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John Bradley

Dirty Laundry - Don Henley cover

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Dirty Laundry

An ‘80s song by an artist that epitomizes the '70s.

A bitter (and deserved) denouncement of the journalistic profession, which since time immemorial has given lawyers and used car salesmen an “at least I’m not a journalist” morale boost every time they look in the mirror. As for Mr. Henley... well, thankfully you don't have to like the man (or trust him around your daughters) to appreciate a fine song.

Note: If you've previously heard this track on my SoundCloud, this isn't that. This is a brand new mix, about 7 ‘final mixes’ further down the line than the old one.

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Drums: Session Drummer 3. Running my normal setup. 6 outputs (kick, snare, hat, toms, crash, ride). A BREVERB send on each. A “shell comp” send on the kick/snare/toms (BOZ Manic Compressor doing the grungy squashed parallel compression thing). A “cymbal comp” send on the crash and ride (ProChannel PC76 comp doing instantaneous (0ms) 8:1 compression to smooth them out). All going to a drum bus where an Ozone 8 Maximizer adds loud.

Bass: IKM's MODO Bass, P-bass model, direct out, running through Blue Cat Axiom for amp/speaker sim, a little BREVERB, and the dual-compression trick in the ProChannel (PC76 for the transient, CA-2A for general leveling).

Percussion: A 2getheraudio CL4P does some 16th note clapping during the choruses and outro.

The percussion breakdown that happens after each chorus deserves some explanation. There’s a pair of VSTs each playing a low-hi-low percussion pattern, in different ‘octaves’. (TX16Wx playing some samples, 2getheraudio’s SN4RE doing some tuned snare-ish percussion). Both have pan automation going on, so they switch sides several times during the bit. One of them has an iZotope TRASH 2 on it, doing some general sound-destruction, a bandpass filter, a dotted-8th delay, and assorted tomfoolery. Looking at it right now and soloing that track, I’m not sure exactly how it’s doing what it’s doing to the sound. A happy accident of knob-fiddling. The breakdown does not sound like the original, but it’s an interesting thing that fills what would otherwise be a several bar ‘hole’ in the song.

There’s a telephone sample (back before phones were obligated to play you a little song when someone calls you) that gets played on a TX16Wx, though it's not especially percussive.

Synths: An Arturia MINI does a subbass ‘moo’ an octave below the bass guitar, on the 1 of every bar. For gravitas. There are three organ parts. An OP-X PRO II does the lower organ part (as heard in the quiet intro, before the fun starts). The high organ part is a pair of VSTs (Arturia’s Farfisa and B-3) playing the exact same notes. Those two go to an aux track where they get an Arturia ETERNITY adding an 8th-note delay and a BREVERB for medium hall-osity.

Guitars: Three of them. Guitar 1 is a crunchy rhythm playing the ol’ Chuck Berry 5/6 boogie, more or less. Guitar 2 is a clean chorused thing that comes in for the VII / IV turnaround at the end of each verse, as well as punctuating the chord changes in the choruses. Guitar 3 is the lead, using ‘boner-tone’ technology (aka, high gain, huge reverb, and delay). All three recorded dry from my old EMG’d Strat, running through their own instances of Axiom.

The Solos: Took about a week of practice to be able play (most of) the notes of the first solo, in the correct order and at speed. Not sure what goofy chromatic/modal runs are doing in some boomer rock (Damn you, Joe Walsh!), and none to happy to depart the minor pentatonic zone I’ve been living in since I was a wee lad, but it is what it is. The second solo (which thankfully stays in ‘normal’ mode) starts off following the original and then veers off into “the sort of crap I always do” territory. I like it, unsurprisingly.

Vocals: The lead vocal is single tracked in the verses, doubled in the chorus. Both tracks are run through a Nectar 2 chain (gate / de-esser / phaser / compressor / saturation / eq), followed by a Neutron Exciter for excitement or presence, or something, and a ValhallaDelay doing a ducked 100ms slapback. BREVERB plate reverb on the bus.

Backing Vocals: Three voices, each double-tracked and panned l/r to varying degrees. Those go to a bus where I’ve got a 2getheraudio RE4ORM FX (for some rhythmic filter sweeping and such) that gets enabled in the extended breakdown and the outro. The bus also has a 2getheraudio ST3REO widener and another BREVERB for general bigness.

Melodyne Studio 4: As always.

Tokyo Dawn Slick EQ (free version) on the master 'music' bus to thin out the mix a bit (-1.7db at 540Hz), giving the vox a little more space, and also rolling off the highs a bit (-0.7db at 8kHz).

As usual, a GW MixCentric and Ozone 8 on the master to add a little bit of 'magic' and loud, respectively.

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Previous Releases: Paradise by the Dashboard Light  •  Ashes to Ashes  •  Lies  • Enter Sandman  •  Wanted Dead or Alive  •  Too Much Time on My Hands  •  Are You Gonna Go My Way?  •  Blue Monday '88  •  Fame  • One of Our Submarines

Edited by John Bradley

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Ah Mr. Bradley . . . you had me smiling all the way through . . . with V1.7 you have really achieved that clarity you seek, very well recorded. The guitar solos are super, and I think your voice (or recording techniques) emulate your inner Don Henley very nicely. ie . . . I was hearing Don Henley singing this, like he was in your studio, though I'm sure none of us here can afford that. You're just bangin' off the classics here on the Cakewalk Forum, and I'm always interested to see what you're up to next  . . . 

PS, this time I didn't go to youtube to compare it to the original recording, 'cause I'm sure yours is much clearer, great cover man !

  • Thanks 1

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I haven't hear your earlier productions of this song but I have heard the Don Henley original and, doggone it, I REALLY like this version.  This is a very ambitious project and you've done the song justice.  My only complaint is you didn't fade out the ending.

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Hey guys, thanks so much for taking the time to listen to my track and comment on it. Very much appreciated!

Also, if anyone's interested, I've updated the original post with a set of links to my previous releases. If you liked this, you'll probably enjoy some of those as well. (I'm particularly pleased with 'Submarine', 'Fame', 'Sandman', and 'Paradise'.)

On 10/2/2020 at 9:21 PM, Jim Fogle said:

My only complaint is you didn't fade out the ending.

Fair enough. Every track I make at least theoretically serves double-duty as a backing track for my 3pc band to play over, so I pretty much always put an "exclamation point" at the end of the songs rather than a fade.

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Great job covering this, its another high-quality cover thats become your trademark. That said, I'm much more appreciative of your very detailed production notes! They're absolutely great and have opened my eyes to techniques I would never have thought of. Thank you for that.

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Solid cover.   Very impressed you nailed that first guitar solo so closely, it ain't easy.  

 

Regards

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1 hour ago, markno999 said:

Very impressed you nailed that first guitar solo so closely, it ain't easy. 

 Thanks! And no it isn't, at least not for an old guy who doesn't play fast and rarely strays outside the pentatonic minor HappyZone. Though I'm sure there are 14 year olds on Youtube that can nail it at 125% speed... <grumble grumble>

7 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

I’ll echo the above. 

Thanks @DeeringAmps -- btw, per your earlier feedback I've been paying attention to the excessive brightness of my vox, and reigning them in to be more in line with 'normal', so as to minimize the ear-bleed factor.

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