Scotts Valley, CA (February 25, 2010)–Universal Audio’s 1176 compressor/limiter helped achieve the distinctive drum sounds on the new Vampire Weekend album, Contra, which was engineered by Justin Gerrish.
Indie rock with a world beat influence, Contra is faithful to the sound of Vampire Weekend’s debut album, but still maintains a fresh and experimental flavor all of its own. Band member Rostam Batmanglij produced and co-mixed the album, which made its debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Gerrish and Batmanglij recorded most of the drums and mixed the record at Avatar Studios in New York.
Gerrish shared some of the techniques that he used on the drums: “The band wanted to try and get that kind of trashy sounding, in your face hi-hat. So we actually ran one of the hi-hat mikes through a Neve mic pre, and then into an 1176, and compressed that. Which I normally don’t do, I don’t really compress the hi-hat, but they wanted to try it, and get this really aggressive sound on the hi-hat. It ended up working out well for us.
“Also, Chris does a lot of side-stick on the snares, so I was using a separate mic just to capture that, and I was compressing it quite a bit with an 1176 to get that sound. I also always have one mic in the room, my ‘crush mic,’ that I run through an 1176, absolutely, completely limiting that to pick up all the ambient noises and sounds in the room. Every hit sounds like it’s right next to the mic, but it’s actually across the room.”
Because the album was recorded at several different studios, Gerrish relied on the 1176 to add continuity to the album’s sonic footprint. “The 1176 helped me get that familiar sound of vocals being very present and clear,” he said.
Universal Audio Inc.