November 2021 - 64

Readers'
TRACKS
BY MARTY PETERS
Readers' Tracks is where respected engineer
and producer Marty Peters listens to your
recordings and critiques them, pointing out
where and how you can make them better.
Listen to the songs, read the reviews, and
submit your own materials online.
" Unhinged " / Neal Fox
Equipment: 2010 Mac Pro, Digital Performer 9.5, AKG
414, Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, Stylus RX, Waves Clav and
Grand Rhapsody Piano, Vienna Instruments Orchestral Strings,
Waves SSL EQ and compressors, Valhalla Super Massive Reverb.
Music:
" Unhinged " is a pop song performed, recorded and
mixed by Neal. Tony Rockliff handled the mastering.
Recording: Mr. Fox has submitted a cool, complex and quirky
track with many moving parts. Let's dig in. Neal has done a
fine job constructing his instrumental bed via a host of software
plugins. The electro / pop / world beat arrangement presented
here is infectious and full of energy. We dig the prominent
synth bass with its driving pulse, and the panned percussion
parts also provide some great movement. The various dynamic
breakdowns throughout the song offer respite from the insistent
beat from time to time-a palate cleanser. As for any potential
downsides, while a matter of taste, we feel that the heavily processed
'telephone' voice wears us down after a bit. Clocking
in at nearly six minutes, the effected vocal could benefit from
the same type of occasional easing up that Neal awarded his
music bed.
Suggestions: We're impressed overall-creative, well-constructed,
well-recorded and well-mixed. As for the vocals, the
artist's vision is paramount. That said, as a listener, we encourage
Neal to find some areas in the arrangement to remove
the vocal processing, if only for a short while, switching to
a straighter, more natural sound for contrast. In our view, the
juxtaposition of the two sounds would add even more interest
to an already exciting track.
Summary: Smart stuff, well done!
64 RECORDING November 2021
" Simple and True " / Scott Owens
Equipment: Windows 10 PC running Reaper, Takamine,
Fender, and Peavey guitars, Line 6 guitar processing, Toontrack
EZ-Drummer, Arturia strings, KRK Rokit 5 speakers, Sennheiser
headphones; mastered using Sound Forge Audio Studio.
Music: " Simple and True " is an acoustic rock instrumental
track done in its entirety by Scott in his home studio.
Recording: Scott has submitted a lovely and pretty darn successful
composition-hats off to some fine guitar sounds here!
Scott's passionate lead guitar performance has a bit of a Mark
Knopfler vibe, and that's a heavy compliment around these
parts! We dig the tone from his Fender Strat / Line 6 rig. Playing
a clean tone without repetition for five-plus minutes is no
easy feat. We're also generally impressed by the other sound
sources in the track. The acoustic guitars are presented without
artifacts. The software-generated organ provides a great full
bed to support the active and impressive electric lead guitar
(recorded in one take!). We're thrilled that Scott presents his
programmed drums without apology. While they could benefit
from some minor rebalancing, the tones and arrangement are
solid and certainly fit the genre. We often hear programmed
drums mixed apologetically-ducked uncomfortably in the mix.
Sadly, this only serves to add insult to injury by throwing the
entire soundscape out of whack. Presenting sources correctly
regardless of their origins is critical to learning solid mix skills,
so thank you, Scott!
As for areas of improvement, we feel that there are slight
volume irregularities with the electric guitar, and in spots, the
kick drum overpowers the snare. We also believe that the guitar
and organ could benefit from some additional ambience to
air out the track a bit.
Suggestions: Scott has done well, and with a few minor
tweaks, 'Simple and True' will shine. Starting with the electric
guitar, we would advise a touch of compression to even out
the volume irregularities, along with a bit of small reverb or
delay-nothing crazy-a little goes a long way! Adding some
reverb to the organ pad would accomplish much the same,
benefitting the mix with some additional space. We would isolate
the drums and examine the balance between kick and
snare, aiming for an even flow. A touch of compression would
also aid the kick drum; again, go easy and avoid pumping.
In his production notes, Scott tells us that he wants this track to
sound real and not polished and perfect. Fair enough-if our
advice is handled subtly, we think the organic nature that he
intends can remain alongside a more balanced result.
Summary: Strong.
Listen online at RECORDINGMAG.COM
https://www.recordingmag.com/readers-tracks/ https://www.recordingmag.com/readers-tracks/

November 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of November 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
Studio Upgrade Roundup
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
KRK Systems: KNS 8402
Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
Novation Circuit Rhythm
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
Mackie: Onyx16
Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
Readers' Tracks
Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Intro
November 2021 - Cover1
November 2021 - Cover2
November 2021 - 1
November 2021 - 2
November 2021 - 3
November 2021 - Fade In
November 2021 - 5
November 2021 - 6
November 2021 - 7
November 2021 - Fast Forward
November 2021 - 9
November 2021 - Studio Upgrade Roundup
November 2021 - 11
November 2021 - 12
November 2021 - 13
November 2021 - 14
November 2021 - 15
November 2021 - 16
November 2021 - 17
November 2021 - 18
November 2021 - 19
November 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby: A Crash Course in Atmos
November 2021 - 21
November 2021 - 22
November 2021 - 23
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Slate Digital MetaTune
November 2021 - 25
November 2021 - KRK Systems: KNS 8402
November 2021 - 27
November 2021 - Southern Avenue and the Modern Memphis Sound
November 2021 - 29
November 2021 - 30
November 2021 - 31
November 2021 - 32
November 2021 - 33
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Raising Jake SideMinder ME2
November 2021 - 35
November 2021 - Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
November 2021 - 37
November 2021 - RECORDING Show and Tell: Studio Upgrades (2021 Edition)
November 2021 - 39
November 2021 - 40
November 2021 - 41
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: bx_console Focusrite SC
November 2021 - 43
November 2021 - Novation Circuit Rhythm
November 2021 - 45
November 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 11: Home Mixing in Home Studios
November 2021 - 47
November 2021 - 48
November 2021 - 49
November 2021 - Mackie: Onyx16
November 2021 - 51
November 2021 - Alclair: Electro 6 Driver
November 2021 - 53
November 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Arturia FX Collection 2
November 2021 - 55
November 2021 - 56
November 2021 - 57
November 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: workflow-focused programs and plugins
November 2021 - 59
November 2021 - 60
November 2021 - 61
November 2021 - RME Fireface UCX II 40-channel USB Interface
November 2021 - 63
November 2021 - Readers' Tracks
November 2021 - 65
November 2021 - 66
November 2021 - 67
November 2021 - 68
November 2021 - 69
November 2021 - 70
November 2021 - 71
November 2021 - Fade Out: Studio Feng Shui
November 2021 - Cover3
November 2021 - Cover4
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