PC running Cakewalk Pro Audio 8; Fostex 1840 console; Shure SM58 and omni mics; 1984 Squier Strat, 1982 Yamaha SBG2000 electric guitar, Squier Jazz Bass, Hohner harmonicas, Kramer Ferrington acoustic guitar, DI box (unknown brand).
Production Notes & Credits:
Music: "Shades Of Her Lipstick" is a male vocal rock song, those of you familiar with the music of J. J. Cale will recognize the sound. No individual credits were provided (just a thank you to a lady named Merie for her critiques and suggestions), so we'll assume that all of the performing and recording duties were by Skiff & Dory.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Skiff & Dory's submission brings to mind the old saying "There's trouble in Paradise". Right from the get-go there is a nasty hiss that remains present throughout the track. Combine this with some equally bothersome plosives (popping p's), an overly compressed electric guitar, and well, you get the picture.
Suggestions: There are no shortage of ways to introduce hiss and hum into a recording, ranging from gain structure issues to bad cables and electrical grounding problems. While we're not sure what caused the trouble here, the fact that it was not detected/corrected is a major concern. If Skiff & Dory did not hear it on their monitoring system, then the speakers themselves could be at fault. (Hard for us to tell when they didn't tell us what monitors they used -- come on, folks, we keep asking...!) If they did in fact hear the hiss, and chose to include it in the track, we can only blame "pilot error". In any event, going through the entire recording chain until the problem is found (and solved) should be priority number one.
Regarding the plosives, a simple pop filter would go a long way towards solving the problem. If one is not available (and you're not willing to build one from panty hose and a wire coat hanger), rotating the microphone slightly off axis can often accomplish the same goal. As for the compression, like all sweet things, a little is fine, too much and there goes the old waistline!
Summary: School's back in session, guys. Get that hiss under control before you do anything else!
Contact: Skiff & Dory, firstname.lastname@example.org.