The AC15 used on “Genghis Kahn.”
Royer 122V and Shure SM57 up close on a Marshall cabinet.
By RIch TozzoLI
On Anomaly, Ace used several engineers, since
the project spanned a long period of time.
Jay Messina (Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Kiss,
Peter Frampton) tracked the drums and basics
at Schoolhouse Studios in NYC to get things
started. Then the drives went home to Ace In
The Hole studios in Westchester, NY. There,
Alex Salzman and I finished off most of the
overdubs, along with Tim Hatfield. In L.A., Ace
tracked “Fox On The Run” and mixed the project with Marty Frederiksen and Anthony Focx.
I kept thorough notes on what mics, amps and
preamps were used on each song (as well as
taking pics), so that if we came back to a song
a month or more later, we could remember the
setups. For most of the electric tracks, I used
a Royer 122V tube ribbon mic or a Royer 121,
along with either a Sennheiser MD 421 II or the
classic Shure SM57. At first, we also used room
mics, but they were rarely used in the mix, so
we eventually just settled on close mics. Ace
liked the mics to be right up on the speakers,
which does provide some proximity bass and a
very up-front sound.
The variety of amps included a Marshall
JCM900 SL-X, Peavey 5150 II, Vox AC15,
Fender Princeton, Twin Reverb, Bassman
combo, Mesa/Boogie MK IV, and several
others. Preamps were a mix and match of
Universal Audio LA-610, Avalon VT 737sp,
Earthworks 1024, and Focusrite ISA428, as
well as some others.
When cutting acoustic parts, I’d use a variety of
mics, from AKG 414s and Earthworks QTCs to
a single AKG C 12 VR “The Tube” with a modified capsule. That was the primary vocal mic