Sufjan Stevens In Tape Op

There’s a very interesting interview with Sufjan Stevens in this month’s issue of Tape Op. I find it amazing how many things he did “wrong” and still ended up with good sounding recordings. Check out this list of things he did “wrong” when recording 2003’s Michigan.

1. Used 32 kHz sampling rate (instead of the usual 44.1 kHz.)
2. Mics: Only used two SM57s and one C 1000. No mic preamps.
3. Mixed the album on his headphones. He doesn’t even own monitors.

What does this tell us? I think a lot of us (including myself) spend too much time worrying that we don’t have the “perfect” studio setup. So what! Work with what you have. A lot of us have much better setups than Sufjan Stevens had for Michigan and I think that album sounds great. We have no excuses.

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2 Responses to “Sufjan Stevens In Tape Op”

  1. It is amazing his records sound that good. The fact that he is such an amazing songwriter sure helps forgive any recording imperfections.

  2. Hello. Just wanted to let you know that I excerpted this post and provided a link-back from one of my blog posts.

    I was pretty surprised skimming the latest Tape Op to see how many recording “faux-pas” he committed.

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