MOTU Digital Performer, iMac, Universal Audio Apollo, Neumann U 87, PMC Result studio monitors, Mogami cables, Toontrack EZdrummer, Native Instruments Komplete, Waves Mercury Bundle, iZotope mastering software, Fender guitars.
“And, So” is a soft rock track. Ernie handled all the instruments, vocals, mixing, and mastering except for the piano, which Alex Malsan played.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
A fine overall effort here with plenty to like and only a few minor areas of concern. The first thing that we noticed was how clean everything sounds throughout, not clinical, just well performed, recorded and presented. The vocal chain is without reproach; the Neumann U 87 into the Universal Audio Apollo is a recipe for success, and Ernie’s performance does them proud. The piano also came out beautifully in performance and tone, with great sound from the software-based plugin. We dig the thoughtful panning and Ernie’s use of the stereo field—tasty! Any cons are centered around the rhythm section. Through various speakers and Grado Labs SR 325 headphones, the bass lacked strength and presence, while the drums, though creatively assembled by Ernie, are bashful in the mix compared to the forward-placed vocals.
A predominant issue that we’ve seen through the years in this column is a propensity to duck the drum levels in the mix when they are programmed. Our advice remains: mix the drums as if they were tracked on an actual kit by a real drummer. Mix balance supersedes origin every time, and we have The Cars, Eurythmics, and a plethora of 80s artists to corroborate our point of view. We urge Ernie to remix the track while referencing commercial releases in this genre, paying attention to the volume of the bass and drums for a more effective balance.
Ernie Galarza, firstname.lastname@example.org