On Wednesday 13th May 2015 the Pro Tools Expert team hosted probably one of the most fun events we have held at Red Bull Studios in Tooley Street near London Bridge where we were able to showcase Sontronics microphones mounted on Latch Lake stands.
The PTE team of Russ Hughes, Mike Aiton who is responsible for all the photos of the event, James Ivey, with his jivetastic band, new team member Producer Paul Drew and Martin Delaney, from Ableton Expert on video duties, were very pleased to welcome a packed audience to this fabulous event.
Whilst Trevor Coley presented his range of microphones and delighted our guests over welcoming drinks with many useful microphone tips, James Ivey's band 'The Talent' with James on drums, Jamie Brooks on Fender Rhodes and Bass keys, Luis Correia on guitar and Rosaleen O'Connell on vocals, set up in the live room. Oliver Morely from Bigger Boat Distribution was not only supporting the event but also supporting all the Sontronics mics, as well as Jivey's iPad, on Latch Lake's most excellent stands.
Meanwhile in the SSL 4000 G series control room, friend of the blog and renowned engineer Neil Pickles was on desk duty, running the session. Expert local studio knowledge with a warm welcoming sense of humour was cheerfully provided by Red Bull's Studio Manager, Brendon Harding.
In The Live Room
After Trevor's presentation, the audience were invited into the live room to see the mic positions, especially the famous Glyn John's mic position on the drums, and how they were positioned on Latch Lake stands. It should be noted that in the live room many favourable comments were received on Red Bull's innovative and unusual 'speaker montage wall'. All the mics recorded were from the Sontronics family:
- Vocal duties were taken care of by the valve Aria and its psu
- Guitar cabinet mics were the cardioid Halo dynamic and Delta figure of 8 phantom powered ribbon.
- Drums mic duties:
- Kick - cardioid end fire condenser DM1B (with 155dB maximum spl)
- Snare - DM1S cardioid condenser
- AB overheads - Saturn condensers in cardioid pattern
- Glyn Johns snare overhead was the Orpehus condenser in cardioid.
- Keyboards were recorded with Radial DI in mono (Fender Rhodes and Novation Basstation)
The Drum Rig
For the drummers out there, the kit was the Red Bull Yamaha maple custom house kit apart from James' home made bubinga 13" snare. The cymbals were 14" K Hi Hats, 20" Paiste Signature Ride, 19" HHX Dark Crash, 17" Explosion Crash, and the sticks were Vater Manhatans with a wood tip. The heads were Remo pinstripe and the barometric air pressure was 1 bar.
One Very Cosy Control Room
It was a squeeze to get everyone in the control room for the tracking session as the event was so popular. After the initial tracking takes with scratch vocal, Neil recorded a clean vocal overdub pass so we could hear the Aria in its full glory without having to content with all the spill of drums and guitar in the room.
The Glyn John's Mic Technique On Drums
Neil gave a detailed explanation of the Glyn Johns drum mic technique with its increased stereo width and compared it to the more conventional AB overhead method. Neil then gave the assembled company some tips on EQ-ing the kick drum to get 'the modern attack' sound.
Next Neil demonstrated the difference in sound between the ribbon and the dynamic mics on the guitar cabinet. Martin Delaney, Editor for Ableton Live Expert commented
The Fender Guitar with the Blackstar sounded good and the Novation Bass Station 2 with Fender Rhodes - two classics.
It was evident that much useful knowledge was gleaned by many in the room. Mike Aiton commented..
I have never seen such a thirst for experience and the frantic scribbling of notes by so many, it was a complete joy to watch. The conversation continued long into the evening covering many audio topics even as we packed up, so very few stones were left unturned. Everyone just thoroughly enjoyed the the whole evening, as the vibe and the love of music was hugely apparent - after all, that's why we all do it.
Neil Pickles posted on Facebook...
Fun engineering a Pro Tools Expert, Sontronics, Latchlake event for James and Russ. Thanks for inviting me guys.
Download The Session Stems
Whether you were there or not, you can download the session stems and take a listen to the different tracks or use the session for mixing practice.
Firstly our thanks must go to host Brendon and the Red Bull team for the loan of their fabulous studio, especially at such short notice.
A hugely big thank you to Neil Pickles for engineering, teaching and communicating with his audience so well. Russ and Neil loved another SSL fix on one of their favourite desks - much joy was apparent. And a huge round of applause to the band for their enthusiasm, professionalism and overall patience.
Thanks must also go to Mike Aiton for talking some great pictures of the event and for writing up what happened. If you would like to see more of Mike's pictures then you can see them on his Flickr page here.
Our thanks to James for achieving audio alchemy by putting the band and the sponsors all together for such a great event.
Finally our thanks to our event sponsors Trevor from Sontronics and Oliver from Bigger Boat Distribution representing Latch Lake Stands.
See you at the next event!