Most difficult instrument to record?

Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Kevin T
Date Posted:
October 2014
Equipment Used:

Apple MacBook Pro laptop with Apogee Symphony I/O interface and ThunderBridge running Apple Logic Pro 9 and Toontrack EZdrummer. Mackie 1402 VLZ4 mixing desk, Avantone Cube check monitors and Fostex near fields, four Shure SM57 mics through Mackie desk, ART Voice Channel with Telefunken 12AT7 tubes, and ART Pro MPA amp with Telefunken 12AX7 tubes. Paul Reed Smith S2 custom electric guitar (leads), Gibson Les Paul Studio (rhythm), Gibson SG special bass, Behringer Guitar Stack amp.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Wanita" is a Latin Rock instrumental. Kevin did everything ("many hats to wear -- engineer, production, arranger, songwriter") at his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: Kevin's submission is the latest in our continuing series of sketch/demo recordings. These are loosely defined around these parts as one-person efforts containing a fair amount of programming (usually drums) combined with live performance, which ultimately serve as a platform to showcase the songs' arrangement/potential. Whew! Got that? OK then. So how did Kevin's sketch turn out? Let's take a gander.

From the sounds of things, we would venture to guess that guitar is Kevin's primary instrument, and overall the electric guitars are successful here. We say overall because the left panned effected guitar sometimes seems to lose focus in the mix as a result of over processing. The bass guitar is simple and tonally solid, though there are several timing issues that need to be addressed.

Now for the the drum programming. Oh the mighty Achilles, if it weren't for that darn heel! While we absolutely love EZdrummer and all of the power that it brings to the table, in the long run success or failure with any program or plug-in lies in the hands of the operator. Kevin was wise to choose a fairly basic kick/snare pattern, but then gave the game away with a blazing tom fill in several sections that would leave many real drummers gasping for air. Sorry Kev, it just doesn't sound realistic to our ears, and to add insult to injury, the entire track comes to an awkwardly abrupt ending following of one of these fills. Ouch!

Suggestions: "Keep it real" is a pretty overworked saying these day,s but it's absolutely the best advice that we can give -- not only to Kevin, but to the majority of you one-person operations out there. Understanding, accepting and working within one's skill set takes honesty and not a little bit of courage, but will lead to better recordings along the way.

As opportunities arise to involve "real" players, solid, concise demos will provide a great musical GPS system, allowing for collaboration and the free exchange of ideas... an admirable goal indeed!

Summary: Study real players, then apply that knowledge.

Contact: Kevin T,
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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