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RE/P Files: Carole King, Lou Adler, And Hank Cicalo In Session At A&M Records
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On Carole’s vocal is an AKG 202 E. Although most of her vocals are done in their final version after the instrument tracks are down, some of the cuts on her last album were actually vocals she sang to the band while doing the instrument tracks.

Two AKG C 12s are used on the drums, one for both the toms and ride cymbal, and one overhead. An Electro-Voice RE-15 picks up the hi-hat, and another the snare.

The bass drum also uses an RE-15, placed deep inside near the head. The head is deadened by two heavy sandbags placed against it, giving a “tight” sound to the drum.

A lot of instruments and overdubs are used in this session, robbing the engineer of the luxury of several tracks for drums. But Hank is not that enamored with multi-track drum sounds anyway: “A lot of times I’m against that sort of thing. I’ve seen guys mix drums across 5 tracks of a 16-track, and the stereo effect was horrible.

“The guy got so wrapped up on the effect that it sounds like an 18-foot set of drums. Who has an 18-foot set of drums? I would rather work to a tighter sound.”

That tighter sound happens on two tracks, one for a complete drum mix, and the other for bass drum alone.

The studio set-up for this Carole King project. (click to enlarge)

This allows the bass guitar and the bass drum to be mixed against each other, independent of the total drum mix.

When the drums are limited, it is often just the tom. A touch of echo is sometimes added, especially if the part requires a slow rolling sound.

Bass guitar is taken both direct and with a microphone (Neumann U 87), with a ratio between the two of about 85/15. The direct feed is limited 2 to 5 dB. Electric guitar also employs a U 87, and acoustic guitar a Sony C-22.


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