Been Caught Stealing

  • Artist: Jane's Addiction
  • Album: Ritual de lo Habitual
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Year: 1990
  • Producer: Dave Jerden, Perry Farrell
  • Engineer: Ronnie S. Champagne, Bob Lacivita
  • Studio: Track Record, Los Angeles
    Sound Castle, Los Angeles

Distortion -
One of the most important and most difficult decisions we have to make regarding distortion is degree. Not enough and the tone becomes a bit of a bore. Too much and it begins to blur. The peaks in the signal get clipped by the distortion device -- amp, pedal, or plug-in. With the transients attenuated, the articulation and related musical details become harder to hear. Adjusting the amount of distortion allows us to trade-off timbral excitement for expressive detail.
The electric guitar tone here demonstrates plenty of harmonic distortion, yet we can almost hear each individual string within every strum. The electric guitar tone here also demonstrates a unique approach to recording. The guitar sound in the mix is layered, containing distorted tone, plus overdubs of an unplugged electric guitar, with the microphone up close to the unamplified voice of the strings. The result is a distinct sound -- killer tone with a crisp thrum.

Chorus -
The amplified electric plus acoustically captured electric approach to guitar is not unheard of. What is unique to this tune, though, is that the contributing elements are doublings. Rather than recording the amp and the instrument in one pass, they are recorded as separate -- nearly identical -- performances. The result is a slight blurring and flamming and broadening of attack. The chorus effect that works so well on voices, violins, and guitars is exploited here across very different types of guitar sounds.

Woof -
The dog was overdubbed, in a vocal booth of course. Good dog, Venice.


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