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As Antonio celebrates the arrival of his first child Giorgia, the inspiration strikes to write a song in her honour. “Benvenu al Mondo” (Welcome to the World) re-imagines the lyrics for Paul Brant’s “I’m an Open Road”.
The kick drum is so beefy and prominent on the original recording, so I went with the kitchen sink approach: a microphone inside the drum (e602), two just outside the drum (D112 and RE20) and a NS-10 Sub about 4 feet away in the doorway to the studio’s chamber.
For overheads, I used the reliable KM184s for their neutral high-end detail. Just to switch things up with a little more treble bite, the beta 57 got the call for bottom-snare mic. I chose SM7 on hi-hat and the c451 on ride cymbal. Once Timmy Boombap arrived with his kit, I placed the microphones.
I placed a royer 121 as a mono room mic about 3 feet from the ride cymbal, pointing at the back of the kick drum where all the action tends to be. The other mono room mic was a U87 set to omni, on the opposite side of the kit capturing the sweet hi-hat action. In the chamber, two TLM103’s were hoisted high above the frey to soak up all the wetness from the chamber’s 20-foot ceiling.
My favourite moment of the session was this little discovery: you can fit two microphones inside the Crashguard, which gives even more street-cred to the tested-and-true method of SM57 plus c451 on the snare drum. Simply align the capsules of the two microphones and tape’em together! As you can see from the image, the crash guard doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.
On kick drum, I treated the D112 like a typical NS10-Sub mic by cutting out all of the top end and using it as a low-end beef to support the low-mid thump of the RE-20 and the power-click of the e602. The RE-20 and D112 were bussed together and routed to a transient designer for maximum punch. The NS-10 beside the chamber helped to elongate the bass note on the kick drum without severe phasing.
Considering that the song makes use of side-sticks as well as full-shots, I carefully avoided over-compression on the snare mics. The snare-top mics bussed to the 1176 on 4:1 ratio and then on to the PE1C for a modest boost at 4khz.
The analog transient designer is very under-rated on room mics. I healthily cranked the attack on the Royer 121 to turn it into a pumping machine, then compressed it on the SSL channel.
For my parallel compression chains during mixing, I opted for the Summitt DSL2000 (the ‘grimy-cool’ option) and the Amek (the ‘work-horse’ option) to provide a couple additional flavours on demand. I knew ahead of time that once I’d captured the clean-and-pristine drum sounds, I’d need some quick styling options to mould the mix.
Enjoy the song!