TASCAM TSR8 8-track tape recorder, TASCAM M1516 mixer, TASCAM 302 cassette recorder, Philips CDR880 CD recorder; AKG C414 B-ULS thru Aphex 107 preamp and Digitech DSP128+ (vocals); Ibanez Artist series guitar thru Crate G120CXL amp and Shure SM57; Ibanex EX series bass thru SansAmp Bass DI to Aphex 106 compressor; Roland VS rack module for drum sounds (DI); AKG headphones, Yamaha KS10 monitors.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Kickin’ it old school here kids! John recorded his track on a TASCAM TSR-8 1/4” analog machine and then mixed down to a TASCAM 302 cassette deck. So how did he do? Not bad, not bad at all.
Call it nostalgia, but certain instruments just seem to lend themselves to tape, even the narrow-width format that John has used here. The electric guitars sound heavy but smooth, while the bass is both round and punchy. The lead vocal is aggressive, but contains none of the sibilance or other artifacts that have become practically de rigueur in many of the submissions that we have recently received.
Our only real issue with John’s track centers around the drums, more specifically the toms. While the kick and snare do the track proud, the toms come across as muffled and somewhat lifeless. Having worked extensively with Roland VS kits in the past, we know them to be powerful tools, more than capable of producing some great tones. That being said, due to the number of options available in their modules, best results can often come from taking the time to tweak not only the sensitivity functions but also the internal eq and processing.
Suggestions: We suggest that John and Hank cozy up to the Roland VS module and take the time to get inside its “brain” (pun intended). Adding a few dBs of eq at approximately 3 kHz for some definition, along with some reverb using a fairly long predelay, should open up the tom sounds nicely. Other than that, we would suggest that John not abandon that old analog stuff any time soon!
Summary: “If it ain’t broke...”
Contact: John Lucken, email@example.com.