Monday, 30 July 2007

New Toys!

Got hold of a couple of new bits of gear for GCHQ and thought we'd share some thoughts about 'em.

First up this the MoogerFooger ring modulator, we've been after a moogerfooger for a while, this one came up secondhand at a reasonable cost (for once!) so we jumped at it. The black moog expression pedal was off Ebay and really adds a great live tweaking element.

As well as the mad ring mod stuff this also does the best, creamy sounding tremello we've heard - good news for us, bad news for all the other trem pedals that have served us so well over the years.

Last but no means least is a fuzz pedal by Devi Ever USA. Quite brutal sounding, osculating fuzz that sounds as good on guitar as it does on synths, especially our Roland SH101. Devi's a really nice bloke too who makes small batches of hand built pedals and sells them via his Ebay shop .

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Glyn Johns method

We were lucky enough to do a recent drum session with one of our resident stickmen Simon Edgoose, for a forthcoming Future Music commission. The brief was ‘country crunk’ a kinda cross between country and hip-hop, so we wanted some straight country grooves and some more swung laidback beats using brushes and hot rods.

To mix things up a bit more we also decided (on Simons suggestion) to try out the Glyn Johns four mic method of recording a kit. We were very pleased with the results, a nice wide, open sound, so I thought I’d drop the basics here (taken from the Mike Dolbear forum):

Overhead 1: in front of the drummer, 36-40” above the snare, pointing directly
downwards at the bass drum pedal between the bass drum-mounted toms. Pan right
(3 o’clock). Use your tape measure to measure the distance from the centre of
the snare to the mic diaphragm.

Overhead 2: to the right of the drummer,
4-6” above the top of the floor tom pointing across the top of the snare towards
the hi-hats. Pan left (9 o’clock). Measure the distance from the centre of the
snare to the mic diaphragm: it must be exactly the same as the distance used for
positioning Overhead 1, or you’ll encounter phase problems.

pointing at the centre of the top of the snare, 2-3” from the head, positioned
between the hi-hat stand and the crash cymbal stand. Pan centre (12 o’clock).
Don’t position the mic too close to the snare head or you’ll encounter proximity

Bass drum: depending on the mic and your required sound, either
inside the bass drum and close to the head (more attack) or outside the bass
drum. Pan centre (12 o’clock). Again, don’t get the mic too close to the head.

And that’s about it – we used a Shure 57 on the snare, SE1 pencil condensors as overheads and another '57 on the kick as well alongside a Yamaha subkick mic (basically a repackaged speaker cone) for some crack and boom.

I’ll post a photo or two (the session was photographed for the mag) when I get hold of ‘em.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007


Hi there.

Welcome to our new blog page. Okay, okay I know we’ve not been what you could call reliable with other attempts at keeping pages like this updated but we’re really going to try and keep this blog on top of what’s happening around here at GCHQ…honest.