Engineer/producer Ben Greenberg says he enjoys working in “proper studios,” but he’s equally fond of the way he recorded alt-rock band Heaven’s Jail earlier this year: They rented a house in upstate New York, where Greenberg set up his mobile rig, and they all camped out and tracked music for a week. “I bring my half-inch, 8-track tape machine, a Pro Tools setup, an RME interface with eight ins and outs. I have an API lunchbox with some API pre’s and an AML (Audio Maintenance Limited) Neve 1073. And we make a studio,” he says.
Greenberg recorded to his Teac 38 tape machine, which he says he’s used for easily half of his projects since he bought it at age 17. “We were tracking basics to tape and then dumping into the computer. We overdubbed on top of that just into the computer, but most everything was done live and we just added little touches here and there.”
He brought just enough mics to record the band live as a trio, and then overdubbed vocals and any of those “little touches.” “On guitars, we used one of my [Cascade Microphones] Fat Heads. I have to say, those things are underrated,” Greenberg says. “They’re inexpensive ribbon mics. Most cheap ribbons sound terrible, but I love the way those things sound. Obviously, nothing sounds like a Coles, but you get so much low end and really nice high-end articulation. I like to use those on guitar amps for sure; we used one on the kick as well.”