SPOTLIGHT 53: Broken
Rock and Pop
Quad-core Intel Mac Pro with Digidesign 002 interface and M-Audio Keystation 49e controller, running Digidesign/Avid Pro Tools LE 8 with IK Multimedia AmpliTube 2 and Ampeg SVX plug-ins, Celemony Melodyne, iZotope Ozone 4, XLN Audio Addictive Drums, and Propellerhead Reason 3.5; Shure SM57, Audio-Technica AT2020, and MXL 3000 mics; ART Pro MPA II mic preamp; Behringer TRUTH 2031a Monitors; Schecter Hellraiser Special electric guitar through Bugera 333xl Amp Head Unit with Avalon 4x12 w/ Vintage 30s, Peavey bass guitar.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Broken" is a male vocal rock song. Daniel wrote, programmed, performed
recorded the track. In his own words:
"I am an aspiring songwriter who kinda plays guitar, drums, and piano, and who is working diligently on improving his vocals. I wrote, played and recorded all instruments, lyrics and vocals on this song. In 2008, I finished an Audio Production Certification through Berklee Music Online, and have since just been trying to build up some experience and have recently started writing my own tunes, in the hopes of opening up my own studio by the time I retire from the military. Whether or not this makes it into the magazine, I just want to say thank you for giving it a listen, and I absolutely love the magazine. Keep up the good work, guys!"
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: This month's Spotlight is a stellar one man band effort. Daniel has done an excellent job top to bottom here, delivering a contemporary rock tune that can in our opinion hold its own with many commercial label releases.
How was it done? I'll let Daniel tell the tale...
I started the recording process with the distorted guitars. I miked the Avalon cab with the SM57 and AT2020 side by side, on axis, about 6" off the grille. I then ran both mics through the ART Pro MPA II into Pro Tools to two mono tracks panned all the way right, then recorded it again for the left side, adding some compression and eq to taste for each track. Then I recorded the clean guitar parts using AmpliTube 2.
Next I went through and recorded the drum tracks on my keyboard using Addictive Drums, got 'em quantized and then rerecorded any guitars that were off time. Next I went back and recorded the bass line using an old Peavey bass guitar, piped through the ART and into Ampeg SVX. After that I added the intro (which is probably a bit of overkill) using Reason and AmpliTube 2 again for the effected guitar.
After that I went through and recorded the lead and background vocals, all using the MXL 3000, then bussing to a couple of aux tracks for independent reverb and delays, and also a bit of pitch correction using Celemony's Melodyne.
After a bit of mixing, I bounced it down for mastering, and then mastered it in a new session using Izotope's Ozone 4. The session was done at 24-bit/96 kHz, and then mastered and bounced to 16-bit/44.1 kHz."
Right from the outset it is apparent that Daniel has a fine sense of texture and dynamics. The varied electric guitar tones that exist within the track complement each other and avoid the masking effect that often occurs with multiple parts. We also were mighty impressed with the keyboard generated/programmed drums. Not only are the tones and levels great, but the cymbals, often the weak link in programmed drums, are authentic in performance and tone.
The lead vocal is well recorded and we really dug the way that Daniel used dynamics to weave his backing vocals into the proceedings.
Daniel's cover letter mentions his education and aspirations, but with what he has shown here, he already serves as a fine example to our many, many one man/woman band recordists out there. We urge you all to take some time and study Daniel's efforts... they are a great roadmap to follow.
Summary: Good luck and Godspeed, Daniel, and well done, sir!
Contact: Daniel Young, firstname.lastname@example.org