Tony Ray Jones
SPOTLIGHT 42: Gone
Equipment: 2.4 GHz Pentium 4 PC with 1 GB RAM and Plextor DVD burner, with M-Audio FireWire 1814 audio interface plus Octane 8-channel preamp and UAD card, running Steinberg Cubase SL 2.0, Sony Sound Forge 8, Universal Audio Project Pak (1176LE, Pultec and Pultec Pro eq, Realverb, Nigel Guitar amp simulator, many more), IK Multimedia Amplitube. Mics: Neumann U87 (all vocals) and KM86I dual capsule condenser (on Larrivee D03R acoustic guitar), MXL V69, MXL 1006 (two, on drum overheads), Electro-Voice "egg mics" (toms) Shure SM57 (snare), AKG D12E (kick drum). Tannoy SMB studio monitors.
Production Notes & Credits:
Music: "Gone" is a male vocal country ballad. The song was written by Tony, Join Swaim and Tammy Vice. Tony co-produced, sang the lead vocals and played acoustic guitar. Jeremiah Bivins played the drums, Larry Marrs co-produced, played bass and sang the backing vocals. The electric guitar was courtesy of James Mitchell, Steve Hinson laid down the steel and slide guitar and Howard Duck rounded things out on keys and Hammond B3 organ.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Tracked in a mere one-hour session (minus vocal overdubs), Tony Ray enlisted the help of some fine Nashville players to create this month's Spotlight. What resulted was a thoughtful contemporary ballad that combines skilled playing with a vocal-forward mix. As they say in country music, the vocal is king, and that is certainly true here. Tony Ray's baritone is full bodied and dry as a bone, though not at the expense of the music bed.
We couldn't help but admire the tones on all of the instruments. The acoustic guitar and mandolin are clear as a bell, the drums are equally well recorded, and Tony has done a fine job with their panning. The backing vocals are "glued" into the mix beautifully, and the pedal steel guitar seals the bargain with a warm rich tone. Nicely done.
Recorded in a converted garage, "Gone" is proof that with the proper preparation and talent, one needn't overthink or belabor a project in order to achieve truly professional results. Perhaps the biggest downside to today's infinite track count, cut-and-paste recording method is the paralysis that often times comes from having too many choices. How many of us have spent countless hours nudging and comping the smallest parts only to decide in the end that it had very little if any effect on things, other than to drag out what should be a fun creative process? come on, let's see those hands!
In the time that it takes for many, many home recordists to decide which reverb plug-in to use, Tony Ray and friends created a beautiful track, with a human connection. Think about it, y'all.
Summary: Thanks for keeping it real, guys.
Contact: Tony Ray Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org.