Artist Name: Dan Desroches Title: Girl of My Dreams Genre: Rock Rating:
MacBook Pro with Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD interface running Apple Garageband. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors. Shure SM58, Sennheiser e602-II, MXL 990 and 991 microphones. Epiphone Les Paul Studio guitar, Yamaha TRBX304 bass, Akai LPK25 keyboard, Gretsch Marquee drums, Zildjian K Custom Hybrid cymbals.
Written in November of 2018, 30+ years after Dan promised his wife he would write her a song. Working title was “Better Late Than Never”, for obvious reasons. Dan is primarily a drummer (ironic since the drums are very low-key on this tune), but also dabbles in guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals.
“Girl of My Dreams” is a male vocal rock song. Dan one-man-banded it at his home studio.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Dan has submitted a pretty successful effort here, that could be even more so with a bit of sonic housekeeping. In his production notes, he tells us that drums are his primary instrument, although in our opinion he’s done a darn good job on all his instrumentation.
Where we find issue with the track is more on the arrangement end of things. The art of mixing is indeed an art, and there are many ways to approach it. Some prefer to mix “from the bottom up,” meaning they start with the drums and bass and build things up from there. Others center on the vocals and weave the other sound sources around this critical element. While we are unsure of Dan’s working method, we found most of the instruments to be well-balanced, with the exception of the rather insistent string pad that seems to intrude into the arrangement in an awkward fashion.
Those of you who follow our monthly Spotlight feature are aware of the near-consistent praise we lavish on the quality of the instrument arrangements found in those stellar submissions. While myriad things go into a successful mix, arrangement plays a huge role in our minds.
Regarding Dan’s work, we would suggest that he re-evaluate the role of his string pad. His track is by no means devoid of good parts and performances, but having the strings so prominently positioned gives them a primary rather than secondary role, which is where we feel they would best serve the song.
While you’re there, try backing the bass guitar volume down until it plays nice with the kick drum, and then rebuild your mix with that new foundation.
One quick fix and you’re good to go.
Dan Desroches, firstname.lastname@example.org