I sent our demo material to a handful of producers we thought had
the right musical background to be a good fit with Days Before Tomorrow.
Ron had the right history, especially his work with Jefferson Starship
before they went pop, and it seemed like our music would
really resonate with him. To our pleasant surprise, it did.
Ron’s ideas made an especially great mark on the recording
of acoustic guitars, which I had historically approached
with a condenser near the soundhole and a good room mic,
mixing those with the output from the guitar’s onboard
piezo pickup. He said, “I know this may seem a bit unorthodox,
but I want you to throw a Shure SM57 on the acoustic
guitars.” I never would have thought that a 57 would sound
so great on an acoustic, but blended in combination with
the other mics, it provided a significant enhancement to
the tone. I’ll never record acoustics without it again.
Ron brought with him an old DAT that he found in storage of rough
tracks from the Physical Graffiti sessions. We were sitting there listening
to “Kashmir” in a whole new way. It was drums, bass, Robert Plant’s
vocals, Jimmy Page’s scratch guitar track, and no keyboards. It was this
incredible step back in history, and it sounded like a strong live band
with a monster singer just blowing us away with this unbelievably powerful
song. Just amazing.
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