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Current Tape Reviews

Poplar Avenue
Artist Name:
Neil Shropshire
Poplar Avenue
Date Posted:
April 2009
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac Pro, Logic Pro 8, SSL, URS, and Logic plug-ins, Apogee Ensemble interface, Euphonix MC Control and MC Mix, ADAM Audio P-11A monitors.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Poplar Avenue” is a male vocal rock song. Neil wrote, performed and recorded the track.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Recording: A good overall effort that is marred somewhat by a few curious panning and balance issues.

First the good news. Neil has delivered a strong lead vocal performance free of artifact. We also applaud him for keeping his arrangement believable, something that is often problematic in “one man band” situations. There is nothing here that couldn’t be recreated by a qualified live band. In general, we also were impressed by the rather wide panning that Neil used on his sound sources, particularly those crisp electric guitar “chunks”.

That said, we were a bit confused by some of the other panning choices here. The kick drum seems to be placed at roughly 2 o’clock, while the guitar solo and the backing vocals are piled up in the center of the mix upon arrival. Along with these issues, there seems to be both an ambience and volume disparity involving the lead guitar “fills”. While the basic track has a somewhat roomy quality, the lead guitar is presented dry and overly loud to our ears.

Suggestions: While we understand that panning choices are based on personal taste, some universal truths do apply. The fact that Neil has placed his kick drum out from the center of the mix leads us to the logical question, that being: Why? If it wasn’t present enough in the mix, we would suggest that some eq/compression might be in order. Either way, it belongs in the center of the sound field.

As for the other issues, we suggest that Neil experiment with the placement of his harmonies and lead guitar. Moving them out from the center would certainly be in keeping with the already wide-panned vibe, and in the case of the lead guitar, the additional panning would most likely give the guitar enough “room’ so that the increased volume currently assigned to it could be done away with.

Summary: A solid effort that could use a bit of reworking.

Contact: Neil Shropshire,

About: Marty Peters

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