2.6 GHz dual-core PC with M-Audio Fast Track Ultra running XLN Audio Addictive Drums; dbx 266XL compressor, Gibson Les Paul through Laney half stack, Musicman bass.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Kjetil has delivered a strong, strong effort here, and one that but for a few minor issues may have landed him in our Spotlight feature section. Starting with the good stuff, Kjetil is obviously a skilled guitarist/vocalist, and he has gotten good solid tones on both his vocals and electric guitars. We liked the agressive nature of both performances and the way they steered clear of artifact or shrillness. He also did a darn good job on the drum programming, especially considering the musical genre. In our experience, uptempo, energized rock tunes like this one are quite difficult to program drums for, due to the speed of the kick and fills.
Unfortunately, to our ears, while the programming is solid, the drum tones and particularly the room ambience applied to the kit seem at odds with the other sound sources. While the guitars, vocals and overall arrangement suggest a large sound stage, the drums are presented with a rather organic, small- to mid-sized room feel. Combined with a somewhat weak sounding bass guitar, the track never quite takes on a unified identity to our ears.
Suggestions: Finding a "sound" can often be problematic, particularly in a one-man-band setting. Back in the day, a handpicked producer would have been on the project helping with just such matters. That ship has sailed in today's recording environment, so the multi-hat wearers look to folks like us for advice.
To that end, we hope that whatever ambience was applied "in the box" can readjusted to provide a larger overall feel to Kjetil's drum program. That, along with the addition of some increased low end to the bass guitar, should turn things right around rather quickly.
Summary: A talent for sure. Just that close to Spotlight material... hit us up again soon!
Contact: Kjetil Landsgard, firstname.lastname@example.org.