Apple iMac with M-Audio FireWire 410 interface running Logic 8 and EastWest Quantum Leap Spaces convolution reverb. Mics: M-Audio Sputnik (vocals, drum and guitar amp room mic), Shure Beta 52A (kick drum, bass amp), SM57s (toms, snare, bass and guitar amps), SM81s (XY array for guitar amp and overheads). sE Electronics Reflexion Filter, Focusrite Voicemaster Pro vocal preamp, M-Audio Keyrig 25 MIDI controller, Takamine G Series acoustic, Yamaha BB5 bass.
Production Notes & Credits:
"A New Perspective" is a male vocal rock song. Jon Cannefield played the drums, the bass and lead guitar were played by Kevin Jahne and Bennett Keasey respectively. Zandy Sees sang backup vocals and Jason Sees wrote the song, sang the lead vocals and played rhythm guitar. It was recorded n Jason's home studio. This isn't Jason's first time in our pages; we reviewed his track "In Your Shade" in our August 2009 column.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: The kids are alright on this trippy jam-band-style track. We found that for the most part the tones were fine throughout, particularly the Edie Brickell/New Bohemians (Google time, children!) auto-wah effect on the clean electric guitar. The bass was full and rich and was a good match for the meaty drum tones (which used parallel compression, although Jason doesn't name his compressor). Bass was amp-miked and mixed with DI (and ducked with the kick), and the guitar amps were miked with the 57, the 81 XY array, and the Sputnik on the room!
Less effective to our ears was the sound of the splash cymbal, and the overall balance of the mix. Though our monitor speakers, and also our Grado Labs SR 325 headphones, the clean (right panned) electric guitar seemed quite a bit louder than the more distorted electric guitar. The distorted guitar also seemed to be placed much closer to the center of the mix, resulting in a bit of a lopsided feel. It was also fairly obvious that the fellas skipped a click track on the recording, but hey, so did the Grateful Dead and they're in the R&R Hall of Fame.
Suggestions: In their cover letter the band supplies a very good description of their recording process. Apparently the original snare and tom parts were replaced by samples, while the rest of the kit was mixed from the original sounds.
The band also reported that "a single delay bus was used to move instruments further back or forward in the mix." Hmm... could this be the source of the lopsided feel? While time delays can be very effective in creating spatial interest, caution is urged here. In our experience anything in excess of 7-9 milliseconds applied to one side can cause a rather weird shift in the stereo field. Slow and steady on this one, guys.
As for the cymbal, there can often be a sonic disconnect between a sample and a sound captured by moving air (the drum overheads in this case). Re-e.q. ing the overheads may help to tame the splash.
Summary: A good foundation.