The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > Other Discussions > Events and New Releases

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-12-2015, 06:22 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default Acoustic album...

A friend of mine recently released his first album of acoustic Americana music and I thought I'd share some of the details here including the guitars used and the way it was recorded... because we all love guitars and some of us are definitely interested in how they are recorded.

It's always a tricky thing when a buddy launches an album of music... they might be a good buddy and they might be a great musician but they make music that you don't really like. That isn't the case with "The End of Ours" by Alec Lytle & Them Rounders. He has produced an album of lilting, beautiful, heartfelt songs delivered in an effortless production of sonic honey. The album was produced by Tony Berg (Aimee Mann, Nanci Griffith, Peter Gabriel, Edie Brickell etc), engineered by the legendary Bob Clearmountain and mastered by the equally legendary Bob Ludwig. He also managed to garner the services of some stellar guest musicians on this album; bluegrass fiddler Gabe Witcher, guitarists Greg Leisz and Val McCallum, dummer Matt Chamberlain and various others–I'll let you google some of their recording credits. Quality oozes out of every second and every facet of this album which contains 9 original songs and two covers (including an amazing version of Talking Heads' "This Must Be The Place").

So, guitars... Alec and I are buddies through shared interests and one of those interests is, of course, guitars. Also, in the past few years I've invested a lot of time and effort into learning how to record guitars in my home studio so I tend to pick the brains of everyone and anyone I can when it comes to recording gear and technique.

I've always loved his late 50's Martin with a great back story, so I asked him about it and the other guitars he played on the album:
1959 Martin 00-17
I primarily played my 1959 Martin 00-17. I bought this guitar about 5 years ago from a woman in Half Moon Bay. Her father had bought it new in Livermore when she was a child. After he passed away, she mostly kept the guitar in its case in a closet. Eventually she realized it needed to be played, and put it on Craig's List where I found it. A few years later, she happened to come to a solo concert I was giving in the area purely by coincidence. Needless to say she was very happy to find that the guitar was my primary instrument. It has an incredibly intimate sound, and a dark, smallness that seems to compliment my songs very well. At the urging of the guys at Gryphon Guitars, I don't take this guitar on tour any more...it's too fragile. I have a modern Martin 00-15 that I play at shows. That old 00-17 is too wonderful to tempt fate in the road. I only change single strings on this guitar when they break, this adds to the darkness and smallness of the sound.

1992 Gibson J-100 Xtra
I played this guitar on Frozen Ground and This Must Be The Place. I've owned this one for about 15 years. For a long time it was my only acoustic guitar when I was still primarily focused on my upright bass playing. It's a big, loud strummer. I don't play my 00-17 with a pick so this one covers the louder songs.

1962 Gibson J45
I played this guitar for the last track on the record, 'When I Go Deaf'. It belongs to my producer Tony Berg. Glen Campbell signed it with a black marker many years ago. It's a magical guitar, really dark and woody. The sound is so warm and dry.

I also asked him if he would share details of how his guitar and vocals were recorded because it really is a beautiful sounding album. I've become kind of obsessed with chasing a good recording chain for several of my guitars so I'm always asking. I was stoked when Bob Clearmountain himself furnished the details;
"The mics we used were a Neumann KM-86 on Alec's acoustic guitar while he was singing into a vintage Neumann M-49. The KM-86 had no processing on it during recording, although I may have used a Distressor compressor during the mix. The M-49 was recorded with a bit of UREI LA-3A compression and something like a 90 cycle high-pass filter. I probably added a bit of a 10 or 12k shelf on the SSL E-series EQ when we mixed. All pretty simple, really.

The M-49 was set to its cardioid pattern and—as you can see from the photo—was angled up about 40 or 45 degrees to try to reject as much of the acoustic guitar as possible. For the same reason, the KM-86—also set to cardioid—was angled down toward Alec's acoustic guitar, rejecting a good deal of his voice. While not giving us perfect isolation between the voice and guitar, it gave us quite enough separation to effectively balance the two elements without any problem."
I hope that's of interest to some people and I hope you check out the album, you can hear it on iTunes here, or if you're into CD/vinyl you can get it from Alec's website here.

Alec also sent me some pictures of the recording setup, I'll post them here later if anyone wants to check out the arrangement and simplicity (hella expensive simplicity) of the 86 and 49 mics...
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-12-2015, 07:06 PM
duluthdan duluthdan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Rockies
Posts: 1,739
Default

Gave the previews a quick listen - this is outstanding material, not over produced - sounds like I'm gonna have to circle back and buy this. Nice stuff.
__________________
DD
Gibson J-45 TV (LR Baggs Lyric)
Gibson J-45 Legend
Gibson J-50 (K&K Pure Mini)
Martin D-35 (Trance Audio M)
Martin 000-42
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-12-2015, 07:10 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by duluthdan View Post
Gave the previews a quick listen - this is outstanding material, not over produced - sounds like I'm gonna have to circle back and buy this. Nice stuff.
I've been listening to North and Rain for quite some time and I think they are great tunes but The River and This Must Be The Place have been total 'earworms' since I got the album. The River, in particular, just has this phenomenal ending with some tasty slide guitar licks from Greg Leisz and swirling Gabe Witcher fiddle part... lovely.
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-13-2015, 09:23 AM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

Here's a couple of images from the recording session, by Scott McKissen, showing Alec in the booth playing his Martin with the two Neumann's angled in as described, above.


(photo: Scott McKissen)


(photo: Scott McKissen)
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-13-2015, 10:47 AM
mercy mercy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,699
Default

I like under processed music like this whoever the performer. If it has strings and tuba I turn it off.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-13-2015, 10:52 AM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

To me, this stuff is both inspirational and aspirational... I've been chasing this kind of mellow, intimate vibe for a while...
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:32 AM
bob@mixthis.com bob@mixthis.com is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2
Default Mic Description Update

Since sending that mic description, our co-engineer, Brandon Duncan reminded me of a few details I managed to omit or actually, forget. So here's the updated description:

"The mics we used were a Neumann KM-86 on Alec's acoustic guitar while he were singing into a vintage Neumann M-49. The KM-86 had no processing on it during recording, although I may have used a Distressor compressor during the mix. The M-49 was recorded with a bit of UREI LA-3A compression and something like a 90 cycle high-pass filter. I probably added a bit of a 10 or 12k shelf on the SSL E-series EQ when we mixed. All pretty simple, really.

The M-49 was set to its figure-eight pattern and—as you can see from the photo—was angled up about 40 or 45 degrees to try to reject as much of the acoustic guitar as possible, utilizing the figure-eight pattern’s 45º null characteristic. For the same reason, the KM-86—also set to figure-eight—was angled down toward Alec's acoustic guitar, rejecting a good deal of his voice. While not giving us perfect isolation between the voice and guitar, it gave us quite enough separation to effectively balance the two elements without any problem.

For Val McCallum’s guitar, we used a vintage AKG C-12 sporting a cardioid pattern, recorded without processing. I used a bit of Distressor set to a 3:1 compression ratio in the mix.”

Sorry about that!

Last edited by bob@mixthis.com; 11-14-2015 at 05:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-14-2015, 10:36 AM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

That's a whole lot of vintage microphone goodness going on right there, Bob. Thanks for the update, the album sounds so good.
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-14-2015, 05:10 PM
bob@mixthis.com bob@mixthis.com is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2
Default

Martin, I'm glad you love the album as much as I do! It's one of the few that I can't stop listening to. And thanks for the warm words about the sounds, as well!
—Clearmountain
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-14-2015, 06:53 PM
Lacks Focus Lacks Focus is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 1,590
Default

I see Taylor Goldsmith appears on a song, too. I may have to get this.
__________________
Craig

1977 Martin M-38
1982 Stelling Staghorn
2013 Larrivée D-40R
2014 Andrew White Eos 1011 (sold)
2016 Pisgah Possum
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-15-2015, 06:54 AM
KevWind KevWind is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Out West
Posts: 7,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob@mixthis.com View Post
Martin, I'm glad you love the album as much as I do! It's one of the few that I can't stop listening to. And thanks for the warm words about the sounds, as well!
—Clearmountain
Very nice album indeed, I was curious if this was recorded to DAW or to tape ? Hybrid or all analog ? Thanks, Kev
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...



http://soundcloud.com/kevwind
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-18-2015, 02:28 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Very nice album indeed, I was curious if this was recorded to DAW or to tape ? Hybrid or all analog ? Thanks, Kev
I was chatting with Alec this morning...

The album was tracked through Apogee converters and recorded digitally... the mixdown happened through an SSL board using Mr. Clearmountain's outboard gear.
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-18-2015, 04:52 PM
KevWind KevWind is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Out West
Posts: 7,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesolationAngel View Post
I was chatting with Alec this morning...

The album was tracked through Apogee converters and recorded digitally... the mixdown happened through an SSL board using Mr. Clearmountain's outboard gear.
Hey thanks . I knew the SSL, Distressor , and UREI were outboard, and suspected hybrid .
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...



http://soundcloud.com/kevwind
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-18-2015, 09:34 PM
DesolationAngel DesolationAngel is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Posts: 1,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Hey thanks . I knew the SSL, Distressor , and UREI were outboard, and suspected hybrid .
Oh yeah, I suppose that bit was already mentioned... so... yes! Ta da! Recorded digitally!
__________________
Martin
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-19-2015, 07:53 PM
Mobilemike Mobilemike is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,103
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob@mixthis.com View Post
Since sending that mic description, our co-engineer, Brandon Duncan reminded me of a few details I managed to omit or actually, forget. So here's the updated description:

"The mics we used were a Neumann KM-86 on Alec's acoustic guitar while he were singing into a vintage Neumann M-49. The KM-86 had no processing on it during recording, although I may have used a Distressor compressor during the mix. The M-49 was recorded with a bit of UREI LA-3A compression and something like a 90 cycle high-pass filter. I probably added a bit of a 10 or 12k shelf on the SSL E-series EQ when we mixed. All pretty simple, really.

The M-49 was set to its figure-eight pattern and—as you can see from the photo—was angled up about 40 or 45 degrees to try to reject as much of the acoustic guitar as possible, utilizing the figure-eight pattern’s 45º null characteristic. For the same reason, the KM-86—also set to figure-eight—was angled down toward Alec's acoustic guitar, rejecting a good deal of his voice. While not giving us perfect isolation between the voice and guitar, it gave us quite enough separation to effectively balance the two elements without any problem.

For Val McCallum’s guitar, we used a vintage AKG C-12 sporting a cardioid pattern, recorded without processing. I used a bit of Distressor set to a 3:1 compression ratio in the mix.”

Sorry about that!
Thanks Bob! Super cool to have you on the forum here!

-Mike
__________________
Taylor Baritone-8 • Martin 000-18GE 1937 • Lyle L-10 • Martin Custom D-15SM
2013 Gibson J35 • Early 70's Gibson J50 • Yamaha LL16 • Pono 0000-20SP
Blueridge BR-143A • Avalon Legacy A10c • Martin D18 • Halcyon#135 • Guild D-125-12
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > Other Discussions > Events and New Releases

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=