Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Recorded using Cubase 6, Sjur has done a fine job with many of his tones here. Since the only actual instrument mentioned in his gear list is a Martin acoustic guitar, we can only speculate as to which EastWest sound libraries or virtual instruments provided the song's other sound sources, but for the most part they sound pretty darn good.
The piano and electric "slap" bass are particularly effective, and the drums are well presented, although some timing issues in the performance/programming start to creep in after the first verse. Less effective to our ears was the lead vocal, which displayed obvious signs of sibilance through our monitors.
Suggestions: There are myriad causes for sibilance on a recording. Some are processor based, i.e., over compression/limiting, while other causes can be attributed to physical anomalies or a "bad marriage" between a particular microphone and the voice singing into it. To our ears, the latter seems more plausible in Sjur's case.
While the AKG C214 (the "baby brother" of the venerable AKG C414) is a fine microphone capable of excellent results, a condenser mic in general may not be the best choice here. While they certainly have less cachet, dynamic mics such as the "Voice Of God" Shure SM7 and the Electro-Voice RE20 (along with many others) may be a better fit in this situation.
The designed high frequency bump in many of today's condenser mics works wonders on a voice needing some "sparkle", but our guess is that Sjur has enough of the bubbly in his natural signing voice, and the extra highs are causing his sibilance issues. We suggest that Sjur check out the many fine reviews and articles that we at Recording have done over the years concerning dynamic mics, there's a wealth of good information available on the subject!
Summary: Tame those ssssss'es and all will be well.
Contact: Sjur, firstname.lastname@example.org