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Best Techniques For Recording A Cowbell


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I think most of us here agree that using a cowbell in any song makes it somehow better. One of my favorite techniques is to use an SM57 5.5 inches to the right side, an SM58 8.25 inches to the left side, a pair of Neumann U87s overhead and a ribbon mic in a closet in the same room. I feed the output to a guitar amp with the distortion all the way up feed it back to the console and add the PSP Vintage Warmer plugin in Sonar. Try it some time, very nice.
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Great thread! I'm old school. Straight from the farm, that's where all the real happenin' cowbell sounds are from. I just bought a sample CD of 200 [i]real cowbells from around the world[/i]. It's awesome. My personal favorite is the Wisconsin Dairy herd. Man when those brown and blacks get a swayin' in the breeze... it makes the hair on your arms stand right up. Mississippi Queen me baby! guitplayer

I'm still "guitplayer"!

Check out my music if you like...

 

http://www.michaelsaulnier.com

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Good point Tusker. Musicians Friend has a sale right now on padded cow muzzles. As an alternative you CAN just take the bells off of the cow. I know some people find that pretentious but it works for me, plus I really don't have room in my studio for a herd of cattle if I want multiple bells without multitracking.
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[quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b]No Gene, what bit is that?[/b][/quote]Where Christopher Walken plays a record producer, and keeps saying "MORE COWBELL". You mean you were serious about recording cowbell??? :)
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in
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No man, I'm not that crazy. I just picked up on that joke with out knowing the original source. In case you haven't noticed I steal everything I do. Cause I'm- Down like a dollar, up against a yen, doing pretty good for the shape I'm in.
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[quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b]No man, I'm not that crazy. I just picked up on that joke with out knowing the original source. In case you haven't noticed I steal everything I do. Cause I'm- Down like a dollar, up against a yen, doing pretty good for the shape I'm in.[/b][/quote]You know it man...me too.
Down like a dollar comin up against a yen, doin pretty good for the shape I'm in
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[quote]Originally posted by LeiDeLi: [b]AAAARGHHHH ! Someone else has discovered my secret theory: The best rock tunes of all time have always included a COWBELL ![/b][/quote]Is there cowbell in Sussudio? -- Rob
I have the mind of a criminal genius.....I keep it in the freezer next to mother.
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Doesn't The Wewus have a ACID CD out with nothing but cowbell grooves on it. BTW - Wewus, try a Soundfield mic on your cowbell. :freak: visit [url=http://www.cowbell.com]www.cowbell.com[/url] :love:
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Hey, thanks for the information! I have always had difficulty getting a good cowbell sound. [quote]AAAARGHHHH ! Someone else has discovered my secret theory: The best rock tunes of all time have always included a COWBELL ![/quote]Cowbells don't just enhance rock tunes. I find that a rousing cowbell track does wonders for a string quartet or harpsichord performance. Paul
I'm not a "people" person, I'm a "thing" person.
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I've always found it BEST to milk the cow at least 30 minutes before the session (I'll have to try the muzzle idea). This is hard to do when you are in a major music market, although Nashville's not too bad. The Union cows are a pain in the ass. Their even worse than String players !!!!!!! I've been wanting to try some of the cows in Wisconsin. I've only been there once and it was way before I got into the music business. Are there even any recording Studios there ????? You can usually just use a filter to cut out any unwanted noices the cow makes during the recording, since those noises are alway lower in pitch than the cowbell itself. Really just about any mic will do at even 4 or 5 feet away (unless it's a dance track I'd try a Ribbon) and as far as EQ goes just try rolling off some of the top end edge so it will sit better in the mix. Try putting a compressor on the track, don't be afraid to even experiment with 20:1. Hope that helps.
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Five songs that would be nothing--downright Billboard poison--without the blessed cowbell: American Band - Grand Funk (with producer Todd Rundgren's signature cowbell sound) Stone Free - Jimi Hendrix Experience (rumor has it Jimi went in overnight and re-recorded Mitch Mitchell's cowbell. Comparisons with bootlegs of the original recordings bear this out. Hendrix, being left-handed, had to flip the cowbell over, giving it a unique sound.) Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey - The Beatles (The only thing longer than this title is how long it took for Yoko to learn her cowbell part. "Look," said Paul through clenched teeth, "If you'd just come out of that bag and put away the heroin I think we can get this right. Even four-year-old Heather has it down by now.") Stuck In The Middle - Steeler's Wheel (This Gerry Rafferty song, re-made by Cheryl Crow and re-titled "All I Wanna Do," is a cowbell player's dream. The chorus features the ultimate: a cowbell solo. ["ple-uh-ee-ee-ee-ease...."] Yeah, that's one bovine beast of a bell, baby! Without it--there's no song.) Honkey Tonk Women - Rolling Stones (Ah, did you know that's not really a cowbell on the famous intro? Nope, it's a dinner bell. That's right, those old bell's that ma used to ring to tell all you young'uns that it's time to come in from the fields and have us all some supper. The one used on the record was stolen from a farm outside of Birmingham. Lot of kids went hungry that day, I'll tell ya.)
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[quote]Originally posted by Eric Worthington: [b]Five songs that would be nothing--downright Billboard poison--without the blessed cowbell: [/b][/quote]Eric, you forgot Mississippi Queen! -- Rob
I have the mind of a criminal genius.....I keep it in the freezer next to mother.
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You simply can't record the cow bell without the cow - it's a natural part of the recording. If there's an occaisonal 'Moooo' there, then live with it - bloody perfectionists! Next, you'll be telling me that you can trigger a sampled cow bell and replace the original. Forget it, 'cow replacement' plugins are for dickheads that wouldn't know how to mic up a proper cow + bell combo if their lives depended on it. Where's the art? the craft? It's all computers nowadays.
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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