recording a leslie

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by zzmoore, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

    Messages:
    6,777
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    USA, California, 94585
    Does anyone have experience recording the old Leslie Cabinets? Is there a right and wrong way, trial and error, one at the top and one at the bottom?
    Thanks For Your Help
     
  2. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    The method I saw and which sounded pretty good was:

    3 mics

    Something like a fet 47 on the "bass" rotor

    2 57's on opposite sides of the cabinet 180 out from each other on the "treble" rotor. You might have to flip a phase switch.

    bus those three inputs to a stereo track, the bass rotor straight up mono and the 57's panned to taste.........
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,479
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    Here is a decent article with several techniques.

    The only thing I would add is that positioning 2 mics at right angles seems to sound more 3-D than opposite one another.
     
  4. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

    Messages:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    My favorite method also uses 3 mics. A U47 on the bottom and a pair of KM54's at 90 degrees on the horn. The 54's should point at adjacent sides of the cab.

    I've made this setup work with a U87 or sennheiser 421 on the bottom and a pair of KM84s on top too.
     
  5. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
  6. loudboy

    loudboy Member

    Messages:
    27,416
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sedona, AZ
    Most times I'll just take top/bottom. You can still get a really nice stereo image by panning slightly, but it tends to sit in the mix a little better, for rock/pop stuff. Sometimes the super-stereo of two top/one bottom can be a little overwhelming, even when you pan them in, altho it's a great effect to use occasionally.

    I agree that 180 degrees isn't the way to go, if you double mike the top - too much phasing.

    I'll use something like a RE-20 or 421 or ATM-25 for the bottom, whatever for the top - sometimes a 57, sometimes whatever's left over... <g>

    They're not that hard to mic, and a real Leslie adds something to a track which no synth can ever hope to come close to.

    It's one of my 4 Immutable Studio Rules - "If you're recording an organ part you MUST use the Hammond/Leslie."

    Loudboy
     
  7. thesedaze

    thesedaze Member

    Messages:
    1,687
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Bakersfield, CA
    2 SM57's, 1 beyerdynamic M88 on the bass
     
  8. elambo

    elambo Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    B3 purists will have issues with a lot of techniques. The spinning horn at the top will keep a steady tempo if mic'd with two mics placed opposite from each other. If you do a front/side you'll have a swinging tempo of sorts as it passes the two mics quickly then has to wait to get all the way around again.

    But just using mics at the top doesn't give you the fullness you could be getting. For that you'll need a 3rd mic at the bottom of the cabinet.

    So another vote for 3 mics.
     
  9. elambo

    elambo Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    It's not that they're hard to mic, it's that they're hard to own. Great, classic B3s are not cheap, require regular checkups and part replacements, and need space in which to store them.

    NI's B4 II is VERY good. I used to work often with Maxx Frank, who is nothing short of mesmerizing when sitting at the keyboard of a B3, and also VERY picky about his tone. He had a B3 he really liked that he kept at our studio. He'd only be willing to let me use B4 software if mixed into a track, but never solo. But with B4 II, however, it has closed the gap between software and "real" and, at his hands anyway, it's very difficult to tell that it's software. I should add that he also takes a lot of time to tweak the software settings to get the perfect tone, which is an important step.

    Part of the magic of the B3 is the variations you get by altering all the drawbars, leslie spin, volume and other setting on-the-fly. This is why it's crucial to get a MIDI drawbar if you're want to sound legit.
     
  10. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

    Messages:
    738
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    Location:
    Lanchester Durham England
    Another 3 mic user here a U87 on the bottom and two SM57's at 180 degrees on the top about 6 inches away.
     
  11. B Vance

    B Vance Member

    Messages:
    1,978
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    OHIO
    2 mic guy as well. Typically two 57's. One on top on the right side as you're facing the front of the cab for highs and one on the bottom on the left side as you're facing the front of the cab for the bass. I love the sweet sound of a Leslie and a strat.
     
  12. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

    Messages:
    1,413
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    St. Pete-A-Bug FLA
    First - a word of caution. Resist the idea of placing a mic on a stand directly in front (which is actually the back) of the Leslie with the mic pointing into the horn area. One bump and it will tip into the spinning horn and break it. Always mic from the side vents for safety and it helps reduce wind noise too. (Why do I know this?!)

    I have modified an old 147 with 2 Audix D3's permanently mounted in the top and a D4 on the bottom. We've been recording our gigs lately with an Alesis HD24 via channel inserts from the main PA board that I run from stage. Check out the organ tones on these 2 different nights with 2 different players. http://www.sarasotaslim.com/music-group-21.html
    http://www.sarasotaslim.com/music-group-20.html

    Also in the mix is a little bit of the direct line out from the Hammond XK2 so we're actually using 4 channels for the organ.
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,449
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Not that anyone needs more info, just a reminder that Leslie speakers can make a ton of mechanical noise if they aren't properly maintained.
     
  14. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

    Messages:
    6,777
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    USA, California, 94585
    Everybody-
    Thanks for the wealth of information. My Leslie is a 44W. We will be using it for guitar. I just got through gutting it so everything can be cleaned and oiled. I won't be putting the 20 watt amp back in. So we will be getting rid of the old field coil speaker and installing a new 15" driver. Then instead of a 6 pin cable there will be a 1/4" connection and some type of rheostat to control motor speeds. I bought a very nice Fender BDRI off TGP from Johnny to power the horns and the rotating bass drum. Should be very nice when it is all finished.
    Thanks Again
     
  15. dougb415

    dougb415 Member

    Messages:
    9,490
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    On the farm, an hour south of Nashville
    The Native Instruments B4 does one heckuva job as a VST.
     
  16. elambo

    elambo Member

    Messages:
    2,362
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    I'm very jealous!
     
  17. Andy J.

    Andy J. Member

    Messages:
    2,255
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Vaasa, Finland, Europe
    I just wanted to chime in with my experience... I had the pleasure of recording my guitar with a real Leslie a couple of years back, and the engineer miked it drum overhead-style, with two small-diagram(?spelling) condenser mics. It wasn't a lead guitar, though, and I thought the results were amazing.
     
  18. ricoh

    ricoh Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    surfside fla
    I use one mic............. a large diaphram condensor in the middle of the cabinet about 6-8 in. away. I have used two but usually prefer just one.
    I have also used a XK-2 with a guitar leslie with great effect. Even a synth organ patch with the guitar leslie gives a good approximation but................nothing comes close to a B-3 {C-3.... A-100} and a real Leslie
     

Share This Page