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Current Tape Reviews

This Time Around
Artist Name:
Justin Busch
This Time Around
Date Posted:
January 2016
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC with Echo MIA 24/96 card running Cakewalk SONAR 4, remastered with Sound Forge 5. Drum samples by Drums on Demand. Monitors: M-Audio Studiophile SP-5B. AKG C3000B mic through ART Studio V3 preamp (vocals). Epiphone Les Paul Custom w/ Seymour Duncans (59, Jeff Beck) through Johnson J-Station; Fender Standard Precision Bass through J-Station; Roland Juno-D keyboard.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"This Time Around" is a male vocal rock song. Justin did it all with the exception of the vocals, which were courtesy of Clay Mottley.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Oh compressor, ye are an evil mistress! Justin and Clay have put together a really nice track here that is sadly derailed by some compression mismanagement.

Things start out nicely with a duo of bright but well played/recorded acoustic guitars, quickly joined by a very present, upfront vocal... complete with an obvious compressor based smear on the words "fire red", followed by the almost mandatory tandem sibilance on "skyline". Classic compressor artifacts, folks, and from then on the rest of the lyrics containing F's and S's appear to be "infected".

As for the remaining sound sources, the snare drum, and to a lesser extent the bass, are also showing signs of compression issues. On the plus side, the jangly electric guitar was near perfect in the mix and the backing vocals seemed less affected by the compressor.

Suggestions: "This Time Around" is an excellent effort on many fronts, from the writing/arrangement down to the tones and performances. It is our hope that the compression was added in the mix rather than the tracking stages, allowing for a quick repair.

That said, we once again must call into question the need for it in the first place. Clay's intimate lead vocal during the intro showed no signs of needing volume control, in our opinion. As for the rhythm section, Justin has done a fine job assembling a drum kit from the Drums on Demand library; finding a less compressed snare drum that would integrate more closely with the "open" kick and tom sounds would be advisable.

Regarding the bass, if he was looking for a softer bass sound, we would suggest to Justin that trying either flatwound or clothwound bass strings would be a good place to start. Lastly, dear readers, let's remember that in today's recording environment, automation and computer-based wave drawing are a simple and effective volume management technique, so let's roll up those sleeves and rely less on the "one stop shop" compressor application, shall we?

Summary: Good stuff, easily reparable.

Contact: Justin Busch,
About: Marty Peters

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