Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 digital console/interface and Studio One DAW on Dell Inspiron PC running Windows XP with Ricoh FireWire chipset (Jim writes, "This is not supposed to work with PreSonus gear, but every once in awhile you get lucky"). Mics: Shure SM27, SM57, SM81, Electro-Voice N/D408. Radial DI box, OSP headphone amp.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Fearless" is a male vocal Christian Rock song. No individual credits were given. Jim writes, "TKO stands for The Kings Offering. The CD was recorded in an old church with brick and paneled walls with carpeted floors. Each musician set up in a different area of the church to try and get the best separation. The instrument tracks without vocals were recorded as a band, with overdubs or punch-ins when needed. Vocals were then recorded in the same room after the instrument tracks were all finished."
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: We appreciate the information Jim provided us as to how the music in this track was set up, tracked, and overdubbed, as well as the useful information about the room and its acoustics. (Jim, back in the '70s we used to carpet the ceiling and the walls as well as the floors. Oh, and don't even get me started on the egg cartons!). This level of detail makes it really helpful when we listen for trouble spots as well as what the group did right in a recording... it's just a pity that the details sort of ran out before a really critical part that I'll get to in a moment.
So how did they do? Well, let's take a look (and listen). The bulky electric guitars in the song's intro certainly have a size that would indicate a large room ambience. The drums also share in this characteristic, although in both cases we felt that they lacked brightness, particularly the snare drum which could have benefited from some additional eq in the upper mids. The bass was also less clear than we would have liked and down too low in the mix through our system. On the plus side, the lead and backing vocals were well mixed, and the drier electric lead guitar had enough cut to stand out as the lead instrument.
Suggestions: Remember what I said about providing a nice level of detail? Well, almost. Once again-and man, are we getting tired of saying this! -- no monitor speakers were listed in the gear list. Was the track mixed in the church? How were the acoustics at the mix position? These things matter, folks! An alarming and ever-growing number of you loyal submitters are omitting any and all information about perhaps the most critical aspect of the entire recording process. I guess I have to say it once again: You can't mix what you can't hear, it's that simple!
Given that, our suggestion is as always in these cases, for Jim to A/B his mix against any of the myriad commercial Christian Rock releases in this style and analyze, analyze, analyze. Do your tones stand up? How do they differ? Armed with that information, go forth and make changes as you deem necessary.
Summary: It's free, it's easy, it works!
Contact: Jim Neighbors / TKO, firstname.lastname@example.org