Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

Published in SOS December 2010
Bookmark and Share

People + Opinion : Artists / Engineers / Producers / Programmers

Thirty years after Led Zeppelin ended, Robert Plant has reached a second career high. His latest hit album was tracked and mixed by Mike Poole, using a mouth‑watering selection of vintage equipment.

Paul Tingen

Mike Poole.Mike Poole.

The million‑dollar question for every ageing rock dinosaur is how to avoid going the way of the dodo, or, at the very least, Rod Stewart. The question has been answered in various ways, in most cases by pigheadedly refusing to adapt to age and changing times, and simply carrying on as if everything is as it ever was. There is another strategy, however, which may be described as growing old gracefully. One of its main proponents has been the now 62‑year old Robert Plant.

While it greatly frustrates Led Zeppelin fans, it has done no harm to Plant's credibility that he's steadfastly refused multi‑million dollar offers to tour with his former band. In addition, during his post‑Zep solo career Plant has repeatedly managed to defy expectations and explore different and unanticipated musical directions. Plant's upward career path started with an album of bluesy rock covers, Dreamland (2002), followed by a mixture of rock and world music, The Mighty Rearranger (2005). Only moderately successful from a commercial point of view, both albums were critically lauded, and each garnered two Grammy Award nominations.

The roof blew off in 2007 with Raising Sand, a duet album with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss. An exploration of Nashville‑influenced Americana produced by T‑Bone Burnett, the album won a staggering five Grammy Awards, including for Album of the Year, went platinum in both the US and the UK, and sold three million worldwide. Three years later, Plant revived the name of the first band he played in, the Band Of Joy, a '60s psychedelic folk outfit that also featured Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. But rather than a harking back to that long-distant past, Plant's new album, Band Of Joy, is a continuation of Raising Sand, in that it also explores Americana with Nashville overtones. It again features a well‑known female vocalist, Patty Griffin — although in a much less prominent role than Krauss's on Raising Sand. There's a change in the production team as well, with Burnett making way for country guitarist, singer‑songwriter and producer Buddy Miller, who co‑produced Band Of Joy with Plant, while the recording and mixing processes were helmed by Mike Poole.

'Angel Dance'

Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'Written by David Hidalgo and Louie PerezProduced by Robert Plant and Buddy Miller

Atmosphere & Character

Band Of Joy had, a month after its September release, reached number three in the UK and five in the US hit parades, and seems destined to achieve similar commercial success to Raising Sand. Billed in a press release as "a timeless plunge into authentic Americana”, Band Of Joy contains country, gospel and soul covers from a few decades ago and before, but also more current songs by Los Lobos ('Angel Dance'), Richard Thompson ('House Of Cards'), Townes van Zandt ('Harm's Swift Way'), and two atmospheric epics by the Minnesota 'slowcore' band Low ('Silver Rider' and 'Monkey'). Band Of Joy is also more experimental sonically than its predecessor, though both were recorded in Nashville.

Engineer and mixer Mike Poole is a Nashville native who was planning to study commercial photography at Middle Tennessee State University in the early '80s, encountered "one of the first recording programmes in the country” there, and promptly decided that this was his future. He worked in various studios and became independent around 1990. "I went one step up on the autonomy ladder, and took a corresponding pay cut,” he laughs. Over the last 25 years, Poole has become a familiar and highly respected face in Nashville's studios, clocking up credits such as John Prine, Martina McBride, Patty Griffin, and many, many more. Poole got the gig for the Band Of Joy recordings via Buddy Miller, whom he regularly helps out whenever the guitarist doesn't want to do the engineering himself.

According to Poole, the only pre‑production that took place was the song selection and choice of musicians, with the Band Of Joy becoming Miller on guitars and vocals, Darrell Scott on mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo, Byron House on bass, Marco Giovino on drums, and Patty Griffin on vocals. Bekka Bramlett also contributed backing vocals to two songs on the album. Poole: "Buddy and Robert talked a lot about what the album was going to be, but did not prepare many arrangements before we went into the studio. The musicians and I got some discs with songs before we went in, and there were some emails and conversations, so everybody knew what the influences and some of the potential songs were, and beyond that Robert and Buddy only made sure that we all went in with a similar mindset. The arrangements were worked out in the studio, and if they worked, great, and if there was no magic, we simply moved on. The songs were mostly recorded live in the studio, with very few overdubs or edits. Usually, we did at most two or three takes of each song. Most of what we were doing was about creating the atmosphere and character for the songs, and not sweating over details.

"Most of the album was recorded at Woodland Sound, which is the studio of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. It had been a commercial studio until about 10 years ago, when they purchased it. They have since used it as their private facility. We knew them and we wanted a place that was both technically appropriate and private, and they happened not to be working on their own stuff at the time, so they were gracious enough to let us use it. We went in on the first of December 2009, spent a couple of weeks recording, and then came back in at the beginning of February for another four days of tracking and a few overdubs. From there we went straight into mixing in studio A at House of Blues Studios, Nashville. Because of band members' schedules, I had to do some overdubs while I was mixing. I spent two weeks mixing, and the whole album was finished by mid‑February, except for one track on which we later altered a vocal and I tidied up a couple of things.”

Welch and Rawlings are well‑known purveyors of high‑quality Americana and lovers of analogue equipment, and it is to be expected that their Woodland Sound Studio is full of the vintage, weird and wonderful. "Yeah,” Poole confirms, "the studio is full of lovely old vintage and ribbon mics, Telefunken and Neve preamps, Pultec EQs, Fairchild compressors and so on. They also have an old Neve 16‑channel, four‑bus broadcast desk, plus an small API sidecar. Buddy and I also brought a lot of our own gear. In the end, I only used their Neve desk for monitoring. Instead, all our input channels were mics going into discrete mic pres, then via compression or EQ if needed, and then straight into a 16‑track Studer A800 tape machine.”

Limitations

Mike Poole at House of Blues Studio, where Band Of Joy was mixed. Producer and guitarist Buddy Miller is in the background.Mike Poole at House of Blues Studio, where Band Of Joy was mixed. Producer and guitarist Buddy Miller is in the background.

And so, predictably perhaps, Plant, Miller and Poole went for the classic record‑live‑into‑a tape machine approach that's been at the heart of Americana for 60‑odd years. The famous American producer Bill Bottrell once opined to this writer that Americana will soon bite the dust, as it's wedded to the analogue recording medium, while Pro Tools is moving music to a much more urban and synthetic place.

"I would agree with Bottrell in terms of the difference between the sonics of analogue and digital,” says Poole. "There are genres for which DAWs work wonderfully, but I don't think that they are ideal yet for this kind of music. One of the reasons Buddy and I like working with each other is that we both like going to the same places sonically, so it's not a battle to try to get across what each of us wants, and we knew that the Band Of Joy album would be much more suited to analogue from a sonic perspective. One of the arguments of proponents of digital is that the playback sounds exactly like the input. That may be true, but with analogue tape the playback often sounds better than the input. I prefer to go with the medium that makes things sound better!

"Robert also has a preference for working in the analogue domain: it's where he's from, and it sounds familiar and attractive to him. But most of all I think he likes working with the limitations of the medium, the fact that you can't easily slide tracks backwards and forwards in time and you might have to punch in a whole bar rather than a single note. Plus there's the vibe and approach that came from limiting ourselves to 16 initial tracks. This meant that we had to make decisions early and we couldn't mess around with laying down many different drum scenarios, or whatever, which you tend to do when you have tons of available tracks. It's easy to get lost in a world of endless options.

"I don't see a Doomsday scenario like Bottrell does, however. For example, DAWs encourage you to work with a constant tempo to facilitate editing, but it is quite easy not to have a click going and to use it as you would a tape recorder. The trick is to remember that and not allow yourself to be tied to the ways in which the software tries to get you to work — don't let the tool overly influence the way you work. And I think that there will always be younger people coming along that will be inspired by the music from the past and that will adapt DAWs to work for them, rather than allow the computerised, linear way of looking at and organising music to become a stumbling block. They will just hit Record and Play and will be able to work beyond what the medium expects them to do.”

Failsafe

Despite Poole's obvious love for analogue, he also used Pro Tools for the Band Of Joy sessions. "I use Pro Tools all the time, because it has things that are incredibly usable. We can now do things that we could never do in the past. For the Band Of Joy project, we didn't only track to 16‑track analogue, but we also went straight out of the Studer into a Pro Tools HD system, via an Apogee AD16. The Studer would have been set on input while recording, so the Pro Tools was receiving only the coloration of the Studer's transformers — the sound was not coming off tape — and I would be monitoring off Pro Tools.

"There were two different reasons for working like this. One was that we knew that we probably would need extra tracks for overdubbing and editing, and so we'd end up on Pro Tools anyway and would be mixing off Pro Tools. Monitoring through the system prevented any later surprises about the sound. We also didn't do any editing with razor blades — editing is so much easier in a DAW. I recorded to two‑inch RMG 900 tape, at 30ips. We listened a couple of times to compare the tape and the digital versions, but we all liked the tape version better. So when we felt we had a good take and that we wanted to do an edit or just move onto the next song, I immediately transferred the take to Pro Tools, at 24/96. Once we had the analogue colour, it was just a matter of being pragmatic to work entirely in Tools from then on. If an overdub needed that analogue colour, I'd fly it over to the tape machine and then back into Tools. It's not as ideal as having it on tape to begin with, but it gets you part of the way there, sonically. Apart from a few backing vocal overdubs that I didn't fly back, almost everything on the album has touched analogue tape.The entire Pro Tools Session for 'Angel Dance'. None of the plug‑ins were used in the final mix, and the edits on Robert Plant's vocal track (coloured green, about two‑thirds of the way down) were mainly to tackle sibilance issues. At the bottom you can see mixes were recorded back into Pro Tools from the SSL desk. The entire Pro Tools Session for 'Angel Dance'. None of the plug‑ins were used in the final mix, and the edits on Robert Plant's vocal track (coloured green, about two‑thirds of the way down) were mainly to tackle sibilance issues. At the bottom you can see mixes were recorded back into Pro Tools from the SSL desk.

"The other reason for our recording setup was to be able to quickly do another take whenever needed. With Pro Tools I don't need to worry about how long the tape reel is, so I had it in record pretty much at all times. If we had reached the end of a reel, I could keep Pro Tools moving while rewinding or changing the tape, just in case the band was ready to record. One of the things that always happens in recording studios is that some magic is going on and the musicians look up at the control room with a look on their faces saying, 'Are you recording this?' I want to always be able to put my thumb up and indicate, 'We are rolling.' The musicians should never have to wait for the engineer. The sound of the format matters a little bit, but not as much as actually being able to be in record at the right time and capturing everything that's happening. I tried to roll the Studer for the actual takes, and Pro Tools was purely my failsafe that allowed me to keep things rolling at all times, just in case.

"With the Pro Tools system always recording, or set to record, the analogue equipment was my main focus during recording. I find that things are more intuitive for me when I'm working with analogue hardware. When I'm standing at a desk, my hands will reach intuitively for the EQ, and without even thinking about it I may at the same time do a fader move with my other hand. I can do all that instantly and purely on feel. By contrast, with the digital devices, even with big controllers, I find I need to think in a very linear fashion. It's very difficult to ride and tweak things at the same time, and you therefore end up putting small tweaks off. Sometimes you forget about them, or you may decide you don't have to do it anyway. So it really affects the way I work, and I think that of other people as well. Software forces you to interact with it on its own terms so much more than hardware does. It's like the old‑style car radios: you could reach over and press big buttons and turn a big knob and dial in the station you wanted without having to look at the device. But with digital radios you need to look down and look for feedback from the device with every move you make. Your options are greater, but you have to pay much more attention, and this can distract you from what you should be doing, whether driving or listening to the music.”

Non Standard

Initial live takes were recorded to 16‑track, two‑inch tape, before being transferred to Pro Tools for overdubs and mixing.Initial live takes were recorded to 16‑track, two‑inch tape, before being transferred to Pro Tools for overdubs and mixing.

Homing in on the analogue equipment that was his focus at Woodland Sound, Poole elaborated on the recording stage of the album's opener and first single, 'Angel Dance'. Was his setup similar for all songs? Poole: "When Buddy and I work together it can be pretty free‑form, and it's not uncommon for us to use different setups depending on what the instruments are, for example whether they're acoustic or not, and where the musicians need to be to give the best performance. By contrast, when I'm recording a project that I'm not going to mix, or for which the direction isn't quite clear yet, perhaps because the corporate side wants to have its input later on, I would normally have a fairly standard way of recording. With the Band Of Joy project, however, I felt free to vary the recording setup a little bit, as was appropriate for each song.

"We had a basic setup that we thought would be good for the bulk of the recording, which was that we had the drums and the bass in the main live room. Buddy was also in that room, but his guitar amp was isolated in another room, and Robert and Darrell had their own booths, in Darrell's case because he was mostly playing acoustic instruments. Everybody could see each other, everybody could come into the main room if they wanted; I remember we cut two songs with everyone except Robert in a circle, one of them being 'Central Two‑O‑Nine'. For me, it was matter of constantly adapting to what was happening, and sometimes I suddenly realised that people were going to do a take right where they had decided to sit down, which meant that I had to adapt my setup very quickly. In general, I set up quite a number of microphones, but did not use them all on each song. I also didn't have a standard drum-mic setup, because Marco had a non‑standard kit and played non‑standard parts. The room with Buddy's amp was large enough to have a room mic as well as a close mic.”

Poole was organised enough for this interview to supply a copy of his assistant Gordon Hammond's input chain sheet, reproduced on the left. Rather than explain each detail, Poole elaborated on some of the less usual aspects of his setup, for instance the Avantone BV1 on Robert Plant's vocals, which went through a Telefunken V76 and then an Inner Tube Audio Atomic Squeezebox compressor. Poole: "We tried a few mics on Robert, but the Avantone was definitely the best‑sounding. It gave us the picture that wanted of his vocals. I had only used that mic a little bit before, and it has definitely become a go‑to mic for me. It is very good at tracking sibilance, although after the vocal had gone through a compressor or two by the time I mixed, I had to do quite a bit of detailed work on 'esses' and mouth noises and so on. The Atomic Squeezebox is also fairly non‑standard, but it is a really good compressor. It reminds me a bit of the Summit Audio stereo compressor; it has the same feel but is a little bit more transparent. For the sound image we were after it was great. It also allowed me to put a highly dynamic performance on tape without the compression being audible. I always monitored through an [Urei] 1178, which was part of the mix path, and which gave the coloration we wanted to hear.

"The RCA speaker on the drums is a tiny speaker from before the days of computers, probably from a small cassette deck or reel‑to‑reel deck. I would find a spot in front of the drums where there was a pretty good balance and I'd place it there. I used it to get a highly compressed, pretty nasty drum sound. I don't think I used a whole lot of it in the mix on 'Angel Dance'. The Neumann M147 did a great job on the bass drum, and the two RCA KU2A mics that I used as room mics are old ribbon soundstage mics known as 'the Skunk', because they have a large, six or seven‑inch, black, ball‑like windscreen with a white stripe down the back side, just like the stripe on a skunk. These were Gillian and David's mics, and they worked great on the room at Woodland, which does not have a lot of ambience, but the RCAs gave me a little bit of a different perspective than the overheads. The RCA MI6203 on Darrell's amp is a really mid‑rangey mic, which worked great for this song. Buddy's amp had a Royer R121 going into a Chandler Germanium mic pre, which has a feedback knob that can be used as a bass tone control with the gain setting that I use. The Germanium is somewhat related to the Neve 1055; the circuits are similar, even though it doesn't quite handle the same.

"The Avantone CV12 on Darrell's and Robert's backing vocals is a sort of AKG C12‑ish mic. It's a little bright for vocals, to my ears, but the BVs in this song were 'ahs' that needed some extra air, and I rolled the bottom end off anyway. I've also used that mic on upright bass and drums. You get a lot of bang for the buck with these Avantone mics! The RFT AK47 on Bekka's BVs is a new Telefunken and it sounds really good. It's warmer than the CV12 and probably a better overall mic. I also sent the input chain list of 'Silver Rider' [see box, right], and while many of the signal paths are the same, there are a few significant differences. 'Angel Dance' was recorded during the first two weeks of tracking, and 'Silver Rider' during the four day sessions in February. I changed the overhead mics to two Coles 4038s, which is a more classic setup, and the room mics to two Cascade C77 ribbon mics, which are a little more aggressive and worked better for this batch of songs. I also wanted a little more control on the floor tom on this song, which is why I threw on the Audio Technica ATM25.”

Out Of The Woods

This panoramic shot shows the live room at Woodland Sound during tracking. This panoramic shot shows the live room at Woodland Sound during tracking.

"The console at Woodland Sound is lovely, but with only 16 channels and four buses, not big enough to mix. I need returns when I mix, not only for effects, but also for submixes, and compression and other effects. We went to House of Blues primarily for the sound of an analogue desk. I auditioned a few consoles for mixdown, including the big Neve at Ocean Way in Nashville, through that made the sound a little too warm and fuzzy. The recordings sounded great on the SSL at House of Blues: it had just the right amount of grit, along with clarity. Since so much is going on in the bottom end on this record, it was also very important to have monitors and a room capable of accurate low end. The Hidley‑designed room and the Kinoshita monitors worked great for this. The SSL is very versatile in terms of EQ and dynamics, and the studio had all the coloration devices that I thought I might need: lots of API stuff, lots of Pultecs, lots of 1176s, lots of Neve modules. Another factor was that since I knew that we still had to do some overdubs, having a large board enabled me to set a mix up on one part of the board, and use another set of fader banks for overdubbing on another song. I rarely had more than 24 tracks of music to mix, plus another 20 returns. This meant that I had almost 40 extra faders to use for the overdub mixes.

"Regarding my mix method, it really is mainly about getting a direction for what's going on. You push up the faders and figure out what the dominant vibe of the record has to be, like: this is a song where the electric guitar really needs to dominate, or this song is about the bass line, or in this song the voice needs to be inordinately loud. Once that's defined, it's a matter of figuring out what the other instruments need. Do the drums take up too much space, do they need to be more compact and darker? Does that acoustic guitar need to be bigger, or smaller, or more mid‑rangey? I work out the colour and general sound of each instrument, and might patch in three different compressors, or three different EQs, to see which one places the instrument in the right spot.

"Because I had recorded the music, and because we had been working with a 'We do it the way we like it and we make our decisions early' mentality, I didn't have to do that much in the mix. This is in contrast to when I'm mixing a track recorded by someone else, or for which the direction was to be decided during the mix. With regards to Band Of Joy, the whole idea of the album was to have an acoustic feel, yet make it gritty. We didn't strive for hi‑fi or a clean sound or things like that. We all like stuff that's a little more in the gut, rather than just tickling your ears. So there were things that I did to make it sound more gritty, especially on Darrell's acoustic instruments, like running his mandolin track through a mic pre to get some distortion on it.

Another panoramic shot taken at Woodland Sound, showing the booth occupied by multi‑instrumentalist Darrell Scott.Another panoramic shot taken at Woodland Sound, showing the booth occupied by multi‑instrumentalist Darrell Scott."You can see the effects I used on my mix notes [right]. The effects at the bottom of the sheet — Roland RE501, Lexicon PCM42, Yamaha SPX90, TC Electronic D•Two, Roland SRV2000, AMS DMX15, AMS RMX16 — are going into my sends and returns. The RE501s, PCM42s and D•Two would all have been set to a delay, not set to a precise tempo, but definitely something that accentuated the groove. The House of Blues did not have a real plate for a long reverb, so I used the cheap SRV2000 for that: if you massage it the right way, you can get something that works really well. The DMX15 delay works as a sort of smearing device for things you don't want to be able to aurally locate as a point source. I tend to use the RMX16 for a short ambient reverb.

"The SPX90 did a pitch‑chorus thing, its main advantages being that it doesn't sound too hi‑fi, and that it's fast to set: five parameters, and two of those you don't normally have to touch. I'd rather spend 10 seconds adjusting an SPX90 than having to pull up a display and go through four pages of menus on a higher‑end device. I didn't use any plug‑ins on this session — the ones marked in the screenshot were used for rough monitor mixes during recording, but I disabled them during the final mix. There are some plug‑ins that I really like, but I have yet to hear a plug‑in that emulates a specific analogue device and sounds as good. But if you're mixing in the box, UA make some really good‑sounding plug‑ins, and the GML EQ plugs are one of the few plug‑ins I've used that behave like their hardware equivalents. Of course there are some plug‑ins for which there are no analogue equivalents. And in the end, the effect that you have, whether outboard or analogue, is always better than the one you don't have!”

Drums: Shep 1073 EQ, Chandler EMI TG12413, SSL desk compressor, Pultec EQ, Roland RE501.

"I used the Shep 1073 EQ on the overheads, which is a box that looks exactly like the Neve 1073, except it's made by Shep. It sounds really close to the original. The only compression I had on the drums was a Chandler reissue of the EMI TG12413, which was on a bus. All the drum tracks went through that, and I also occasionally used the SSL compressor on individual channels. I also had Pultec EQ on the drum bus, I prefer their coloration to the SSL EQ on drums. I don't think there were any delays on the drums, apart from maybe a bit of 501, while the ambience came from the room tracks.”

Bass & guitars: Universal Audio 1176, Pultec EQP1A3, Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor, Neve 31102.

"I grouped the bass amp and bass DI track together and put a UA 1176 and a Pultec EQP1A3 on them. The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 going into a Neve 31102 mic pre on Darrell's mic track was an example of me adding distortion because the track sounded too clean. I used the Distressor to lower and then raise the signal up to line level and get the right amount of crunch going. Darrell's stuff was acoustic, so any reverb or delays that you hear on them came from me. Most of the effects that you hear on Buddy's guitar come from him. I might have added a bit of delay in the opposing speaker, just to bring a guitar across the sound field a bit more.”

Vocals: Urei 1178, API 550, LT Sound CLX, Roland SRV2000 & RE501, AMS RMX16, TC Electronic D•Two.

"I had the Urei 1178 compressor and the API 550 EQ on Robert's vocal, along with a parallel channel that was even more compressed. So any time he hit a low note that sounded a little muddy and needed some more clarity, I pushed up the parallel channel. There's also an effects send channel with the LT Sound CLX on it, which is a Dbx VCA compressor with a good de‑esser in it, and that was used as the send to any effects devices. As a side note, all the little slices you see on the screenshot were not performance edits, but mostly me trying to get the sibilance right. I often take out little clicks and pops and also 'esses' or 'effs' out manually. A de‑esser will hit everything in a technical‑sounding way, and sometimes you may want to retain the emotive way a certain 'ess' or 'eff' is expressed, but only precisely change the gain, just to correct recording artifacts. 'Angel Dance' is one of the few tracks on which Robert's scratch [tracking] vocal didn't make up the largest component of the final vocal track. On this song, he re‑sang the vocals later, and I think he did two passes and we used mostly one, with a few lines from the other pass thrown in. For reverb on his vocals, I used the SRV2000 long reverb and a little bit of RMX16; for delay, either the D•Two or an RE501. I used very little reverb on the tracks on the album in general, apart from on Robert's vocals and the backing vocals. The other ambience you hear may have been a long delay from the 501 or PCM42 or any of the room mics.”

Mixdown

"You can see on the screen shot that there are multiple mix channels at the bottom. I'll normally mix directly back into Pro Tools, either through an Apogee PSX100 or the Burl Audio B2 Bomber A‑D converter. We got the latter halfway through the project and we actually felt that it's superior to the PSX. We also went to tape, to an Ampex ATR102, half‑inch tape at 15ips; 15ips has such a different tonality than 30ips, and because this record was so much about the bottom end, the extended top end of 30ips wasn't helping us at all, while we liked what 15ips did to the low end. We compared the digital and tape mixes and ended up using the tape version. I had a bit of SSL bus compression over the stereo mix, and that was it. I think it came out pretty well!”

With that conclusion, Mr Poole, very few will have an argument...  .

'Angel Dance' Input Signal Chains

Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'
Source Mic Preamp Processing Chain
Mono drums RCA speaker Telefunken V76 Neve 33609
Bass drum Neumann M147 Telefunken V76 Neve 1084
Overhead L Coles 4038 Telefunken V76 Fairchild 670
Overhead R Neumann U67 API 3124
Room L RCA KU2A Neve 1073 Neve 2254, Pultec EQP1A
Room R RCA KU2A Neve 1073 Neve 2254, Pultec EQP1A
Bass amp EV RE20 Neve 1055 Teletronix LA2A
Bass DI Neve 1084 Teletronix LA2A
D Scott amp RCA MI6203 Neve 1055 UA 1176
D Scott mic RCA MI6203 Neve 1055 UA 1176
B Miller amp Royer R121 Chandler Germanium
B Miller room RCA 44BX API 3124
R Plant vocal Avantone BV1 Telefunken V76 Inner Tube Atomic Squeezebox
Overdubs
Tambourine Neumann U47 API 3124
D Scott BVs Avantone CV12 Telefunken V76 UA 1176
B Bramlett BV Telefunken AK47 Telefunken V76 UA 1176
R Plant BVs Avantone CV12 Telefunken V76 UA 1176

'Silver Rider' Input Signal Chains

Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'
Source Mic Preamp Processing Chain
Mono drums RCA speaker Telefunken V76 Neve 33609
Bass drum Neumann M147 Telefunken V76 Neve 1084
Overhead L Coles 4038 Telefunken V76 Pultec EQP1A, Fairchild 670
Overhead R Coles 4038 Telefunken V76 Pultec EQP1A, Fairchild 670
Room L Cascade C77 Neve 1073 Neve 2254, Pultec EQP1A
Room R Cascade C77 Neve 1073 Neve 2254, Pultec EQP1A
Mono drums Sony C37 Telefunken V76 Neve 33609
Floor tom Audio Technica ATM25 API 3124
Bass amp EV RE20 Neve 1055 Teletronix LA2A
Bass (DI) Neve 1084 Teletronix LA2A
D Scott mic 1 RCA MI6203 Neve 1055 UA 1176
D Scott mic 2 RCA MI6203 Neve 1055 UA 1176
D Scott amp Shure SM7 Neve 1073
B Miller amp Royer R121 Chandler Germanium
B Miller room RCA 44BX API 3124
R Plant vocal Avantone BV1 Telefunken V76 Inner Tube Atomic Squeezebox
P Griffin vocal Telefunken AK47 Telefunken V76 UA 1176
Overdubs
BVs L Neumann U67 Telefunken V76 Urei 1178
BVs R Neumann U67 Telefunken V76 Urei 1178

'Angel Dance' Mix Notes

Source Tape Out> Line In Insert
Mono drums API 560
Bass drum
Overhead L Shep 1073
Overhead R Shep 1073
Room L API 560
Room R API 560
Tambourine
Drum extra bus EMI T61, Pultec MEQ5
Drum extra bus EMI T61, Pultec MEQ5
Bass subgroup UA 1176, Pultec EQP1A3
Bass amp
Bass DI API 550
D Scott amp Pultec MEQ5
D Scott mic Empirical Labs EL8, Neve 31102 Neve 1081
B Miller amp Neve 1081
B Miller room Neve 1081
R Plant BVs
B Bramlett BVs
D Scott BVs
Vocal extra
R Plant vocal Urei 1178, API 550
Vocal FX send LT Sound CLX
Auxiliary effects: Roland RE501, Lexicon PCM42, Yamaha SPX90, TC Electronic D•Two, Roland SRV2000, AMS DMX15‑80S, AMS RMX16.

Similar articles

Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'

Inside Track | Secrets Of The Mix Engineers

Thumbnail for article: Robert Plant 'Angel Dance'

Thirty years after Led Zeppelin ended, Robert Plant has reached a second career high. His latest hit album was tracked and mixed by Mike Poole, using a mouth-watering selection of vintage equipment.

Nashville Guitars: Recording Today's Country Guitar Sounds

Interview | Engineers

Thumbnail for article: Nashville Guitars: Recording Today's Country Guitar Sounds

With country guitars, what you hear on the record is what was played in the studio. We asked Nashville's leading engineers how they capture those tones.

Mike Vernon: Producing British Blues

Interview | Producer

Thumbnail for article: Mike Vernon: Producing British Blues

Mike Vernon produced some of the greatest blues records of all time. A full decade after retiring, he's back in the studio with some of the British blues scene's brightest lights.

Happy Birthday Sound On Sound!

Milestones

Thumbnail for article: Happy Birthday	 Sound On Sound!

Some of the friends we've made over the years share their congratulations on our 25th birthday!

Labrinth: Producing Tinie Tempah

Interview | Music Production

Thumbnail for article: Labrinth: Producing Tinie Tempah

The man behind the biggest UK single of the year — 'Pass Out' by Tinie Tempah — is 21-year-old musical prodigy and maverick Labrinth.

Oval (aka Markus Popp): Recording Oh And O

Electronica Production

Thumbnail for article: Oval (aka Markus Popp): Recording Oh And O

One of electronicas most adventurous spirits, Markus Popp has returned with an album that sounds surprisingly... musical. But is everything as it seems?

Jon Burton: Mixing & Recording The Prodigy Live

Interview | Engineer

Thumbnail for article: Jon Burton: Mixing & Recording The Prodigy Live

As the Prodigy's chief live sound engineer, Jon Burton gets to unleash untold kilowatts of bass power on an unsuspecting world. He has also made multitrack recordings of every show on their 26-month world tour.

Silver Apples: Early Electronica

Interview | Band

Thumbnail for article: Silver Apples: Early Electronica

Silver Apples jammed with Jimi Hendrix, counted John Lennon as a fan, and produced extraordinary electronic music — with nothing but a drum kit and a pile of electrical junk.

Paul Worley: Producing Lady Antebellum

Interview | Producer

Thumbnail for article: Paul Worley: Producing Lady Antebellum

Nashville heavy-hitter Paul Worley was so impressed by Lady Antebellum that he gave up his high-profile job at Warner Bros to produce them. With Clarke Schleicher at the desk, the gamble paid off in style.

Devo | Mark Mothersbaugh

Four Decades Of De-evolution

Thumbnail for article: Devo | Mark Mothersbaugh

Pioneers of everything from circuit-bending to multimedia art, Devo have always belonged to the future.

MGMT

Andrew VanWyngarden & Ben Goldwasser: Recording Congratulations

Thumbnail for article: MGMT

MGMT could have followed up their smash hit debut album with more of the same. Instead, they headed straight into left field, with help from a legend of British psychedelia.

Faust: Hans Joachim Irmler

40 Years Of Krautrock

Thumbnail for article: Faust: Hans Joachim Irmler

In 1969, Faust used their massive record company advance to build a unique studio and a collection of weird, custom-made effects units. The same experimental spirit lives on in their new album, Faust Is Last.

Plan B

Producing The Defamation Of Strickland Banks

Thumbnail for article: Plan B

Plan B entered the public eye as a rapper, but its as a soul singer that he has conquered the charts. He and his production team revisit the tortuous story behind The Defamation Of Strickland Banks.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: David R Ferguson

Inside Track: Johnny Cash | American VI: Ain’t No Grave

Thumbnail for article: Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: David R Ferguson

Sometimes the simplest-sounding music takes the most work to get right, and so it was with Johnny Cashs posthumous hit album American VI: Aint No Grave. Engineer and mixer David R Ferguson was on hand at every stage of Rick Rubins production.

Porcupine Tree

Steven Wilson: Recording & Marketing Porcupine Tree

Thumbnail for article: Porcupine Tree

Every new Porcupine Tree album sells over a quarter of a million copies. And with founder Steven Wilson in control of everything from songwriting to shrink-wrapping, theres no middle man to take a cut. Read his valuable advice for SOS readers wishing to do likewise...

Phil Thornalley: Torn

From Rock Producer To Pop Songwriter

Thumbnail for article: Phil Thornalley: Torn

Phil Thornalley learned his trade as a rock engineer and producer in the 80s. Then he co-wrote a little-known song called Torn...

Ray Davies

Five Decades In The Studio

Thumbnail for article: Ray Davies

Legendary songwriter and Kinks frontman Ray Davies got his first taste of recording in 1964, and hes never looked back.

The Stargate Writing & Production Team

Mikkel Eriksen

Thumbnail for article: The Stargate Writing & Production Team

From humble beginnings in provincial Norway, the Stargate team have gone on to become one of Americas leading hit factories. Songwriter and producer Mikkel Eriksen explains how their hard work and talent brought success.

Dave Stewart: Creating A New Album From Archive Material

Time Trial: Bringing Multitracks and MIDI into the 21st Century

Thumbnail for article: Dave Stewart: Creating A New Album From Archive Material

Dave Stewarts career has spanned several generations of music technology (from National Health band in the 1970s to hits with partner Barbara Gaskin. For his latest project, he faced the challenge of bringing his old multitracks and MIDI sequences into the computer age.

Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Humberto Gatica

Inside Track: Michael Bublé ‘You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You’

Thumbnail for article: Secrets Of The Mix Engineers: Humberto Gatica

In a rare interview, legendary engineer and producer Humberto Gatica explains how he and singer Michael Bublé breathed new life into big-band swing music — with stunning results.

 

Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help

 

Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26

         

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2014. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents. The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media