The Sexy Accident

I was in Kansas City, MO recording the recent Rabarbaro album by The Sexy Accident at Westend Recording Studios. I’ve produced several records for them and every few years we go to Westend as the band and Mike Miller, the studio owner, have become good friends. It’s a great facility and Mike really keeps the place working well. I tracked the band mostly live and went back to Tacoma to finish the record.

Producer Steve Fisk at Westend Recording Studios with Jesse Kates from The Sexy Accident

Overhead Drum Mics

The drums’ overheads with a pair of Coles 4038s which sounded fine at the time. But once I started mixing it wasn’t sitting right.

drummer at a kit

Drummer Ramone “The Jester” Hall tracking drums with a pair of Coles 4038 microphones

Maybe there were some phase issues? So I cracked out Antares Mic Mod and found that both the B&K 4007 and Royer 121 emulations (one or the other not both) really improved the overhead diaspora. The quiet sounds came up and the overall stereo was fuller and more musical, especially when I played with the Mic Distance parameter. The Antares Saturation parameter (included) was also useful.

Pro Tools screen showing Mic Mod

Pro Tools screen showing Mic Mod

Getting a Great Kick Sound

After I sent the mixes to the band I started getting flack for the kick sound. I had used a Shure Beta 52, one mic, near the bottom of the front head. For some reason, the dimensions of Westend always yielded deep, crazy kicks the closer you got to the floor. Using Mic Mod, I replaced the Beta 52 with a virtual Coles 4038 and backed it off using the Distance function again. Like you would expect, it brought in the sub octave and helped me pull out the body of the kick drum over the bleed from the kit. The finished mixes had stupid big kicks.

Better Vocal Stacks

Mic Mod has worked out for me with vocals too. On the same Sexy Accident sessions I recorded vocalist Jamie Pratt with a Peluso 22 47 LE. It was a great mic, but I wanted more options for vocal coloring. It was cool that Mic Mod gave me that option to change-up mics even after everything was recorded.

Vocalist Jamie Pratt tracking vocals with a Peluso 22 47 LE tube microphone

Also I recently got a mix job with gigantic vocal stacks—50+ tracks of vocals of primarily 2 singers. There were big frequency pile-ups based around the vocal colors, the booth, and the mic. Again, Mic Mod let me mix some alternate textures into the stacks, making the mix work better and the vocal arrangement blend.

Mic Emulation Works!

These were experiments brought on by necessity. I started out in the 70’s and I could have fixed these issues other ways but these tools were there and worked well. I have been suspicious of amp/mic/room emulations for years, but Antares Mic Mod works!

Make the mics you own sound like the mics you wish you owned with Mic Mod: available standalone or with Auto-Tune Unlimited

Listen to “Rabarbaro” by The Sexy Accident


Steve Fisk

Steve Fisk


A legend in the Pacific Northwest and known worldwide, Fisk has made an indelible mark on the music scene as a producer, engineer, teacher and performer. His credits include Soundgarden, Car Seat Headrest and Pigeonhed.