Artist Name: Anthony Franco (Feat Bianca Sperduti) Title: So Intoxifying Genre: Pop Rating:
Mac Mini 3.2 GH i7, Logic Pro, Antelope’s Audio Orion+;Adam A7X, Adam Sub 7, Minimoog Voyager mostly for bass and some melodic lines, DSI Prophet 6 for anything poly, DSI Tempest Analog Drum Machine, Vox SSC55 Electric Guitar straight into Vox AC15 amp and recorded with an Beyerdynamic M201-TG. DW Collector’s Series Drum Kit. Beyerdynamics MC 930 on overhead, AKG D112 and Beyer M88TG in/on Kick. Audix on toms, I mixed the overhead on this track with a red small condenser whose name escapes me. Vocal mic is Neumann TLA67 as is drum room mic. Main preamp for overdubs is a Rupert Neve Designs Shelford Channel. Other outboard used include BAE 73mpl Focusrite Red One, Focusrite 428, Summit Audio TLA-100A, Summit Audio EQF-100, Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet into an Elysia Xfilter for drum overheads. I mix through the Silver Bullet into a TK Audio BC501 followed by an Elysia Xfilter. I don’t use plugins on the bus.
Production Notes and Credits
As submitted by artist: Inspired by meeting my wife, I wrote and recorded this song in the 1980s with the band, The Shake. This year, a friend of mine hired a local singer for a song he wrote. Her performance on that song inspired me to create a modern synth-based production of So Intoxifying with live drums. In honor of the original version, I wanted some token guitars on the song. Justin Capaldi supplied much more than that on the choruses so kudos to him. The guitar sound was important to me. I wanted it narrowly focused so we sculpted it with the amp and the Shelford Channel, which is a beautiful piece of gear. I played a Hofner Beatle Bass on the Choruses along with the guitar. I am not a bassist but managed to play the few notes it needed. I was attempting to create some subtle dissonance there between the bass guitar and synths. The song started with the drum machine and synths. Angelo Franco added the live drums. He was encouraged to use the toms as well as the whole kit. He created a swing that I can’t duplicate in a program. The live drums dominate the drum mix but both are playing most of the time. The left hi hat is the real drums and the right is the tempest. I tend to mix as I go and commit at the time of recording, so by the time the vocalist, is Bianca Sperduti, a.k.a Bianca Sings came in, the song had a decent rough mix. She stood in the main room for 2.5 with a few brief breaks and what you hear is what she gave. She was eyed and compressed going in the Shelford with a bit of blue silk. The units second output went to a separate summit audio eq and TLA-100 compressor. I drive that a little harder for color on the lead vocal tracks and blend in the mix. I use a lot of sound toys plugins for saturation and time based effects one the instruments. Few plugins are used on the vocal. Mostly time based effects and a harmonizer an octave below on a few of the BG vocals on the last chorus. There is no autotune or note correction on the vocals and to my ears, none was needed. Also no quantizing was used on the instruments. Special thanks to Angelo and Bianca. It still amazes me that people who never actually met, can groove together on a track like they are sharing a stage. Sorry if I’m writing my own review and thanks for listening. Oh and the mastering engineer was chosen because I knew I needed some expert help on the low end in terms of translating the mix. He improved the overall sound of the track as well.
“So Intoxifying” is a female vocal pop song. The track was written, produced, recorded and mixed by Anthony Franco. Anthony also played the synths and bass guitar. Angelo Franco laid down the drums, Justin Capaldi was on guitar and Bianca Sperduti sang the vocals. John Davis of Metropolis Studio mastered the song.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a fantastic group effort that highlights what the combination of superb writing, performing, recording and mastering can achieve with a focused goal. So much goodness here, let’s get started! In his production notes Anthony tells us that “So Intoxifying” was originally written and recorded back in the 1980’s by his band The Shake. After hearing Bianca’s killer voice (on a friend’s recent project), he decided to re-record it with a new cast. As for the results, well, to our ears he knocked it out of the park. Starting with the music bed, the combination of the drum machine, along with Angelo’s actual drums, work really well throughout the song, and Anthony showed some deft mixing skill on their interplay. Ditto the synth and real bass here. Anthony’s stated goal was to “create some subtle dissonance” between the two low end sounds, so the Hofner Beatle bass was employed on the choruses, and along with Justin’s electric guitar, we hear a smooth but effective difference. Moving on, the multiple synths provide the lion’s share of the sound in the track, and Anthony has done a bang up job, not only with the performances but also the varied timbres and panning. Through our monitors the synths create an excellent energy and sense of movement. Nice! And now for the icing on the cake, the vocals. One listen through and we can see why Anthony was inspired to redo his original recording with Bianca singing. The combination of some very nice gear ( Neumann TLA 67/ Rupert Neve Shelford Channel pre ) and Bianca’s wonderful tone and performance ( no auto tune or quantizing here friends ) takes the track over the finish line in our opinion. Simply one of the best vocal recordings we have heard during our tenure here at Recording Magazine. As we have said many times, all of this is for naught without a equally complimentary mix and Anthony has delivered one indeed. We hear interplay, movement, attention to frequency ranges, balance, great tones and focus. That’s what it’s about folks! Finally, we commend Anthony for understanding that his great efforts could benefit even further from some quality mastering. Kudos to John Davis for the final sweetening.
Per usual, at the Spotlight level the suggestions are aimed primarily at you loyal readers. We have long preached the benefits of A/Bing as a cost effective method of evaluation and learning, and we continue to here. The vocals alone should inspire you, they did us!
Anthony Franco, firstname.lastname@example.org