Recording - June 2013 - (Page 50)
(multiple microphones, a DAW-based system) while knowing
that the existing rig is there to fall back on when he or she isn’t
in the mood to mess with learning new tech and just wants to
write. That’s a great place to be!
Summary. Short and sweet.
By submitting a Readers’ Tapes entry you automatically grant permission to Music Maker Publications to feature your submission here,
on our website, and in our SPOTLIGHT e-newsletter. We might need to
shorten entries for editorial reasons. By listing your name with the submitted work, MMP does not imply any assignment of rights to the submitted work. We can neither guarantee publication of a review nor
engage in correspondence about individual submissions.
Media can be submitted physically (as in an actual recording
through the mail) or online at our website. For online submissions,
please go to www.recordingmag.com and click on Readers’ Tapes,
then select “Submit Your Recording” and fill in the requested information. We accept MP3 and AAC files of up to 5 MB size. File bitrate is
up to you but we strongly recommend a minimum of 128 kbps; note
that the higher the bitrate, the shorter the song that will fit in the 5 MB
limit. You’re free to submit an excerpt of a longer song if that helps!
Send physical submissions to: Readers’ Tapes c/o Recording
Magazine, 5408 Idylwild Trail, Boulder, CO 80301. Please be sure to
include: a) a CD, CD-R, cassette, DAT, or MiniDisc with only one
song preferably no longer than 3:30 in length (or tell us which track
you want reviewed); b) a credit list (who did what); c) a list of
equipment used. Remember that CD-Rs with unevenly applied
paper labels, smudges, or scratches won’t play back reliably.
PLEASE state which part of your contact info we can publish
(address, phone, and/or email)—if you don’t tell us precisely, we
won’t print anything at all.
Equipment: BOSS BR-1600CD desktop hard disk recorder,
Behringer B1 condenser mic, Dynaudio Acoustics BM5A
powered monitors; 1965 Gibson SG, 2008 PRS Mcarty, Martin
00028EC, Hofner Club Bass, Mick Fleetwood Total Drumming
loop library for rhythm tracks.
Music: “My Old Friend” is a male vocal one-man-band
Recording: J.D. has produced a fairly strong track via
an extremely modest (by today’s standards) recording
setup. Singer/songwriter material can be tricky to present in a “band” format, and J.D. wisely kept his sound
sources simple and focused. We applaud the choice of
the Mick Fleetwood drums, and the simple but rich bass
tone that came from J.D.’s Hofner. Hard to go wrong with
the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section concept!
The doubled lead vocal used here is effective, and the
balance of the harmony vocals is right on target in our
book. We also really enjoyed the “sitar” sounding electric guitar, the wide panned placement is most effective.
Lastly, kudos to J.D. for serving up a very “analog” sound
on his final mix, well done.
Suggestions: In our opinion J.D. has hit the mark pretty well here. He stayed within his recording skill set, and
respected the capabilities, pro and con, of his gear... a
lesson that many of us, especially those one-person operations, can learn from!
From a “comfort zone” like this, an artist has two choices, neither one “wrong”. He or she can remain there and
use his or her comfort with the tools to “get the technology
out of the way” and focus full attention on writing stronger
songs, or start to explore fancier recording techniques
RECORDING June 2013
Contact: J.D. Sky, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Michaels / EXPEN$E
Equipment: TASCAM 2488 24-bit desktop hard disk recorder, CAD
microphones, Shure SM57 microphone on snare drum, Sennheiser
microphone on kick drum; Gibson Les Paul Custom, Martin 6
string acoustic guitar, Rickenbacker bass guitar, Pearl drums.
Music: “Go Away” is a male vocal rock song. Robert handled all of the music, Tim Loebig took care of the recording
end of things.
Recording: Robert seems to be aiming for a Pink Floyd type
of vibe here. The intro features “found” sounds à la rain and
emergency sirens, which rather quickly give way to the actual
instrumental sound sources. When executed correctly, this can
be an effective (albeit clichéd) tactic. Unfortunately, the volume disparity between the two parts as presented leads to a
rather underwhelming entrance for the music in our opinion.
As for said music track, we found some balance and sibilance issues causing problems throughout. While Robert has
done a fine job with the performances, the volume of the
kick drum is distracting, particularly during the verses. We
also felt that the snare drum had an overly metallic tone, at
least through our monitors. As for the sibilance, to our ears it
does not seem to be compressor/limiter related, but rather
an eq or microphone issue.
Suggestions: Sadly, Robert has failed to include any monitors in his gear list. Sadder still, loyal readers, is the fact that
the majority of submissions we receive these days are guilty
of the same omission. Imagine calling your auto mechanic
with an engine problem in your car, but failing to mention
its make or model. Did Tim and Robert hear the concerns we
addressed at their mix station? Was the mix position in a
treated or untreated space? These considerations play a pivotal role in the outcome of any mix, and yet seem sooo 20th
century to many. Well, guess what? They’re not. They’re
timeless... as long as we are listening to music on speakers
or headphones, we need to really know the speakers or
headphones we use to create that music!
Right, then—end of rant. We suggest that Robert and Tim
revisit their mix, and closely examine the energy drop at the
song’s intro. Reversing the volume order so that the music
comes in a tad louder than the ambient sounds would give the
track a sorely needed boost at this critical point. Next, we
would urge the guys to rework the drums. In our opinion the
kick drum should be set back several dB and the snare re-eq’d
for a rounder tone.
As for the sibilance, we would advise that Tim try out a
dynamic mic on Robert’s lead vocal. The inherent high-frequency bump in many of today’s modern condenser microphones does not play well with all voices, and Robert’s may
be one of them.
Summary: Monitors, monitors, monitors...!
Contact: Robert Michaels/EXPEN$E, email@example.com,
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - June 2013
Recording - June 2013
SXSW 2013—From Guerilla To Gorilla
Reviewed & Revisited: Ableton Live 9 and Push
Universal Audio Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection for UAD-2
Reviewed & Revisited: Steinberg Cubase 7
Reviewed & Revisited: MOTU Digital Performer 8
Ingram Engineering MPA685
Reviewed & Revisited: PreSonus Studio One 2.5
Reviewed & Revisited: Cakewalk SONAR X2
Recording Fundamentals. Chapter 18: Headphones—Part 1
Recording’s Showcase of Sounds
For Your Bookshelf
Recording - June 2013