Mac with Digidesign 888|24Mix interface running Pro Tools 5.1 under Mac OS 9. Plug-ins: Pro Tools compressor/eq/limiter/reverb, Digidesign Soft SampleCell sample player for strings and brass. Mics: Sony C-48 condenser (drums), Neumann M149 (vocals). M-Audio piano, Warwick Fortress 1 bass, Gibson Les Paul Custom, Premier Signia 1 drum set and Zildjian cymbals (the bass drum was sampled).
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Quite an Anglophile-sounding track coming to us from South America! To our ears "Winter Moods" has a very distinctive pre-Wings solo-era Paul McCartney vibe going for it, both in composition and in tones. Taking a closer listen, we find that while the recording is without any major issues, some minor ones are keeping it from living up to its potential.
While quick intro fade-ins are not uncommon, the piano fade here sounds awfully derivative in our opinion. We also felt that there were some tuning issues (also very McCartney-like!) with the keyboard and the electric guitar that tend to distract after a while. In addition, the crash cymbal during the electric guitar solo was a bit too loud in the mix, at least through our monitors.
On the plus side, Ricardo really has captured the mood and spirit of a particular era of recording with obvious study and conviction, not as easy to pull off as it may appear. The fact that he handled all of the instruments, including "real" drums, by himself, makes it even more impressive!
Suggestions: Emulation aside, tuning issues in today's recording world are always troublesome. As stated earlier, there were instances when even Sir Paul, for all of his greatness, was guilty of tuning faux pas. Back before electronic tuners and certainly pre Auto-Tune, one often relied on a studio's piano as the bedrock by which the other instruments were ear tuned. I know, I know, it's sooo 20th century! Problem was, if said piano was slightly out of tune, everything else followed suit. While it is obvious that Ricardo draws at least some inspiration from this golden era, we hope it stops short of such barbaric methods and instead suggest he rely on a more modern approach.
Regarding the intro fade-in, one man's ceiling is another man's floor -- we found it a bit too Beatles, others may not. As for the crash cymbal, anything that is distracting us from the guitar solo needs to be set back further into the mix. It is the guitar's turn to shine, hence the word "solo"... so let it be! (Get it? Let it be... ah, never mind...)
Summary: Simple fixes will tighten this presentation nicely.
Contact: Ricardo Bullemore, firstname.lastname@example.org