Recorded – Mac Pro, Avid Digidesign Digi 003 Rack, Ableton LiveMXL 990, Gretsch acoustic, Warwick bass, Audio Technica headphones. Mixed – Dell workstation, Pro Tools 2021.6, Avid HD i/o, Neve 8816 Summing Mixer, Rupert Neve Portico II MBP, Crane Song HEDD, JBL monitors, Fab Filter plugins.
“Hi, My Name is” is an indie-rock song written and performed by Gretchen and “mixed with the help of dad.”
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a fantastic contemporary effort by nineteen-year-old Gretchen, featuring a creative and dynamic instrumental bed anchoring some impressive vocal arrangements and performances. In the production notes, we learn that Gretchen has been writing and performing since 2015 and that “Hi, My Name is” is one of six songs to be featured on her first EP release. If this track is indicative of the project, we see many good things coming in the future!
Starting with the vocals, we absolutely love the sound of Gretchen’s voice through the MXL 990 mic. This large-diaphragm condenser has long been one of the best values on the market, and it shines in combination with Gretchen’s super present, beautifully compressed delivery. Both the lead and the killer backing vocals are captured without artifact, and the tasteful reverb and delay in the mix are perfectly blended to entice the ear.
The simple but effective acoustic guitar track supporting the vocals is also well recorded, with a full, even presentation throughout the song. The drum/percussion sections give the track an energy boost and contribute to the superb dynamics that Gretchen and her dad have fashioned. We haven’t heard dynamic interplay of this quality in quite some time, and we are mighty impressed. Lastly, while we rarely speak to the subject of songwriting in this column, we have to say that the level of maturity and skilled writing was immediately noticeable and appreciated!
Much future success to you, Gretchen!
So, do we sound impressed? Darn, right, we do! Great songwriting, wonderful arrangements, dynamics and performances, combined with clean, concise tracking, and a great mix. “Hi, My Name is” stands on its own with the best we have heard here at Recording.
Gretchen Calder, [email protected]