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Current Tape Reviews

Want To Bless You
Artist Name:
Brandon Scott
Want To Bless You
Date Posted:
February 2016
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Computer (type not given) with Universal Audio UAD-1, M-Audio FireWire 410 interface, and Axiom 25 keyboard controller, running Digidesign Pro Tools 7.4 with Xpand! virtual instruments, Drums On Demand drum loops, and assorted Digidesign and Universal Audio plug-ins. Mackie nearfield monitors, AKG M90 headphones. Global Audio and Groove Tubes GT55 condenser mics. Taylor 210ce acoustic guitar, VOX Tonelab LE for electric guitars.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Want to Bless You" is a male vocal Contemporary Christian Music rock song. Brandon wore all of the hats here.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 4
A fine recording sadly undone by some nasty vocal sibilance. Everything starts out well enough... Brandon wisely kept the dreaded stereotypical intro keyboard opus to a minimum (we thank you!), and as the full band enters from a well-executed cymbal swell, we are feeling pretty good about this mix. The rhythm section is particularly impressive, in our opinion, with a robust pumping bass line accompanying a nicely programmed drum kit. So far so good, right?

Well, yes, until the lead vocal comes in. Unfortunately Brandon's heartfelt and beautifully delivered lyrics fall victim to the smeared artifact of sibilance. Ouch! With his Taylor 210 acoustic sweetly joining the party, the words start to lose their focus, becoming elongated in some spots, flabby in others. Classic sibilance symptoms, folks.

Suggestions: So! Now that we have identified the problem, what's the fix, you ask? Well, it depends on the origin(s) of the sibilance.

Traditionally sibilance stems from three areas. Overcompression/limiting during tracking or mixing is usually the prime suspect, followed by a "bad marriage" between a particular voice and microphone. The final (though much rarer) cause would be an actual physical issue such as a severe overbite. To our ears, Brandon's dilemma sounds like an 80/20 percent split between numbers One and Two. Overcompression has a curious ability to elongate certain sounds; F becomes Ffffffffffff and S does the same. It is also true that while they are the standard "go to" microphone for vocal recording, condenser mics, particularity modern ones with built in high frequency "bumps", can be a bad fit for some voices.

Hopefully, Brandon added his vocal processing during the mix stage here. If so, we suggest that he go back and readjust his compressor until the offending smear retreats. We would also encourage him to investigate the wonderful world of dynamic and ribbon microphones as a possible alternative for his vocals. We have presented many fine articles here at RECORDING on this topic, and switching to a non-condenser mic may be just the thing for Brandon's voice.

Summary: Right on target, minus the ssssssibilance!

Contact: Brandon Scott,
About: Marty Peters

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