Most difficult instrument to record?

Current Tape Reviews

Summer Time
Artist Name:
Sacha Petulli / The Pacific R.I.M.S.
Summer Time
Date Posted:
June 2010
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac G5 running Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4, M-Audio ProjectMix I/O control surface, M-Audio DMP3 mic preamp, ART Tube MP preamp, M-Audio Sputnik tube mic, Korg M50 Workstation, M-Audio StudioPro 3 and BX5A Studiophile monitors, Yamaha saxophones, Ibanez bass, Godin electric guitar, Yamaha 12-string guitar.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Summer Time” is a male vocal rock tune with a hefty dose of psychedelia. Regan Heinrichs wrote the tune and handled the lead and backing vocals along with the rhythm guitar. Ian Green played the lead guitar and Michel Petulli contributed additional percussion while Sacha took care of the recording duties, along with the sax, keyboards, bass and drums.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: Groovy, man! Sacha and friends have got quite the trippy little number going here, but unfortunately the whole scene does not quite mesh. On an individual basis most of the instruments seem well recorded, and several, including the thick electric guitar leads and the saxes, are pretty impressive.

Unfortunately, the drums are underwhelming due to their distant placement in the sound field, and the ultra-busy arrangement with multiple horns, keyboards and guitars occupying the same space and similar frequency ranges gets distracting in pretty short order to our ears.

Suggestions: We have spent a fair amount of time/space recently discussing song arrangements and arranging techniques, not only in Readers’ Tapes, but in our Spotlight features as well. Other concerns such as frequency masking, panning and balance are some of the most frequently discussed topics in this column, and there’s good reason for it.

Today’s increased track counts and lack of dedicated producers seem to have led to a decrease in pre-production, as well as a preponderance of overpopulated arrangements in a good many of the submissions that we receive. As the wise man once said, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.”

Now before you start sending the scorching emails, when we mean dedicated producers, we are not implying that Sacha was not heart and soul into his project. He and many, many other multi-hat wearers among you are as passionate and dedicated as the day is long. The difficulty is in the separation. Can producer Sacha honestly reign in keyboardist Sacha, bassist Sacha, drummer Sacha, etc., etc...?

There was a time when record companies assigned a producer to every project with this very goal in mind, but those days are no longer for most of us. In our multitasking environment we’re expected to do it all, and be good at it, too. With this in mind we would like to suggest that Sacha and the gang go back and revisit their mix wearing only producers’ hats for the moment.

Are those drums really as loud as ones in commercial releases of similar styles, and what of the troika of guitars, keys and horns? Do they really serve the song by being so omnipresent? Our two cents would be to turn up the snare and kick, and either pick and choose specific areas to feature the three melody instruments, or at bare minimum, initiate some creative panning in order for each to have a voice.

Summary: Decisions, decisions...

Contact: Sacha Petulli,

About: Marty Peters

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