Jon Hopkins Releases ‘Immunity’

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Lori Kennedy

Polls


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Jon Hopkins

What does East London sound like at 4 in the morning? Producer/musician Jon Hopkins decided to record that very idea outside his studio door on the final night (er, morning) of recording his fourth full-length album, Immunity (June 4, Domino), to both capture the moment and breathe a little life into a particular section of the album’s title track. “The final thing I had to finish was the transition section between ‘Sun Harmonics’ and ‘Immunity,’” Hopkins says. “This section needed a bit of life—it was sounding too flat. I had the idea to record what was going on outside at that minute, preserving that moment on record. I went outside with my Zoom field recorder and just recorded for about 20 minutes.”

The results were edited and laid over the existing drones and vocals. “[You can hear] footsteps, a car passing, nocturnal city sounds. I find things like that bring electronic sound to life and immerse the listener in a physical world.” The rhythmic creaking, wooden noises further into the track are the sounds of Hopkins’ piano pedals. “I recorded them with two Maplin tie-clip mics—which are great for capturing things where there is no space for a full-size mic—and cut the results into that drum part.”

“Immunity” also features Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote, whose dreamlike vocals were recorded with a Røde NT2-A going into a TL Audio dual-valve preamp. “The vocal chain in Logic was based around Waves PuigTec EQ and REQ6, with a send to an aux running [SoundToys] EchoBoy going into [Audio Ease] Altiverb 7, [Waves] MondoMod and S1 Stereo Imager. Once the vocal was comped, I put it through Magneto on [Sony] Sound Forge. I always do this. I haven’t found a saturator I like as much as this for vocals, even though it’s about 10 years old.”

Jon Hopkins' piano

Jon Hopkins' piano

A classically trained pianist, Hopkins always reaches for the real deal when recording. “I have never used a fake piano. I use a Yamaha upright that I’ve had since I was about eight,” he says. “I record it with two Oktava [MK-012] mics and a Heritage Audio DMA-73, going into an Apogee Ensemble, then into Logic. All the sound sources used on the record are external; there are no soft synths. I have nothing against them, but I just don’t find them interesting, and I’m way too impatient to learn them.”

“Immunity” also features Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote, who delivers dreamlike, soft vocals that were recorded with a Røde NT2-A going into a TL Audio dual-valve pre-amp. “The vocal chain in Logic was based around Waves PuigTec EQ and REQ6, with a send to an aux running [SoundToys] EchoBoy going into [Audio Ease] Altiverb 7, [Waves] MondoMod and S1 Stereo Imager and a few other things. Once the vocal was comped, I put it through Magneto on [Sony] Sound Forge. I always do this. I haven’t found a saturator I like as much as this for vocals, even though it’s about 10 years old."

Hopkins also used a Korg MS-20, a Roland SH-09, an old CasioTone 101, and a Korg Trinity to create most of the sounds. “The drums are, for the most part, made by me recording myself hitting or shaking things, with a few classic drum machine samples to beef things up,” he says.






Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95

Newsletters

MixLine

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.