PC with Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 running Ableton Live 8 and Toontrack EZdrummer with Soundtoys, Slate Digital, Audio Damage, and Stillwell Audio plug-ins. Shure SM57 and MXL V67 mics; Italia Rimini 12 String Electric Guitar, Italia Torino Bass, Martin Acoustic Guitar, Hammond Cougar Organ, Fender Pro Reverb Amp.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Calvin tells us that he enjoys "recordings with lots of character" and he has certainly created one here. The wacked spring reverb tom tom intro leads us straight into a modernist Phil Spector vocal chant that uses what appears to be layers of effects to produce a sound with, well, a lot of character! In addition, Calvin did a nice job with the electric guitar drone, which created an effective pad for the dominant bass to walk about in.
As for problem areas, we hear some very audible distortion on the drums and vocals throughout the song. Our guess is that "character" played a part in this as well. The vocal absolutely sounds as if it were run through some type of pedal to add some grit, and the drums may have undergone the same treatment. So is this a bad thing? We suppose that answer depends on your definition of a "good" recording.
Suggestions: My, how times have changed. Back in the old days before the advent of "lo-fi", things were a whole lot easier to categorize when it came to "good" recordings. You see, once upon a time it went something like this: distortion was bad, so were tape hiss, wow and flutter. Out-of-tune vocals were not necessarily bad, depending of course on the singer (my wife refers to this as the "Bob Dylan/Grateful Dead syndrome") and neither were timing fluctuations (once again the Dylan/Dead thing!). These days, however, the lines are not so clear. Hall of Fame artists such as Tom Waits routinely release projects laden with "character" enough to send many an old-school engineer fleeing with his/her Steely Dan albums in tow.
As for Calvin's track, our take is (as always), if the so called 'problem' areas were intentionally created, then it's all good. If however, the issues arose due to mismanagement of any part of the signal path or recording/mixing process, now that's a whole 'nother story. Our guess is that Calvin is savvy enough to know the difference.
Summary: Mission accomplished... I think!
Contact: Calvin Locklear, firstname.lastname@example.org