It’s not the cost that counts…
Quite a few years ago I went to school with a fine drummer named Jeep MacNichol. Jeep is perhaps best know for his work with The Samples, but nowadays he’s doing his own thing as Mr. Anonymous. I hit Jeep up for some info on his gear, and he came back to me with some surprises.
His words reinforce the old truth that good sounds aren’t made by drums alone, but rather by drummers with chops who are recorded properly. It’s not the cost of the kit that counts, but the skill and knowledge that goes into playing it and recording it. Here’s what Mr. Anonymous has to say about the drums and recording technique used on his new album, Champion Sound:
I purchased a used Gretsch Catalina kit on ebay … 18″ kick, 14″ floor, 12″ tom, 14″x 5 1/2 ” snare. We recorded the kit with just 3 mics and modeled the micing EXACTLY like Rudy Van Gelder used to track the drummers on all the blue note albums in the 50′s and 60′s. He had a great approach for capturing the sound because in working with a lot of those drummers, he wanted to capture the sound as a single instrument. He was quoted as saying something like “…a jazz drummer thinks of his kit as a single instrument and sound rather than the individual elements like the hi-hat and the snare and the tom, etc…and my job is to capture their intent and what they want to say on the instrument as a whole rather than separating the sounds of the individual parts of the kit.”
So we put one mic pointing between the hat and snare, one mic about 4 feet in front of the kit pointing directly at the drummer’s chest, and one mic about a foot in front of the kick…we also had one overhead pointing directly down on the kit…and all the mics were ribbon mics and mixed through an analog board and slammed with compression.
Here’s the humble kit.
Posted by disclaimer at 8:49 AM