Mac running Apple GarageBand '11; Shure SM57 (guitar amp) and SM58 (vocal) mics; 1963 Fender Jazzmaster electric guitar through Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp (using amp's reverb); Dunlop Cry Baby wah; Casio MIDI keyboard controlling GarageBand software instruments: bass, keys, drums.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Night Traveller" is a male vocal rock song with a funk feel. Stan wrote, programmed, performed and recorded the track at his home studio. Stan reports, "I had a bass groove I put down with GarageBand's software bass to a click track. I then cut up some basic drum samples and programmed shots, hits and rolls. I did a direct-in clean guitar rhythm track with my Jazzmaster, added keyboards and software clarinet, and did some lead guitar and fills with my Jazzmaster plugged into the Fender amp, with a Cry Baby and miked with the SM57, set clean with a touch of reverb. Finally I did the vocals with an SM58 and mixed in GarageBand."
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: It's always fascinating to follow the rise and fall of certain instrumental effects. Lately, the wah pedal has been enjoying a resurgence to its early 1970s glory days ("Shaft" anyone?) and Stan lays it on thick here. The track intros with some nicely panned guitar parts form Stan's Fender Jazzmaster, including the aforementioned wah-wah. Though we applaud the creative effort that went into the arrangement, after several listenings we start longing for some tonal guitar options to compliment the "spanky" Fender sounds.
Our other area of concern centered around the rhythm section. While the drum programming was certainly more than adequate for a guitarist (just sayin', no haters please), the bass guitar riff was entirely masked by one of Stan's guitar tracks, which mimicked it throughout the majority of the song.
Suggestions: While we would never pass judgement on anyone's choice of instrument (you are talking to someone who has owned 117 different guitars over the years. Yeah, I know, it's a problem!), we would encourage Stan to contact some of his guitar playing buddies at tracking time and see if he might borrow/rent some guitars with a different flavor to augment his own.
As for the lack of bass, having a guitar ghosting the bass is an age old trick, in Nashville it was called "tic-tacking" back in the day. That said, the idea was never to obscure the bass, but rather to enforce its upper midrange tones. We encourage Stan to revisit his mix and restore the bass to its rightful seat at the table. Considering that his drums are already on the bright side, some bottom end is sorely needed.
Summary: A fix or two and you're good to go.
Contact: Stan Gadziola, firstname.lastname@example.org