Power pop rock! Yielding only an electric guitar, bass and drums, Mike Viola and his 3-piece rely on solid songwriting, effective arrangements and a killer vocal delivery to get their message across. Here are a couple songs from the session – really strong performances – all from Mike’s new album Electro De Perfecto, recorded to RMG 911 1/4″ tape at 15ips, 355nW/m.
Here’s the Rub
Brian played his own drums for this session, and the resonant head of his kick drum is closed (doesn’t have a hole), so I miked it only with an RE-20 and the NS-10 subkick. The NS-10 subkick creates a lot more oomph in the low end around 60Hz compared to the other subkick I was using, and I’ve taken to using this combo almost 100% of the time. Here’s a clip of the drums in between takes, where its easier to hear the subkick, rather than just feel it.
I like when 3 piece bands come in because the sparser instrumentation allows more room to fill out the arrangement through miking and mix decisions. Mike played his electric through two amps, which I miked with 2 Fathead ribbons, an RE-15 and a Beyerdynamic M69. This allowed me to change relative tone and stereo positioning on the fly by setting up a base balance for the start of the song, then just change fader levels as they played.
For bass I used a DI and a Shure KMS-109 small diaphragm condenser, though there isn’t much of the DI in the mix. It seems like many choose to default to large dynamics for bass, but I’ve really gotten fond of the detail and clarity a small condenser can provide. Vocals were captured with an SM7 through an 1176 with light 4:1 compression.
Definitely check out Mike’s new album, and stay tuned for the full broadcast on WFUV!