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Current Tape Reviews

Your Love Is Everywhere
Artist Name:
Allan Thomas (Tom) Court
Your Love Is Everywhere
Date Posted:
April 2015
Equipment Used:

BOSS BR-1600CD tabletop multitrack recorder, Audio-Technica AT4040 microphone, AKG K240 headphones, Ibanez AEG10NE nylon-string acoustic guitar.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Your Love is Everywhere" is a male vocal folk song. Tom one-man-banded it in his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Tom's submission is a lovely folk ballad in the style of early Simon and Garfunkel. Recorded on a BOSS 1600CD standalone multitracker, we found Tom's ample performing skills (check those Artie G. high harmonies, kids!) obscured by some cloudy EQ as well as a few balance issues.

Starting with multiple picked acoustic guitars, Tom wisely used panning to give each a separate voice. The guitars are generally well recorded via his Audio-Technica 4040 microphone, and presented without artifact. Unfortunately, the same combination was far less successful on the dual lead vocals. While the acoustic guitars were fairly articulate in the mix, the vocals had a muffled, cloudy sound through our monitors that would seem to be at odds the sounds that we have generally heard from this stalwart condenser microphone. Oddly, in addition, we also detected a "sizzle" artifact poking out on certain words through the haze.

We also found the lack of a sound source in the true center of the mix to be disconcerting after a short while. While we applaud Tom in general for his use of panning, having an empty space at 12 noon failed the mix to a certain degree.

Suggestions: As most of you are well aware, the "marriage" between a particular microphone and an individual voice can be a difficult one. What works for one person can often be a terrible fit for another. The differences between male and female, along with genre and personal quirks/mic techniques, can make the process baffling. No wonder commercial studios refer to their mic storage areas as lockers! They may as well call them pantries, such are the number and types of microphones to be found inside.

In Tom's case, he may have found that the inherent high end of his condenser mic, while perfect for the guitars, was overwhelming in combination with his voice, causing him to slather a goodly amount of low-to-low-midrange EQ to the channel during tracking or mixdown. We would suggest that if he has access to other microphones, specifically high-quality dynamics (the Electro-Voice RE20 or Shure SM7b are two of many fine examples), he should try them on for size. A quality dynamic mic can be just the ticket for some voices.

Considering the panning situation, we suggest that Tom experiment with placing at least one sound source dead center for the duration of the mix. Lastly, since no monitor speakers were listed, only headphones, we are left wondering whether the issues with the EQ, "sizzle", and panning are somehow related to inaccurately hearing what he's doing. It certainly wouldn't be the first time for that cause and effect!

Summary: Time for a little research!

Contact: Allan Thomas Court,
About: Marty Peters

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