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Better Than Alright
 
Artist Name:
Jeff Lee / Skyline Hotel
  Title:
Better Than Alright
 
Date Posted:
February 2015
 
Genre:
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac with Avid Mbox 3 interface running Avid Pro Tools with Waves Mercury Bundle, Celemony Melodyne, and Antares Auto-Tune. Neumann U87, RĂ˜DE NT5, and Shure SM57 mics, Vintech 273 preamp/DI, Yamaha HS50 and KRK VXT8 monitors, Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones. Custom Shop Fender Stratocaster through Marshall JCM 800 amp with Celestion G12-65 speaker, Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, American Fender Jazz Bass. Keeley Compressor, Vanamps Reverbamate, MXR Carbon Copy pedals. Roland TD12 MIDI drums playing Native Instruments Abbey Road Drums Sparkle Kit.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Better Than Alright" is a male vocal rock song. Jeff was the OMB on the project.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 4
Recording: A good strong effort here, one that could be made even more successful with some slight mix rebalancing, and a few touchups to the drums. Before we dive into the particulars, we would like to commend Jeff on the superbly thorough production/equipment notes that he provided us. Detailed step-by-step information like this gives us great insight into James's work methods -- always a great learning tool for us!

Cool, then -- on to the nuts and bolts. Lots of good stuff going on here, including the sweet vocals garnered from the Neumann U 87/Vintech 273. This is top-quality gear, folks, and it sounds it. The vocal is present yet smooth as silk, with the perfect touch of compression. We also dug the great "quack" sound coming from James' Custom Shop Fender "parts-caster" Strat/Marshall JCM 800. This is a classic combo, and James makes the most of it tonally and with his performance.

Unfortunately, through our monitors, the volume on the guitar seems excessive throughout the track. In many sections it registers louder than the lead vocal, adding to the mix balance issues mentioned earlier. Moving on, we found the rhythm section to be somewhat of a mixed bag. We would have liked to hear a bit more snap to the kick drum and a bit more midrange presence on the bass guitar tone.

Suggestions: James tells us in his production notes that he was pretty pleased with the way his track turned out, and well he should be! He has chosen his gear wisely, and more importantly, made it work for him in a way that sounds effortless.

As far as suggestions go, our desire to hear the kick and bass brightened up may be as much a matter of personal taste as not. We are certainly splitting hairs here. As for the mix balance, a sound as distinctive as Jeff's electric guitar is in no danger of being driven to the shadows. We urge him to set it back into the mix a dB or two as part of the ensemble, raising its volume during the solo as is proper.

Summary: Well done, sir!

Contact: Jeff Lee / Skyline Hotel, skylinehotelmusic@gmail.com
About: Marty Peters

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