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Current Tape Reviews

Saints And Sinners
 
Artist Name:
Doug Simmons/Glen Mitchell Band
  Title:
Saints And Sinners
 
Date Posted:
July 2015
 
Genre:
Blues
Equipment Used:

Dell PC with 4 GB RAM with RME Fireface 800 audio interface running Cakewalk SONAR 7 Producer Edition under Windows XP. Fender Strat, Rickenbacker 4002 bass, Yamaha DTXPlorer electronic drum kit.

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Production Notes & Credits:

Saints and Sinners" is a male vocal blues song. Glen played drums on the track. Doug wrote the song, sang, and played the remaining instruments.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Well, from the sounds of it, Doug and Glen skipped the decaf and went straight for the espresso shots here! "Saints and Sinners" comes flying out of the gate with a fury, and maintains its high-octane drive until the very end. Sonically there is a lot going on throughout the track.

Sadly, however, there are a number of issues keeping the mix from reaching its full potential. The problems start with a very overcrowded arrangement, and that's even before we get to the questionable balance/ambience and distortion issues plaguing the song.

Suggestions: Much like what you do when you assemble a jigsaw puzzle, we would advise Doug and Glen to lay out all the pieces to their track and consider how to properly put them together. A great place to start is with the rhythm section; Doug and Glen should strive to get a solid marriage going between the bass and kick drum. At present the kick lacks beater head definition, and the busy bassline isn't helping matters.

Next, Doug, you should put on your arranger/producer hat and decide just what "unlimited track count" means to you. Are the multiple guitars saying something meaningful in the overall scheme, or are they simply competing for limited space? That goes for the heavily layered backing vocals as well. Remember that the concept of bandwidth did not disappear with analog tape. Every sound source demands a slice of the pie... and paradoxically, in many cases, the more slices you have, the smaller the "pie" ends up sounding.

We would also recommend that Doug examine the frequency ranges in play here between the low mids of his fuzz guitars and the upper range of his bass. The Rickenbacker is well known for a very trebly sound, but that means you have to be extra careful when sitting it in a mix; it will compete with instruments that normally don't have to worry very much about the bassline.

Lastly, through our monitors, the mix seems to be in need of some rebalancing. The center-placed sounds, including the vocals, have a distance to them that contrasts rather sharply with the "in your face" panned electric guitars. We would love to hear this mismatch reversed, guys.

Summary: You can always take apart the puzzle and put it back together again.

Contact: Doug Simmons, dsimmons77@yahoo.com
About: Marty Peters

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