Most difficult instrument to record?

Current Tape Reviews

Meu Lindo
Artist Name:
John McClure / Leslie McClure
Meu Lindo
Date Posted:
August 2013
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac G3 dual-core with 4 GB RAM and Apogee AD16X/MiniDAC, running Apple Logic Pro 8, URS plug-ins, and iZotope Ozone 3 for mastering; Neumann TLM 103 and Audio-Technica AT4041 mics, TRUE Systems Precision 8 preamps. Alvarez GY-1 rhythm guitar, Takamine guitar for leads; mandolin, slap and acoustic upright bass samples via Logic's EXS24 virtual instrument sampler and MIDI controller keyboard.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Meu Lindo" is a female vocal folk/bluegrass tune. John handled the recording duties and programming, along with the rhythm guitar, (sampled) bass and mandolin, and backing vocals. Daughter Leslie wrote the tune and sang the lead vocal. Nathan Churchill played lead guitar on the track, which is from Leslie's album Back Home To You.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 4
Recording: Wow, what a talented young lady. "Meu Lindo" is a beautiful song, Leslie's performance is top notch-more on that later-and John has managed to capture a pretty accurate Union Station-style vibe with his recording. Kudos to you, sir, for being involved with your daughter on this project, it's something we would love to see more of!

As for the individual sound sources, the acoustic guitars sounded fantastic through our monitors. The Neumann TLM 103 and Audio-Technica 4041 through the TRUE Systems Precision 8 rackmount 8-channel mic pre delivered a rich, even sound on both the rhythm and lead guitars. Nice! The sampled acoustic bass track was quite realistic, as was John's "performance".

Now back to the lead vocal. While we appreciate the dry nature of the sound, something sounds a bit "off" to us in the ambience department. Without firsthand knowledge of the tracking process, we hear a "room" sound on both the lead and backing vocals that makes us wonder if the mic was placed near a wall, or some other short reflective surface? And once again we have to point out the lack of any mention of monitors, and the difficulty of figuring out whether this reverberance issue would have been, or should have been, audible as the song came together. Please tell us how you hear your music, folks!

Suggestions: Mic placement and room ambience can be tricky business, and few rooms are truly neutral. That said, we would love to hear just a tiny bit of reverb on Leslie's lovely vocal. Whether it would mask the abovementioned sound issue is anyone's guess, but it would open the track up considerably in our opinion. This goes counter to our usual advice to let the room speak for itself and to be very judicious with added reverb; in this case it not only would be non-harmful but probably downright beneficial.

Summary: A bright future ahead!

Contact: John McClure / Leslie McClure,;
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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