Butch Vig and engineer Chris Dugan kept the signal chain simple for “21st Century Breakdown,” having the mics go into external preamps, which ran directly into an Ampex ATR 124 tape deck and an HD3 Accel Pro Tools rig. Vig and Dugan used Ocean Way’s custom-built Dalcon 32×32 console to play back the tracks.
For Tre Cool’s drum sound, Chris Dugan used a pair of Telefunken Ela M251 mics as overheads. Dugan then placed a Shure Beta 52 and a Neumann U47 inside the kick drum shell (no front head) and ran them through a Chandler Limited TG Channel MKII preamp. The snare was miked with a Telefunken Ela M80 through a Vintech X73 preamp on top, and a Shure SM57 through a Vintech 473 preamp on the bottom. Toms were miked with AKG C12A mics through the Dalcon consoles API 550 EQs. A gobo was used on Tre Cool’s kit to reduce the reverb caused by the room.
For Mike Dirnt’s bass sound, he used a Fender Precision Bass, which was ran into an Avalon U5 direct box (sent to a Vintech X73) and an Ampeg SVT miked with a Sennheiser MD421 (sent to a Neve 1073) and a Neumann U47 (sent to the X73). To fatten up the bass sound, all signals hit tape before going to Pro Tools.
Billie Joe Armstrong’s main rhythm guitar set-up throughout the record consisted of a combination of a Gibson Les Paul Junior running into a Park/Marshall Plexi head through two 4×12 cabinets, and a Fender Telecaster running into a Divided By 13 amp. Most of the lead guitar parts were recorded with a Gibson Les Paul reissue, a Slash signature Les Paul, and a Jimmy Page signature Les Paul for all solos. Other amps used include a Fender Twin, a Victoria Victorilux, a Gibson GA-40, and a Gibson GA-19RVT, all of which are combo amps. Chris Dugan miked the Marshall set-up with a Shure SM57 and a Royer R121 through a Chandler Germanium preamp on one cab, and an AKG C414 and a Shure SM57 through Neve 1073 preamps on the other cab. The combo amps were miked with Royer ribbon mics.
Billie Joe Armstrong favored a Telefunken U47M for all his vocal tracks. This mic was run through a Chandler LTD-1 into a Retro Instruments 176 Limiting Amplifier.Green Day 21st Century Breakdown Recording Notes,