This tip has raised lots of questions, as I knew it would. I just couldn’t put enough information in a tweet, but hopefully it may have gotten a few of you to try some less typical things when recording.
The friend of mine who did this is a very good engineer. We’ve known each other for a long time and often talk about different ways of doing things. I will say however, that while I’ve always liked his results, I’ve yet to find one of his ideas to work for me. That’s part of the nature of the recording. As you try different ways of doing things, you’ll find someone who’s recording methods line up with yours, and some just don’t. So the first lesson here is don’t fret it if some tip you learned doesn’t work when you try it. It’s no different than a musician trying to emulate some other player, but that person’s style doesn’t feel right to them when they try it. We’re all different. We come to this craft with our own musical loves and preferences that may be very different than those whose tips we wish to emulate.
But as you’re different than me, you might find this tip to work for you, so here it is.
As best I recall, the bass cabinet was a small one. He’d tried a few normal techniques to no avail. Finally in desperation (often a good source of good ideas) he took a KM84 and placed it flat it on the studio floor. He then laid the speaker cabinet face down on the floor OVER the mic and turned up the amp till it “farted” a bit, and there was the sound. Go figure! I’d have never thought of such an idea. But it was a great sound.
So lesson #1, don’t worry if something some idea you heard doesn’t work for you. Find someone whose methods relate to what you do and follow them.
So, lesson #2 the total contradiction to #1….Try anything! You may find something so bizarre as my friend that works for you. Always keep looking. You just may find a wacko idea that does work.