A Socially Distanced "I Shall Be Released."

Neal Pert

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I'm lucky to have gotten recruited to do a series of videos with some of our regional musicians. Each person is recording from home. Anyway, here's the second one for you.


Yamaha Absolute Hybrid Maple 12/16/22
Noble and Cooley 7x14 SS Maple
22" K Constantinople Overhammered Bounce Ride
19" K Constantinople Crash/Ride
18" A Zildjian Thin Crash
14" K Constantinople Hi Hats

Overhead: Rode NT4
Snare: Shure SM57
Bass: Beta 52
 

BennyK

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Deepest St Patrick's Day song ever written ...

You guys do it proud .
 
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CC Cirillo

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Thank you, Mr. Shiner. I awoke today quite blue and this video was good medicine.

Those Cons sound really well placed for that song, and I particularly liked the ride work you did at the 2:35 mark behind and around the keyboard solo.
 

Neal Pert

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Thanks! Yeah, honestly, the video lifts MY mood when I listen, so I'm glad it's doing the same for others. It's so weird to record like this because literally the only thing I had to go on was the piano and his vocal. So I had to kinda imagine an arrangement over top of me, and then thankfully everyone else was able to work with it. As for the cymbals, I originally had my As on it but after a few practice play-throughs I switched to the K Cons.

Thanks for listening, y'all!

Thank you, Mr. Shiner. I awoke today quite blue and this video was good medicine.

Those Cons sound really well placed for that song, and I particularly liked the ride work you did at the 2:35 mark behind and around the keyboard solo.
 

dale w miller

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Nice job. I like your touch on the hi-hat.

I do think you should have the second vocalist do all the singing. If the keyboardist did it all, I probably would have turned it off. It’s not that he was bad or anything, but when you’re playing a very straight ahead, traditional sound, you need someone special drawling you in.

Good luck with the project.
 

owr

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Loved it Mark, really dug the banjo on it, and you're playing is super tasteful without being boring. Really impressed how much you guys were able to bring the toms out without any tom mics. Is that all just processing on top of the overhead?
 

Neal Pert

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Loved it Mark, really dug the banjo on it, and you're playing is super tasteful without being boring. Really impressed how much you guys were able to bring the toms out without any tom mics. Is that all just processing on top of the overhead?
I had no idea how to answer the question, so I asked the engineer/producer. Here's what he said:

"There are a few tricks I used... I think the main thing was, whenever you hit the toms, I copied that to its own track so I could EQ it differently from the overheads. Basically created two tom tracks using only the hits from the overhead tracks. After that- just a lot of mixing. The performance is key, though. And sometimes it's really hard to get a drummer to hit the toms hard and the cymbals lightly. You did that instinctively. If you were wailing on the cymbals the mix would not sound good."

So, this underscores for me something I've realized over the last couple years. It's really important, if you are going to record, to learn to self-mix the elements of your sound in an acoustic environment. A great way to do this is to put an overhead mic or two up with no close mics, run it through a mixer and to practice through headphones. You learn that way how to balance the sounds-- am I hitting the snare too hard? Are the cymbals washing everything out?-- rather than relying on close-micing to get the balance. The balance should come from our hands and feet and instrument, and the mics should be there to capture and clarify that. To the extent that I now know how to do that it's because I've had the Rode NT4 over my head for the last three or four years and I've been practicing getting that balance right every time I practice-- even when I'm just playing along to records or whatever.
 

owr

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Awesome - thanks for getting some details, wasn't expecting that much. I thought the same things watching it through the first time, the balance you brought by not over-playing the cymbals was key, I'm sure the k-cons helped a bit in this regard, but its still something I struggle with and am working on. I can see alot of Dan Bailey's influence in this as well, he speaks to this alot in the video series you hipped me to. This share of yours also came at an opportune time while I am researching overheads, and feeling the collective on-slaught from more pro friends of mine and the internet at large to spend ~ $3000 on a stereo pair.

Keep these coming, its inspiring during this Covid period.

I had no idea how to answer the question, so I asked the engineer/producer. Here's what he said:

"There are a few tricks I used... I think the main thing was, whenever you hit the toms, I copied that to its own track so I could EQ it differently from the overheads. Basically created two tom tracks using only the hits from the overhead tracks. After that- just a lot of mixing. The performance is key, though. And sometimes it's really hard to get a drummer to hit the toms hard and the cymbals lightly. You did that instinctively. If you were wailing on the cymbals the mix would not sound good."

So, this underscores for me something I've realized over the last couple years. It's really important, if you are going to record, to learn to self-mix the elements of your sound in an acoustic environment. A great way to do this is to put an overhead mic or two up with no close mics, run it through a mixer and to practice through headphones. You learn that way how to balance the sounds-- am I hitting the snare too hard? Are the cymbals washing everything out?-- rather than relying on close-micing to get the balance. The balance should come from our hands and feet and instrument, and the mics should be there to capture and clarify that. To the extent that I now know how to do that it's because I've had the Rode NT4 over my head for the last three or four years and I've been practicing getting that balance right every time I practice-- even when I'm just playing along to records or whatever.
 

Neal Pert

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Awesome - thanks for getting some details, wasn't expecting that much. I thought the same things watching it through the first time, the balance you brought by not over-playing the cymbals was key, I'm sure the k-cons helped a bit in this regard, but its still something I struggle with and am working on. I can see alot of Dan Bailey's influence in this as well, he speaks to this alot in the video series you hipped me to. This share of yours also came at an opportune time while I am researching overheads, and feeling the collective on-slaught from more pro friends of mine and the internet at large to spend ~ $3000 on a stereo pair.

Keep these coming, its inspiring during this Covid period.
Yeah, I mean, you can listen to the two videos back to back and discern a certain amount of the difference the overheads play in my room-- the first video is a set of Neumann KM 184s and the second is just a Rode NT4.

I've got a third video coming, a cover of "Ooh Child," which I've already done my tracks for. This one's going to have horns and everything. It's yet another setup (adding tom mics, a room mic, and a bottom snare mic) but I think it's really cool-sounding even in the basic tracks. Same NT4 overhead, though. Obviously the smarter thing would be to get a set of Rode NT5s if you're starting fresh, but I bought the NT4 as a field mic and have repurposed it here. The Rode is certainly not a cheap or crappy mic by any means, but it's a third the price of the Neumanns. I DEFINITELY want a set of KM 184s eventually (was tempted by a cheap used set just last week) but after hearing what I'm getting from the Rode even in this context I'm not feeling the same urgency.

Getting that balance thing together is definitely a lifetime of work, and it seems that I have to relearn it in every genre. Like, it's different playing jazz than playing rock, for sure.

Thanks so much for listening!
 


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