I work with David McConnell


“I work with David McConnell who recorded with Elliott during the last 3 years of his life to compile what is now called “From A Basement On A Hill.”
As far as David knows, Elliott usually used whatever was around for vocals. U47 during the XO and Figure 8 period but in David’s case, Elliott used David’s modded U87 and his U47 for things recorded around this time..As well as a 1073 that David owns. Also various outboard gear such as a vintage RCA compressor, AKG D19, and a beautiful 59 telecaster.
Anyway, as far as doubling vocals go, most of you are right. He was ‘that good.’ I don’t think David ever has mentioned that vocal production was something he had a big part in. Elliott knew his craft. David was more into doubling the drum tracks.
On a few tunes on that album like “Coast to Coast,” they had two drum kits in one room and two different drummers with headphones and a click track and some scratch guitars. They recorded them in the same room and panned them on the record..They used 2 in tape then dumped to PT.
David still has all of the mixes from when he and Elliott did their stuff and the project files, it’s quite a fun listen. But as some of you may or may not know, David recorded Elliott’s last record but however did not receive production credits. After Elliott’s death, his family believed that David had something to do with Elliott’s drug use and they tossed it off to his previous producer Rob Schnapf and Elliott’s ex girlfriend Joanna Bolme..
Anyone that knows David knows that drugs are not in his vocabulary. But strange things happen when people die. David is the person responsible for getting Elliott to record all of those beautiful songs over the last 3 years of his life when he was struggling with his drug problems. It was very hard to get work done sometimes because of this…But David managed to get some amazing tracks with Elliott.
But as far as vocals go, it was all him. He had it down to a science… I’ll try to chime in again if people have questions… David is a cell phone call away and he’s told me some really great stories about recording techniques on that album….
For example, “Shooting Star,” the weird speed up and speed down of the guitars in the beginning is David holding his fingers down on the tape while it was running and letting it back up, choking it..”

Clay Blair