Apple Mac mini (1.67 GHz Intel Core Duo) with 2 GB RAM with Digidesign (Avid) Mbox 2 mini running Pro Tools 7 LE; Avid A.I.R. plug-ins for drums, IK Multimedia Ampeg SVX plug-in for bass; RØDE NT-1A vocal mic through Joemeek VCQ; 1969 blackface Fender Super Reverb amp miked with Shure SM57; Fender Jazzmaster, Telecaster, and Stratocaster guitars; MXR Dyna Comp and Micro Amp, Sovtek Big Muff, BOSS RE-20 Space Echo, Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail reverb; Fender Geddy Lee Jazz bass (via DI).
Production Notes & Credits:
"Shake" is a male vocal power pop/rock tune. The band consisted of Garret on bass guitar, Jason Johanson on guitar and vocals, and Matt Frank on guitar. Garret also handled all of the tracking, mixing, and mastering.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Recorded as a performance/songwriting demo in a wintry remote Washington State cabin over a long weekend about a year ago, the guys used this remote setting to churn out a pretty high energy tune, albeit one that sits firmly in the demo realm as far as the actual recording goes.
Now before anyone gets the idea that we are being too critical with the term "demo", rest assured that this is not our intent. Could the tones and technique be improved upon? Absolutely. However, since the intent here was to make a quick demo, we think that the mission, as stated, was accomplished. That said, since OUR mission statement is to help you loyal readers to fashion better recordings, let's take a look at what could be improved upon here, in case Garret's next project is designed for different purposes.
Whether by accident or design, we found Garret's mix to be practically devoid of any stereo spread. We also found the programmed drums to be suffering from some extreme compression, to the point of "pumping" through our monitors. Now let's look at some possible remedies, shall we?
Suggestions: There was a a time in recording history when mono was the rule, not the exception. Even after the rise of stereo in the mid-Sixties, most commercial studios relied on a mono speaker, quite often a small Auratone, to check for balance , midrange presence, and phase problems, just for starters. Many of the engineers who engineered mono mixes are considered to be legends in our field.
That said, to the dismay of all of you 5.1ers out there, stereo still rules the roost. We would love to hear Garrett's guitars spread out a bit from center so that the vocal could "take a seat" and the bass could have its own place.
As for the drum compression, long weekend or not, compression to the level of audible pumping is not a linchpin of any correct recording that we are aware of.
Summary: Good high-energy track, we'll dispense with the Sasquatch jokes. Spread it out and don't squash it so hard next time, okay?
Contact: Garret McQuesten / Gloves, firstname.lastname@example.org.