Akai DPS16 desktop hard disk recorder; Hewlett-Packard PC with Echo MiaMIDI sound card and M-Audio Keystation 49 USB MIDI keyboard, running Sony Sound Forge with iZotope Ozone 3 (mixing & mastering) Sony ACID Pro with Mick Fleetwood drum loop library, Native Instruments B4 virtual organ; Groove Tubes GT55 condenser mic (vocals & guitar amp), Audio-Technica AT4040 condenser mic (acoustic guitar), M-Audio Tampa preamp; Roland DS-50 monitors; 1990s Fender American Standard Stratocaster, 1967 Gretsch Rally electric guitar, Guild F-50 acoustic guitar, Schecter C4 bass, 1980s Fender Twin guitar amp, Tech21 Bass Driver DI, BOSS bass compressor pedal.
Production Notes & Credits:
"One For You" is a female vocal country rock song. A family affair, Ed handled the recording, drum programming and bass guitar. Sister Karen Buttler-Valdez sang all of the vocals and brother Dan Buttler took care of the acoustic and electric guitars and the keyboards. This is a track from the band's self-released album Barstool Rumba, whose cover is shown above.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: This month's Spotlight features a group that are certainly no strangers to RECORDING. We have included the Larry Bennie Band on several occasions throughout the years in our Reader's Tapes column, and hold their talents in the highest regard. Had our Spotlight feature been in existence the last couple of times they've submitted music, they would have alumni status by now!
Fortunately, the Buttler clan has consistently submitted outstanding works to us, and "One For You" certainly keeps that tradition alive. The fact that all of these recording's were done on a meager (by today's standards) Akai DSP16-track desktop recorder proves once again that the ear is just as important as the gear.
Regarding his own recording philosophy, Ed tells us, "Sonically, it's a good representation of my "cohesion and clarity" approach to recording -- a glued-together, unified sound that allows the individual instruments to come across as distinctly as possible. Does that make sense?" Actually Ed, that makes a ton of sense to us. Let's take a closer look and see how it all works.
Right off the bat we must commend the group for staying within themselves here, both in the arrangement and the tracking. Far too often these days folks seem to feel the need to fill every nook and cranny with sound, regardless of its actual benefit to the song. Unlimited track counts are a blessing and a curse, folks! What Ed has done is to lay down a simple but effective rhythm section (but dig that FAT snare drum tone!) that provides a strong bed for brother Dave's restrained, tasty electric guitars. We love the sound here; the guitars have just enough crunch to provide an edge, yet stay clean enough to save sonic space for the vocals.
Speaking of the vocals, Karen has once again come through with a heartfelt performance, and fans of Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff and Nicollette Larson will recognize and appreciate her style and skill. As for the remaining sound sources, the acoustic guitar and organ are there to support, never to dominate. In his production notes Ed tells us that the group has finally retired their old Akai recorder; she served you well, gang... and you, her!
Suggestions: Ed had a mission statement/philosophy and he stuck to to it. As recordist's often wearing many hats, this focus can sometimes elude us in all of the excitement and effort of creating. The lack of a truly objective ear (sorry, your best friend/significant other doesn't count) in the form of a dedicated producer is tough to come by in the home and project studio world. Considering that, we can all take a page from Ed's book and endeavor to add focus to our work and our music!
Summary: Well done, as always!
Contact: Ed Buttler / The Larry Bennie Band, firstname.lastname@example.org