The Recording Studio - Miloco The Pool
Miloco's The Pool is one of London's most popular recording studios. It was built five years ago as a partnership between producer Ben Hillier and Miloco and quickly became one of London's leading tracking studios. As far as tracking rooms go it has pretty much everything: a vast live area that resonates vibe and creativity and a studio with an incredible array of vintage esoteric gear and of course the 1963 Premier Outfits 54 vintage Drum Kit.
The gear has been amassed by producer Ben Hillier and music entrepreneur Johan Ekelund (co-founder of Kobalt Music Publishing). Not many rooms can boast over 40 different microphones, 50 Mic Pre's, let alone four drum kits. The room also contains an equally impressive selection of compressors and EQs.
At the centre of the Control Room can be found a rare vintage EMT console. The outboard racks are full of great gear with highlights including Neve 1079's and 1272's, API Mic Pre's and Telefunken V76's. Compressors include Urei 1176's, Altec, Neve 2254's and Tweed. The monitors are Barefoot, Yamaha, Auratone and Tannoys and recording is normally done on to a Pro Tools HD3 rig, loaded with many plug-ins.
The Pool has had some great acts pass through in the short space it has been open including Graham Coxon, Noah & The Whale, Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine, Foals, The Horrors and many more.
The Recording Equipment
With so much great gear at our disposal we could not wait to get it all warmed up and turned on. The Mic Pre's used were all a combination of Neve 1079's or 1272's. For the mics there was a great combination of common gems, Ribbons, Valve mics and Ambient mics. All of the drums were recorded without compression and only the Kick drum used an external EQ - The Lang PEQ - 2A. The snare was recorded top and bottom and there were stereo room mics as well as two Earthworks ambient ceiling mics. All of the mics were wired directly into the mic pre's and then sent direct to the Pro Tools interfaces keeping the signal as clean as possible. On the Hits Packs we do not use tape to keep the noise floor as low as possible especially on the quiet velocity's.
Kick Out – AKG D25
The AKG D25 is a classic vintage AKG Dynamic Microphone that is often used with Kick Drums. It comes with a swivel mount that is unlike most shock mounts, and has a great bottom-end response.
"This is my favourite kick drum mic of all time - it just give me the right amount of weight I'm looking for in my kick drum sounds." BT
Snare Top – Lomo 19A19 Valve Microphone
This is a rare vintage cardioid valve microphone that was built in Russia in the 1960s. The roots of this rare microphone go back to the year 1947 when an acoustic laboratory was established at the Leningrad optical and mechanical association (LOMO).
"I use this mic a lot for all sorts of things but this is the first time I've tried it on a snare drum - it has an inherent "dirt" to it that I love." BT
Snare Bottom – AKG 414
The AKG 414 is a studio standard and one of the best known reference condenser microphones for recording use. Probably the most popular of AKG's condenser microphones, it was first introduced in 1971 as the "C 414 comb"
"I love the brightness and grit of 414's on drums - I often use these for the hi-hat as well." BT
Hi Hat – Neumann KM84
The Neumann KM84 microphone is a small capsule cardioid condenser and was the first mic made with 48v phantom power technology. The microphone has become a real favourite for classical music recording because of its smooth faithful reproduction but it's also known as a favourite mic for drum overheads.
"This time I opted for a KM84 on the hat - it's a little smoother that the 414." BT
Toms – Neumann U87
The Neumann U87 is probably the best known and most widely used studio condenser microphone. Originally released in 1967 as the solid state version of the valve U67, the Neumann U87 large dual-diaphragm condenser microphone has been the industry standard studio condenser.
"I normally use a mixture of Sennheiser 421's for toms but fancied something different this time - the 87's sounded excellent in this case." BT
Ride Cymbal - AKG C451
AKG's C 451 was one of the all-time great studio condenser microphones. One of its most common applications is for drum overheads, and many engineers say there's nothing quite like it for miking cymbals - the metallic "crash" and brilliance come through perfectly.
"I choose this mic for two reasons - it's has a nice brightness to it that works well with ride cymbals and it's pretty directional - important when you're micing a "busy" section of the kit." BT
Overheads – Coles 4038 Ribbon Microphones
The 4038 is a classic Studio Ribbon Microphone designed by the BBC and originally manufactured by STC. Coles, the outsourced manufacturer, bought the rights to the STC microphone line in 1974. It is one of the world’s best-known ribbon microphones.
"I've been using these mics as overheads for the last 3-4 years now - I love the weight they give to the overall sound of the kit." BT
Stereo Room 1 - AEA R88 MkII Stereo Ribbon
The R88 mkII is optimised for recording instruments and ensembles in stereo. The R88 uses the large ribbon configuration of the classic RCA 44 series microphones, which gives the mic solid 20Hz bass response and a smooth high end which is flattering to complex tones.
"Again this is a lovely warm sounding ribbon microphone which can sound great as a room mic if you get it in the right place." BT
Stereo Room 2 - Neumann Gefell CMV 563's
The Kondensator-Mikrofon CMV 563 is a tube condenser bottle microphone manufactured by the division of the Georg Neumann company in Gefell, East Germany, which has since been renamed Microtech Gefell.
"I wanted something completely different to the R88 as an alternative and these Gefell CMV's fit the bill - very hifi sounding mics." BT
Ceiling Mics – Earthworks SR30's
The SR30 is a cardioid condenser microphone with extremely flat frequency response across an extended frequency range, and Earthworks’ trademark “fast impulse response” capsule. The microphone was initially introduced in 2000, as the SR77.
"The Earthworks are a good flat sounding condenser mic - they always sound good every time I use them. The real sound of the Pool." BT
The Spec Breakdown
Drum Microphone Mic Pre / Outboard Kick AKG D25 Neve 1079 Mic Pre & Lang PEQ-2A EQ Snare Top Lomo 1919A Valve Microphone Neve 1079 Mic Pre Snare Bottom AKG 414 Neve 1272 Hi hat Neumann KM84 Neve 1272 Floor Tom Neumann U87 Neve 1079 Rack Tom Neumann U87 Neve 1079 Ride Cymbal AKG 451 Neve 1272 Overheads Coles 4038 Ribbons (x2) Neve 1079 (x2) Stereo Room 1 AEA R88 MkII Stereo Ribbon Neve 1272 (x2) Stereo Room 2 Neumann Gefell CMV 563's (x2) Neve 1079 (x2) Ceiling Mics Earthworks SR30's (x2) Neve 1272 (x2)