Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A time traveler's reflection on acoustic/ electric transformers

I took a step back and looked at the beauty of it. It was like going back in the days. Apart from the Ocatvas that I have become quickly familiar with, it was old school. Or as old school as e604s can allow. I remember when they came on the marked and how impressed I was on my first job with them.

One SM 57 over and one under, plus an Octava on top of the snare. One D112, and you can guess where it went. And to crown the beauty; two of the new C 451s. Yeah! I took a step back and smiled. SM 57s, e604s and C 451s, a selection of my all-time favorites. Nothing has changed for 10 years, eh? And if you substitute the e604s with something else, maybe nothing has changed for 30 years. It was a display of nice timelessness and it made me happy. New skins and an amazing sounding snare, no wonder I was looking forward to try it out!

We listened through the backing and went for the first take. I called Ali into the controlroom afterwards.
Me: "I feel I'm missing something, and I'm not sure what it is. I think it may be too bright and I'm lacking some mids. You wanna try out the other over-heads?"
Ali: "Yeah, go for it!"
So we substituted the 451s for a pair of Octavas and had a go. The track went on tape well and we sat down and listened through a section as an A/B-test. AKG-Octava-AKG. There was no doubt with any of us, the verdict was: Octava. It is always a good comfort having the approval of the performer, who knows the instrument better than anyone else. The 451s were simply too bright, and the Octavas had the midrange we felt was lacking in the AKGs. The 451s would most probably have given me a mix-down nightmare. I recently had a similar problem with a pair of Schoeps. I'd go for Octava any day now.

The old favorites were packed down. -Couldn't be world-champions in everything I guess. It sounded a lot better after the change. But it didn't look as beautiful...

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