Windows PC with RME Fireface 800 audio interface running Steinberg Cubase 4 and Focusrite Liquid Mix plug-ins; Shure KSM32 condenser mic; "cheap Olympia" acoustic guitar, Levinson Blade electric guitar, Fender Precision Bass with EMG pickup, Korg Triton keyboard workstation.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: Starting with the beautifully played acoustic guitar, we got the feeling that Mike was going to bring a lot of talent to the table, and he certainly didn't disappoint. We really dug the arrangement; eliminating anything not in service to the song is a tough thing to do when wearing so many hats, but Mike pulled it off with aplomb. The use of the triangle for color was handled with skill and restraint. Equally impressive was the way in which the backing vocals and accordion (well done, April!) were blended in an almost orchestral fashion, more of a "bed" than individual sound sources.
Sadly, we have no information as to the origin of the drums, but they sounded great through our monitors. They were mellow enough to suit the track, but with a nice energy and great tones for the style. On a personal note, the "Uncle Jerry" influenced guitar run at the end of the song was the icing on an already supremely tasty cake.
As for problem areas, our only small complaint was a bit too much compression on the guitars and lead vocals, which caused a bit of "smear" in the mix.
Suggestions: Backing off of the compressor is easy enough, and shouldn't have a negative effect on the track. If Mike was a belter, things would be different, but in our opinion this is more a case of "compression because you can" rather than an actual need to tame volume spikes. Oh, and please don't forget to tell us about the drums... they sound great and we would love to know more about them!
Summary: Excellent! The next round, hopefully we'll have you in SPOTLIGHT!
Contact: Mike Gladstone, email@example.com