Mix - December 2013 - (Page 14)
Music > News & Notes
BILLIE JOE AND NORAH'S HARMONIOUS 'FOREVERLY'
"Billie had been listening to this record and had grown
attached to it," explains Chris Dugan, the go-to engineer/mixer for Billie Joe Armstrong's projects, with and
without Green Day. The album referenced is The Everly
Brothers' Songs Our Daddy Taught Us, a collection of folk
standards originally released in 1958. Armstrong was so
enamored that he decided to make his own faithful version of the entire album.
"And then he had to decide who he would sing along
with-who would be the other 'brother,' so to speak,"
Dugan says. Armstrong made the inspired decision to pair with Norah Jones.
"He told me she was in, and so I tried to envision what kind of sound we
would end up with. Once I heard them singing together, it all made sense!"
Last May, Armstrong and Dugan headed to New York to meet with
Jones, drummer Dan Rieser (who also plays with Jones on solo records
and in the Little Willies), and bass player Tim Luntzel (who also played
on the Chapin Sisters' Everly Brothers tribute, A Date With the Everly
Brothers). During pre-production, this core band developed arrangements that are true to the spirit of the Everlys' versions but are a little
more percussive and gritty, with some more forceful
drumming, piano and harmonica parts.
They laid down the tracks in Studio A of The Magic Shop
(New York City), which features a 1,000-square-foot tracking room and a custom wraparound 56-input Neve console.
"Norah recommended the studio. It was our first time there,
and we loved it. Good people, great vibe. They have an amazing 80 Series Neve desk that is one of a kind," says Dugan,
who mixed on a Neve 8068 in Studio A of Armstrong's home
base, Jingletown Studios in Oakland, Calif.
Magic Shop assistant Kabir Hermon helped Dugan keep the tracking
running smoothly and find all the equipment he needed. For the centerpiece of the project, however-those Everly-esque vocal harmonies-Dugan
brought in a pair of Didrik De Geer mics, rented from Stephen Jarvis Audio.
"Billie and Norah ended up facing one another, playing and singing,"
Dugan says. "Most of the time, their [vocal] mics just went through the Neve.
I would occasionally use a little compression, but for the most part it was a
basic signal chain. The important thing was to make sure their voices were
clear and pristine-sounding, and those mics did that for us."-Barbara Schultz
VIENNA TENG: AIMS
RY COODER AND FRIENDS
For her fifth studio album, singer/
songwriter/keyboardist Vienna Teng
has paired with producer/musician
Cason Cooley to create a texturally
rich and stylistically diverse album
that's heavier on electronics and sampling than her previous efforts, but is
still carried by her pleasingly elastic
vocals and compelling songwriting.
This album is all about layers-of vocals, which are stacked to magnificent effect on many songs (and completely carry the a capella "The
Hymn of Acxiom," along with subtle electronic treatments), and both
loops and instruments, from keys to guitars to strings (real and library
versions), all used cleverly as building blocks to make certain passages
soar and others to intrigue. There are many moods on this album-
from tuneful excursions such as "Level Up" and "Landsailor" (featuring Glenn Phillips), to the grand ballad "Close to Home," the electro
percussion-driven "In the 99," the quietly beautiful "Oh Mama No"
and the gentle and affirming concluding track, "Goodnight New York."
There's much variation in the production from song to song (and even
within each song). Try headphones!-Blair Jackson
Producers: Teng, Cason Cooley. Engineers, Cooley, Buckley
Miller, Bobby Shin. Mixing: Justin Gerrish. Studios: St. Cecilia
(Nashville), Sound Emporium (Nashville), 178 Moultrie (Brooklyn).
Mastering: Joe LaPorta/Sterling Sound (NY)
Ry Cooder recorded his first live album,
Showtime, back in 1976 at San Francisco's
intimate Great American Music Hall.
His latest, Live in San Francisco, comes
from a pair of shows at the same venue
in the summer of 2011, fronting a
dynamite band that includes Cooder
band alumni Terry Evans and Arnold
McCuller as backup singers and the
incomparable Flaco Jiménez on accordion, Ry's son Joachim on drums, a 10-piece Mexican banda, and others.
It's a spirited romp through a dozen folk, gospel-flavored R&B and Tex-Mex
numbers, from "Dark End of the Street" to "Wooly Bully."
Capturing the shows on a laptop running Pro Tools was Cooder's
FOH engineer for the past several years, Martin Pradler. "It was not really
planned to be a recording," he says, "but I had a feeling maybe it was going
to be something, so I borrowed an interface card from Avid and plugged my
laptop into the Profile desk at the venue." Besides using the mics that were
already in place for the instruments' P.A. feed, "I also put a couple of new
[AKG] 414s at front of house to get the room, and there were also a couple of
shotgun mics on the stage pointing up to the balcony [where the banda was
situated on each side].
Pradler mixed the recordings in the box at his L.A.-area studio supplemented by "a whole bunch of analog gear-analog reverbs, a Fairchild, RCA
BA6As, an old Gates radio console Ry has, whatever I needed to make it
sound warm and punchy."-Blair Jackson
M I X | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 | mi x o n l i ne. com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mix - December 2013
Mix - December 2013
From the Editor
The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records
News & Notes
All Access: Nine Inch Nails
News and Notes: Michelle Sabolchick, Jessie Ware, Thunder Audio
On the Cover: DTS Headphone:X
Mastering on the Cutting Edge
Capitol Engineer Ron McMaster Cuts His Own (40-Year-Old) Tracks to Vinyl
Sound for ‘Ender’s Game’
Heavyocity for Heavy Melodies
29th Annual TEC Awards Nominees
News & Notes
Session & Studio News
Professional Audio Design, Boston
The Robair Report
Review: KRK Rokit G3 Series Monitors
Review: Sample Magic Magic AB Plug-in
Review: Sonic Farm Creamer Plus Preamp
TechTalk: Top Gear of the Year
Mix - December 2013