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Vibey recording

December 15, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I recorded another live rehearsal and gave my newly acquired Cascade Fathead IIs a spin on overheads. I was initially a bit worried that I’d damage the ribbons in this loud environment with loud guitar and bass pumping through the room as well as a loud drum kit, but the Fathead IIs have an SPL of 140dB and according to my Decibel Meter on my iPhone, the SPL was only about 96dB.

I went fairly minimal again; MD421 on kick, 57 on snare, Fathead IIs on overheads. Then 57 on guitar, DI bass and my KSM32 facing against a brick wall acting as the room mic.

At mixdown, I added a lot of harmonic shaping plugins to add more vibe; Slate VBC, VCC and VTM, as well as SoundToys Devil-Loc Deluxe on the room mic and Little Radiator on bass.

I really love the sound of this room. It’s not that big, and at first glance it would seem like you’d have a really “boingy” room sound, as it’s fairly narrow and quite long; but the wooden floors and bare brick walls add some great character when a room mic is put up. I’ve discovered that I REALLY like KSM32s as room mics, but these are my go-to overhead mics, and something about using ribbon mics as overheads for Punk and Rock records seems weird to me.

Take a listen to the sample below, no reverb plugin was added to this, this is the sound of the room I recorded in:

P.S, I haven’t exactly posted a great deal on this blog for a while, I initially made it to promote my recorded work and write about sessions that I’m working on, in the hope that I’d attract more business, although it turned out to be a way of sharing recording knowledge instead. It’s most likely that I won’t really be posting a lot on this site anymore, and instead just to have a simple website that I don’t need to update much which gets straight to the point. That’s why I’ve made this site up, it’s still a bit of a work-in-progress, but it’s the beginnings of something new.


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  1. davidmcdonnoughfaithblog permalink

    Interesting that you seem to be working through a lot of wild audio in an extremely loud room. I will follow you and learn more.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for taking a look! The band is my brother’s band, and they rehearse in this side room attached to a Village Hall (check out “” to see a picture of the room we’re recording in).

      Sometimes recording live off the floor with no isolation between the instruments can yield some great results. I particularly enjoy recording drums in big rooms, as it adds some nice sonic flavour to your tracks. By putting up some gobos around a drum kit, you’re able to isolate the close mics from the room sound, and have a natural reverb which you can bring in to taste without the need for a (sometimes) sterile plugin.

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