So I’ve been working on re-engineering Cracksman Betty this last week. I’ve learned a lot over the last year, I gotta tell you, and that’s awesome. That web album – a collection of live-in-studio and live-at-shows tracks – will sound a lot better when I’m finished. Particularly the live-in-studio.

But then I went and listened to a bunch of little indie band recordings tonight for various reasons, and maybe I’m extra sensitive to it because I’m remastering/re-engineering a bunch of my own learning experiences, but I posted this series of tweets around 1am Sunday morning:


Go to 1974. Buy the song “Pretzel Logic” by Steely Dan. It’s the title track for Pretzel Logic. You don’t need the whole album. STUDY. Now you know how to do aural placement.

Then go to 1984 and buy the song “Only When You Leave” by Spandau Ballet, on Parade. When you can mic like that? Now you can mic drums.

This tweet series brought by FOR THE LOVE OF GOD A ROCK KIT SHOULD HAVE MORE AURAL IMPACT THAN OATMEAL, & hearing one too many mushcordings.

Also, bonus pro tip: reverb is not cruise control for awesome.

Just sayin’.

Because goddamn.

I stand by these tweets, but they’re really basic rock kit micing for pop and rock. There’s nothing bombastic in either, but they’re easy to study, highly competent, and have flairs of art. (I’d swap “I’ll Fly for You” for “Only When You Leave” – same band and album – if you want a drum kit with some folk drums included. My gods there’s so much space and air in the drums in that recording, it’s beautiful. But now I’m diverting myself.)

I want to open the floor for recommendations. It doesn’t have to be drum recording. It can’t be so complex that you can’t learn from it – I pick that Steely Dan track because it’s 1974 and they’ve really figured out stereo by then and have a good grip on it, but aren’t going crazy yet. I pick that Spandau Ballet recording because it’s so very transparent, and also, because mics of the types they’re using which were fantastically expensive then aren’t so bad now. One might even venture “affordable.” Certainly for rental prices.

So. You tell me. What can people listen to in order to learn how to do this stuff right?