So the only other gear not mentioned in the last post that is permanently in the room is the master keyboard, which is a Fatar SL-880. Just a big old piano action thing that is a controller only, and there are some guitar and microphone stands.

Microphones are in the closet –

For vocals, I’ve used an old Neumann U67 which I got from Sear Sound (where we recorded much of Bad Vibes) in 1996, or thereabouts. Pretty much all my vocals on the last four or five records were done with this.

I also have an AKG 414, which is what I sung into on Rattlesnakes, but I rarely use it.

Neumann gave me one of their modern tube large diaphragm mics, when I played a show for them, an M147, but I prefer my old one, I should see if they will let me swap it for something else.

I like Neumann, by the way, they give me artist discount on their stuff, which is great, but what is better is they service my stuff, including my stage vocal mics (KM105), so that I don’t need to worry about them. I am not tech savvy.

For recording acoustic instruments I have a pair of Coles’ ‘BBC’ 4038 ribbon microphones. These are the big heavy black things that you always see in old photos of the Beatles at Abbey Road. I bought them as drum overhead mics when we were making ‘etc’. All the acoustic guitars on Antidep were recorded with them, and the vocal on ‘I am no longer willing’ was done with one too, as the U67 was at Neumann being serviced at the time.

I also have a couple of Neumann small condenser ‘pencil’ type mics (if you’ve seen me on tour recently, I use them for guitar on stage, too), one of them is cardioid pattern, the other hypercardioid. I used to record all my acoustics with these when I lived in NYC, but I discovered that I prefer the Coles most of the time. I do still use these from time to time if I want a brighter, more pristine sound.

I have a few dynamic mics that I used to use, but these days, I’ll maybe mic up a guitar amp with a Shure SM57, but I’m more likely to use one of the Coles.

For microphone pre amps I use API and Geoffrey Daking. I have an API ‘Lunch Box’ which is a portable lunch box sized (but not weight) frame holding 4 of the classic 500 series modules, I have two mic pres and two EQs. The Daking units are called Mic Pre/EQ and they are just that. Because I rarely record more than two instruments simultaneously, I don’t need a big recording console and I can afford to just have a couple of the best sounding units. I wish I had understood this in 1992.

The Empirical Labs Distressor is one of the great success stories in modern American sound engineering. When we were making ‘etc’ only a few ‘in the know’ engineers had these units. Today they are in almost every studio all around the world. I have tried all sorts of compressors, today I have just three for recording instruments, two are Distressors. The other is a Daking FET Compressor II.

For track compression (called program compression by professionals), mastering, and compressing stereo sources, I have a Solid State Logic compressor, which was Mick Glossop’s choice, even when we were working in Pro Tools, until very recently. I took mine over to London for the mastering of Music IAFL.

The Trident 8/6/2 Mixer also has a sound of its own, and I use it for recording keyboards, drum machines etc.

That’s about it for recording acoustic sources. Electric guitar and bass next…