Mac Pro with Digidesign Control|24 control surface/interface running Avid Pro Tools 9 HD Native along with AIR and Waves plug-ins. RØDE Classic 2 mic (vocals), Shure SM57 (all guitars). All vocals, guitars and bass recorded through Avalon Design VT-737sp tube channel strip. Guitars: Takamine acoustic, Gibson SG and Fender Strat. Korg Triton Extreme keyboard, drums programmed with Akai MPC 5000 and Korg Triton Extreme.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: A whimsical tune with a great early 1980s Elvis Costello/Cars vibe. We love the sound of the "in your face" electric guitars here! Stephen has recorded them beautifully, with just the right amount of click, perfect for the genre. Equally impressive was the dry lead vocal, although we did hear a small bit of "smear" on a few of the words prior to the track ramping up.
Moving along, it is quite apparent that Stephen has some pretty advanced arranging chops. The backing vocals, keyboards and distorted electric guitars really add solidity and interest throughout the mix. Speaking of the mix, it's nice to hear such an even balance of sound sources; nothing is fighting in terms of balance and volume. Stephen didn't list which monitors he uses, but they're definitely not steering him wrong, whatever they are.
As for problem areas, there are none per se. While we are always in favor of "live" drummers when possible, electronic drums were a large part of the era that Stephen seems to be emulating. Those of us of a certain age will remember the Linn drum and the controversy it caused at the time!
Suggestions: Short of the vocal artifact we mentioned, we are ready to sign off on Stephen's fine effort. We want the next one to hit our SPOTLIGHT newsletter, Stephen!
Contact: Stephen Michael Cummings, email@example.com