Mac with Apogee Duet interface. Mics: two Pro Audio 37s (acoustic guitar in XY stereo, drum overhead in mono), Shure SM57 (Fender Deluxe Reverb electric guitar amp), Red "bottle" with U47-style capsule (vocals), Studio Projects B1 (drum kit, over drummer's shoulder 3' from kick beater, plus other instruments, including upright piano in stereo).
Production Notes & Credits:
"Crawl Your Way Home" is a male vocal country song. Jay wrote, produced and engineered the recording, in addition to providing the acoustic guitar, piano, vocals, harmonies. The rest of the band was Dave Middleton on pedal steel and harmonies, Sam Coe on drums, Rich Driver on bass, Sam Elliot on horns, and Dustin Scharlach and Eric Warren on backing harmonies.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Jay and friends have submitted a fine effort here with very few problem areas to speak of. The tune is well written and recorded, although some may find that the "Country" description is more Harvest-era Neil Young than Hank Williams Sr. or Jr.
We thought that the marriage between Jay's vocal and his Red microphone (nowadays sold as the Blue Bottle Rocket) was successful, providing a present vocal that worked well against the languorous music bed. Given the fact that Jay captured all of his sound sources through an Apogee Duet, the quality shouldn't come as a surprise. That said, the decision to use only two mics on the drums, while a brave choice, gives the kit a very light jazz-type vibe that seems a bit underwhelming in the context of a country tune.
As for the remainder of the instruments, we found a rather mixed bag. The pedal steel guitar is nicely recorded with a rich full sound, but we question some of the note choices on the upright piano. Lastly, to our ears, the late arriving horns seem out of place musically, given the intended style.
Suggestions: There is a lot to like in Jay's submission, although we feel that some editing may be in order. As the producer of the track, it is on Jay to make the ultimate choices about what is included musically here. We would like to hear at least a more robust kick drum sound to accompany the bass guitar, it is after all called a rhythm "section".
As for the piano, even in the lowest of lo-fi recordings, bum notes get the thumbs down in this column. Regarding the horns, if you've just gotta have them, we would suggest integrating them into the song earlier so they feel like less of a fifth wheel.
Summary: Grab that producer's hat and off you go!
Contact: Jay Shaner, firstname.lastname@example.org