PC running Audacity recording software; Shure SM58 microphone, Alesis 8-channel mixer with built-in effects; Yamaha PSR E413 keyboard, ESP electric guitar, Roland TD-9 electronic drum kit.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Goodbye" is a female vocal rock song. Jennifer wrote, sang and played the keyboards and Ray Nally played the drums, electric guitar and handled the recording/mixing.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Over the years in this column we have used the word "demo" to describe recordings which we felt had a lots of potential ("good bones", as they say in the housing trade) but lacked the finished sound of a commercial release. Jennifer's submission lands firmly in that category.
First off, the tune is heartfelt and well written and Jennifer's slightly bluesy vocal style fits the overall mood. As for the recording, however, things could use some sprucing up. Starting with the lead vocal, we found the tone to be a tad dark and muffled through our monitors. We also noticed some timing issues with the drum fills, and the lack of a dedicated bass guitar unfortunately left the drums with an abandoned vibe. The electric guitar could also come forward in the mix a good deal, in order to provide balance.
Suggestions: Starting with the vocal, we would encourage Jennifer and Ray to investigate the possibility of borrowing/renting a large capsule condenser microphone for the lead vocals. While the Shure SM58 is an industry standard in the live music arena, a condenser may be a better match for Jennifer's timbre.
As for the drums, if they were recorded to a click track, then some manner of quantizing would certainly help with the timing issues. If a bass guitar is not available, adding a separate track of "faux" bass using the low end of the piano would be an option. Once that is completed, bringing the electric guitar up to a level where it has more of a voice (and less of a vague presence like a keyboard pad) would justify it taking up the space in your mix.
Jennifer tells us she "originally used an acoustic guitar riff but wanted a bit more of an edge to the song." That's an admirable goal, but we're not hearing it yet in this mix. The instrumentation and balancing we've suggested will start her on the way.
Summary: Well written, with possibilities!
Contact: Jennifer A. Hescock, firstname.lastname@example.org