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Waiting For The Clouds
Artist Name:
Bob Kalmusky
Waiting For The Clouds
Date Posted:
September 2015
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Roland VS-2000CD desktop hard disk recorder with VS8F-3 DSP card. Mics: Studio Projects C1, Shure KSM137 and KSM44, APEX 460 tube mic. Yorkville YSM1p powered monitors, Audio-Technica ATH-M30 headphones. 1974 Fender Telecaster, 1968 Fender Stratocaster, pedal steel guitar, Fender JP-90 bass, Fender Super Reverb and Laney guitar amps.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Waiting for the Clouds" is a female vocal rock song. Bob played bass, programmed the drums, recorded, mixed, and mastered the song. His wife Nancy wrote the song and handled all of the vocals. Earl Filsinger played guitar and pedal steel guitar, Neal Young played keyboards, and Glen Patterson and Lisa Bates played the violins.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 4
Excellent work here by all involved! But for a few small areas, this one would be heading for showcase in our monthly SPOTLIGHT feature.

Before we delve into the particulars, however, we must give a shout out to the sadly discontinued and sorely missed Roland VS line of standalone digital recorders—in this case, the VS-2000CD. During our years at the helm of Readers' Tapes we have been constantly amazed at the audio quality of projects done on these small but mighty machines, and "Waiting for the Clouds" is certainly no exception. At the risk of hyperbole, these units have an incredibly analog sound in our humble opinion.

Bob has done a fine job blending the multiple sound sources in his mix. Pedal steel, violins, and electric guitar traditionally command a goodly amount of high and high midrange frequency space, and it would be pretty easy for them to clash or mask each other. Fortunately that is not the case here, each instrument is provided a clear voice through prudent EQ and panning.

As for the areas of concern mentioned earlier, while we love the tone and performance of Nancy's vocals, through our monitors/headphones the vocal volume and presence put them too far out in front of the music bed, leading to a slightly unbalanced feel to our ears.

We also felt that while Bob did an excellent job overall with his drum programming, the repetitive tom fills at the outro scream "programmed drums" as opposed to the very realistic fills at the intro of the track. You almost had the horse in the barn, Bob, but no drummer that I'm aware of would have repeated those fills twice at the end without some stern looks from the producer!

Suggestions: We were certainly impressed with not only the recording but all of the performances here. As for the trouble spots, seating vocals in a mix can be tricky business. One creative way to accomplish it is to create a vocal "stem" or stereo submix of the vocals on two available tracks, then lay them into the instrumental bed at varying levels until you reach a balanced blend. Stem mixing/mastering is a great skill to learn and can be invaluable when dealing with incremental level changes.

As for the drums, Bob is fully aware that a live drummer would have been his best option. That said, we think he did a heck of a good job with 95% of his programming; replacing/simplifying the ending should take care of the rest.

Summary: Bravo!

Contact: Bob Kalmusky,
About: Marty Peters

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