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“My friend Rod Temperton (who wrote Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’) has a home studio; it’s the weirdest combination of speakers and room parameters that I’ve ever seen in my life, and sounds absolutely fabulous.”- Bruce Swedien

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Current Tape Reviews

Jenna
 
Artist Name:
Rodger Bennett / RB and the Stompers
  Title:
Jenna
 
Date Posted:
November 2013
 
Genre:
Rock and Pop
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Equipment Used:

HP Pavilion 1330 computer (Windows XP) with TC Electronic konnekt 8 interface, running Sony ACID Pro 6 ( for drum and piano samples), Sony Sound Forge, and Steinburg Wavelab. Shure SM7 mic, Gibson Les Paul through Line 6 POD, Fender Precision Bass.

Production Notes & Credits:

"Jenna" is a male vocal rock song. Rodger one-man-banded it at his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Recording: Here we have a very cool arrangement with a lot of moving parts. Rodger intros the song with an Abbey Road flavored piano, which quickly gives way to a Elvis Costello-meets-the Kinks sounding track. So how did he do with such an ambitious undertaking? Pretty darn well, actually.

Strong points here include some great tones on the programmed drums and the "ragged but right" electric guitars. Rodger has also nailed the sound of the British Invasion harmonies, particularly in the chorus section. Jolly good fun, as they say!

We also dug the inclusion of the tambourine at the two-thirds mark, although its volume, combined with the panning placement, made it stick out a bit far through our monitors. Other trouble spots in the track included some rough timing on some of the programmed tom fills, and a curious sub-frequency boom during parts of the chorus.

Suggestions: Let's start by giving Rodger his props. This is a fairly complicated arrangement for a one-man band, and the fact that it seems to strive for a certain era/genre makes it even trickier. That said, he has solidly accomplished his mission in our view.

Now for the fix-me-ups. First, we suggest that Roger revisit his drum programming and see if he can grid/quantize the tom fills for a smoother effect. The tones are outstanding, and a little TLC on the timing should turn things right around. Next is the tambourine. Now, many have snickered at me through the years when I tell them that the tambourine is one of the most difficult instruments to record and present in a mix. Well, we stick by our opinion, folks. Tambourines, to put a new spin on the old saying, should be heard, but not really... heard. The great ones know how it's done, the rest of us keep on trying!

As for the sub frequency, we're not sure if Rodger heard it or not (no monitors listed! Again!), but it's likely a frequency buildup issue. Our advice to Rodger -- and all the rest of our loyal readers -- is to study up on the power that is high- and lowpass filtering. These are powerful tools that can often aid where conflicting frequencies occur... assuming you can hear them. Rodger, what are your speakers (not) telling you?

Summary: We like it, not far to go to make it pristine all around!

Contact: Rodger Bennett, RBennett613@nc.rr.com
About: Marty Peters

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