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Harmonic Molecules studio

Artist Name:
Harmonic Molecules   Title: Mr Right   Genre: Pop  Rating:


DAW/Computer – iMac running Pro Tools; Interface – Universal Audio Apollo x16; Microphone – Lauten LA-320; Softsynths – Pigments and Kontakt 7; Plugins – Waves, UA and Avid; Monitor Controller – Grace m905; Monitors – KRK V4 and Genelec 1032


Mr Right” is a Pop song written and performed by Jimmy Kostelidis and Chase Farley. It was released under the name Harmonic Molecules. Kostelidis created and mixed the track, and Farley recorded all of the vocals in his own studio. Jimmy notes that the arrangement and mix were kept simple, with no heavy processing.

Review By Dave Martin

A successful pop song requires a number of elements to come together: a memorable melody, a strong chorus, a great vocal performance, lyrics that connect with the listener, and, often, a danceable track. Mr. Right” has all of these things, and in many ways, the song reminds me of the pop/R&B sounds of the late 70s and early 80s, similar to the retro-soul sound of Silk Sonic.

Part of what I find interesting about Mr. Right” is the blending of the track’s retro feel (especially the electric piano sound) with the contemporary vocal effects. Listen to the harmonic structure of the tune (the chords) and the rhythmic feel of the piano track; together, they give “Mr. Right” an old-school vibe that suits the song quite well.

The vocals, recorded with a Lauten LA-320 through a UAD interface with the 1073 Unison preamp emulation, sound great. The contemporary vocal processing juxtaposed with the aforementioned old-school feel of some of the instruments combine in a way that doesnt sound like the writers were trying to duplicate the sound of a classic recording; rather, it feels like they were inspired by a retro vibe rather than trying to mimic it. 

The music/backing/rhythm track was most likely the starting point for the song. In an email, Kostelidis told me that he wrote and recorded the track, while Farley wrote most of the melody and all of the lyrics. It seems to be a good creative partnership; I enjoyed listening to the song.

Dave’s Suggestions

Its easy to second-guess an artists intent when listening to songs like Mr. Right.” It could have been recorded as a demo to pitch to another artist or with the intention of a released single. As a demo, it works great. If it’s a single from Harmonic Molecules, I would suggest that when creating tracks for upload or sale, it might be worth looking at a few adjustments.

First, I would really like to hear more of the bass track. To make room for it in the mix, I suggest bringing down the electric piano part a bit. Having more of the bass track in the mix might also add a bit better low-end interest to the production.

I would also suggest simplifying the drum part. It is pretty much playing the same rhythmic figure as the piano, which is both unnecessary and clutters the groove a bit. Perhaps Im nit-picking a bit because I think the placement of the vocals in relation to the instruments works great, but I do enjoy hearing textures, both harmonic and rhythmic, in a recording.

There are many reasons for artists and producers to use programmed drums and/or loops; the time and money savings are two of the biggest, not to mention the difficulty of finding experienced session musicians and a great room in which to record them. However, since contemporary music is often built around loops, there’s no reason not to use them if that sound fits the artist’s vision of the recording.

I would counsel any artist who programs drums to explore the sounds and grooves of great studio drummers. Names that might be unfamiliar to non-musicians—Earl Palmer, Al Jackson Jr., Gene Chrisman, Roger Hawkins, James Gadson, Elbert “Woody” Woodson, Howard Grimes, Larrie Londin, Jerry Kroon and many others—are a great source of ideas and grooves for those of us who program drum tracks. 

I mentioned earlier that I like the sound of the vocal processing, but one trick that can work well in pop music is to use ambience to emphasize the scene change between the verse and chorus. For example, you could try removing the reverb from the verses and just bring it in for the choruses.

The drum reverb sounds nice, but it might be worth adding a bit more ambience—reverb, delay, or a combination of both—to the piano part. The piano doesnt sound to me like its in the same acoustic space as the drums.

Im not sharing these ideas because I dont like what Jimmy Kostelidis and Chase Farley did with their song; I share them because (A) I want everyones song to be great, and (B) these ideas are applicable to anyone learning to write, arrange and/or mix music. Besides, the drummers I mentioned above are responsible for a whole lot of the music you hear on the radio, and I think more musicians should know about them. 


Harmonic Molecules’ “Mr. Right,” is a well-written song from Jimmy Kostelidis and Chase Farley. Kostelidis says that this is the first time hes submitted a song in 30 years of reading Recording Magazine. I look forward to hearing more of the music theyve written!


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.


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