Dell PC with Roland PCR-300 keyboard controller and M-Audio MobilePre USB interface running Propellerhead Reason 4 and Cakewalk SONAR 8 Producer Edition, M-Audio Nova condenser mic, electric guitar (“Not sure which one!”) through a Line 6 POD, Yamaha HS80M monitors.
Production Notes & Credits:
“Hey Dara” is a male vocal “power pop” tune. Brandon wrote , recorded and mixed the track. The guitars were performed by Brandon’s friend Brad (no last name given) from Maryland and sent as download files.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Nothing like a good old shot of power pop to get the juices flowing on a chilly autumn morning! Brandon and Brad have done a fine job here overall, with only a few minor issues in our estimation.
It is often said that the best avenues to great recordings start out with a great song, and Brandon’s is no exception. The tongue-in-cheek lyrics combined with the classic Knack/Cheap Trick music bed nails the genre, and for the most part the recording follows suit. Brandon tells us that he wrote the song with the intention of pitching it via publishing to other artists, and in this case he has provided well more than a working demo for potential interested parties.
We love the slashing gritty guitars and the period-correct keyboards. Equally impressive are the programmed drums and bass. We also found Brandon’s use of the stereo field to be quite effective. Judicious panning has ensured that any possible frequency clashes between the guitars and keys are avoided.
So what about those minor quibbles? Well we found the vocals to be a tad too “on top” of the mix through our monitors, and there were some audible popping P’s on the lead vocal as well.
Suggestions: A pop filter is one of the most inexpensive yet overlooked tools in the recordist’s arsenal.We suggest that Brandon purchase or construct one and make it a part of his regular mic set-up in the future. Until that time we suggest that he position his mic 20–30 percent off axis during his performances, or try an omni pattern on his mic. Both of these should tame those P-pops effectively.
Regarding the already-tracked vocal here, applying a highpass filter and sweeping it from about 50 to 150 Hz to find the pops should help to correct the problem. As for the overall balance, dropping the volume on both the lead and backing vocals should help them sit better in the overall mix.
Summary: Cleveland rocks!
Contact: Brandon Walker, firstname.lastname@example.org.