The Recording Studio - The Ironworks
Miloco's Ironworks is based in a warehouse building in the vibrant North Laine area of Brighton and is home to Mike Pelanconi, founder of Drumdrops. The sonic design of the live room has been masterminded by the ex-Olympic and Chalk Farm Studios tech Mike Craig, who has 40 years experience in acoustic design and hi-grade audio electronics.
At the centre of the Control Room can be found a rare vintage BBC Tweed console. The outboard racks are full of great gear including a Lang PEQ-2 EQ, a Langevin EQ258A EQ, and a Chiswick Reach stereo valve compressor. The Ironworks is also home to Mike’s vast collection of rare spring reverbs and delay units including a Grampian 636, a Fairchild 659A, an Orban 106C and a Dynachord Echocord Tube Tape Echo amongst others. The monitors are Tannoy Golds and Yamaha NS-10’s and you have a choice whether to record directly to Protools or onto a beautiful Ampex M1200 16 track tape machine.
Ironworks has had some great acts pass through in the time it has been open including Little Roy, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, UNKLE, Manu Chao, Nick Cave and many more.
The Recording Equipment
With such a great warm sounding, rare console at our disposal we recorded the whole kit through Mike’s vintage BBC Class A console. For the mics there was a great combination of common gems, Ribbons, Dynamic and Condenser mics. All of the drums were recorded without compression and the Kick drum used an external EQ - The Lang PEQ - 2A. All other EQ'ing was handled by Mike’s collection of API 550’s. Mike chose not to record any room mics for this kit as he wanted a tight, dry Reggae sound.
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.
Snare Top – Rode M1
The Rode M1 is a handheld dynamic microphone, very similar to the Shure SM57. It features a slightly warmer response than the SM57 however and was a great choice for the top of the snare drum.
Snare Bottom – Shure SM57
The legendary SM57 is an industry-standard cardioid dynamic microphone and is probably one of the most versatile microphones in a studios sonic arsenal. These microphones are commonly used for recording vocals, guitars and snare drums.
Hi Hat – 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"
Toms – Audix F10
The F10 is a dynamic instrument microphone designed for live and studio applications. Characterised with a tailored frequency response between 50Hz – 12 kHz, the F10 is ideally suited for recording instruments that require mid-bass and mid high reproduction, such as Floor and Rack Toms.
Overheads - AKG C451
The AKG C451 is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone which has been a bestseller right from its inception in 1969. It has an airy sound and a high overload limit and is commonly used in the recording of drum kits, either as a hi-hat, ride or as in this case, overhead microphone.
Timbale & Bongos – Sontronics Sigma Ribbon Microphone
Ribbon mics are renowned for their smooth, uncoloured characteristics and the Sontronics Sigma’s are no different. They have a high sensitivity and low self-noise that makes them perfect for recording the quieter velocities of the timbale.
The Spec Breakdown
Drum Microphone Mic Pre / Outboard Kick AKG D25 BBC Console / Lang PEQ-2A Snare Top Rode M1 BBC Console / API 550 Snare Bottom Shure SM57 BBC Console Hi-Hat AKG 414 BBC Console High Rack Tom Audix F10 BBC Console / API 550 Low Rack Tom Audix F10 BBC Console / API 550 Floor Tom Audix F10 BBC Console / API 550 Overheads AKG C451's BBC Console / API 550 Timbale Sontronics Sigma Ribbon BBC Console Bongos Sontronics Sigma Ribbon BBC Console