Dell XPS 410 PC with Intel Core2 Quad CPUs @ 2.40GHz and 3 GB RAM with M-Audio Delta 1010 Sound Card, running Cakewalk SONAR 7.0.2 Studio Edition and plug-ins: Dave Brown Audioware for Compression, Limiting, De-essing; Sonitus:fx Reverb, GClip Signal Clipper, TruePianos VST Plug-in, Modartt PianoTeq 2.2, Steven Slate Drum Samples. Mackie 1402VLZ mixer, Behringer Composer Pro MDX 2200 Compressor, Shure SM58 mic; Peavey DPM C8p MIDI Controller, Roland JV-1010 sound module.
Production Notes & Credits:
"River of Light" is a male vocal rock song. John wrote, arranged, programmed and performed the track in addition to handling the recording duties.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: In his production notes, John describes the process of recording "River of Light", and believe us when we tell you that he left no stone unturned. He started with the piano, played to a click, then added the kick, then the bass on keyboard, then piano accents, strings/pads, the organ solo, and then vocals. The other drum sounds were done last, each part played on the keyboard and then each note placed painstakingly over several weekends.
For our part, we really like most of the tones here, particularly the intro piano and the clear staccato bass. John tells us that he was going for an '80s style drum sound in his track, complete with a period correct reverb in this case, and he indeed did an admirable job. Ah, the'80s... when the only thing bigger than the reverbs were the hairstyles!
He also tells us that he often times struggles with dark, murky-sounding mixes on his songs. He did a lot of compression to get more loudness, and some subtractive eq to open up frequencies where appropriate. Unfortunately, to our ears, his worries about dark mixes may have led to some overcompensation. While all of the ingredients to the musical soup are in place, the overall recipe is on the thin side (hey, it's almost lunch time, what can we say!).
Suggestions: The most successful mixes are ones that can musically represent the entire spectrum of frequencies from bottom to top, unless one is going for a specific ideal, e.g. a club or dance remix where the low end is bumped considerably. While we are not sure whether the thinness here came for the culmination of the individual tracks or during the mastering process, we would encourage John to revisit things and try to enhance the low and low mids in order to give his mix some needed girth and drive.
Summary: Almost there!
Contact: John Sinek / Long Black Night Of Brilliance, firstname.lastname@example.org.