Yamaha AW-16G desktop recorder; Toshiba laptop running Steinberg Sequel, Sony ACID, and Steinberg Cubase; Shure SM57, Ovation Applause acoustic guitar, Roland electric guitar, Roland and Yamaha keyboards mixed with VST acoustic piano (software).
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: “Ride the Mist” is a tasty little jazz tune with an interesting recording history. Skip tells us, “The drums were arranged and sequenced by me using Steinberg Sequel. They were transferred to Sony ACID for beat mapping, then transferred to a Yamaha AW-16G, where acoustic and electric guitars were added. This mix of instruments was reduced to four tracks of synchronized WAV files. The tracks/WAV files, along with a rough chart and notes, were next sent via the Internet to keyboard player Edell Shepherd. We used a service called YouSendIt (www.yousendit.com), which allows you to send large files over the internet very quickly.”
Skip goes on to explain that once Edell received the wave files, he uploaded them into Cubase, added his keyboard part, and then reversed the process by sending everything back to Skip, again using YouSend It.
To their credit, Skip and Edell have fashioned a pretty nice little track here when all is said and done, though the mix itself is not without problems. On the upside, the drum programming is believable and the keyboards certainly show off Edell’s fine chops, although their excessive volume is burying Skip’s “Wes Montgomery” style electric guitar. On the downside, we find the acoustic guitar tone at the intro to be somewhat thin, and the lack of a proper bass is causing the kick drum to pop uncomfortably. Gotta have that bass to make the thing swing!
Suggestions: We applaud the guys for their dedication and fortitude with the YouSendIt solution. It’s truly a global world, so why not use all of the tools that are now available? Back on terra firma, however, we would encourage Skip to rethink the role of the bass (or lack thereof in this case). Butch and Sundance, Ali and Frazier, Mingus and Miles, “it takes two, baby, it takes two.” Whether it’s software or a real live player, your track deserves a solid, complete rhythm section.
Following that, we suggest that Skip also rethink the role of the acoustic guitar in the intro. Without a better tone, it may be wiser to go with the electric instead. As for the balance issues, placing the piano further back in the mix would go a long way towards giving the track a successful ensemble feeling.
Summary: A solid effort that can be even better with a few small repairs.
Contact: Skip Bauchman/B&B Jazz Companuy, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cdbaby.com/cd/bbJazzcompany.