Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I watched Kraznet's videos on the AmMunition compression plugin in Samplitude. This compression plugin is awesome. And also there are some fantastically counter-intuitive things about the way it works. For instance, the "link" knob actually sums the stereo signal. That's a pretty big one. You want more spread? Swing the "link" knob toward 0%.
The other thing that I'd never really worked with is the M/S mode. I kind of knew that sometimes somehow some people used it for something, but never really had a handle on it.
It turns out, if you want to reduce pumping because of low-frequencies, M/S is a sweet way to go.

So I very much re-mixed Anubus Had a Long Day, Honey. We're now at version "f" I think. When we recorded this with the City Samanas we made a biggish number of changes from how we'd been recording up until then.

  • We switched from 96kHz to 48kHz
  • We added Lindell preamps to record the drums
  • We (because I can't leave well enough alone) applied EQ from those preamps
  • We used a stereo pair of Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina microphones on the drums

That's a lot of variables, my friend. But I came to some "conclusions" or at least "notions" about it all.

My first reaction was that everything was too bright. And also that we had too much of the bass and guitars in the drum tracks. I de-brightened things in the drums, but with the Edwina microphones I feel we're not getting enough isolation on the drums.

So after a few generations of mixes here's what I did and what I think:

  • I did go hog-wild with switching AmMunition to M/S. Because I really need those drums to "slam" without the cymbals breaking up when the limiters are being crushed by low-frequency stuff. This has made the mix vastly better.
  • There is still way too much bass and guitars in the drum tracks. Since when are we worried about too much other instruments in the drum tracks? Well, since I distance-mic the drums rather than putting a close-up mic on each drum, yet the guitars and bass get close-miked. And there's no vocalist to worry about. So I guess since then. Yeah.
  • The answer to the too much other instruments in the drum tracks may be to return to using the Oktava hypercardioids on the drums. We might think things were groovy with the Edwinas on the drums if the drums were isolated away from the guitars. 
  • The center mic on the drums is a question. It's an AKG C12A. When I was using it on Tyrannosaurus Mouse I felt that it was maybe a bit "wooly" sounding. So then my thinking (yesterday) was that maybe I should put the C12A through a Lindell preamp (with the notion that the Lindell is a bit more API-sounding than the Neves) and things would work out.
  • But right now I've gone and muted the C12A. Which honestly is something I'd been wanting to do all this time. Because if I could record the drums with just two microphones in a spaced pair I would be a very happy walrus. Don't you want me to be a happy walrus? 
So what's next? Well, my feeling is that with the City Samanas the sound of the bass guitar is a really different thing from most bands because it's definitely a melodic instrument in the band. We may experiment with bass through a Fender Twin tomorrow. And the Lindell preamp on bass. Because honestly, why only have one variable while you're experimenting?

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