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Elbow – Awesome @ FUV (Updated)

Updated: Added newly published video of the session.  

Sure, I may have broken protocol, but would you really blame me if you knew there was an unused U87 in a broadcast studio merely 10 steps down the hall? I hijacked that damned thing, stuck it in front of Guy Garvey, and dropped my jaw. Here’s Lippy Kids, recorded and mixed live.

Grounds for Divorce

Elbow has been playing with the same members for 20 years. Hell, they even have their own line of beer. Nevertheless, they ventured from the UK to the Bronx and treated us to one of the most moving Sunday mornings an engineer could hope for. While “Lippy Kids” is more of a ballad, I strongly recommend checking out the rest of their material at http://www.elbow.co.uk/mediaPlayer.html. “Neat Little Rows” is instantly accessible, and rocks hard.

After the session, Craig Potter (keys/producer) Guy and I chatted briefly about production, mics, and other things no one but engineers, producers and artists care about. Mark Potter, Richard Jupp and Pete Turner were just as down-to-earth and friendly. Danny (front of house) and his crew were really cool too. Those few minutes of discourse demonstrated that these men were not only kind and polite, but genuinely good people with humility and care for others.  I suppose I wasn’t surprised – in my experience, the best artists tend to be the nicest ones to work with. So I rode the high all the way to their show that night, where they had all of Terminal 5 (and every New York Englishman contained therein) enthusiastically wailing choruses in 2-part harmony.

Tech babble:

Lead vox was recorded through a Neumann U87 into an SCA J99 pre, compressed with an 1176 with both the “8” and “4” ratio buttons pushed it. I don’t care what anyone says, it sounds good. Piano was miked in stereo with a pair of 414s in A-B configuration behind the sounding board, board. Drums (reduced kit) was miked overhead with coincident C391’s in X-Y configuration and a few other spot mics. Guitar (amplified) was miked with a Fathead II & 421 combo. Room was captured with the Avantone CV-12 in omni.

414s on piano

Fathead II and Sennheiser 421

Both 414s are equidistant from the sounding board, in cardiod pattern.

The Fathead and 421 are aligned so their capsules are the same distance from the speaker cone.

And for no reason at all, here’s a picture of me with the guys from Elbow, the loveliest word in the English language. Build a Rocket, Boys! Go buy it.

"So Dan, you just take the name of our usual sound guy as a sort of production technique, eh?" No. But I will now...


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