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BCC debut album not as live as some people think

Recording engineer Dave Rideau recently sat down with producer Kevin “The Caveman” Shirley at his studio, The Cave, in Malibu, California. The interview was done for mixing console manufacturer Solid State Logic and Shirley talks about his work, among them his work on Black Country Communion’s debut album.

I booked the studio down the road, and we just booked two days, and I had everyone come into the studio … Shangri-La, just down the road here. And they came in for two days, and … Joe and Glenn had written nuggets of ideas, so we cut it all in bits and pieces … And then, they all went away, and in the evenings I cut it all up together when I was working on an Iron Maiden album in the Bahamas and I had time to spare. I put the headphones on and my laptop and I edited it all up, and that’s how this [debut] record came about …

It’s interesting… to see like 10,000 reviews that [say] you can hear that these guys are all playing live. Well, they are playing live. It’s just, they weren’t playing quite as you hear.

Thanks to Lemon Squeezings: Led Zeppelin News.



12 Comments to “BCC debut album not as live as some people think”:

  1. 1
    stoffer says:

    I hope they sound good really “LIVE” cause they are comin’ to St. Loueee in June and DP is comin’ to Chicago in June a “midwestern boys” summer dream come true 🙂 🙂

  2. 2
    Moreblack says:

    This is the usual these days.I mean,to record an album with everybody involved at the same time,it’s quite rare.Maybe if they release a second album,they play together on some tracks.

  3. 3
    T says:

    Most people tend to think of recordings as being done “live” with a microphone in a studio and then processed for quality.

    That was the norm in the first days of audio recording, but since the Germans developed two-track during the 1940s and later Les Paul developed four-track, it has been possible to record instruments and lines individually, giving engineers and producers much more control over the music.

    Today, with 48 or more tracks or unlimited virtual tracks, it is normal to record parts individually (some people have a mike and track for each part of the drum kit! Mixing nightmare!) and for various takes to be mixed, dropped in or out or crossed over electronically. That is standard practice.

    Back in the day, it was necessary to splice magnetic tape to do some edits; however, today, digital technology makes this type of editing quick and easy. Even old school analog recorders made polishing more efficient. Look at what the Beatles accomplished on a four-track machine. Most of their post-touring years songs could not be reproduced live. It was “studio art”. It doesn’t make the music any less legitimate.

    The point is that most modern recording is done piecemeal. It is not a sell-out to employ multitracking and electronic editing especially when this is how most music is and has been recorded for decades–and particularly since the recording process and writing process are often one and the same as a song is “built”.

    I oppose such edits on “live” albums (dropping in a different solo from a different night? Then what’s the point of the “live” recording?). I have a recording of Michael Schenker blowing a string, and it is very interesting to hear him struggle to get out of that chaos. That’s a part of live playing, and as Blackmore said, it’s not the fact that the ballerina fell that matters but how she gets up that counts. I don’t want a blown string and the ensuing mess on a studio recording, however.

    A “studio” album is just that–a *studio* album. It’s SUPPOSED to be perfect. Such a recording is like a painting–that is, put together from pieces of color placed individually and deliberately, with mistakes painted over, whereas a live sound is more of a photographic snapshot of a moment which one can’t control.

    It is therefore relatively insignificant that BCC was not recording everything “live” when in fact they were using accepted and routine recording practices.

    So Shirley did some cut-and-paste. Yeah…and? As long as BCC doesn’t go all Milli Vanilli on us, that is really a non-issue.

  4. 4
    Muscle and Blood says:

    The BCC debutalbum is solid and the first four songs a very good…or sounds dull and not clear enough…its not a great job from Mr. Shirley…i hope BCC2 have a lot better mix and more strong songs!

  5. 5
    purpletemple says:

    I wish they wouldn’t share that kind of information. I mean, I thought that there were a lot of mistakes in the tracks, but thought “well, fair enough, it’s the live spirit”, and now it appears not to be!?! Then why leaving so many mistakes in the first place…Re-doing the takes would have cost too much!?!
    Shame!

  6. 6
    Moreblack says:

    We are in 21 century,and the most common way to record music of any style is with the rithm section playing live for interaction and naturalness purposes.What they did is a result of crazy schedule,with each one running it’s individual businnes.BCC used kind of orthopedic aid,a protesis to make music.And Glenn came from a Purple school of production.What’s going on here…?

  7. 7
    dave_wallis says:

    BCC’s debut CD is not a top notch work from a producer. It’s okay, but by professional standards it’s a bit hm, contrived.

  8. 8
    T says:

    My only suggestion would be to bring up Hammond.

  9. 9
    Larry R. Toering says:

    Yawn……………….. @7 Sounds like some kind of mysterious sour grapes to me for some reason or another. Nothing beats the album, some may equal it but it does not get any better. I haven’t been able to stop listening, but then I spread the visits out, which is good advice to those who like to burn out on things.(the ultimate way to lose a good buy really fast)

  10. 10
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ I have to agree here.

    Whats the fucking problem?

    Its a GREAT album!!!!!

  11. 11
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Well, aint this funny?
    Or is it funky? 🙂

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGUw8G5u6aE&feature=related

  12. 12
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    Not sure I get this issue…..

    The album is great and it’s been recorded and edited and produced professionally. Seems normal to me…..Came out Great and the live stuff I’ve heard comes off just as good if not better….

    STOFFER@ #1…
    Will see you at the Pageant Theater for the BCC show. Glad you posted your entry. I hadn’t noticed they were playing there. Definitely will be there. As far as Purple goes…..if they don’t come any closer to Nashville than Chicago, might see you there too….

    On another related note, don’t know if you saw this, but Jason Bonham (BCC’s Drummer) will be at the Pageant on May 18th with the ‘Led Zeppelin Experience’.

    http://email.livenationent.com/LNPD/c2.php?LNPD/3623897090/5789237/H/Y/V/http://www.livenation.com/event/getEvent/eventId/431871?wt.mc_id=dm-5789204&p=43025524&camefrom=LNC_b5789204_c43025524

    Won’t be making that one, but if you are a local to that zone, I have a feeling it will great. Any gig at the Pageant is a good gig……

    Cheers

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