Professional Sound - April 2018 - Page 39

RB: Yeah, I’ve built a chain that is for Daniel that I’ve used since [2015 EP] Pilgrim’s Paradise and it’s really not varied too much since then because we found a sound that we love and haven’t moved too far off of it. The one thing that I did change for Freudian from Pilgrim’s is I’ve been using different reverbs. I use a lot of early digital reverbs because their sample rates are low and they’re generally fairly warm. I find that complements his voice pretty well. That is something I probably changed from one to the other, but honestly, it’s been pret- ty consistent. PS: Other than those early digital reverbs, if you’re willing to say, what else is in that vocal chain? RB: You know, I’m going to have to keep some of the secrets, secret. To be honest, there isn’t too much. I like to take very simple approach- es to vocals because vocal is one thing that if you start affecting it too much, it starts to feel unnatural and unnatural vocals are really uncomfortable. I find people find overly pro- Ben Kaplan PS: For Five Alarm Funk’s “Widowmaker,” sonically speaking, what kind of vibe were you and the band going for? BK: I guess going into it I was hearing some kind of a ‘70s car chase or something, you know what I mean? So from a recording standpoint, we went to tape and we did it at The Warehouse in Vancouver so it had anything we wanted to use from a mic standpoint. We used the Neve Air Custom [A6630] on that. That console itself, I mean, you don’t have to do much on that thing; you just push up the faders. I was just there a couple days ago with Mother Mother and was talking to one of the guys who is also a budding engineer himself and he was asking about the board. I was like, “Man, I got to tell you about this console. You put anything through this and you push up the faders and you’re fucking done!” Every time I go back there I always shake my head, like, “Wow, this thing is unbelievable.” So that had a major role in what every- thing sounded like. But you know, I ended up using quite a few ribbon mics for room mics and I even used Coles on the overheads. I didn’t want a particularly over-the-top modern sound, even though it’s still a modern-sounding track, Eric Ratz PS: For “Knocking at the Door,” was the theatrical quality to Max Ker- man’s vocal there in the demos? ER: Getting some of the character stuff and the way he sang certain lines, especially in the verse and then in the bridge, I would say that was done, performance-wise, in the studio. But he’s an amazing singer, man. There wasn’t too much cessed vocals uncomfortable, but they don’t know why they’re uncomfortable. It’s because everyone knows what a voice sounds like and if you fuck with that too much, it becomes less fa- miliar. Whereas the average person on the street doesn’t necessarily know what a snare drum inherently sounds like, for example, because they haven’t analysed closely what a snare drum sounds like. But a voice they most certainly do know. So that is where I am almost most hesi- tant to really bend. I always try to mix my vocals as natural as possible, so for me less is more. Nominated for: “Widowmaker” by Five Alarm Funk from the album Sweat “Speak” by Ninjaspy from the album Spüken I think, but it’s still got a retro vibe going on. It’s kind of crunchy and kind of saturated, which had a lot to do with the tape and the console. PS: For “Speak” by Ninjaspy, what was your approach to the mix and what was the defining characteristic of your mix on it? BK: That’s a good question. I can’t remember! It’s funny, man; I don’t always have an idea of where I’m going with these mixes. I’d like to say, “Well, I was inspired by the blah, blah, blah,” but really, I can’t. I just get in there and do it. With these guys, we’ve got four different elements, including the vocal, guitar, bass, and drums, and all four of those elements are massively important to the overall sound of these guys. All four of those have to sound like a truck coming through your living room. So really, what it came down to is – similar to the Five Alarm thing – I’ll go over and over and over and focus on each instrument and make sure that one is not trampling over the other and each one is at the forefront. With these guys, I didn’t find it particularly hard because there are not a lot of overdubs going on in the sense of layers. There are not a lot of keyboards going on and there are not a lot of pads, like stuff clouding up the mix. It’s essentially a power trio. So I guess when we’re talking about approach to the mix, I guess that was the ap- proach. You know, make it sound like three guys, bigger than life, but still those four elements have to be paramount and not getting lost in the overall slick production of it all. It’s got to be raw and it’s got to be in your face. Besides some vocal effects in there, the rest of it is pretty dry and in your face and that has always been the case with those guys. Nominated for: “Knocking at the Door” by Arkells from the album Morning Report “My Little RnR” by Danko Jones from the album Wild Cat comping. I would kind of have him sing the line and we would both kind of look at each other a certain way, like, “Yeah, that was great. That was the take.” We went and then touched up a few things here and there, but we actually used some of the stuff we did when he was doing the guide vocals for the song. It was pretty complicated mapping the tune out before we started laying down any actu- al instruments on it because there are a lot of tem- PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 39