From left: assitant engineer Albert Mata, engineer Duane Barron and Social Distortion frontman/producer Mike Ness at the Neve console in Ocean Studios (Burbank, Calif.)
Photo: Christine Marie
L.A. punk band Social Distortion announced a new deal with Epitaph and a new album-in-the-making in the same breath this summer. The forthcoming sixth release will be the band’s first studio album in six years, and engineer Duane Barron (Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper) took a break from vocal tracking to talk to Mix:
“Social D is a blues-based punk band. [Frontman/producer] Mike Ness wants this to sound like it was recorded in 2010, but still have that vintage feel. Some of the tracks have been recorded live, the whole band, and some have [started with] just Mike and drums. There’s no one set formula.
“We’re tracking to Pro Tools and analog, to a Studer A800 machine, and we’ve A/B’d the analog with Pro Tools; so far, analog is winning. But we’re recording the analog, then taking it off the repro head and dumping it into Pro Tools, which we’ll use to mix.”
Barron is also making use of the Neve console and Ocean Studios’ (Burbank, Calif.) extensive collection of classic outboard equipment: “Everything goes through the Neve,” he says. “I’m also using eight Pultecs on guitars, kick and snare. All the guitars go through the Fairchilds. With snare drums, I like to use the RCA BA6A combined with the original tone along with an Altec compressor.
“We’re doing some rough mixes as we go. We’re getting a feel for it. Things are coming back really nice.”