Welcome to issue #127 of Tape Op.
- A. A. Milne
Very organized writing utensil space at Power Station. See interview here.
Months ago, I was asked to produce a track for an artist who had previously done all of his own recordings himself. He sent me some tracks to overdub on, and I hired musicians and a vocalist to add parts under my guidance. When it came time to do a simple triangle overdub (it was a bossa nova styled tune) I grabbed two mics that had been used as drum overheads, and had the percussionist play in front of the stereo pair. When I sent off my first mix of the song, the artist noted, "I really enjoyed the movement of the muted triangle. It drew my attention in different directions, whether it was panned or not, which was enjoyable." I felt that he assumed there was some sort of intentional, or automated, panning going on, when all that was happening was the percussionist leaning slightly left or right as he played.
With the proliferation of plug-ins, online tutorials of processing overkill, and in-the-box everything, people sometimes forget that the simplest act – like recording percussion in front of a stereo mic – can create so much interest, and captivate the listener.
Many times it pays to remember that simple techniques often work best, and have the most impact.