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Current Tape Reviews

Don't Give Up On Us
Artist Name:
Luc Gilbert
Don't Give Up On Us
Date Posted:
May 2015
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Windows XP PC with PreSonus Inspire 1394 audio interface running Steinberg Cubase LE. ART Tube MP Project Series mic preamp, Behringer B-1 mic connected to TC-Helicon VoiceTone Correct pedal. M-Audio BX8a monitors. Casio CTK-611 keyboard used as drum machine. Epiphone DOT guitar using Native Instruments Guitar Combo effect, Jay Turser bass with Zoom BFX-708 effects pedal, flugelhorn part played with Roland GR-20 guitar synth on Gibson SG guitar.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Don't Give Up On Us" is a male vocal rockabilly song. Luc wrote, performed, programmed and recorded it in his Ottawa, Ontario studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: A little slice of rockabilly from north of the border, eh? Lest you readers find that incongruous, remember that that Canada was the stomping grounds of one Mr. Ronnie Hawkins, a true rockabilly legend, and his group the Hawks, five of whose members went on to future fame as The Band.

So how did Luc fare with his effort? Well, he certainly captured the essential elements required to provide us with a convincing demo-style recording, albeit one that could use a tad bit of rebalancing in our humble opinion.

One of the cornerstones of the original Sam Phillips/Sun Records sound was the use of slapback echo on not only the vocals, but often on the entire mix as well. Luc certainly understands this, and has set about recreating it here. Unfortunately for Luc, Mr. Phillips achieved his signature sound with the aid of two analog reel-to-reel tape machines (plus a lot of trial and error, along with a little luck!) that physically "delayed" the signal, and like a lot of "old school" sounds, achieving the same results in the digital age will get you close, but no cigar.

In addition, the early engineers at the Memphis Recording Service (the studio's original name) worked in glorious monophonic sound, which, if you have ever tried it, requires a fairly different mindset in terms of sound source placement. This is relevant in Luc's case because his right-panned electric lead guitar sounds a good deal too loud and out in front of the rest of his mix here, creating the balance issue we spoke of earlier.

Suggestions: Well, Luc, "in for a penny, in for a pound," as they say. Our advice to you is to make your mix as authentic as the genre you are working in. In plainer terms, we would like to see you remix the entire track in mono!

If your software will allow it, find its mono function and rebuild your mix; if not, use stereo but with all sound sources and effects panned to center or run in mono. Trust us that you will learn a great deal about not only balance, but spatial relationships, EQ, and volume in the bargain.

Summary: Mono to the rescue!

Contact: Luc Gilbert,
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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