Recording and Mixing "Dave"

"Dave" are a band from Newcastle that make indie rock. They sent me through some demos before we started recording and I heard influences of bands like Spoon, Superchunk and Cloud Nothings. 

They had already recorded and released a four song EP last year but for this one they wanted to go for a sound that was rawer and less-produced. They sent me quite a few reference tracks, almost all of them recorded and mixed by Steve Albini, who is famous for his no-nonsense approach to making records. 

In most ways we set up the recording session just as we would normally. We concentrated on getting the instruments sounding right in the room before we added any microphones. It took a little bit of tweaking to get the snare sounding right by tuning and damping. After that we were up and running.

The band played live with a scratch vocal and we then went back and overdubbed guitars and vocals. I set up three mics on the guitar cabinets, an SM57, AKG C414 and a Beyerdynamic M201. These were all bussed to one track in pro-tools and we chose a unique blend of the three for each part we recorded. 

I really liked the sound of the vocals on the demo, which were recorded using an SM57. Instead of using a 57 though, I set up a Sennheiser 421 and a Peluso P12. We recorded both mics for each track but in the mix I almost always opted for the 421. 

Mixing was a fairly straightforward process. i used quite a bit of distortion and saturation on a lot of elements including drums and vocals. In the end I think we ended up with a sound that could probably be described as hi-fi lo-fi. 

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