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olivejuicemusic

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Reply with quote  #1 
And why? [love] Do you have records that you just love the sound of? Drum sounds, guitar sounds, vocal treatments, effects or mix choices? Did you like them so much that you looked into where and how they were actually recorded? Maybe you discovered some type of consistency amongst artist, producer, studio or equipment? Want to try and explain what it is? Here's your chance. How much do you think the sound of a recoding has to do with the artist? How much do you think it has to do with the producer or engineer, or the equipment or the drugs they took? How much of it was luck? Maybe a particular combination of these things? Let's explore what it is that makes us love a recorded song or album so much.
Ben Shepherd

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One of my favorite records when I started making music was The Lonesome Crowded West by Modest Mouse.  Calvin Johnson of K Records and Beat Happening fame produced it, and while I presume it was actually a pretty basic and intuitive recording process, I've always been enchanted by the sound of that album.  It was recorded mostly at a place called Moon Music in Olympia, WA, which may be gone now.  I've never been able to find much information about the studio and zero pictures, but I've always been curious what kind of room/rooms that record was recorded in.  It has an incredibly natural and spacious sound--the only obvious post effects are an occasional saturated reverb guitar or snare overdubs and a few sparse tape loops.  The drums are rather high in the mix for the most part and panned around the stereo picture.  They come through very clearly and I've wanted to know for a long time how they miked the kit and the room.  Evidently it was done with a relatively light touch in mind, as ghost notes on the snare and cymbal textures are easily discernible.  The vocals sometimes sound like their done from about fifteen feet away, which I think is super appropriate for the band's sound.  

I've always had an affinity for spacious sounding records, and to be able to achieve that with minimal effect seems to hearken back to records of old (thinking of "Kind Of Blue," made at Columbia's 30th St. studio in NYC, or Chuck Berry, Clyde McPhatter, or other rock n' roll, r'n'b stuff from that era).  The band also recorded their debut album and a few singles at Moon Music with Seasick Steve Wold as producer, but, while there are similarities in the use of the room sound, none of them has the dry and direct feel that LCW does.  I guess one could logically attribute that to Calvin J's influence since he is the variable here, but I can't be sure.  Alas, the recording process of this album remains a frustrating mystery to me!

olivejuicemusic

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've been trying to get into MM for a very long time. I just never really found my way in. I got The Moon and Antarctica a while back and, after many attempts, it never made a strong impression on me. Maybe this one will. Looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for sharing.
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