I couple months ago I got a call from Mike Feingold (Jay-Z, Eryka Badu) to do one of the cooler records I've done in awhile. First we hit LA FX where I rented a 2 ch Neve 1272 mic pre, A Neve 31102 2 ch compressor and a vintage Neumann U67. We combined that gear with a RCA 77dx and a MultiVox Multi Echo, my Macbook Air running Pro Tools 10 and some Dyn Audio monitors and headed for a cabin on Lake Arrowhead about 2 hours outside of LA.
Neither Mike "The Butcher" nor I had heard ANY of the music from the artist heading into this project, When we got there, we quickly setup and started to pre pro tracks. The artist is Conor Mulroy from parts unknown on the east coast. He's a traveler, a gypsy and a scary good banjo player. The closest thing I can relate is Tom Waits. Rather then standard instrumentation Producer Mike Feingold used whatever was laying around the cabin. A tin of coffee for a shaker. A cardboard box for a drum. Guitar cases, tabletops you name it. Some crappy VCR mics into a multi echo and a old boss sampler and BAM! you have a super vibey record.
The very tall ceilings and open space of the living room actually made for an amazing acoustic environment. The RCA 77dx really shined in this room with it's figure 8 pickup pattern. A few vintage guitars like a old Gibson acoustic, and a 60's Hoffner bass, a mandolin and a banjo rounded out the instruments. There's something special about being isolated whilst making a record. No internet, no Facebook. Just wake up, make coffee, start cutting. Of course our nights were filled with plenty of Scotch (to keep warm) and roaring fires (also to keep warm).