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ďMost of the time, itís not so much the equipment as how you use it. Iíve heard people with really cheap studios do great recordings, and Iíve heard people that have worked in very good facilities come out with awful sounding recordings. So itís how itís used, and the quality of the engineer.Ē- Frank Gambale

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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 69: Gold Mind
 
Artist Name:
Darin Karnes / Diane Miller and the Silver Daggers
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 69: Gold Mind
 
Date Posted:
October 2013
 
Genre:
Folk
Equipment Used:

Mac with TC Electronic Studio Konnekt 48 interface running Apple Logic Pro (tracking), PreSonus Studio One 2.0 (mixing), and plug-ins by Waves, PreSonus, and IK Multimedia. Mics: RODE NT1 for guitar, mandolin, and dobro, through Warm Audio WA12 preamp; Schoeps CMC 6 (matched pair) hi-hats and cymbals; MXL 4000 mic for lead and backing vocals, through WA12 preamp. Monitors: ADAM Audio A7 and Behringer TRUTH B2031, both used with Samson Rubicon R10S subwoofer. Kick, snare, and background percussion from Roland TD20S electronic drum kit through ART Dual MP preamp. All mics through StarQuad XLR cables ("Yes, cables are important").

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Gold Mind" is a female vocal folk rock song with a distinct middle eastern flavor. Diane Miller sings the lead vocal and plays acoustic guitar; she's joined by Steve Burket on mandolin, Tom Johnson on dobro, and Jason Boyn on bass.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
Recording: This month's Spotlight is a study in the blending of instruments with like minded frequencies. The track intros with acoustic guitar and hand drums, soon joined by a mandolin, Diane's lead vocal, and lastly the rhythm section.

Darin tells us "no signal modification was utilized during tracking aside from mic pre amps. All effects were in the box". Although ambiguous, what we think he means is that no compression or EQ/effects were added during the tracking stage. In the box, however, Darin has made darn good use of his effects, especially the delay on the dobro solo. The use of time-based effects is of particular importance in this mix due to its conservative panning scheme.

As stated earlier, those of you loyal readers who work primarily within the acoustic realm know just how challenging it can be to navigate upper mid and high frequencies emanating from multiple, yet similar, sound sources in a mix. In our opinion, Darin has handled it with skill here. The acoustic guitar, mando and dobro each have their own voice, yet blend together ever so nicely to create an exotic bed for Diane's voice.

As for the remainder of the mix, we are quite happy to report that dynamics are still alive and well, at least in some quarters! Rather that squash his sound sources, Darin has allowed the track to rise and fall organically, giving the song a "live" feel that is ideal for the genre. Well done, sir!

Not all music needs nor benefits from the modern day "in your face" compression sound. Sadly, many recordists feel the pressure of the volume wars, and give in rather than feel left out. We applaud Darin for understanding what the music needed first and foremost, something we all could to be more aware of.

Summary: A raw, honest track that breathes. Gotta love it!

Contact: Darin Karnes for Diane Miller and the Silver Daggers, darinkarnes@mac.com
About: Marty Peters

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