Week 6 Update

I had to make a stop at MidState Camera on my way to the studio, which is about two miles away. I walked through neighborhoods between Warwick Ave and Elmwood Ave. I’m a Rhode Island native but some of these areas I’d never seen, others I’d not been to in years; I’d suddenly find myself walking past an old friends house, nostalgia, deja vu, etc. It was a kind of madeleine moment.

Last week I fried the tweeters in the main set of monitors (I realize now I shouldn’t have normalized those group sends the way I did…). I found replacements through Speaker Exchange and installed them, they sound as good, if not better, than the originals. [Update: one of the speakers arrived damaged, but was replaced without charge by the manufacturer]

This weeks theme was experimentation: tape delay/slapback and reverb chamber (still looking for that sweet spot).

Vocal tracking with two microphones (Slapback / Automatic Double Tracking):

1) SM81 via GAP Pre-73 to Otari with Ampex 499 tape.
2) SM57 via Crest channel strip to 22-4 (Tascam) running 15 IPS & some low-grade thin tape (.5 mil 2400′ ‘open reel’ brand) and returned to the Otari.

Used the pitch control to dial in the desired delay timing.

The idea to separate the slapback vocal and the dry vocal through two separate mics came from a recent interview in TapeOp (“They’d use a second microphone direct into the mic preamp of an Ampex 350 [tape deck] for the slapback, and they’d mix that in as a separate channel on their console, as opposed to [using] an aux send or something.”). I look forward to trying this with more exciting microphones and microphone placement.

Pong

After dubbing vocals and guitars I was ready to do some mixing. Ping-ponged a couple more generations of the PAYOLA$ cover I’ve been working on for BEDNAYS. Even after four generations of bounce, between the Otari (using Ampex 499 tape) and the Tascam (using ATR MDS-36), the noise floor is impressively low (no noise reduction employed!).

Other/funstuff

Visitors Saturday – did an impromptu recording with Scott Macreading (Sallad/Salad Cowboys, Aquatic Symphony, etc.) and José Diaz Rohena of Neighbors. Sarah Macreading stamped the art out for PIXELS cassettes, something I’d been putting off (thanks!).

Lawrence finalized the ACCESSORIES cassette artwork, too.

IMG_0087
Lawrence nudging text & graphics pixel by pixel from cassette artwork.

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