Macbook Pro with Zoom R16 audio interface/control surface, running Apple Logic Pro software. Mics: Shure SM57s for snare and kick; Behringer B-2s for overheads; Shure SM57 for guitar, MXL ribbon mic for vocals. Bass guitar "went through an Ampeg combo amp direct line in."
Production Notes & Credits:
"The Ball" is a male vocal rock song. Riley Bird wrote the song, played the guitars and sang the vocals, Alex Trevino was on bass guitar and Kaleb Ferry played drums. Patrick handled all of the recording and production as well with assistance from The Ashbury's, whose first album In My Head features this song. (And before you ask... yes, the apostrophe is actually in the band name.) This isn't Patrick's first time in Readers' Tapes -- his song "Shelby" was reviewed in our March 2011 column.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: We dug this submission quite a bit. The scratchy distorted electric guitar in the intro has a great tone, and we love how it gave way to the full band assault. In fact we loved the tone of the electric throughout the entire track! Some of the other sound sources had some small issues to our ears; the bass seemed to be somewhat muffled in the quieter passages (could have been performance, not recording related) and the snare drum could have used just at tad more high end though our monitors.
As for the overall mix, Riley's in-your-face vocal was a bit too present at times and there seemed to be some overall distortion on the track at around 40-52 sec. We also caught a bit of cymbal smear in this same area.
Suggestions: Though we have been very cautious to recommend the use of compression and limiting this column, due to a general misuse at the hands of many novice and "professional" recordists, we will make the exception here. We would suggest that Patrick consider slapping a compressor on both the bass and the overhead mics and carefully work the attack, threshold and release until his sound sources even out some. We also feel the tucking the lead vocal back slightly and adding a limiter to the overall mix might assist in keeping the distortion at bay during the more excitable sections of the mix. Oh, and a little high-end eq on the snare would be sweet!
Summary: Good R&R energy, just smooth it out a little.
Contact: Patrick Buhr, firstname.lastname@example.org