Lighthouse

Recording David Crosby’s new album, Lighthouse, producer/engineer Fab Dupont had his pick of microphones. But while the options were many, those chosen were very few. Taking the principal role of Crosby’s lead vocals was Lauten Audio’s Eden tube mic. ‘The Eden, is all the lead vocals,’ Dupont confirms. ‘And all the lead harmonies were done with the Eden. The Eden is the sound of the vocals.’

Recorded at Groove Masters, Jackson Browne’s private studio in Santa Monica, and mixed at Dupont’s own Flux Studios in New York, the album was produced by multi-instrumentalist Michael League of Snarky Puppy fame and co-produced, recorded and mixed by Dupont.

‘David didn’t know me,’ Dupont explains. ‘Michael brought me in, and on the first day David sees the Eden and says, “I record here all the time. There’s microphones here I love. I want to use those”. I said, “Okay, cool, no problem. I’ll put those up, but would you mind trying this one? Because I think you’d like it.”

LighthouseHe said, “Okay, sure, because, you know, why not?” I asked the assistant what’s David’s favourite mic is here and the [Neumann] U 47came up. I took the 47 – his favourite 47 from all the vintage 47s in this 47 museum – put the Eden up and recorded him singing into both, and then he picked the Eden. That’s how the Eden became the microphone for the record.’

‘David, who has no allegiance to anything, loved the Eden right away,’ he adds. ‘Wanted one for himself immediately, and he has choice, you know? He can do whatever he wants. There is something very special about that mic on vocals.’

Of his ideas as co-producer and engineer on the album, Dupont says: ‘I have a certain idea of how music should sound to make me happy-and Michael League and David Crosby had a very clear idea of what they wanted to do. Since they decided to not put any drums on the record that allowed me to do whatever I wanted. After going back and listening to David’s old stuff and more recent stuff, my vision was to do something extremely pure, to focus on the lyrics and the picking on the guitars.’ Lauten Audio’s Atlantis FC-387 microphones were used to record acoustic guitars in combination with vintage microphones.

‘What I wanted to try and achieve is get all the good stuff from the old recordings, which is all those vocal blends and all that kind of warmth, like fuzzy tone, but without the inherent artifacts of older recording, which is this slightly distant sound,’ Dupont continues. ‘I wanted to capture the warmth and capture the blend that they had back in the day by everybody playing together. I wanted to capture something like that, but put it in a shell of super hi-fi HD gloss, in your face, “no recording” kind of vibe. It’s a difficult balance but I think we did it.’

‘With the Eden mic, Fab Dupont was able to capture the best vocal sound I’ve ever had in my entire career,’ David Crosby reflects.

More: www.lautenaudio.com

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