December 2021 - 34
A day in the head of
pop and beyond
Lars: I feel like we are forever adding ad-libs. We've added
ad-libs when I'm mixing. I would say he is happiest doing vocal
harmonies, though. I have it in my mix notes to always turn up
the harmonies because he is obsessed with Beatles.
Sven: Yeah. And D'Angelo, and in D'Angelo's music, they're
almost louder than the main vocal.
So, what about the vocal effects? The effected
harmonies are so tight. It almost sounds vocoded.
Sven: I did use a vocoder, actually.
Lars: The Behringer VOCODER VC340, and then some hard
Auto-Tune, but he is always chopping stuff up, and he gets
really surgical with the vocals.
Sven, do you have any favorite effects or processes
that you use all the time in Ableton?
Sven: I'm such a sucker for panning, and there's this plugin
from Infected Mushroom called Wider, and it's free. This thing is a
powerhouse. I don't know how it does it, but you can go to 200%
wide, and it sounds like it's touching the back of your head.
How did you get the lo-fi vocal sounds?
Sven: That's The King's Microphones from Waves. Also, I
record gang vocals through the Grundig.
Lars, what did your mix deliverables look like?
Lars: I'll get an Ableton session, and my engineer preps it for
me, and he'll transfer it to Pro Tools. Then in Pro Tools, there
are not really any soft synths. Everything's played in via hardware
keyboards or guitars. The effects are also printed, so the
sessions aren't plugin-heavy, either.
So, did you mix the tracks and send them back to Sven
I started mixing at my studio, and Sven came in for the last
bit of it, but we used the Listento plugin from Audiomovers.
Sven can listen at home, and we'll talk and work in real time.
Did you go back out into more analog gear?
Lars: I used a Warm Audio bus compressor for some of it, but
that was just on the mix bus. Most of it was all inside the box.
Did you have any favorite plugins you leaned on heavily?
Lars: On this stuff, soothe2 [oeksound] comes in handy a
lot, and I love the Waves SSL channel. I use that so much, and
Fab Filter Pro-Q3. I use iZotope Ozone quite a bit. I like some
of their dynamics stuff, and I like Wavesfactory Spectre, a
spectral EQ enhancer.
So, you are just shaping the sound-not adding
effects and mangling it further?
Lars: No, Sven got it to the dirtiest place it can be, and I'm
adding the hi-fi side of it. We might add a short delay or something
to spread things out, but mainly all the effects are done
by Sven already. When I get my hands on it, it's just to make
things sound good and fit together.
Sven, it sounds like you are very intentional with
your panning and layers and effects, almost premixing
Lars: Sven is highly particular when it comes to things. We've
had discussions about layering and where stuff sits, and maybe
an argument about, " Hey, let's try a single vocal on the verse. "
And Sven's like, yeah! And then, at the last minute, he'll double
it. We didn't fight too much, though. [everyone laughs]
Sven: I've been recording music for so long by myself that it's
been great to have Lars be part of the project, to help me pull
my truck out of the mud. I am very particular, very laser-focused
and sometimes that laser can be focused on the wrong things
and will stall everything. Lars kept the whole ship moving.
Lars, how do you gently or not so gently resolve issues
when your experience as a producer or mix engineer
tells you the artist is making a wrong choice.
Lars: I'm always like, you know, this is your record-you
need to live with this. So, I tell him what I think. And then it's up
to him, at the end of the day, to decide. And Sven would spend
34 RECORDING DECEMBER 2021
Portland keyboards and guitars
Photo by Lars Stalfors
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021
RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
Arturia: MiniFuse 2
AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Intro
December 2021 - Cover1
December 2021 - Cover2
December 2021 - 1
December 2021 - 2
December 2021 - 3
December 2021 - Fade In
December 2021 - 5
December 2021 - 6
December 2021 - 7
December 2021 - Fast Forward
December 2021 - 9
December 2021 - RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
December 2021 - 11
December 2021 - 12
December 2021 - 13
December 2021 - 14
December 2021 - 15
December 2021 - 16
December 2021 - 17
December 2021 - 18
December 2021 - 19
December 2021 - 20
December 2021 - 21
December 2021 - Arturia: MiniFuse 2
December 2021 - 23
December 2021 - AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
December 2021 - 25
December 2021 - A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
December 2021 - 27
December 2021 - 28
December 2021 - 29
December 2021 - 30
December 2021 - 31
December 2021 - 32
December 2021 - 33
December 2021 - 34
December 2021 - 35
December 2021 - 36
December 2021 - 37
December 2021 - Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
December 2021 - 39
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
December 2021 - 41
December 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
December 2021 - 43
December 2021 - 44
December 2021 - 45
December 2021 - ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
December 2021 - 47
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
December 2021 - 49
December 2021 - Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
December 2021 - 51
December 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
December 2021 - 53
December 2021 - 54
December 2021 - 55
December 2021 - Genelec 8361A
December 2021 - 57
December 2021 - Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
December 2021 - 59
December 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
December 2021 - 61
December 2021 - Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
December 2021 - 63
December 2021 - 64
December 2021 - 65
December 2021 - 66
December 2021 - 67
December 2021 - 68
December 2021 - 69
December 2021 - 70
December 2021 - 71
December 2021 - Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Cover3
December 2021 - Cover4