In Praise of Glyn Johns

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Yup, only 3 microphones. Works just fine!

As mentioned in other posts, I have been gradually building up the capacity here at ManCave Studio to do some full-on recording, which in simple terms means all the instruments, including drums. With limited equipment, this is still a possibility, and I spent the afternoon doing just that, hence the one-day delay for this post. Credit for making simple yet good-sounding recording of drums goes to a British audio engineer by the name of Glyn Johns. His credentials are mind-boggling; see below from Wikipedia.

Johns produced and/or engineered with such artists as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eagles, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Hallyday, the Band, Eric Clapton, the Clash, the Beatles (Get Back Sessions), Ryan Adams, the Steve Miller Band, Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, the Easybeats, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Blue Öyster Cult, Emmylou Harris, Midnight Oil, New Model Army, Belly, Joe Satriani, Ronnie Lane, Rod Stewart with Faces, John Hiatt, Joan Armatrading, Buckacre, Gallagher and Lyle, Georgie Fame, Family, Helen Watson, Fairport Convention, Humble Pie, and many others.[3]

So, yeah, he knows what he’s doing! The upshot is that Johns came up with an ingenious way to record drums with only three microphones – one in the bass (kick) drum, one overhead, and one near the floor tom. The last two have to be at the same distance from the snare for this to work right. A bit and left or right panning makes the whole thing sound larger than life. The course I took at Centennial over the last year or so offered the chance to mic up drums, but we went “new school” with 13 microphones! Going down to 3, in a tiny space like ManCave Studio would be a challenge.

The session went well as the Trevor (bass) and Kevin (drums) were well prepared, so only a few takes were required. Because there is no separate control room in my space, we were hearing a lot of live sound leak through the headphones, so initially, I dreaded what might come out of it, but as soon as we heard the first playback, it was clearly obvious why this recording method was, and still is, very popular. Thanks, Glyn Johns!


Prepping for Politics

IMG_0113Since I have an upcoming meeting with our local councillor, I have been reading through the Toronto Music Advisory Council’s meeting minutes and associated documents, and making side notes. At about the halfway point, it seems very clear that their hearts are in the right place, but it doesn’t change the reason for the meeting, which is to point out a few gaps and talk more about live music at the grassroots level. More as things develop…


Upcoming Shows

This Tuesday, the ABC Songwriters’ Circle is back once more for show #12. I have reorganized the site a bit so please refer (and bookmark) the song circle page to find out who is coming soon, and for a brief review of the most recent show. All the bios for past performers have been moved to their own special page, and listed alphabetically for serving convenience.

Thanks to a tip from a music fan, I am in the process of getting a pass for this year’s Winterfolk XVI, a Blues and Roots music festival that will take place on Danforth from Feb. 16-18, 2018. According to the website, “it’s an  all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock,  jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival”. The ambitious schedule has over 150 artists performing at 5 venues over 3 days. Should give me lots to choose from, meet new potential guests for the song circle, and maybe even consider being part of this for next year, if they’ll have me.


FatC Revival

Things have been pretty quiet of the full-band front since the December show, and even before that, gigs were fairly sparse. I hope to change that soon and changes are in motion. News as events develop!

Until then, be well!

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