Music by Scott Martin

SM Blog

Engineering for the new Mike Farley Band album


I’ve been fortunate to become involved with a new album from my friends in the Mike Farley Band. If you were into the music scene in Cleveland in the late ’90s/early 2000s, you remember the band and their amazing live performances, and their album “Halfaworldaway”.

The guys in the band are creating a new record despite being in very different geographic locations. They are each tracking their parts where they live: Wisconsin (acoustic guitar), Washington state (electric guitar), Oregon (drums) and Cleveland (bass).

My friend Jeff Beam has been over recording his bass parts here at Snoozeking, and it’s been a lot of fun to collaborate after a few years of essentially being in the studio on my own. I’m just engineering, but I’ve also served as a sounding board for ideas as Jeff writes and records his parts.

Since we’re not with the album’s ultimate producers, our goal has been to provide enough audio to allow for tonal variations during the mix process. To do this, we’ve set up the tracking so that Jeff simultaneously lays down three bass tracks:

  • Track 1: DI (direct injection) from the output on the back of Jeff’s bass head
  • Track 2: Bass run through the Tech 21 VT Bass Character pedal
  • Track 3: Jeff’s 1×12″ bass cabinet mic’d up with a Neumann TLM103

After we set everything up and ran some tests, we found that the DI gave a reasonably balanced “mid-range” bass sound and the mic’d cabinet provided the delicious, full-bodied low end.

vtbass_smThe VT pedal was a bit of an experiment – the pedal itself models the sound of old Ampeg SVT bass rigs, and it provides you the ability to dial in some drive and “character”. This track lives a bit more in the mid- to high-frequency range, so it may be useful to help the bass cut through the mix.

All in all, I hope we’ve been able to provide enough bass options for the MFB crew to paint the sonic picture they are envisioning. I’m looking forward to wrapping up tracking here and ultimately hearing the final product!