Artist Name: Darow Han Title: Scorpion
Genre: Rock and Pop Rating:
Custom Antec Windows 7 workstation with Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface running Cockos Reaper DAW, iZotope Ozone 7, and Toontrack EZ Drummer 2. Mics: RØDE NT1-A and MXL 990. Golden Age Project Pre-73 MKIII preamp. KRK Rokit 5 monitors and beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro headphones. Taylor 150e 12-string acoustic guitar, Fender Jaguar electric bass.
Production Notes & Credits
“Scorpion” is a male vocal rock song done in its entirety by Darow.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Darow has submitted an acoustic guitar-focused rock song that serves as a fine demo track, in our opinion. Let’s look at what steps he can take to ramp it up a notch or two.
Let’s start with the overall sound of the stereo mix. Through our monitors and headphones, the entire proceedings had a thin, sometimes brittle quality. This was particularly true with the acoustic 12-string guitar and, to a lesser degree, the cymbals and lead vocal. A quick scan of Darow’s gear list provided no real answers. Taylor, RØDE, Focusrite, Fender, Toontrack… all solid names that have appeared on hundreds of commercial releases and successful Readers’ Tracks. Given that, we suspect that the culprit may have been speaker placement, room acoustics, or a combination of the two.
Through the years here at Recording, we have published dozens of articles on room design/acoustics, as well as monitor speaker placement. While we are unsure of the exact mixing situation here (bedroom, basement, etc.), the fact that we detect a global loss of low and low-mid frequencies in “Scorpion” leads us to the possibility that Darow’s room was suffering from some rather pronounced bass buildup, causing him to trim these low frequencies on multiple sound sources.
As we most often do in these circumstances, we suggest that Darow grab some commercial releases that are familiar to him, and A/B them through his KRK monitors along with his own mix, paying close attention to all of the various frequency ranges. Listening for which characteristics (if any) are common, and which are dissimilar, is the most cost- and time-effective method that we know of for troubleshooting potential problems. Repeating the process on his beyerdynamic headphones, then on additional speakers/ear buds, car stereos, etc., can also be an invaluable reference tool.
It’s all about that bass (buildup)!
Darow Han, [email protected]