November 2021 - 32

Southern Avenue
and the Modern Memphis Sound
I assume the backing vocals were overdubs.
Ori Naftaly: Yeah.
The vocal arrangements on this album are just as creative
and tight as the horns.
Steve Berlin: That's a hundred percent Tierinii. She's a genius.
Her harmony sense is advanced, with really interesting
harmonic choices.
You mentioned recording to Pro Tools. Did you mix the
album all in the box, or did you go back out to analog?
Steve Berlin: We went to every extreme to get an analog sound
on the way in, but the mixing part was a hundred percent Pro
Tools. We weren't pretending it was tape or anything like that,
and we afforded ourselves all the luxuries of digital recording,
like plugins. We wanted it to sound timeless but also still modern.
The panning sounds like LCR with guitars on one side,
balanced by the horns on the other and such.
Steve Berlin: I think it ended up that way just because there
were so many layers. Every song had multiple guitar layers,
multiple vocal layers. We did that just to make room so you
could hear everything.
Ori Naftaly: Finding a place for the horns and the background
vocals to live together was fun, but it was a challenge.
I think we managed to find the sweet spot where they work
together, and sometimes that meant muting tracks. I know there
were some guitar parts we got rid of to make room for other
things because it was congested.
What song was the hardest to record and or mix, and
what was the easiest?
Steve Berlin: I think 'Be The Love You Want' was probably the
hardest to capture. But, we loved it enough to make it the title
song on the record, so obviously, we worked through it. None
of it was problematic. It was really just pushing past the OK or
the that's good enough stage and making it amazing. We were
always asking, is this the best it can be? Can we go further?
Let's see if we can beat this. Sometimes we would go too far
and then go back to a take we had done earlier, but everyone
was willing to go on that journey together, to everyone's credit.
The one that came together quickly was the Jason Mraz cowrite
'Move Into The Light'.
Ori Naftaly: I don't have any songs that jump out as a struggle
because most of that was worked out in preproduction, and
if a song wasn't working, we never recorded it. So again, it
was more Steve pushing us-let's try this, let's try that. I would
also say nothing was surprisingly fast because if it was fast, we
always felt like we could give it a bit more.
Steve Berlin: I don't think we ended up with any first takes. I
know that sounds like a pejorative, but it was just that we had
this mindset that we were going to get the absolute best out of
every single thing we did.
32 RECORDING November 2021
And then we did a lot of editing and playing with it. Nothing
stayed as recorded. Even when we had a great take, we
would spend a lot of time getting things really specific and
as solid as possible. So, we were classicist in one sense but
modernist in another.
Even though the album has a classic soul / rock feel,
nothing sounds like it's trying to be vintage. It's nicely
balanced with really high production values and a very
precise sound, yet nothing sounds over quantized, tuned
or artificial.
Steve Berlin: Thank you. Our job here is done. [everyone
laughs]
My favorite track on the album is 'Control'. I love the
tasteful distortion on the kick and snare, the Leslie
guitar on the right, and the tight fuzz guitar on the left,
plus the clean comping jazz chords. And my favorite part
is how stealthily the horns come in. That song, to me, is
a masterclass in arranging and keeping everything clear
in the mix.
Ori Naftaly: On that song, we recorded horns for it, but
then we thought they were taking away from the rawness of
the guitars. So, we muted them and then we brought them
back in very carefully at the second verse; sometimes you
can barely hear them. For the drum sound, that's all Steve.
We started doing takes for 'Control', and it sounded good.
Then Steve was like, " Let's just put every piece of percussion
we can find in the room on the snare-it'll sound great, you'll
see! " And it sounded like shit in the studio. [everyone laughs].
But I was like, you know, he is here for a reason, and I'm
going to go with it. Then when it got mixed, it was different.
It was perfect-the cherry on the top.
So, the distortion was you just laying stuff on top of the
snare drum.
Steve Berlin: Yeah, I do that a lot. I'll put some kind of noisemaker
on the snare to make the sound a little bit unusual.
How did you get the distortion on the kick?
Steve Berlin: I think we did that in post. I believe we used one
of the Goodhertz plugins. They make some great subtle and
nutty mangling tools.
Is there anything that we should know?
Ori Naftaly: Going back to the Memphis thing-it needs
to be raw, real and honest, and I think we achieved that
with the album. It starts with the songs, and it ends with the
mixing engineer. We're all very, very proud of this baby that
we created.
Steve Berlin: You know, when we're sitting there arguing
about whether something should go on the left or the
right side, it's really gratifying that somebody actually paid
enough attention to notice it, so I just want to say thanks for
listening so well.
Ori Naftaly: Paul, thank you, like Steve said, for noticing all
these cool things. That's awesome.
Thanks for the great music, guys!

November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
Studio Upgrade Roundup
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
KRK Systems: KNS 8402
Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
Novation Circuit Rhythm
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
Mackie: Onyx16
Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
Readers' Tracks
Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Intro
November 2021 - Cover1
November 2021 - Cover2
November 2021 - 1
November 2021 - 2
November 2021 - 3
November 2021 - Fade In
November 2021 - 5
November 2021 - 6
November 2021 - 7
November 2021 - Fast Forward
November 2021 - 9
November 2021 - Studio Upgrade Roundup
November 2021 - 11
November 2021 - 12
November 2021 - 13
November 2021 - 14
November 2021 - 15
November 2021 - 16
November 2021 - 17
November 2021 - 18
November 2021 - 19
November 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
November 2021 - 21
November 2021 - 22
November 2021 - 23
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
November 2021 - 25
November 2021 - KRK Systems: KNS 8402
November 2021 - 27
November 2021 - Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
November 2021 - 29
November 2021 - 30
November 2021 - 31
November 2021 - 32
November 2021 - 33
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
November 2021 - 35
November 2021 - Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
November 2021 - 37
November 2021 - RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
November 2021 - 39
November 2021 - 40
November 2021 - 41
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
November 2021 - 43
November 2021 - Novation Circuit Rhythm
November 2021 - 45
November 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
November 2021 - 47
November 2021 - 48
November 2021 - 49
November 2021 - Mackie: Onyx16
November 2021 - 51
November 2021 - Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
November 2021 - 53
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
November 2021 - 55
November 2021 - 56
November 2021 - 57
November 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
November 2021 - 59
November 2021 - 60
November 2021 - 61
November 2021 - RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
November 2021 - 63
November 2021 - Readers' Tracks
November 2021 - 65
November 2021 - 66
November 2021 - 67
November 2021 - 68
November 2021 - 69
November 2021 - 70
November 2021 - 71
November 2021 - Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Cover3
November 2021 - Cover4
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