Os, April 2010
First, we used Mike's lovely old Marshall amp (pictured), which I'm particularly fond of simply because it's orange. As I recall, this was the amp that gave us the feedback sounds on Mercury Shuffle (on the last album, Some Of These Numbers Mean Something). This time it gave us some more screaming feedback, which was nice but not why we plugged it in, and some eerie slide guitar parts for an otherwise entirely synth-based piece (a rarity for Darkroom).
Secondly, we tested out another new plug-in that I'm writing. More on that later. For now, know that it sounded awesome and we pretty much wrote a track on the spot based on its sound.
Os, May 2009
plug-in to try out (more on that later) which worked gratifyingly well. We also tried out re-amping for the first time, which seems to be very much in vogue at the moment in all the music making mags. We re-amped my Prophet '08, and also re-amped Mike's guitar (so we could get the sound of plug-ins on the laptop feeding a guitar amp). All sounded good and I'm sure we'll be doing it again.
You can see the amp rig in the photo - my trusty Rode NT-2A mic, Mike's extremely heavy Rivera combo being used as the cab, and the rather wonderful (and wonderfully inexpensive) Harley Benton GA5H all-tube head.
Os, Feb 2009
The solution? Some custom studio rack furniture from StudioRacks. I can't recommend this chap highly enough. Very friendly and attentive service, excellent quality results, and the fact that everything is custom made means you can get exactly what you want.
os, Oct 2008
Mike had a new cheapo Chinese ribbon mic he wanted to try out - the T.BONE RM700. It's an odd looking thing - like a big metal lollipop. We stuck it in front of Mike's awesome Rivera amp and cranked it up.
The sound is - interesting. Makes things sound a bit old and knackered. Also it turns out there was a nasty resonant buzz on something - maybe the mic, maybe the cab - but fortunately we recorded a DI signal too. You should still be able to hear some of the buzz on the album, where we felt it was tasteful rather than annoying.
os, June 2008
Dave Smith was involved in the creation of such legends of synth history as the Prophet 5 when he was working at Sequential Circuits Inc. He now has his own company and is turning out some very nice new machines.
Expect to hear a lot of this keyboard (as well as my trusty Juno 6) on the new album.
Today's podcast episode is a track consisting entirely of Prophet '08, recorded mainly as an exercise in getting to know the new beast. Enjoy!
os, April 08
The fuzzulator helped make this work: www.demeteramps.com/products/accessories/fuz1.html Small but flexible, it handles vintage, gargly non-linear as well as brutal, bright & focussed with compressed lows. Varying the guitar's volume & tone does something useful as well, and given I typically use a volume pedal after the fuzz, there's a whole range of tones to explore even without echo. Somehow last Wednesday I rediscovered this!
Audio & video to follow...
Mike, March 2008
Update: Andy has written about the gig on the Improvizone blog.
Better yet, they've put out a free (as in beer) library of TR606 samples, which I've been having fun with recently. Go get it here.
Not another 808 sample! Well actually it isn't... this is 407 samples taken from two 808's recorded into an Ampex 351 1/2" valve 2 track tape machine! That's not all... We also put the 808's through other vintage gear. Plus we recorded the 808's naked into a Metric Halo ULN-2 firewire audio card. Then we chose the best samples. All 24 bit, and all phat analog goodness! If you can't get a hold of a real 808 then this is as close as you can get in samples... Maybe even better than the having the real thing!
os, Feb 2008