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Current Tape Reviews

All In My Head
Artist Name:
The Realside
All In My Head
Date Posted:
October 2016
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC with E-MU 1616M interface running Steinberg Cubase SX3 and Wavelab 6 (for mastering), Voxengo Elephant and Soniformer, Native Instruments Battery 3 and Guitar Rig 2, Toontrack EZdrummer. Audio-Technica AT4033 vocal mic, Joemeek ThreeQ preamp, Ovation acoustic guitar, Les Paul Studio, Steinberger 5 String Synapse bass, Roland TD-6 (to trigger the drums).

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Production Notes & Credits:

"All In My Head" is a male vocal rock song. Terry McClain was the one-man band on the project.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Terry has done some fine work here overall. That said, as with so many projects, there is still room for improvement in a few areas.

In his production notes, Terry informed us that his submission was part of a 17-plus-minute opus. Just where the section we received falls into the grander scheme of things is unknown, but there is certainly plenty here to survey.

The track opens with a pair of fingerpicked acoustic guitars leading the way for the lead vocal, and it's here that the first sign of trouble appears. One of the telltale signs of vocal sibilance is nasty artifacts on words that begin with the letter S. When the sibilance is as pronounced as it is here, and the first line of your lyric is "see the stars, see how sweet it is"... well, you get the point! Fortunately, as the track progresses, the introduction of additional sound sources helps to mitigate the problem to a degree.

On the plus side, Terry has done an excellent job with both the drum and bass parts. The funky drum pattern delivered via his Roland TD-6/Toontrack EZdrummer software combination creates a fine rhythm bed, while the addition of the faux strings and the electric guitar elevate the entire track into a cool groove-based effort that is very appealing. We particularly dug the rotary sound on the lead guitar and the manner in which the entire track's arrangement built towards the end. Well done!

Suggestions: Alas, sibilance is not a stranger to these parts, it plagues a good many of the submissions that come our way. In Terry's case, it appears that the problem may be a "bad marriage" between his particular voice and his vocal mic. Through the years we have personally owned and used the AT4033 condenser microphone on a good many sources, including male and female vocals, and it has proved to be a solid performer throughout. That said, something is definitely amiss here.

It may be that dynamic microphones, with their less pronounced high frequency response, may be a better fit for Terry. While they may not have the sex appeal of a big condenser, these meat-and-potato guys can often be the right tool for the job! If a dynamicís too midrangy and muddy, perhaps Terry can go really old-school and try a ribbon...

Summary: Only a vocal away.

Contact: The Realsides,
About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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