Logic Pro X, Focusrite Scarlet 8i6, Mackie MR5 monitors, Shure SM57, RODE NT1, Guild and Danelectro guitars, Malala ukelele, Squire bass.
“Stepping Stone” is an acoustic-based ballad. Simon wrote the song, played all of the instruments, and sang the lead and backing vocals with additional backing vocals sung by Jacqui Perks. The track was recorded, mixed and mastered by Simon and Andrew (Doc) Collins.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a gorgeous, expertly arranged acoustic ballad that features fantastic vocal performances and in concert with delicate, precise instrumental tracks. Simon has employed a very cool alternate tuning on his Guild acoustic guitar (CGCGCD), and the results captured via a trusty Shure SM57 dynamic mic are nicely moody and atmospheric. Kudos to Simon for his clean playing, with nary a string buzz or squeak insight. Simon also handled the secondary instruments with care. Thoughtful panning and frequency choices give each instrument its own voice. Particularly impressive is the attention paid to the low end of both the six-string jumbo Guild and the five-string bass guitar. In lesser hands, this could have been a recipe for low-end frequency buildup or masking, but fortunately, Simon and Andrew nailed a tight low-end on the bass, which steered clear of any potential problems. We were also knocked out by the superb vocals from Scott and Jacqui. Long recognized as a tremendous value, the RODE NT1 condenser microphone proves to be a winner here yet again. Combined with the Focusrite 8i6 pre/interface, the vocal tracks are full, clear and powerful. The layering and dynamics of the performances create a great energy in the track while maintaining a nice balance throughout. Well done!
There is a lot to like here – fine composition, excellent performances, skillful recording and a top-notch arrangement. Class is once again in session! We urge you to spend some time studying the trio’s efforts here, especially the handling of like-minded frequencies.
Simmon Scott, email@example.com