Carolina Chocolate Drops 'Leaving Eden'
Mar 1, 2012 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz
YOUNG, RETRO TRIO TEARS IT UP ON 'LEAVING EDEN'
Poole also set up some of the sessions in a more reflective, live room he calls the “veranda,” a concrete-floored, glassed-in porch, which is shown in a video made during the sessions. Filmed in the evening with a couple members in period garb, the Carolina Chocolate Drops look and sound like something out of a 1930s field recording by John Lomax—complete with the night-song of frogs and crickets—except for the modern miking setup: an AEA KU4 on Flemons’ snare and vocal, a Cascade Gomez and Miktek CV4 on Giddens’ fiddle, and a Coles ribbon on Jenkins’ banjo. Poole also set up pairs of Cascade Fatheads and AKG C-61s in the room. Mic pre’s used during the recording included Telefunken V76s (Miller has four), Vintech Neve emulators, API 3124s or occasionally the pre’s in Miller’s Trident B Range console.
Poole says he knew that when it came time to mix, he would have to embrace the leakage: “You know that what you’re going to get is: That’s my mic with everything but mostly mandolin; this is my mic that’s everything with mostly fiddle, etc. You will end up mixing the leak as much as the instruments themselves.”
During the mix, Poole made use of his analog summing matrix, mic pre’s and compression on the stereo bus. “For each song, I tried a few different pre’s for color and, to make up gain,” he says. “I almost always used a TL Audio into a Burl B2 [Bomber] ADC.”
Miller and Poole’s respectful approach to the music, coupled with modern-hybrid recording methods, resulted in an essential Carolina Chocolate Drops album that sounds as dynamic as it does authentic. As original Drops member Justin Robinson says in a quotation that’s blown up on the band’s Website: “Tradition is a guide, not a jailer. We play in an older tradition but we are modern musicians.”
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