Studio Night

Tracking the Hammond (part 2)

We left off with me setting up a recording session for my Hammond organ.  I had my Pro Tools control in place (a Frontier Tranzport), and a monitoring solution in place.  The next step was to mic the Leslie cabinet.

Had there been one other person there, it would have been easier.  One person could have been downstairs setting the level of the microphone preamp and listening to the sound of various mic placements.  But I was on my own, so it was a little more involved.

First I had to set up the microphone.  I used an AKG C414 and connected it to the preamp downstairs using a couple of chained mic cables.  I used a short mic stand that I sat on the floor about 18 inches away from the Leslie cabinet.

I made the first of many trips back and forth between the mic setup and the preamp/PT controls.  At one point I had a book laying on some of the organ keys so I could set levels and decide what mic position I liked.

I felt like I was getting too much of the room (lots of wood and glass and stuff that vibrates a lot), so I got the mic stand off the floor.  I set it on the padded top of a chair – not much of a “decoupling going on there, but it was better than nothing).  Still unhappy with the sound, I put another chair adjacent to the first one and hung a furry blanket over the two adjacent chair backs.  Better (sounding, not looking).

I also didn’t feel like I was getting enough body in the organ sound.  I turned the Leslie cabinet around and took off the back panel.  I moved the mic back about six inches (still under its wacky “tent”) and got more of what I was after.

At that point I was finally able to record some takes.  It was definitely worth the hassle.  The sound of that organ through that cabinet is like some kind of ear candy I can’t seem to get enough of.

Next time I do some organ recording I may try to change things up a little, though, just to lower the PITA factor.