Recording January 2022 - 27
On Divine Tides, were you sent music to add percussion
to or did the songs evolve with your input?
Ricky sent me the tapes, and I just came up with whatever
suited me at the time as the inspiration flowed, and there was
a lot of inspiration because the music is really cool.
Divine Tides is very cinematic in its scope.
Yes. These are not pop songs, and Ricky's production technique
is expansive. He brought together some pretty disparate
elements in really beautiful ways.
Watching the videos for Divine Tides, the space where
you're seen performing, is that your home studio?
Yes, that is the Sacred Grove. It's my studio disguised as
Sherlock Holmes' study. I have the largest collection of the
cheapest instruments money can buy. [both laugh] Everything
is miked up, routed, and ready to go. The timpani, the drums,
the Hammond organ, every square foot of the room is on-mic,
everything has its own channel and is line-tested. When my
chuckle buddies come over, I just hit record. The whole room
is in record, whether anybody's playing the timpani or not-in
case Danny Carey [Tool drummer] should wander over to the
timpani, it's recording.
I guess the ease of having everything
already miked up saves a lot of time.
Yes. Also, there's no engineer in the room. It's not a recording
environment. It's a hang environment.
So, you engineered your own tracks on Divine Tides ?
Yes. There's nobody else in the room. My engineer moved to
Nashville-my long-suffering drum tech, Jeff Seitz, we recorded
together for decades, but now I pretty much do it myself.
And, you know, one thing about the apocalypse is, a lot of my
musician friends had to learn how to run their own gear, which
was kind of gross. [both laugh]
What appealed to you most about
collaborating with Ricky on Divine Tides ?
I was lit up by the music, but I was also able to use all these
instruments that there's not much call for. When I'm scoring
movies, I use samples or I hire people. I don't bother with playing
because I'm busy scoring the movie. But in this case, I had
plenty of time to ask, " What can I do with the timpani here? "
And I'd experiment, all by myself in the room, and I'd record
various ideas. One time, I played a really cool timpani part,
with glissandi on the notes and everything-it was a lot of fun.
Of course, I had to do multiple takes, and it was recorded one
note at a time, with Sennheiser MD 421 U5 mics which, by the
way-and you're probably the only person in the world who
would be interested in this-are the same mics that came off
my drum set back in the 80s. They still outperform newer mics
that I have. At the end of the Police thing, I kept those and have
been using them ever since.
That's amazing. I noticed in the videos some
mics in the background that I was going to
ask you about. Like, behind the crotales,
there's a slim silver microphone.
I think that one is a Shure SM81. I use the SM57 and SM58 for
pretty much any purpose. I've got my big bad Neumann mics, which
I use for vocals and so on, distant stuff, not as close mics so much.
With the multitude of instruments at your disposal,
did you experiment with mic placement?
Yeah, but not as obsessively as a real recording engineer.
I am sort of rudimentary, actually-just give me a waveform,
and I'll mess with it. As long as it's not distorted, I can deal
with almost any waveform. I've been doing this for years, even
before they invented computers-give me a stereo track of a
punk band, and I'll figure out a way of using EQ and gating to
find the kick drum and adjust that frequency so that I can shape
that independently and give a little more kick to the low end.
I've been polishing turds for half a century. [both laugh]
I see you're also playing the drum kit on the
record. How do you mic your Tama kit?
It's mostly Shure stuff-a great company. They make a huge
variety of mics. A lot of my fun is deciding which Shure to use
because they're all slightly different. But like I said, I'm not that
obsessive about it. Just give me something that will produce
the waveform, and it's good enough for me. My drums in here
sound pretty good-they're pretty dialed in by now.
Has your miking technique changed over the
years, from your early days when you were doing
records in large commercial studios, vs. now,
working in a more isolated environment at home?
The only big change happened decades ago when Hugh
Padgham [producer of Phil Collins' 'In the Air Tonight' drum sound]
walked in the room and did something that, at the time, was quite
revolutionary. Everything then was close-miked, in a deadened
RECORDING January 2022 27
Recording January 2022
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording January 2022
Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Austrian Audio CC8
Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Intro
Recording January 2022 - Cover1
Recording January 2022 - Cover2
Recording January 2022 - 1
Recording January 2022 - 2
Recording January 2022 - 3
Recording January 2022 - Fade In
Recording January 2022 - 5
Recording January 2022 - 6
Recording January 2022 - 7
Recording January 2022 - Fast Forward
Recording January 2022 - 9
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Toontrack Fields of Rock SDX
Recording January 2022 - 11
Recording January 2022 - 12
Recording January 2022 - 13
Recording January 2022 - A Family of Microphones Compared: The AKG P Series
Recording January 2022 - 15
Recording January 2022 - 16
Recording January 2022 - 17
Recording January 2022 - 18
Recording January 2022 - 19
Recording January 2022 - 20
Recording January 2022 - 21
Recording January 2022 - 22
Recording January 2022 - 23
Recording January 2022 - Austrian Audio CC8
Recording January 2022 - 25
Recording January 2022 - Stewart Copeland: Don’t kill the talent with the technology…
Recording January 2022 - 27
Recording January 2022 - 28
Recording January 2022 - 29
Recording January 2022 - 30
Recording January 2022 - 31
Recording January 2022 - 32
Recording January 2022 - 33
Recording January 2022 - Akai MPC Studio Controller and MPC 2 Software
Recording January 2022 - 35
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Boz Digital Labs Claps, Stomps and Snaps Bundle
Recording January 2022 - 37
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Drum Plugins and Processing
Recording January 2022 - 39
Recording January 2022 - 40
Recording January 2022 - 41
Recording January 2022 - Avantone Pro: Gauss 7 Two-way Powered Reference Monitor
Recording January 2022 - 43
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: PSP Audioware Saturator
Recording January 2022 - 45
Recording January 2022 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: The Memphis Drum Sound
Recording January 2022 - 47
Recording January 2022 - Soundware Showcase: Spitfire Audio Hammers
Recording January 2022 - 49
Recording January 2022 - API Select T12 Tube Mic Preamp
Recording January 2022 - 51
Recording January 2022 - Session Log: Frank Kimbrough tribute recording session
Recording January 2022 - 53
Recording January 2022 - 54
Recording January 2022 - 55
Recording January 2022 - Audio-Technica AT2040
Recording January 2022 - 57
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: IK Multimedia T-RackS TASCAM Tape Collection
Recording January 2022 - 59
Recording January 2022 - Readers' Tracks
Recording January 2022 - 61
Recording January 2022 - 62
Recording January 2022 - 63
Recording January 2022 - 64
Recording January 2022 - 65
Recording January 2022 - sE Electronics V Pack Arena Drum Microphone Package
Recording January 2022 - 67
Recording January 2022 - Plugin Outlet: BABY Audio TAIP
Recording January 2022 - 69
Recording January 2022 - 70
Recording January 2022 - 71
Recording January 2022 - Fade Out: Both Sides of the Glass Things
Recording January 2022 - Cover3
Recording January 2022 - Cover4