Artist Name: Ian Soelins Title: So Far Genre: Rock and Pop Rating:
iMac with RME Fireface UCX and Focusrite Saffire interfaces, running Steinberg Cubase 8.5 and Waves plug-ins. RØDE NT1 condenser mic. Alesis M1 Active Reference Monitors, Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Gibson Les Paul Standard electric guitar, Roland RD-800 synth, Taylor 414ce Acoustic guitar.
Production Notes & Credits
“So Far” is a male vocal rock song. Ian Schwartz, who goes by the artist name Ian Soelins, played, recorded, and mixed it in his home studio. Pete Maher mastered the track.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a pristine recording featuring not only great performances but a superb arrangement to boot. Let examine Ian’s fine effort and see how he did it!
Starting out with a remarkably brief (thank you!) and effective intro that features a heavily-treated guitar mixed with a synth patch, we hear a perfectly executed melding of said synth with a beautifully recorded acoustic guitar and train beat rhythm section that propels the song along quite nicely.
Next up is Ian’s winsome lead vocal, seated perfectly in the mix. While we hear a bit of compression on the vocal, Ian has wisely stopped just short of the dreaded sibilance and his RØDE NT1 microphone seems an ideal fit for the job. Moving on, we dug the (yet again) seamless addition of the piano and strings to the mix, great use of panning and well-chosen sounds from the Roland RD-800 piano/synth.
As we have so often mentioned in our Spotlight Feature reviews, our chosen songs have without exception featured exemplary arrangements, and “So Far” certainly continues that pattern. We love how Ian has built his relatively spaceous opening into a full-bodied mix that reaches a tremendous peak with the introduction of the killer harmony vocals followed by the electric guitars at the 2:20 mark. Both electric parts are well executed with great tone, but just as importantly, they absolutely fit the song. One of the signs of a great arrangement is the lack of “fat” or extraneous parts in the track, and Ian nailed it here. Well done, sir!
Building a creative mix without distracting energy shifts is a pro-level skill, in our opinion, and Ian has shone a light on how it’s done. As always, we encourage you loyal readers to study our Spotlight tracks, and to try to apply their strengths to your own efforts as you move forward in your recording journey!
As effortless as they come!
Ian Schwartz/Ian Soelins, [email protected]