Recording - May 2018 - 66
BY MARTY PETERS
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Patrick Palmer / Innocent Mind
EQUIPMENT USED: MacBook with 2.4 dual-core i5 and
2 GB of RAM. Mics: Oktava MK-319, Peavey PVM-46, BLUE
Snowball. M-Audio Studiophile AV 20 desktop speakers, Sony
MDR-CD60 headphones. Dean Del Sol hollowbody electric
guitar with a Marshall MG-15. Virtual bass played on
M-Audio Keystation 49e. Drums from Apple Loops.
MUSIC: "This Life" is a male vocal rock song. Patrick
wrote, performed, and recorded the track at his home studio.
Recording: Patrick has submitted a well-written rock song
here with plenty of potential. Unfortunately, the lack of a
successful rhythm section brings it up a bit short.
The song intros with a nice grunge-style electric guitar riff,
followed shortly by a muddy-sounding snare drum that
establishes a baseline rhythm for the track. As the song
continues to unfold, we are presented with a mixed bag of
results. Patrick has done a fine job with his vocals here, with
no sibilant artifacts or overprocessing, and the electric guitar
continues to impress throughout.
On the flip side, the bass part is practically inaudible through
our monitors, leaving the drums without support. In addition,
the low midrange presence of the electric guitar seems to be
masking much of the already-underpowered bass.
SUGGESTIONS: In his production notes, Patrick tells us
that he was not really satisfied with the drum tracks he
constructed via Apple Loops. Our advice to him, as it is to all
of our loyal readers, is that taking the time to really know your
tools can have a significant impact on your success.
We are fairly certain that spending time with drum software
of any kind is not Patrick's first and foremost priority. That
said, the One-Man/Woman Band scenario often demands a
serious level of detail, patience, and exploration, even in areas
RECORDING May 2018
that aren't our usual forte. Quality sounds can be derived from
even the most basic software... given time and effort.
Panning can be immensely helpful in music where bulky,
low-mid heavy guitars are present. We urge Patrick to use it
to his advantage in order to open up the center of his mix, so
that his bass guitar sound can assume its rightful spot without
the masking. At that point, blending the bass and kick drum
should be an easier task.
SUMMARY: A track worthy of a redo.
CONTACT: Patrick Palmer / Innocent Mind, patrick.palmer@
Frederick Crounse / Tsadzu
EQUIPMENT USED: PowerMad Industries QuadReactor PC
with PreSonus Firepod interface, running Cakewalk SONAR 6
Producer. Plug-ins: Native Instruments Battery 3 and Guitar Rig 3,
IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik, Spectrasonics Trilogy, URS
Classic Console Strip Pro, S Series Mix EQ, Waves Renaissance EQ,
Compressor, De-Esser, and L2 Ultramaximizer, Audio Ease Altiverb
6 reverb, iZotope Ozone, PSP Vintage Warmer. Audio-Technica
AT4033a mic (vocals), Epiphone Dot with P94 pickups.
MUSIC: "Loup Garou" is a male vocal one-man-band effort.
RECORDING: A very cool track here with plenty of character
and vibe. In his production notes, Frederick tells us that he was
not totally satisfied with his results, but unsure as to why things
weren't quite jelling. Fair enough, let's take a closer look and see
if we can help.
In order to create his "old world" yet modern vibe, Frederick
seems to have taken an approach not dissimilar to that of one
of the masters, Mr. Tom Waits. We hear ambient drums, synth
pads/strings, oompah bass, sustained electric guitar and vocals,
along with various other synth-derived ear candy shots. Everything here is very well recorded and presented, though we did
detect a bit of condenser mic "toppy-ness" on the lead vocal.
Frederick has managed to deftly give all of his sound sources
their own space and character, employing well-managed
panning and frequency choices. Now for the rub: the very
individualistic nature of the sounds in Frederick's mix may well
be the thing that is making it less than a success to his ears!
SUGGESTIONS: First of all, kudos to Frederick, not only for his
performance and recording skills, but also for the composition and
arrangement. As for suggestions, we offer them based on his original
premise that something is still not quite "there" in the final analysis.
We suggest that Frederick spend a little time with Mr. Waits'
Swordfishtrombones or Frank's Wild Years. Very few (if any)
artists have been so adept at taking seemingly disparate
elements and constructing them into a unified, albeit personal
stew. Mixing is like cooking-too much salt and there goes dinner!
As for the vocal sound, modern condenser mics are often
hyped in the higher frequency ranges. We have published
many fine articles throughout the years here at Recording
discussing other options, including the benefits of dynamic
and ribbon microphones. We suggest that Frederick give them
a read-today's recording world is full of worthy options.
SUMMARY: Good stuff.
CONTACT: Frederick Crounse / Tzadzu, sargentfletcher@
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - May 2018
Recording - May 2018 - Intro
Recording - May 2018 - Cover1
Recording - May 2018 - Cover2
Recording - May 2018 - 1
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Recording - May 2018 - Contents
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