Dwight Yoakam

Sep 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz



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Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam

DeSisto (marcdesisto.com), whose credits include stellar work for Chris Isaak, Robin Trower and U2 to name a few, took over the Pro Tools 24/96 rig at EastWest, which is where they developed one of the updated and defining sounds of the record:

“This album was maybe the first time in my career that I played electric rhythm [guitar],” Yoakam says. “We were fighting a little bit with the sound, though, and at one point, we looked up and Marc had these Coles ribbon mics for ambience in the room. Marc said, ‘we could pull those,’ and I remembered that in some of the Recording the Beatles pictures, they’re using those mics.”

“Dwight was playing a Casino guitar into a [hot-rodded] Vox AC30 amp or a Fender Super Reverb,” DeSisto recalls. “We agreed to try the Coles on the Vox, and I put it up, right in the center of the cone, maybe about four inches away. This was one of the experiences I know I’ll always remember with an artist, because he hit a chord, and instantly said, ‘Oh my God, that’s it. Don’t touch it.’ That became the guitar sound on the entire album.”

Some sounds, however, you don’t mess with: “Dwight’s vocal chain was always a U 47 into a Telefunken V76 tube pre that Dwight owns—that shows up and it’s the first thing I patch in—and I always use a Pultec and a Fairchild on the bus because as I’m recording it, I like to ride the vocal.”

Tracking happened in fits and starts over a nine-month period, so EastWest was not always available when the band was. One track was recorded at Sunset Sound, one at Paramount, and a handful were done at Henson Studios, where DeSisto was a longtime staff engineer.

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