Presonus 1818VSL Interface w/ IMAC Comp. DAW is Presonus Studio One4 Pro, Stock Plug-ins, Presonus Eris E5 XT Monitors w/Presonus 10 inch Tremblor Sub-woofer, Presonus Headphones. Ensoniq TS-12 Keyboard. Rode NT-1
“Only One” is a male vocal “ adult contemporary “ track, done in its entirety by Doug.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a beautiful airy track that exemplifies how much can be achieved with minimal instrumentation, along with thoughtful arrangement and execution. Doug has submitted a recording the relies heavily on his Ensoniq TS-12 keyboard and the software plugins from his Presonus Software . Keyboard bass, string pads, percussion and piano, every sound source save the vocal is generated in this fashion, and Doug simply makes it work here, creating a funky yet open music bed that does not apologize for its origins. To clarify, the majority of submissions to Readers Tracks are from sole operators like Doug. Many many of us have limited or no access to additional musicians, nor the ways and means to correctly record live instruments such as drums, acoustic piano etc… Be that as it may, those restrictions have led to a wellspring of incredible software and virtual options that grow and improve seemingly by the day. Will they truly ever replace “live” sounds? Well that depends to a large part on time, experimentation and to a certain degree resources. Of equal importance in our view is how they are employed. For decades in this column we have advised you loyal readers to master the gear you currently own to the best of your ability. Yes friends, new and shiny is attractive to all of us, but getting the most out of all that you currently possess is A key learning tool in our view. Getting back to “Only One”, Doug has dialed up a great synth bass ala Stevie Wonder that drives the song in combination with the well chosen percussion. The spacious block chords from the piano are an ideal counterpoint and the string pads glue the track together perfectly, and the man has some serious chops on that piano! The short solo was a thing of beauty, leaving us wanting another go round or two! We also enjoyed the Bill Withers styled lead vocal, no sign of sibilance or additional artifact in the tracking or mix. Lastly, we yet again must point out the continuing thread of excellent arrangements that seem to grace our Spotlight selections. Doug’s sparse but well designed arrangement leaves ample room for all of his sound sources to shine with tight concise intention. Well done!
A place for everything, and everything in it’s place. Doug has done a fine job with the tools at hand, a positive lesson for us all!
Tight and right.
Doug Morrison, [email protected]