Producer Marchand Uses Neumann Mics on Recent Sarah McLachlan Album

Nov 10, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Sarah McLachlan's new CD, Afterglow, found her teaming up once again with her longtime producer Pierre Marchand, who has produced four albums for the artist. The album was recorded at numerous different project studios, including Marchand's facility in Morin Heights, Quebec, where several of the songs were mixed, which the majority of the album was mixed in McLachlan's home studio in Vancouver.

Marchand has used Neumann microphones to track McLachlan's vocals exclusively for the last two records they've worked on together. "We've been using the Neumann M 149 on Sarah, and it works beautifully. When we recorded her earlier CDs, I was using an old Telefunken U 47 that needed a lot of EQ tweaking to get the sound I wanted. Then when I got my hands on the M 149, I found that leaving it flat sounded very close to perfect! The M 149 is a very sweet-sounding mic. It has lots of warmth and presence, and the purist highs. Sarah loves that mic, and I haven't tried any other mic on her since we started using it."

Jerry Marotta was asked to contribute his drum and percussion skills to three songs on the new CD. A resident of Woodstock, N.Y. since 1986, Marotta operates his own studio, Jersville, in that town. All of his parts for the McLachlan project were recorded at Jersville. "I met Sarah while I was working at Le Studio in Morin Heights, producing an artist named Larry Gowan for Sony Records. Sarah was working down the road with Pierre Marchand. They were recording tracks for the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD and asked if I would come in and play on some existing tracks. At the time, I had just discovered the wonders of 'Taos' drums, made in New Mexico by Native Americans. Having done the first two Lilith Fair tours with the Indigo Girls, I kept in contact with Sarah and her husband Ash Sood, who is also her drummer. In the spring of this year, I got a call to play on some tracks for Sarah's newest record. This time, Pierre brought a hard drive to my studio, and my close friend and bassist Tony Levin and I did about six tracks in three days. My engineer, Pete Caigan, and I have really tailored the studio for drums and percussion. Two rooms almost exclusively dedicated to live drums and perc, can you believe it?!"

Marotta used True Precision 8s on the McLachlan sessions. "The first time I experienced the Precision 8s was on a recording for a label called Spotted Pecary in Southern California. Owner/engineer Howard Givens had me doing more Taos drums and perc and I was absolutely blown away at the sound coming back at me. Howard was using the Precision 8s on the drums and the sound was awesome. He was involved with Tim Spencer, the designer of the mic pre's, and was doing some refining to the sound of the unit. I quickly installed two P-8s, 16 channels, into my setup at Jersville and started using them nonstop. Except for the occasional Neve EQ or compressor, they are responsible for a major part of the drum sound at Jersville Studios. Everything from cymbals to Taos bass drums, and all the strange percussion instruments I've accumulated over the years, all translate beautifully through the True gear. I also find the two DIs in each unit sound great and come in very handy.

"In addition, I've really gotten to see what the True gear can do this spring while recording my own band's CD. From fattening up a Prophet 5 and Prophet VS to the Chapman Stick, we pretty much ran everything through the P-8s or the newer P-2s. And while I love all this analog gear, I'm looking forward to using their digital versions, too."

For more on the mics and True Systems, visit Neumann at

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