What's That Sound: Special Recording Effects I Use in the Studio

22 March 2015 in Gear -

Ichiban (Gibson SG Standard), Niban (Fender American Standard Stratocaster) and Sanban (Martin D-28) in the Ark studio.

I’d like to analyze some of the effects I used in my songs for my first album demos and share those with whom might be interested. These effects are mainly decorative and do not involve proper mixing techniques but are rather used to support my artistic direction. They color the songs but do not enhance them professionally speaking.

Double Miking:

SM58 and AT4040

Double Miking with a Shure SM58 and an AudioTechnica AT4040 in the Ark studio.

I pretty much double mike almost all vocal and electric guitar tracks. It allows me to not only balance between two different microphone sounds in the mix but also to shift one of the tracks by a couple milliseconds to create this fake tape delay. If you play with the panning of these two tracks you can create some really powerful spaces and wide-sounding parts.

Reverse Solo:

Fender Concert Amp

Vintage Fender Concert amp in the Ark studio.

Inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” guitar solo, I attempted a reverse solo section on “Half-Man’s Land” that manifests quite successfully in my opinion. Adding the hard-panned original solo part on one side and the reversed version on the other, I wanted to represent the two opposite halves of Gizzy’s conscience colliding in fight against its definite identity.

Hi-Pass Guitar:

Guitar Pedals

Simple pedal setup with Boss RC-2, Catalinbread Echorec and Dunlop Cry Baby Classic Wah Wah in the Ark studio.

An effect that Mick Ronson used in the final solo of “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie is a fixed setting on his Wah Wah pedal. According to an interview, he set the pedal prior to the recording and left it untouched for the whole performance, merely as a hi-pass filter. I borrowed the same trick for the guitar solo in “Graves Of The Lullabies”.

Distorted Vocals:

Part of the vocals in “In The Tempest” were processed through an amp in order to create a distorted sound coming from the confines of another world. Some other ideas I have in mind for future recordings are phased, sped up or pitched up vocals similar to Robert Plant’s performance in Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same”.

Spatial Panning:

A personal requirement in the psychedelic sequence of “Cherry Mountains” was a trippy spatial atmosphere. In order to achieve this, I relied heavily on dynamically panning the guitars (yes, those are guitars).

If you heard other effects on my songs you enjoyed that I forgot to mention here, feel free to comment on those below!

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