Record it LIVE…Naturally…

No, I’m not going to go all granola on everybody!  But sometimes simpler is just what the doctor ordered, whoever ‘that guy’ is..

So Clint McDaniels is back in the studio to record some more music! His style is influenced by country, blues, soul and acoustic infused with his own unique spin.  We recorded 12 songs from acts like Johnny Cash and  Roy Orbison as well as his originals.   Clint loves to play music and often does open mic nights here in Olympia, so when I record him we make sure that we do whatever we can to capture the music and the playing as a single performance.

Clint McDaniels was gracious enough for me to shoot his pic during his session... This shows the Shure SM7B vocal mic and Cascade Ribbon guitar microphone set-up for simultaneous recording

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Recording this way is a tricky thing to do if you’re trying to maintain a high level of quality like I am. Wherever you have multiple microphones there is always the chance of phase cancellation issues with microphones so close together, meaning that two mics can make each other sound thin or hollow. This is a big concern of mine because it’s critical to get a real nice sound for both the vocal and guitar at the same time while having them work as cohesively in a mix.

I set up Cascade Microphones Vinjet ribbon mic (pictured) with Lundahl transformer and set that about 18 inches away from Clints Martin guitar where the guitar body meets the neck.  I like to find the sweet spot for the mic by putting on a pair of trusted Denon headphones and listen to what the mic ‘hears’ while in the room with the performer.

Cascade Microphones Vinjet Chrome - Hot rodded with Lundahl transformer

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This particular microphone is good at rejecting sounds from above and the sides because it is a natural figure-8 pattern meaning it only picks up from the front and back. His beloved Martin has great tone, with good mileage as you can see wear below the pick guard on the posted picture.  The mic and guitar were a good combination.  It really brought out its full-bodied tone.  At the same time, I placed a Shure SM7B large diaphragm dynamic microphone to use on his vocal via a boom mic stand that is stretched out just in front of his singing voice about 10 inches away. This is a similar set-up I’ve used on other projects with great success.

Of course, in the spirit of doing things live as you would at an ‘open mic’, we record without headphones allowing Clint more freedom to hear his natural voice and guitar and how they sounded in the room.

Clint is working towards having a full-length album available before the Holidays. I’ll post samples as soon as I can and you can hear what his ‘naturally live’ musical style is all about.

– Jason Suko