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Artist Name:
Date Posted:
October 2014
Equipment Used:

PC with M-Audio Fast Track Pro interface and M-Audio KeyRig 49 keyboard controller running Avid Pro Tools 8 and its virtual instruments, plus IK Multimedia AmpliTube Metal and T-RackS 3. Fender Squier Strat, Yamaha CP-90 piano, Yamaha Maple Custom drum kit.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"otherthingggs" is a male vocal rock song written by Andres and J.P. Vega. Andres Vega handled all of the programming/performing and recording duties at home. The finished mix was mastered by Santiago Alegrett, who also recorded the drum tracks at his Sunny Sounds Studio, also on Pro Tools.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: Andres tells us that the track was written some ten years back, and that the tracking was split between his home studio and Sunny Sounds Studios, where the drums were cut. Fair enough... so how did it all turn out, you ask? Well, pretty good for the most part, although a little rebalancing and some polish in the mix could make it even more successful.

The drums have a fairly dry, close-miked sound -- a little too close, to our ears. That, combined with the robust keyboard bass, gives the rhythm section a strong presence in the mix, particularly during the more mellow sections. The guitars share this presence as well. What doesn't share it, sadly, is the lead vocal. Instead of riding slightly above the other sound sources in the mix as is its right, the lead vocal has a cloudy, smothered sound, resulting in an out-of-balance feel. While we are able to make out Andres' lyrics, the vocal sounds as if its "get up and go" has got up and went!

Suggestions: Balance and ambience share a symbiotic relationship and mastering it can take on "Gladwellian" (Malcolm Gladwell, in his book The Tipping Point, says it takes an apprenticeship of ten thousand hours before you learn your craft) proportions. We suggest that Andres revisit his mix with a two-pronged attack. Step one is to apply some sense of space or "air" to his drums and guitars, using some thoughtful reverb and time delay. Their claustrophobic nature is robbing the mix of both size and energy.

Once that is sorted, we encourage Andres to examine his vocal track again. His Sennheiser e895 microphone is touted in many circles as having the highest output of any handheld condenser mic. Condenser mics are rarely, if ever, dull or cloudy sounding -- quite the opposite, actually! Did Andres over-EQ or overcompress the vocal at mix time? Only he knows for sure. What we can tell you with certainty is that Sennheiser makes damn fine mics, capable of big-time tone. It's in there somewhere, he just needs to find it!

Summary: Let the hunt begin!

Contact: meangreen,
About: Marty Peters

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