Artist Name: Mike Ringler Title: Come Walk With Me
Genre: Rock and Pop Rating:
Yamaha AW16 16-track digital recorder, Shure SM58 mic, ART Tube MP Project Series preamp, Ovation Celebrity acoustic/electric guitar, Fender Powerhouse Strat, Jay Turser JTB-2B Violin bass, VOX Tonelab guitar processor, DigiTech BP-50 bass processor, Roland SPD-20 electronic drum kit.
Production Notes & Credits
“Come Walk With Me” is a male vocal rock song. Mike was the one-man band on the track.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Done in its entirety on a meager (by today’s standards) standalone Yamaha multi tracker, this is a fairly successful track that rises above “demo” level, but is not without areas that could stand some T.L.C.
With the limited available track count, we thought that Mike’s basic song arrangement was quite effective. Equally effective, in our opinion, were the panning and placement of the various sound sources throughout the track. We also have to give Mike his props for performing all of the instrumentation here. While we have certainly heard better tones during our tenure at Readers’ Tracks, all of the parts here were solidly played, particularly the drums.
As for areas of improvement, we found the acoustic guitar to be on the thin side through our monitors. There were also noticeable signs of vocal sibilance throughout, and the cymbal crashes were strident and short on decay time to our ears. Lastly, the entire mix seemed to have an “in your face” presence that failed to provide the “seating” of the sound sources necessary to provide for a smooth listening experience.
Capturing high quality acoustic guitar sounds is a topic that we have covered many times in the pages of Recording. We would encourage Mike to experiment with mic placement; moving his mic out in front of the sound hole would provide a more robust tone. The key here is to go in small increments in order to avoid a boomy sound.
Regarding the sibilance, we suggest that Mike go back to his tracks and remove any compression that may have been applied. Next, listen and note if the smear on the S,F, and T sounds disappears (as we believe it will).
Following that, we would recommend that Mike spend some quality time A/Bing his mix against some of his favorite recordings in this genre (“Daisy Jane” by America springs to mind) and study how those mixes are built and layered, with special attention to the vocals and cymbal levels.
In art class we are encouraged to study and copy the masters as a learning tool, and yet in the recording realm folks can be strangely resistant to the concept. Trust us when we tell you that there are but a small handful of savants in the world… for the rest of us, it’s study and learn, trial and error!
Plenty here to work with!
Mike Ringler, firstname.lastname@example.org