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Artist Name:
Low 90
Date Posted:
August 2015
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

HP PC with PreSonus FireStudio Project interface running Sony Vegas Pro 8.0. Samson Resolv 65a monitors. Mics: Audix D6 (kick), D2 and D4 (toms), F15 (overheads), Shure SM57 (hi-hat), RØDE NT1-A (vocals). Fender Stratocaster through VOX ToneLab LE guitar processor, Peavey bass through Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI, drum kit with Pearl kick, Mapex snare, Yamaha toms, Paiste hi-hats, Zildjian cymbals, Kurzweil PC2x keyboard workstation.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Unsigned" is a male vocal rock song. Andrew Bogner (guitar, background vocals) and Jere Nickerson (lead vocal, bass) cowrote the song. Recording was done in Edward Cobb's basement studio in Maine; he engineered and produced the song, also contributing drums and backing vocals. The keyboard parts were written, played, and recorded by Steven Cravis in San Francisco and uploaded to Edward via the Internet to Maine.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
A lot of nice pieces and parts here... let's take a look to see if they stack up to a unified whole. Our first impression of Low 90's submission was "Damn, that's a great sounding kick drum!" And indeed it is—the combination of the 1987 Pearl BLX 22x16 kick and the Audix D6 mic is killer, giving outstanding definition without sacrificing punch. We also love Edward's snare drum sound, once again captured with an Audix mic, an i5 in this case. Through our monitors it had a near-perfect mixture of fat and snap (sounds like a cereal commercial, eh?). Sadly the cymbals were far less pleasing to our ears, with a smeared tone that left us a bit confused.

As for the remaining sound sources, the bass played its support role nicely and the lead vocal was delivered without artifact. On the down side, the electric "fuzz" guitars sounded pretty harsh through our speakers, and we did notice an fairly uneven energy shift in the mix between the verse and chorus sections. In addition, though we felt that the kick and snare were by far the stars here, but both were too far up front in the mix.

Suggestions: First of all we must congratulate Edward on the killer kick/snare tones he achieved! As for the cymbals, we are not sure if the acoustics in his basement tracking space played a role, but it's hard to imagine the present sounds being intentional. We would encourage Edward to re-examine his overhead mic setup and see if he can find the flaw. The low ceilings and hard surfaces found in most basements can be a nightmare combination.

Regarding the electric guitar, in our opinion the track was sparse enough that a super-bright sound wasn't needed to cut through the mix. We would love to hear the part re-recorded with a larger mid/low mid presence. As for the "energy" issues, transitioning from part to part while adding/subtracting sound sources is a fine art that can take a good deal of practice to master. As with all things recording, there is no substitute for hands-on time, particularly with mixing. Finally, while we love the drums, tucking them back some will aid the overall sound.

Summary: Lots of potential, with a bit of reworking in order.

Contact: Low 90,
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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