Friday, September 13, 2013

Elephant Mixing

I believe that Wednesday's Diatomaceous Earth rehearsal was the first one where the entire band of miscreants everyone was there. We had Greg, Lily on her Schecter playing through an Alembic preamp (directly into a Tascam hi-impedance input), Ethan on his Chapman Stick going through Countryman direct boxes (one of his and one of mine) into Lindell preamps (with just a hint of EQ added to them), Lou on drums, and me (Andrew) on guitar (recording chain is an SM58 going into a Neve 1272).

I'm going to go ahead and admit that the drums are almost entirely replaced. I think those are a DW kick, and DW Edge snare, and Yamaha toms. But the overheads are Ear Trumpet Edwina microphones going into Neve 1272's. I'm not sure how much better you could record them. I think they sound great.
And, for me, I'm finally able to set the cymbals appropriately for the rest of the kit. This is partly due to the kit replacement therapy but also because I've discovered the LA-2 emulator plugins. I can't get the Fairchild emulators to do anything I want. The LA-2 and the 1176 however... those I can get to glue me some drum kits, make basses sound fantastic, etc and so forth.
Note that I'm replacing all four drums in the kit and that I simultaneously think that Lou is the best at getting less-than-par drum kits to sound fantastic. Even so, we're just not getting that million-dollar sound out of the kit at the rehearsal studio without a little help from The Box. 
I'm mixing very dry for me. For most of these mixes there's no reverb on the snare and the rest of the kit is completely dry. Um. I mean except for the kick. I usually put a kiss of reverb on the kick. The overheads are limited with one LA2 (oh, I'm sorry Ethan, I mean compressed. There. Happy now? ;-) and the rest of the kit is in another group.
I'm not using any mixing board non-linear-type emulation on this mix. When I A/B the emulators of the EMI board, the SSL board, and the Neve board against the natural 2-mix buss in Samplitude I invariably choose the less "collapsed" nature of the Samplitude 2-mix buss. So much so that if someone told me it was in and of itself an emulation of the old EMI tube board I'd be all like "Yeah, this is the only way to mix."

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