Ten years ago we published an article on Michael Hutchence’s and Andrew Farriss’ initial writing and recording of “Deliver Me” at Crescent Moon Studios in Miami, Florida. It demonstrated the unique collaborative style of Michael and Andrew as well as offered a simple music analysis of the evolving song. It also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the initial recording session. A further ten years on, and we present another feature on “Deliver Me”.
Interview with Scott Perry – April 2014
The engineer that night, 27th April 1994, was Scott Perry who has recorded many world-class artists and bands, especially during his residency at Gloria Estefan’s Crescent Moon Studios, the Latin Music hub of the world and home to the Miami Sound Machine.
Recently I caught up with Scott Perry working at America’s Golf Channel where he heads up the Audio Department. Scott clearly remembers with much affection the original “Deliver Me” session with Michael and Andrew. Exclusive to Michael’s Official Memorial Site, our interview with Scott coincides with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of Freedom Day* when Nelson Mandela cast his first vote as a free man, and across the other side of the world, the 20th anniversary of the first session of “Deliver Me”. Though in the middle of a hectic concert tour, they took time out to compose and record “Deliver Me”, which would later be included on INXS’s 1994 album release, “The Greatest Hits”. Michael would be delighted that his recording date is celebrated with Nelson Mandela’s 20th anniversary of Freedom Day*.
Scott speaks candidly about Michael and Andrew in our exclusive interview. He comments on the contrast in personalities, their friendship and work ethics, sharing technical details for the audio professionals and enthusiasts, giving a detailed account of how the session progressed. He refers to their unconventional recording methods right down to what they had for dinner that night! Incidentally, was it American spare ribs, sushi, Chinese, or Mexican food? You will have to listen to the interview to see how successful as an INXS food caterer you would have been on the night they recorded their first take of “Deliver Me”.
Listen to the interview
Co-Director for Michael Hutchence Memorial Website
with Co-Directors Susie Hutchence, Mario and Jacqui Ferrari
*Freedom Day on 27 April is an annual celebration of South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections of 1994. It is significant because it marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.
87 refers to the famous German Neumann U87 large diaphragm condenser microphone, a universal choice for professional recording of vocals
C800G refers to a widely admired, expensive tube microphone manufactured by Sony which includes a unique heat-sink; costing around $11,000, it is often used by established artists such as Stevie Wonder. Scott introduced the latest variant of this established microphone to Andy and used it on his guitar amp during the “Deliver Me” session
57 refers to the ever popular Shure SM57 dynamic microphone that is commonly used in live performances. Smaller and much less expensive than a U87, it can help give a raw live sound to a performance, and can be easily hand-held for a more intimate performance experience. Though used on the American Presidential podium for many years, it is more commonly used to capture guitar amps both in the studio and on stage rather than for vocals (where the Shure SM58 is more universally preferred)
Recording dry refers to recording without the usual vocal effects such as echo tape and reverb that add colour and ambiance to the voice
SSL desk refers to a large English purpose-built audio mixer commonly found in recording studios. SSL desks are renown for their exquisite audio quality and in particularly the dynamic presence gained through what is generally referred to as British EQ (equalisation of the sound frequencies in the preamplifier section of the mixer)
ProTools refers to a universal professional digital audio software package used to multi-track record. While still in its infancy in 1994, the software is now more widely preferred. Michael and Andrew chose the traditional and more warmer analogue approach, deciding to go direct to a two inch magnetic tape, commonly referred to as analogue (as opposed to digital) recording. The rawness and warmth of this demo recording is well reflected in this choice
Fender Twin a popular tube guitar amplifier widely favoured by guitarist for a clean sound
Alesis SR16 refers to a digital drum machine, still used widely since its release in 1991
Andy played in the control room refers to Andy’s location during the recording, being in with the engineer, while a cable was run out to the guitar amplifier in the actual studio room. This gave Andy opportunity to immediately hear his mix on the studio monitors and made communication to the engineer more direct and initimate, placing Andy and Michael in producer roles as Michael also set up in the control room with a hand-held microphone
421 refers to the popular Sennheiser MD421 large diaphragm dynamic microphone commonly used for vocals and instruments (Scott had pre-selected this microphone along with a Shure SM57 for recording the guitar)
Erik refers to Erik Schilling, the Grammy award winning , world-class , multi-platinum engineer/producer
Chris refers to Chris Thomas, renowned world-class producer with a long history recording INXS
Don Was refers to the American bassist/producer who in 1994 was producing such artists as Bonnie Raitt, Waylon Jennings and The Rolling Stones
M1 mic pre refers to a John Hardy M1 Microphone Preamplifier, considered one of the finest microphone preamps in the world
LA2A refers to the renowned Universal Audio LA2A Levelling Microphone Preamplifier used as a clean vocal compressor to give the voice a solid, balanced dynamic audio range
DAT tape refers to Digital to Audio Tape, a relatively new digital format in 1994 for storing/playing audio recordings