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Artist Name:
Chuck Evans Band
Don't Give Up
Date Posted:
July 2016
Equipment Used:

Windows 7 PC with Digi 002 interface running Avid Pro Tools 9 with Avid Boom, Strike, Structure Free, Mini Grand, and Xpand!2 and Toontrack EZdrummer 2 virtual instruments and Waves MAXXbass and L3-16 Multimaximizer, IK Multimedia AmpliTube 3 and T-RackS Classic Clipper, and iZotope Nectar 2 plug-ins, KRK V8 monitors, JBL 18” subwoofer, Sony MDR-7509 headphones, Shure SM57 mic, Taylor 614ck acoustic guitar.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Don't Give Up" is a male vocal rock song written, performed, programmed and recorded by Chuck Evans, with help from Brenda Marrero on backing vocals and Scott Brewer on percussion.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
This is a nice positive-vibe track with “really good bones,” as they say in the real estate trade. Let's take a look around Chuck's work as see what's up.

Starting with the rhythm section, we applaud the realistic drum programming via Chuck's Boom and Strike Pro tools software. That said, we were somewhat underwhelmed by the snare drum sound here. With the plethora of high-quality sounds available via expansive drum libraries (like EZdrummer 2), the small, boxy snare as presented here has room for improvement. On the flip side, the bass has a rich low tone that works nicely in the track, and the faux string pad is surprisingly effective.

The vocals are a bit of a mixed bag to our ears. While the lead vocal is well recorded and well placed in the mix, something screwy seems to be going on at times with Chuck's harmony vocals. While it is difficult to accurately describe, we hear a hollow, "phasey" sound on the harmonies that fails to do justice to the excellent vocal arrangement. This effect seems less evident on Brenda's superb performance but it may be there as well.

Lastly, while the performance is solid, the tone of the acoustic guitar here screams of onboard pickup rather than a miked-up recording. As the proud owner of several Taylor guitars through the years, we can say with absolute certainty that they are among the easiest acoustic instruments to mic, and in our experience, best delivered that way!

Suggestions: With a little TLC, "Don't Give Up" should blossom into a winning track. We suggest that Chuck rethink his snare sound -- the quasi-beatbox one currently in play seems out of context with its fellow sound sources. As for the vocal issues, whether it was intentional or accidental, the hollow sound needs to be identified and corrected, nothing about it benefits the recording in our opinion. As for the acoustic guitar, we suggest that Chuck re-track it with the aid of his Shure microphone, perhaps in combination with the pickup in his Taylor in order to add a bit of "air" to the sound.

Summary: Easy fixes, Chuck -- have at it!

Contact: Chuck Evans,
About: Marty Peters

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