Fail Blog… Where Are My Overheads?

Polen has been gearing up for a brand new album set to be released sometime in 2016. Tonight was the first official recording session for the new album (although much of the content is from a previous recording session -details about that will be released at a later date).

Tonight we set up to record and I have been using some new gear that I am really happy with. Specifically, I have picked up a set of cymbals that I absolutely love. I have also added a DW Moon mic to the kit, which sounds pretty incredible.

Our bass player was unable to make it to the session because he and his wife just welcomed their fourth child into the world. (CONGRATULATIONS, Keith & Emily!)

I set up my Gibson J45 in the control room and sang into a Shure Sm7b. Both the guitar and vocals went into my Chandler TG2… because… well, because they can.

Our electric guitarist was in the main room with a Gibson Les Paul going into my pedalboard and a Vox AC15 as a head, and then into an Orange 12″ cabinet mic’d in the bathroom with a Sennheiser e906. It’s a little weird, but running the cabinet into the bathroom works really well for isolation.

Our keyboard player was using my Nord Electro, which I think always sounds great. He was also in the main room.

The drummer was in the studio with my classic DW 5-piece set and new Meinl Byzance cymbals that are crazy smooth and dark and pleasant. It sounded great! I had the whole kit mic’d up with an Audix D6 on kick, Shure SM57 on snare top, Audix i5 on snare bottom, my secret weapon on hi hat, Sennheiser MD 421 on hi and mid tom, and an AKG D112 on my floor tom (yes, technically that is a kick mic, but it sounds really good). I also ran my typical Neumann KM 184 stereo pair microphones for overhead left and right and ran an Audio Technica AT 4060 for a room mic. All of this was being run through a pair of Universal Audio 4-710d preamps.

To top it all off, I put a DW Moon Mic on the kick to give delightful sub frequency goodness that I could mix to taste.

It was sounding quite amazing!

The problem? Well, I went ahead and recorded without ever creating channels for the overhead left and right.

It was a total failure. At the end of the session I listened back through and thought everything sounded really good, but I couldn’t quite get the cymbal sound that I was expecting. I also struggled to get a stereo spread like I like. Why? Um… because my overheads were non-existent.

Yes. It was a super sad day, and the sting still hurts a little bit. But I am choosing to mark it down in the fail blog and simply do better next week.

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