Distorted guitars and punchy drums create an almost harsh sonic environment for Nicole Yun’s ethereal voice, making Eternal Summers’ new release, The Drop Beneath, a study in beautiful contrasts.
Producer Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices, Nada Surf) brought the trio to Austin to record and mix in Resonate Studios with owner/engineer Louie Lino, who tracked a lot of basics live, varying recording chains to match each song.
“For some of the airier songs, Nicole’s vocal would go from a Neumann TLM 103 to Avalon 737sp to dbx 160,” Lino says. “For grittier songs, we would use an SM7 or a Sony C37a into an Altec 1567A or an old Langevin AM-301 mixer. I always seem to have the dbx 160 at the end of the chain, even if it’s not really compressing much. It adds a sonic toughness that’s pleasing.”
Lino mikes Lun’s guitar amp with an SM57 and a Cascade Fatman II ribbon. His pre’s vary song-to-song, as well, including a Telefunken V72, Altec 1567a, Ampex 350, Great River, or Seventh Circle Audio N72. “We even used an old Moviola amp for a massively distorted tone on one or two songs,” Lino says.
During the mix, Lino frequently used his vintage Gates Sta-Level. “If the track was doubled, I’d also have that track running through an Altec 436c compressor. Those two compressors are kind of similar in being vari-mu, so they seem to track together well. Occasionally, I’ll duplicate a vocal track and blend in a distorted version using the Massey Tapehead or the SoundToys Radiator plug-in. Other key effects on vocals and guitar are my spring reverbs: an old MicMix Master Room MR-1 tower and a Studio B.”