(listed as submitted by artist): Martin, Gibson, Fender and Samick guitars; Fender Deluxe amp; Audio Technica 4081, Avantone CV-12, Shure SM57 and SM81 microphones; Focusrite Clarett 8pre; Cubase Pro 10/Halion, BFD3 virtual drums, Waves plugins; Yamaha HS7 monitors, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro headphones.
“It’s Been a Good Life” is a male vocal one-man band rock song.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
John has submitted a well-written track here that features some nifty George Harrison-inspired guitar work under a great vocal performance. Over a basic but solid rhythm bed, the song comes alive via the guitars and John’s excellent vocals. The slide work is top notch here, great tone and intonation throughout the recording. Those of you who have ever attempted the melody slide style technique that George Harrison popularized can attest to the absolute precision required to avoid sour notes in performance. Adding a second part to harmonize along with it as John does here, requires some serious chops and that is precisely what John displays. Bravo! Both lead and harmony vocals are well recorded and balanced in the mix. While we are uncertain whether he used the Audio Technica ribbon or the Avantone tube mic through the Focusrite preamp, the results are a clear, artifact-free recording with a faint but impressive Beatles vibe. As for the potential trouble spots, while we applaud John for not going overboard with his drum programming, through our monitors, the rhythm section feels a tad apologetic in terms of volume and presence. This results in a final mix that, at times, feels somewhat top heavy to our ears.
As you can see, we found “It’s Been a Good Life” to be a pretty darn successful effort. As for the drum/bass volume, John would not be the first OMB producer to be shy about his skills on secondary or tertiary instruments. That said, ducking them back in the mix does more harm than good, and we urge John to embrace them for what they are: solid programmed drums—maybe not Ringo, but not bad either!
John McCracken, [email protected]