Homemade Windows 7 PC with 8-core AMD processor and 16 GB RAM with Avid Eleven Rack interface (with plug-ins) running Pro Tools 8 LE (most processing on the track is the built-in plug-ins), IK Multimedia T-RackS, FXpansion BFD 1.5 with Drum Workshop samples; KRK Rokit 5 and Rokit 8 monitors were used (2 different mixing locations); MXL 440 mic (vocals and acoustic guitar). Taylor acoustic guitar, Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, Roland TD4K electronic drums (used as MIDI controller for BFD sounds).
Production Notes & Credits:
"Last Man Standing" is a male vocal rock song. The band is Johnny Alletto on vocals along with Matt McDuffy and Steve Hull on guitars. The rhythm section is Remy on the bass and Eric Ellis on drums. The songwriting appears to have been a good collaborative effort on the music, with Johnny supplying the lyrics.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: This month's Spotlight is a terrific band effort that was recorded under some less than ideal circumstances. Eric explains: "Before we get an SM58 thrown at our heads, I want to start off by saying that the band is, like most other struggling musicians, subject to budget as well space constraints. We recorded everything in an 8x10 "converted office" with neighbors just steps away. For these reasons, we opted (essentially forced) to see what we could do with going direct into our DAW instead of using traditional mic and amps techniques."
As for the tracking process, Eric tells us that Matt laid down his original acoustic part to a click and scratch vocal track, followed by Steve's guitar part and Remy's bass part. Eric then added drums on the Roland TD4K in his apartment. Next Remy tracked Johnny's final vocal parts using an empty closet as a vocal booth. The initial mix was started by Remy and the handed off to Eric who took it, cleaned up some instrument timing issues (using Pro Tools Elastic Time) and did some final EQ, compression and mixing of levels. The track was mastered at Nada Recording.
Well, Eric, even though our SM58-tossing skills are neatly honed in this Olympic year, we think your approach succeeded mightily. The proof is in the pudding and the results here are tasty indeed!
We love the lightly feathered acoustic guitar intro, it drives the intro but leaves a ton of sonic space for the additional sound sources. Eric's creative drumming is perfectly situated in the mix and the tones are wonderfully "real" thanks to the combination of live playing and great sounds in BFD.
The bass is clear and articulate, and once again the guys have managed their frequencies in a way that allows each instrument to "speak" while maintaining a sense of unity. This is one of the hardest aspects of mixing to grasp, folks, so listen closely to how it's done!
Other highlights include a very cool John Frusciante-style slide guitar part with big-time tone, as well as Johnny's soaring lead vocals. Lastly, we can't say enough about the quality of the songwriting and arranging. While we love and appreciate a great recording, a great recording of a great song/arrangement is that much better. Well done all around gents!
As you can hear, Eric and the band assessed their sonic situation and found a solution that led to excellent results. Got lemons? Make lemonade. 'Nuff said.
Summary: A track to be proud of.
Contact: Eric Ellis/No Love For Linus, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.reverbnation.com/noloveforlinus