Start to Finish: Vance Powell - Episode 3 - Getting Guitar And Drum Sounds

Pro Video
Black Friday Get 50% OFF



In episode 3, Vance dials in the drums, guitar, and synth bass sounds, explaining every decision along the way.

Watch as Vance:

  • Dials in tones for the drums on his SSL console and massive wall of outboard gear
  • Explains his approach to getting the sound of the kit through the overheads
  • Inserts 1176 compressors on the main kick and snare drum channels
  • Uses multiple parallel processes during tracking on the drums
  • Checks the phase relationship of all of the elements of the kit in the overheads
  • Sends the "taste mic" to his famous "Beard Verb" pedal and Polysaturator
  • Creates a mono drum mix to enhance the sound of the kit
  • Uses a very unique technique to eliminate guitar hum during tracking. You'll just have to see... we cannot in good conscious type it out here. Trust us.
  • Demonstrates how he checks phase relationships in mono
  • Uses his vintage RCA microphone preamplifiers on guitars
  • EQs the guitar mics
  • Sets the tone for the octave down guitar
  • Explains the phase relationship between bass DIs and amplifiers and explains how he addresses it.

Watch the rest of the series here

Equipment & Software

Drum Mics

  • AEA R88
  • Ampex 1101
  • Chandler Red Mic
  • Chandler TG Mic
  • Neumann KM 84
  • Shure Beta 52
  • Shure SM 57

Guitar Mics

  • Neumann U67
  • RCA BK5
  • Shure SM 57


  • 1176 F
  • API 525 Compressor
  • BK1 Preamps
  • Beard Verb Custom Delay
  • Capi Preamps
  • Chandler TG1
  • Empirical Labs Distressor
  • Neve 33609
  • Pigtronix PolySaturator
  • Radial XTC
  • UTA MPDI-4
Not a Pro Member yet?
Pro Memembership
Watch all videos for
$24.99 / month
Vance Powell

Vance studied electrical engineering in Missouri and started his career in live sound as a front-of-house engineer. In 2002, he moved to Nashville in order to become studio manager and chief engineer at the legendary Black Bird studios in Nashville. In 2006, he co-founded Sputnik studios along with Grammy-winning engineer Mitch Dane, still in Nashville.

Vance Powell has won 6 Grammy awards working with rock artists such as The Raconteurs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, Pearl Jam, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather and more.

Powell's domain of expertise is definitely mixing and producing rock music. As shown in his pureMix videos, Vance likes to experiment and create new fuller and exciting sounds using all kinds of pedals, echos, analog outboards and plug-ins. Vance was used to recording to tape and definitely has an analog approach that makes him commit to fewer good sounding tracks rather than piling up takes in Pro Tools.

His goal is to make something new and warm that fits the band's vision with upfront snare drums and powerful guitars. Rocking.


Jack White

Chris Stapleton

The Deadweather

The Raconteurs

Arctic Monkeys


What do you have to say?
Leave a comment
2020 Jun 10
I thought he misspoke about the attack/release controls on the 1176, but upon research I found out that they are backwards compared to most compressors, lower numbers indicate slower values.
2020 Jun 10
Did he mean to say the attack was all the way to the fastest and release all the way to the slowest? The apparent position of the knobs showed attack fast/release slow but his comment was the opposite.
2020 May 07
Spanish subtitles please
2020 Apr 28
This is puuuuure gold! I love how Vance describe everything to us while we're listen to that!
zachary miller
2020 Apr 10
Does Vance's parallel Kick and Snare then run back into his 1176's? or does he sum their output along side the original kick and snare onto tape? great series by the way, loving it!!
2020 Apr 06
I wold like to know if using guitar pedals are not a bad thing, since they are not balanced. Does that matter or not?
2020 Apr 05
This series is ramping up nicely, excellent episode, thank you
2020 Apr 05
Great song and sounds, but the best thing about this series so far is that both Vance and Mike are wearing Clutch t-shirts! \"/ \"/
2020 Apr 04
Very instructive episode! Technically, sonically and humanly... Thank you
2020 Apr 04
Very nice work....sounds great