(listed as submitted by artist): Kay guitar played with a chrome slide, CAD mic, Summit Audio preamp, RNC compressor (on the preamp insert), MOTU interface and DAW, G4 Power Mac, KRK monitors, Sony headphones.
“Too Complicated? #4” is an acoustic guitar-based instrumental. Jonathan did it all in his home studio.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This certainly creates a challenge! Our mission here at Readers’ Tracks has always been to focus on the actual recording end of things. Microphones and miking techniques, DAWs, plugins and software, along with processing, panning, and balance (to name a few) are what we call home. So, what to do with a submission that in our minds is fundamentally problematic due to obvious pitch issues? Make no mistake here friends, Jonathan spent a lot of time and effort putting his track together. In his production notes, he details his work process, including well thought-out panning and ambience choices and EQ decisions, as well as arrangement concepts for his composition. To that end, he has succeeded with his tracking; the instruments are clearly presented, artifact-free, with excellent panning. However, the eight hundred pound gorilla looms large—the discordant nature of the tuning/performances distracts to such a degree as to render Jonathan’s work difficult to follow at best.
Intent, here we go again. In our near-quarter century at the helm of this column (holy smokes!) we’ve listened to thousands of home and project studio recordings of every imaginable shape and size. The vast majority of them fall into what we would consider the ‘commercial’ zone, either by inference or design. Then there are those very few that thrive due to intent. Did Jonathan not hear the dissonance of his performance? Was he aiming for the abstract ‘performance art’ angle? That would be our guess, though we have no way to corroborate it. As for suggestions, without the letter of intent, we cannot, in good faith, offer any. Perhaps a second submission would provide more answers.
Jonathan Konrad, email@example.com