Dell PC with Yamaha Audiogram 6 interface running Steinberg Cubase with its own bundled plug-ins and Band-In-A-Box 8.5 with Real Drums/Real Instruments; MXL 990s mic; Yamaha MSP5 near-field monitors, Peavey HKS8 monitors, M-Audio Studiophile LX4-2.1 monitor sytem, Audio Technica ATH-M40fs headphones; Washburn Montgomery J6 guitar, BOSS Cube 60 guitar amp, Yamaha bass guitar.
Production Notes & Credits:
“What It Means To Have The Blues” is a mid-tempo female vocal blues tune with a lovely New Orleans vibe. Dan was the arranger/producer and engineer. He also played the guitars and bass, handled the programming and sang backing vocals. Sandy Chauvin sang the lead and backing vocals.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Dan and Sandy have fashioned a spacious track that captures a nice (think Fats Domino) New Orleans vibe. We hear good use of the stereo field, clean electric guitars, and a big ol’ fat bass front and center. Sandy’s vocals are well recorded and present in the mix, and Dan has done a fine job with the balance on the harmonies. Less successful to our ears are the drum programming and the processing on the track.
While we applaud Dan for choosing some fairly usable tones on his drums, the amount of reverb that he has applied seems to make them a bit unsettled. We would also liked to have heard a little more “wood” on the side stick and a touch more mid-range on the hi-hat. Lastly, the lead guitar seems to suffer from a muddy quality that is uncharacteristic of the other sound sources.
Suggestions: Drum programming and drum replacement are in a very interesting place in today’s recording world. Gone are the days of the boom-chick, quantized, mechanical sounds of the early units. Today’s options are myriad and offer excellent quality and realism. That said, the car is only as good as the driver, and in the one man band format, “secondary” instruments often suffer. Please be assured that this is not to slight Dan or Sandy. It is rather to point out that it is not easy to think and program like an actual drummer if it is not one’s primary instrument.
We suggest that Dan revisit his drum program and beef up his side stick and hat. We would also suggest that he back off of the reverb on the kit by about 25% in order to help it blend better with the rest of the mix. Finally, we’re at a loss to explain the muddy lead guitar tone, but whatever created it, we would love to hear it closer in character to the clean rhythm guitar.
Summary: “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans...”
Contact: Dan Chauvin, firstname.lastname@example.org.