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Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Jared Levengood / Pacemaker Jane
Mow The Lawn
Date Posted:
January 2008
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Fostex VF16; multitracker; Sonic Foundry Vegas 1.0 and Sound Forge 4.5, IK Multimedia T-RackS 2.0, assorted Sonic Foundry and DSP/FX plug-ins; Shure SM57 and SM48, Marshall MXL 2001, assorted Radio Shack condenser and dynamic mics; late ’90s Fender Toronado through early ‘90s Fender silverface 112 combo, early ’90s Mexican Fender Strat through late ’90s Peavey Studio Pro 112 combo, ’70s Fender Jazz bass direct; Yamaha Stage drums and Zildjan cymbals, Roland SH32 synth, 2004 mulching lawn mower from Lowe’s (not sure of brand).

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Mow The Lawn” is a male vocal rock song. Ernie Richmann played drums, tambourine and lawn mower. Kevin Masney played bass, Brian May and Jared Levengood handled the vocals and guitars. Jared also played keyboards. We are not sure if the recording chores were a group effort, but since no one was given credit, we will assume that is the case.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 0
Recording: This track is ever so close to being radio-ready. It is well written, with impressive performances and a big bold sound that really hooks you. On top of that, how can you not like a song that intros with the sound of someone cranking up a lawn mower?

Sadly, a few issues keep this song from our SPOTLIGHT e-newsletter feature. The first is excessive mixing/mastering volume levels, which result in distortion, particularly in the low midrange. The second is (sigh!) compression. Jared and the guys seem to have been aware of, at least, the latter situation: their cover letter stated, "It's going to sting a little when you rip into us for compression settings."

Suggestions: The good news is that Pacemaker Jane has done a superb job with 90% of this recording. Unfortunately that last 10% can be make-or-break it time. We suggest that the fellas scour the pages of past Recording magazines, particularly the articles dealing with vocal tracking and mastering. In these days of the volume wars, knowledge in these particular areas is invaluable. We have spoken at great length in Readers’ Tapes about both subjects. Anyone skillful enough to present a superior recording of a lawn mower should be able to track a vocal without squashing it into sibilance.

Summary: If you guys aren't too busy next summer, the back forty could use a little trimming!

Contact: Pacemaker Jane,

About: Marty Peters

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