics in XY configuration, panned 50-75%. I usually need to do a fairly big low cut, usually either as a hipass filter or a notch around 200hz. It usually gets some compression using Waves RComp to tame out the transients. When playing, I play with much less in the way of dynamics compared to live.
- Vocals are usually miced about a foot back, with a pop screen near my mouth. I tend to use a decent amount of Waves RVox compression to tame my crappy mic technique. I often use a delay to add life. The usual is Sonitus:fx Delay, which lets you roll the highs off to keep the echoes from cluttering the mix. Here is a typical setting. I love to doubletrack vocals as well. Usually I de-ess the hell out of the doubled track to keep things synced up better.
- Drums are usually the snare mic (MD-421), the bass drum mic (D-112), toms (SM57s), and two overheads (414s). I used to use either X/Y or spaced cardiods for the overhead configuration, but sometimes I use the Recorderman setup.
- For sequenced drums, I adore EZDrummer. You can get anything from hip-hop to very real-sounding drums.
- Electric guitars are usually run direct in, and then through Amplitube, Waves GTR or Guitar Rig 3 for an amp emulator. Laugh at me all you want - I love the way it sounds. :)
All electric on "Only Whispering"
and before was with a Fender Fat Strat, and I'm now using mostly a Telecaster.
The amp mic is a MD-421 (Only Whispering mostly), a 414 (Dirty Wings/Not Quite Connected/The Simple Life) or the Apex ribbon mic (The Simple Life).
- Bass guitars are direct in, running through Amplitube. If I want them to "pop", I add compression with a lowish threshold and a medium attack time.
- Piano and orchestra instruments are done using Soundfonts (early CDs), The Grand (middle CDs), and Akoustik Piano (later CDs).
- All Hammond organ sounds come from Sonic Implants' impossibly good B4 software. The Wurly/Rhodes pianos are their Elektrik Piano.
- Crazy synth sounds are either using the powerful z3ta+, or the old-school MiniMoog emulator.
- I'm not a reverb fan. Unless used sparingly, it almost always sounds amateur unless used for an effect. Delay can be better for ambience.
- My usual mixdown is with Waves L3 for peak limiting, nothing else.
Here is a description of the Sonar
template I used.
- On roughly "Only Whispering" on back, the snare drum mic was a straight
SM-57. But I hate 57s, so I've been using an MD-421 on the new stuff.
- "Here Today" was recorded with a standalone VS-1680 recorder, using MIDI
drums, and internal guitar amp simulation.
- "Crawford Street" is mostly done with a computer rig running Sonar 3 and 4.
The interface was a mega-crappy Roland VM-3100 mixer. Electric guitars
were mostly done through Amplitube.
- "Only Whispering" was started with the VM-3100, but most of the parts were
re-recorded using a Tascam FW-1840 interface. Electric guitars
were mostly done through Amplitube.
- "Dirty Wings", "Not Quite Connected" and "The Simple Life" were recorded with
my new Onyx 400F, which I'm very happy with. The Telecaster was my main
electric guitar, usually through the Tube Screamer into the Blackface,
recoreded with a low volume into a 414.
- "Breadcrumbs" is still with the Onyx 400F interface, using Sonar 8.
I'm back to using mostly guitar amp emulators. I've also discovered the joys
of Melodyne. The last three songs on the CD were recorded mostly with my
new Portico 5012-H preamp.
- "Ashes" was the last CD using Sonar. I'm using Reaper going forward. I'm also using an Audiofire Pre8 interface, since my Onyx finally crapped out.