Guitars: Taylor T5z, Music Man Sterling, Jerry Jones baritone; Fender Blues Deluxe amp; AKG C214, Shure SM57, and Shure SM7B mics; Cubase Artist 8, Steinberg UR-RT4 interface, Sweetwater CS400 PC; JBL4408 monitors, Shure SRH840 headphones; mastering chain by TC Electronic, BBE, and Alesis.
‘Drifting’ is a rock song. Carl wrote it and performed everything but the drums, which were recorded remotely by Jimmy Hobson to replace the original drum machine track.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Carl has submitted an excellent, hard-driving effort. Breaking it down, we absolutely love the drums—excellent performance and tones! Hats off to Jimmy for the fine performance and recording, and we applaud Carl for taking the initiative to replace his original drum machine tracks with the real deal. Carl’s guitar sounds fantastic. The clean but edgy tone from the Taylor T5z / Fender Blues Deluxe combo is aces, and Carl’s performance really drives the track from beginning to end. Areas of concern: the bass guitar lacks enough muscle to successfully meld with the killer drums—nothing wrong with the performance mind you, we simply don’t hear the expected girth and power down in the low end. Moving on to the vocals, we found them to be sibilant in spots and also drastically out front in the mix. Perhaps as a result of their super forward placement, Carl seems to have done the same with the volume on his lead guitar, perhaps as a way to match the two. In any event, the mix sounds a bit out of balance.
Carl’s submission is but a few tweaks away from earning a place in our Spotlight feature, and we’d love to see them addressed. The bass was recorded direct; there’s ample firepower in his software to adjust the EQ for a more robust sound. As for the vocals, the Shure SM7B is one of the great dynamic vocal mics—it’s not as prone to sibilance as a condenser might be. Given that, we’re guessing that the sibilance was somehow generated by processing, most likely a compressor or limiter. If the processor was added during the mixing stage, readjusting the settings should solve the issue. Following that piece of detective work, we suggest that Carl re-seat the vocals and the lead guitar tracks farther back into the mix to achieve a better blend for all the sound sources.
Ever so close!
Dan Desroches, firstname.lastname@example.org