Producing the Zadok Tapes: II

Hello there.

This is the crack basically:

Al has left town to play with Mass in the Big smoke. So, to document the band ZADOK, which is yours truly playing guitar and singing, Al on bass, Franko Morgan on drum kit and Pete Devlin on keyboards and singing, we went to the big room in Pelaw to make the Zadok tapes.

The plan was that we’d rock up at 9am or so, with the Dalek, Cube amp, the brit 4 channel amp and various mics, guitars, cymbals and keyboards… Then set up, wait for Van Rezner to arrive (I was a gwan pick him up but he was asleep when i called! So I suggested JUMP in a taxi Van Rezner and I would pick up the tab…) However things went awry and there was no sight or sound of the famous tapemaker and multiple Zadok collaborist VR. By about 1.30 we’d practiced enough and it looked like time to take affirmative action since there was no chance of getting Macbooks and VRs and multi mics set up in time to do something with it, and still no sign of our multi-talented recordist. So, I called in the cavalry, and at about 2pm my good lady was kind enough to drop me in a superb bit of kit: The Yamaha AW16G, which had gotten me out of trouble before (and will again!).

I wasn’t exactly in a strop like. But I was a bit worried about the tape captain! And a little cheesed at the wasted time we risked. So, I did my wilderness taping skills act, and did the following using whatever wires we had and could rustle up:

Shure bass drum mic in the kick. Shure 57 directly under the snare. NT1 and an M3 over the top on boom stands, pretty much pointing at the snare from different angles. Lineout from the Cube amp for Pete’s keyboard. Lineout from the back of Al’s Haartke bass top (which got a line, after the Boss Bass Overdrive ! bypassing the ultra powerful and seasoned but rattly Dalek bass cab). I thought about lineout from the back of the AVT amp but have had problems with fizzy top from the acoustic sim channel so just put an SM58 in front of it and turned up louder than usual… This seemed to pick up loads of spill from the kit so I swapped for some kind of Shure tom mic that I discovered and went for broke.

We screened off the kit with some big old perspex/felty flock freestanding panels and it worked well, with only limited spill from us lot. It’s a big old room so it was alright.

Then it was a good old rockin’ session for the Zadok. We went through Unit of Judo 1,2 and 3, A Dolphin in the Desert, Ivory Rib Upgrade, Analogue Space Battle and Caltrops. It took us approximately 35 takes to do Unit of Judo part 3, but we got it in the can. Unit 1 was a first take steamer. You can click on the song titles for previous recordings of the songs – ASB features Ben Handysides on drum kit from The Sage Gateshead Hall 2 back in August 2009. Franko’s version is just as steamy but it’s a nice recording. Almost live…..

We got it all down and got home. Then I spent last weekend and this weekend making it sound human using all manner of all-organic missions. Stay tuned!CM






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One thought on “Producing the Zadok Tapes: II

  1. […] Zadok tapes. We made them in a day in Gateshead. There are some tales from the recording process here. Thanks for listening. We will return on Laser horses and so on. There […]

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