Artist Name: Alex Vann Title: A Better Me
Genre: Rock and Pop Rating:
Zoom MRS-1266 desktop multitrack (with built-in drum sounds), Yamaha Clavinova CLP340 (main piano), Yamaha P60 and Roland DS-330 Dr. Synth (strings), AKG C2000B vocal mic, Fender Squier Jazz Bass.
Production Notes & Credits
“A Better Me” is a male vocal rock ballad, Alex one-man-banded the track at his home studio in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
That voice. Holy cow, as Harry Carey used to say, would you listen to that voice! For those of us that grew up with Steve Winwood, Peter Gabriel, and a host of other great British singers, there is something so comfortable and right about the sound of Alex’s pipes. Like the man once said, we could listen to this guy sing the phone book!
As for the actual recording of things, what we have here is a nice sketch/demo captured on a modest Zoom MRS-1266 standalone multitrack recorder. Alex has set up a very basic boombox/click track percussion part for tempo, choosing to devote more time to his fine sense of orchestration—as evidenced by the sweet string and backing vocal arrangements. Tonally, everything (with the exception of the keys/strings) sounded a tad bit bright through our monitors, though we’re happy to report that there were no signs of processing artifacts to be found.
As with all “demos”, we could go on and on with possible suggestions for improvement. Obviously a better conceived and executed rhythm section would benefit the overall track. However—and this is important, folks—Alex’s skill set lies elsewhere. Would we love to hear this entire recording recreated with the benefit of live drums/bass, along with the benefit of some additional gear? You bet, but in the meantime we can suggest that Alex go back and re-examine his final mix.
The lack of monitor speakers being mentioned in his equipment list calls into question whether the excessive brightness we hear is a function of room issues at the mixing position. As always, loyal readers, failure to address what and how you hear has the power to render an awful lot of blood, sweat, and tears meaningless. We urge each and every one of you to elevate the status of your speakers to that of your “sexier” gear (or “kit” as Alex might say), and by all means A/B your mixes on as many systems as possible before calling it a day.
Did we mention that voice?!
Alex Vann, firstname.lastname@example.org