Artist Name: Al Duane/psychosexuAL Title: On The Outside Genre: Rock Rating:
iMac with Apogee Duet interface and Native Instruments MASCHINE and Komplete Kontrol 61, running Apple Logic Pro X with NI Komplete 11, Waves Brauer Motion, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, and SampleScience Cinematika, Nostromos, Pastoral Tomes, and Thales. Mics: Neumann U 87, CAD Equitek E-100. Monitors: Yamaha HS8, Avantone Mixcube, Focal Twin 6 Be. PreSonus Monitor Station. V2 Mapex Drums, Sabian and Zildjian Cymbals. Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 – 10 top, Fender Stratocaster, Roland TR-8, Korg KAOSS Pad.
Production Notes & Credits
“On The Outside” is a female vocal rock song. Jade Evans sang the vocals, Billy K. played the guitar, and Al handled the rest.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
A solid collaborative effort here that is not quite clicking on all cylinders due to a lack of low end, balance, and mix cohesion/volume issues.
After our first listenthrough, it is crystal clear to us that Jade’s lead and background vocals are the star of the show here. Her fantastic voice was beautifully captured by the Neumann U 87 mic, no sibilant artifacts or overprocessing to be found.
Unfortunately, through our monitors the vocals seemed tucked pretty far back in the mix, and to our dismay it took a full half minute for them to appear in the song, underutilizing a prime asset to our way of thinking.
As for the remaining sound sources, we found the programmed drums to be lacking in variety yet dominating the mix throughout the proceedings. The lack of any type of bass exacerbated this and left the drums and guitar with a disjointed feel to our ears. Lastly, we found the overall volume of the stereo mix to be on the low side compared to most of our submissions.
There can be myriad reasons for balance and volume issues in a track, everything from room acoustics to poor monitoring to concept and intent. Al lists three different sets of monitors here, any of which should have provided him with a more than adequate “read” on the balance and volume of his sound sources. While we are unaware of the room acoustics in his studio, it seems a far reach to think that they were the source of the problem either.
A simple A/B against any commercial recording in this genre would most certainly point out the discrepancy in both the drums and Jade’s volume, as well as that of the stereo mix. The lack of bass or low end presence robs the track of the glue that it needs to helps marry the drums and electric guitars together. We strongly urge Al to go back and add something to remedy the problem, be it electric bass guitar or synth derived.
Regarding the intro, to lean on a sports analogy, you don’t wait till halftime to put Tom Brady on the field. Jade is a great singer and you have a superb microphone—we suggest an arrangement adjustment that will shine a light on them both earlier!
Play to your strengths.
Al Duane/psychosexuAL, firstname.lastname@example.org