Jez Cox / Three Mile Cross
Rock and Pop
Windows PC with Audient Mico 2-channel mic preamp/converter and Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 audio interface running Steinberg Cubase 5, iZotope Ozone, Waves Renaissance plug-ins, and Toontrack EZdrummer. Mics: pair of sE Elecronics sE4400a, Blue Blueberry, Shure SM57. Event ASP6 monitors. Fender Jaguar and Hotrod, Gibson Songwriter guitars.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Another Moon" is a one-man-band male vocal rock song. The track was performed, recorded, and mastered at Jez's home studio in Reading, Berkshire, in the UK. Jez explains:
"Most of my songs start life on an acoustic guitar, working out the structure and melody. Once the bare bones are in place I then use Cubase to start layering instruments and sort out the arrangement-trying to keep the interest going through the song. All acoustic instruments are played myself and all the synth parts are out-of-the-box instruments bundled with Cubase.
"Once the arrangement is in place, mixing starts, referencing commercial tracks to try and get all of the parts to sit comfortably in the mix. I try to make sure the tracks don't feel cluttered and convey the emotion that I originally intended (not always easy!). Finally the track is finished with some simple mastering: some light compression and limiting and shaping of the EQ balance. I hope you enjoy the track as much as I enjoyed writing it."
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: A fine overall effort here featuring some solid performances and programming. Adhering to our recent ban on drawn-out keyboard intros, Jez has kept his short and sweet. We found the basic EZdrummer rhythm track to be quite effective, in a David Grey "Babylon" sort of fashion. Well done!
Sadly the bass is pretty tough to discern throughout the track, stranding the drums in the bargain. We liked the way Jez used his panning throughout the mix, although the "strings" were overpowering through our monitors and also through our Grado Labs SR325 headphones. Lastly, we detected some slight sibilance on the lead vocal, which sounded more anatomic than processor-based to our ears.
Suggestions: A quick perusal of Jez's gear list makes no mention of a bass guitar, leading us to wonder if what we are hearing is actually an electric 6-string played in a lower register. In any event, adding a true bass (beg or borrow) would really benefit the nifty drum programming in our humble opinion.
As for the string sounds, they work best as a "color" instrument in this type of setting, and dropping their level would put them back into that proper support role. And finally, concerning that sibilance, Jez has some fine tools at his disposal with the Blue/Audient/Focusrite trio. That said, we would be interested to hear what a ribbon or dynamic mic could bring to the proceedings as an alternative.
Summary: A strong one-man-band effort.
Contact: Jez Cox / Three Mile Cross, email@example.com