2017 MacBook Pro, Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo and Octo Satellite, Logic Pro (including drum and synth patches), Neumann KM 184, Summit Audio 2BA-221, Universal Audio OX, Focusrite Red 8, Warm Audio BUS-COMP, Fishman Triple Play, Fender Blues Jr.
“Wave Goodbye” is a smooth contemporary instrumental done stem-to-stern by Mark in his home studio.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Mark has submitted a wistful instrumental serving as a showcase for some fine guitar skills. Tracked and completed during one day-long session, ‘Wave Goodbye’ certainly keeps the guitar as its focus, though some of the accompanying sound sources may have received a bit less attention in the bargain. With such an enviable gear list, we would expect top-notch guitar tones, and for the most part, Mark has delivered them. The uber present electric lead guitar has all the body, fullness and nuance one could want (dig those pinch harmonics!). The UA Ox / Fender Blues Jr. combo serves up a righteous tone, and Mark takes full advantage of it. The rhythm section fares somewhat less well. While the basic drum part is satisfactory for a demo track, the disparity between it and the electric guitar is noticeable. While the drums are presented with appropriate volume in the mix, the bass is practically nonexistent through our monitors and Grado Labs SR 325 headphones. The Summit Audio preamp (used as a direct box for the bass) is an outstanding piece of kit and more than capable of delivering world-class results—why the levels are this mismatched is a head-scratcher. As for the remaining instruments, the acoustic guitars came across as a tad dark in the mix, somewhat surprising as the Neumann KM 184 small-capsule condenser mic trends brighter in our experience.
This wouldn’t be the first time, nor the last, where a primary instrument takes priority over secondary and tertiary ones in a mix. As for suggestions, we would encourage Mark to consult with any drummer friends he might have to get some real-life perspective on his drum programming. As for the bass, we must wonder if some issue exists at Mark’s mix position, causing him to hear his bass incorrectly. In any event, we would love to hear the bass volume raised such that it becomes an equal partner with the drums in the mix. Lastly, a bit of high end added to the acoustic guitar would provide some welcome energy to the proceedings.
A great start!
Mark Dillman, firstname.lastname@example.org