“Its Not Over” Daughtry

Producer Howard Benson became acquainted with Chris Daughtry just like the rest of the country did: while watching American Idol with his family.
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ENGINEER'S DIARY

“It's Not Over” | DaughtrySingle: “It's Not Over”

Album: Daughtry (RCA)

Dates Recorded: Recorded September - October 2006 at Bay 7 Studios in Valley Village, CA

Single Producers: Howard Benson

Single Engineers: Mike Plotnikoff

Assistant Engineers: Hatsukazu “Hatch” Inagaki and Keith Armstrong

Digital Editing: Paul DeCarli

Single Mixer: Chris Lord-Alge

Mastering: Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City

Other Projects: Prolific producer Howard Benson has worked with such artists as Hoobastank, Saosin, P.O.D., My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects, Papa Roach, The Used, Santana, Sepultura, Motorhead and many more.

Single Songwriters: Chris Daughtry, Gregg Wattenberg, Mark Wilkerson and Brett Young

Console: Bay 7 Studio A's Neve 8058 (basic tracking)

Recorder: Pro Tools|HD

Monitors: Yamaha NS-10

Vocal Microphone: Sony C-800G

Vocal Pre-amplifier: Quad-Eight mic preamp

Vocal Processing (in tracking): Tube Tech CL 1B compressor
Producer Howard Benson became acquainted with Chris Daughtry just like the rest of the country did: while watching American Idol with his family. “I could tell that he could really sing,” recalls Benson of Daughtry, a hard-rocking AI contestant. “Then — while I was halfway paying attention — he was voted off. My wife was distraught. I thought, wow, this guy really affects people. My wife turned to me and said, 'You know, they're going to call you to produce him.' Lo and behold, three months later I get a call from his A&R guys who said, 'You're at the top of the list.'”

Benson and Daughtry immediately hit it off when, during their initial meeting, Idol's first-ever “rock star” belted out a self-penned ballad. “He said to me, 'I wrote a song called 'Home,'” details Benson. “It was one of the best ballads I'd heard all year; it was so real and heartfelt. I told him, 'Yeah, I want to work with you. Let's do this. It's going to be great.'”

Daughtry is finally a winner in the eyes of America today, confirmed by the massive commercial appeal of his first single, “It's Not Over.” The rocker from Greensboro, North Carolina has the honor of having the fastest-selling debut rock album in Soundscan history following the release of Daughtry; the release sold more than one million copies after just five weeks.

Benson's immediate choice for Chris' distinctive vocal was his trusty Sony C-800G large-diaphragm condenser, which he coupled with a classic Quad-Eight mic preamp and a sparingly-utilized Tube Tech CL 1B compressor recorded straight to Pro Tools|HD. “It's a great pop vocal mic with a lot of top end and brightness,” explains Benson of his mic selection. “I use that mic a lot. We've gone through so many shootouts that we've got it down to two microphones: it's almost always a (Telefunken) 251 or the Sony. With mic preamps, we go back and forth between the Neve 1081 when we want a warmer sound and the Quad because it's very present.”

Benson insists that, especially for vocals geared toward pop radio airplay, the Sony simplifies the job of his mixers. “I know Chris Lord-Alge (the mixer for Daughtry), Tom Lord-Alge and Andy Wallace — when these albums are mixed, they go for the sibilance. I give it to them so they don't have to EQ it in.”