The cocaine may have had something to do with that too though…. It was a different time. Caillat and Dashut spent over a week trying to dial in the right sound. Caillat said the duo nearly got fired. Richard and I tried everything to make the sound bigger. We even taped two kick drums together out of frustration, trying to get some size and some beat out of them.
But nothing would work. Finally I got pissed off. I said, 'Goddamn it, what the hell's going on here? Within about five minutes of doing this on a track we were trying to cut, it was sounding great. Caillat : "Once I did that, I started twisting knobs, and boom-boom-boom, it worked.
The band walked in after we'd recorded this one song and they were like, 'Wow, so what was the last eight days all about? It just took you guys 10 minutes to get a killer sound.
Recording After Caillat and Dashut got the sound they were looking for, the recording process was underway. Many of the tracks were recorded with the full band playing together. In an interview with Sound on Sound , Caillat recalls many of his micing techniques for the record:. Kick: Sennheiser MD Overheads: AKG s. Caillat : "I used to love that sound.
I didn't think you could get any better than that. The amp got in the way most of the time. But we'd still record the bass on two tracks — direct and amp. Probably mic'd with something like a And many times we erased the amp when we needed another track. Caillat : "I found that those two mics complemented each other. If I put the 57 about an inch from the cloth, and the about two inches from the speaker, a little off to the side, and then moved the two faders up and down both together and independently, I could change the sound radically. It took a particularly long time to record the acoustic guitar for "Never Going Back Again.
Caillat : "I wanted to get the best sound on every one of his picking parts. I'm sure the roadies wanted to kill me. Restringing the guitar three times every hour was a bitch. But Lindsey had lots of parts on the song, and each one sounded magnificent. The worst part? They tracked everything in the wrong key , and had to do it all over again the next day.
A variety of different keyboards were used when recording Rumours, including a grand piano, a Rhodes, a Wurlitzer and a Hammond B3. Each of them were recorded direct, and sent to different isolated amps for various effects. The guide vocals were recorded with "whatever mics were least susceptible to leakage — SM57s, SM58s , s. The end was finally in sight. Buckingham honed this skill years before joining Fleetwood Mac when he was bedridden with mononucleosis for six months.
At the time they were recording the album, all five band mates were going through painful breakups: The McVies were divorcing, Buckingham and Nicks' long-term relationship was coming to a bitter end and Fleetwood's wife was about to leave him for his best friend. It's all personal drama that Caillat chronicles in his book. It's horrible that if it hadn't been for all of the relationship turmoil in the band, you wouldn't know this record any better than some of the previous Fleetwood Mac records.
Sadness was contagious in the studio, which Caillat said was besieged with arguments, drugs and alcohol. During the summer of '76, the band took a break from recording "Rumours" to go on tour to promote their "Fleetwood Mac" album.
It was the first time Buckingham and Nicks had played in front of a very large crowd, and the concert tour propelled the band to superstardom. Even though "Fleetwood Mac" was released in July of , it finally hit No. As soon as the album began to lose momentum, the record label wanted the band to have the first single off "Rumours" -- "Go Your Own Way" -- ready to go. Caillat recalled that it was John McVie who came up with the album's title. But let's spell it the English way.
Another major step involved in creating what would become an iconic album was selecting song sequence, which was "crucial because it can make or break the album's success. And I can only take a little bit of credit for that, but I was really proud to be a part of that.
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Caillat told CNN that he believes "Rumours" still resonates to this day "because it's great music. It happened to be created out of a lot of pain and suffering and sincerity and it just so happens that every song is great, every lyric is great, and every song has something that seems to appeal to someone -- except me. However, part of the reason Caillat knew that the story of "Rumours" needed to be told was because "we experienced something extraordinary, something bigger than all of us. In search of the perfect album: Readers weigh in.
We had plenty of time, so when they started playing we'd dial up everything. You know, 'Let's put a little amp on that. It'll fill out the sound better. In the meantime, guide vocals were tracked with whatever mics were least susceptible to leakage — SM57s, SM58s, s. Everything got bounced down, because we were filling up tracks.
We'd have the equivalent of 50 or 60 tracks on the track, combining and combining, going down a generation, and it's amazing because when I did a 5. To retain as much transients as possible without saturating the tape, I'd recorded it at 15ips, Dolby, zero level. It was a different time. With everything in good shape, about four months were spent at Wally Heider Recording, adding most of Buckingham's guitar colours and harmonics, with Fleetwood and John McVie in attendance, while the women took a break, before returning toward the end for some vocal work.
Here's how they sound on the piano Still, it was also at Heider's that we almost lost the album, due to the tape wearing out. We listened to everything loud, and I started saying, 'Are my ears going or does this sound duller than usual? It seems like I'm adding more top end all the time. Every pass we had to stop and clean the heads, but still we pushed on, trying to get the work done, until finally I said, 'Maybe there's a bigger problem here.
Maybe we're doing damage. So much character was gone from the kick and the snare that they just sounded like 'pah, pah'. That's when the fog cleared from our brains and we knew we had a problem. The fact was, the tapes were just worn out.
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They had been played so much, and that Ampex tape also had a problem that we wouldn't find out about until later, but coincidentally we had a backup. Well, I didn't care, so I said, 'Sure'. I've never done that at any other time, but in this case we ran two track recorders for all the basic tracks, so when we now couldn't tell the difference between the kick drum and the snare I remembered that we had these simultaneous first-generation masters. I said, 'There is a solution, guys. We could possibly transfer all of the overdubs back to the other tape and use the new drums. We went there and put the tapes up, and we manually transferred them side by side.
If he put his headphones in the right direction, as one machine moved faster than the other, the image in his head would move to the right. So he would turn the VSO to the left, and basically it was like steering it.
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I tried that a couple of times and it nearly scrambled my brain, but he did that all night long and saved our butts. Rumours would have been dead, just about. What a coincidence that we'd just happened to record double basic tracks. Well, the Record Plant told her she could use Sly Stone's studio — a little sunken room that they'd built for him to work in — and one day while we were working on some track, she came in and said, 'I've just written the most amazing song.
Let's hear it. Everyone else joined in, she did a guide vocal, and that was the keeper. It's the only time that ever happened. She tried to redo the vocal again and again, but she could never beat the original. I actually wanted her to beat it, because it had the drums leaking into her vocal mic and, in a couple of spots where she sang softly, I had to ride it up and you could hear even more of the snare.
Still, it was a one-off. The only thing was, to her the best-sounding mic was always a dynamic. I liked the dynamics because they had that proximity effect, and I used to put a rubber band around a wind-screen and place that on the microphone, making sure the wind-screen was about a half-inch from the front of the mic.
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I'd say, 'Keep your lips up against that wind-screen,' and that way I got a lot of bottom, to which I could then add top if I wanted to. Drama, drama, drama. Fortunately, the tapes were now in sparkling condition, yet things didn't exactly calm down following the completion of work at Wally Heider's. Thereafter, more vocals were recorded at both Sound City and the Record Plant in LA, the band performed several live gigs, and during a week off in Florida there were sessions at Miami's Criteria Studios, prior to the main mix taking place on a custom-built, transformerless board at Producers Workshop on Hollywood Boulevard.
And still tensions were running high. Fleetwood Mac, Otherwise, we'll have to stop and comp it. So, I went ahead and recorded again, and then he said, 'Play the last one. I said, 'Uh, excuse me? You told him to get rid of that track! Sanity prevailed, and a good job, too, for it was at Criteria that Buckingham's stellar 'Go Your Own Way' guitar solo was ingeniously assembled from numerous takes by none other than Ken Caillat. I remember, I'd gone away for Christmas vacation and got snowed in at Lake Tahoe, and when I finally returned I got a midnight call telling me to come to the studio because they'd been trying to mix that song and couldn't build the guitar solo.
So I drove there and did the solo, using mutes and faders while also having two solos play simultaneously for certain parts, such as one toward the end where he does this slide. And I also couldn't have done it that way in Pro Tools. I was literally playing the console like a musical instrument. With Pro Tools there's no instrument to play. It's all about faders on the screen, whereas I want faders on the board that I can touch and move. Pro Tools is intellectual — 'Let's bring that up by one-and-a-half dB,' — instead of being able to push the thing up and feel it. I mean, it may have been kind of cheesy that I was performing with this other guy's performance, but it was fun.
Pressure "I remember one day they got a call from the record company telling them how important the next album would be. The Story Of 'Dreams' "Most of the material for the album was composed in the studio," Ken Caillat recalls, "but Stevie used to get bored, sitting around while all the technical stuff was going on, so she asked if there was a room with a piano to noodle around on.