Sony PC with M-Audio interface, Cakewalk SONAR 4 Producer Edition, M-Audio Pro Sessions Drum Tracks, Jackson King V4 guitar, DigiTech RP6, Kurzweil RG200.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Terry tells us in his production notes that he has recently returned to music (and recording) after a 25-year absence. Fortunately, Terry’s wife has recently gotten him a subscription to Recording and his muse has been reawakened. As an added benefit, Terry explains that he has also found our website, and has begun the process of going to the Readers’ Tapes section, listening to the submissions, and studying the reviews, all of which we think is, well, awesome. But enough about us, let’s take a look at how Terry is doing!
For a beginner, we would have to say he’s getting there. As a genre, Metal is pretty tricky to pull off while being reliant on computer and boxed sound sources, and this seems to be part of the issue here. While the guitars are certainly muscular and aggressive, the rhythm section is lacking in definition and tone. In general we are having a hard time hearing and feeling the drums and bass. The double speed kick pattern that is so often associated with this style may have been beyond Terry’s programming skill level at this point, but hey, the guy is just getting started, and is obviously interested in learning. More troubling to us is that the guitars are being choked in certain sections, causing a volume dropoff that is disruptive to the song.
Suggestions: Our first suggestion is that Terry simply spend more time learning the cans and can’ts of his tools. The author Malcolm Gladwell, in his most recent book Outliers, basically suggests that it could take up to ten thousand hours of hands-on involvement to become truly proficient at one’s craft/art. Regardless of the exact total, let’s revert back to the “practice makes perfect” theory.
We urge Terry to study some successful Metal recordings and start to understand just what makes them tick. In our opinion, slow and steady wins the race here; it is not necessary to grasp it all at once. By understanding how each instrument does its “job,” it will be much easier down the road to join them all together in a cohesive form.
In terms of the here and now, we would urge Terry to go back and listen to his guitars: the “choke” effect may be what he’s after, but the volume drop won’t do.
Summary: Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.
Contact: Terry Mitchell, Guitar1118@cox.net.