Artist Name: Wayne Price (aka J Gulli) Title: Rise Up With Me Genre: Inspirational Pop Rating:
DAW – Sonar 8; Alesis QS7 keyboard and unspecified headphones.
“Rise Up With Me,” composed and recorded by Wayne Price, aka J Gulli, is an inspirational pop song that hits the mark as a compositional call to action.
Reviewed By Dave Martin
“Rise Up With Me” has all of the hallmarks of a well-written pop song—the structure makes sense, with two verses followed by memorable choruses, the spoken word section that functions as a bridge makes sense, and a final chorus. The whole composition is under three minutes long, which shows a degree of economy (and restraint) that is increasingly rare in pop music; I like that.
Though there’s a certain lack of specificity in the equipment used on the recording (for example, no microphone is listed), this track does show what can be accomplished with minimal gear. Sonar 8, an Alesis keyboard, and a pair of headphones are all that are mentioned, and the understated music bed supports without distracting from the message of the lyric.
I want to point out how the different delays add to the ambiance of the recording without getting in the way—a lovely touch. The background vocal arrangement is also excellent and emphasizes the song’s message without getting in the way of the lead vocal. And finally, the EQ change into the spoken word section of the song is very effective.
There are a few things that I would change if I were mixing this; I hear a bit of mouth noise in this track that may be partly due to the microphone used for the lead vocal and partly due to the distance that the mic is from the singer. A mic that’s a bit less hyped in the upper frequencies can help to minimize those noises, as will moving the mic a few inches away from the singer.
I’d also use a de-noise plugin like Izotope Mouth De-click to further smooth out the vocal sounds. I might also look for something (either in the bass sound or the kick drum sound) that adds a bit more low-frequency information to the overall recording.
I’ve learned through experience that something can sound massive on headphones but a lot less exciting and full when played over full-range speakers.
Overall the changes I would suggest are minimal. “Rise Up With Me” is a well-written and well-performed contemporary pop song and is also an excellent example of an artist doing good work with minimal gear.
Dave Martin is a producer, engineer and bassist. Dave owned Nashville’s Java Jive Studio for close to 25 years. Dave has recorded, produced and/or played with symphony orchestras, rock and roll icons and country music legends ranging from the Old Crow Medicine Show, The Dead Pickers Society, Porter Wagoner, Robben Ford, Billy Cobham, The Box Tops, Carl Verheyen, Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest), Adrian Belew, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Eric Johnson, Robbie Fulks, Steve Vai, The Coasters and others. Dave is also a member of the Western Swing Hall of Fame.