Recording ‘Stones in My Passway’ by Carmen Gomes Inc.
Notes on the recording session of ‘Stones in My Passway’ by Carmen Gomes Inc.
There are several reasons I call this a ‘One Mic+ ’ recording.
In this recording, the role of drummer Bert Kampsteeg is very important.
We wanted him to be able to play as freely and dynamically as possible.
I realized that if we had Carmen up close to the one mic she was creating an acoustic baffle that covered up certain frequencies. The same was true for Peter Bjørnild's double bass. By moving Carmen and bassist Peter Bjørnild further away and supporting them with two Josephson C700A microphones, the drum sound got much more open and present. We wanted the small 'soundscape' vignettes to have a very dark atmosphere (Peter said he wanted them to sound as dark as the Mississippi night), so I decided to add a spaced pair of Josephson C617 omni directional microphones up in the studio and let them be an additional source of ambiance. That worked very well. And also the deep drop-tuned low notes from the double bass that Peter employed on some of the soundscapes got picked up very well by that pair. Such low notes are almost impossible to hear close up, somehow you only hear the upper harmonics generated, so that was an extra benefit of the ambient pair. And it made me fall even more in love with the sound of Studio 2. I also supported the amp of guitarist Folker using a Josephson C715 just to give it only a little boost in his solo parts. This was to keep us from having to set the amp too loud for the solos so that it remained comfortable for everyone.
You could argue that this is a return to old-fashioned multi-mic recording but I don't think that is true, the drums, guitar, and the main part of the double bass sound are primarily coming from the Josephson C700S. The microphone is the key to the sound stage we have created.
All the support microphones are built based on the same technology as the C700S. The special quality of the Josephson mic's is that spill coloration is much less of a problem. So it is a perfect spot microphone. Another funny thing.....I keep learning things about the C700S. I have to keep forcing myself to keep experimenting with distance, closer or further away from the mic, it is crucial to get the best possible sound. I don't think I have ever captured Folker Tettero's guitar better than on this album and it was a question of moving the right leg of the table with the amp on, 2 cm (0,787 inches) backward and there the sound was! Unbelievable.
I've been Carmen Gomes Inc’s engineer of choice for 27 years.
Every recording is an adventure and a collective challenge to make yet another step in performance and recording quality.