GarageBand, Apogee interface, OneOdio headphones.
“USP” is a male vocal rock song. Working under the name Disco Drug Store, David Hill played, recorded, and mixed the song by himself, all during the lockdown.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
As a band member, David, like many of us, was forced to alter his recording plans due to distancing issues during the pandemic. He forged on in solo mode to create this high-energy, snarling, punky song. In his production notes, David relays that he initiated the tracking by laying down basic drums, acoustic guitar, and scratch vocals. He added bass and additional guitars, and then went back and replaced the scratch vocals and drums with their keeper counterparts. So how did it turn out? Through our KRK monitors and Grado Labs SR 325 headphones, the recording sounds somewhat muffled. The drums, particularly the snare, have a very round and woody tone—not a bad thing, but the heavy low-midrange presence of the electric guitars and bass (in addition to the drums) crowds these sources all into the same frequency range. The vocals, recorded via computer mic, also contribute to a dusky sound of its own. On the plus side, the performances are quite good throughout the song. We were especially impressed by the effort and attention to detail that David put into his drums. Multiple loops combined with hand-played fills give the track a running motor, and the bass and guitar are right there with it.
Props to David for tackling this project without his mates. When life hands you lemons, right? With minimal equipment, he put together a rocking effort in our book. As for suggestions, indeed, many alternative and punk records lean toward low-fi, and perhaps that was David’s intent. Then again, some of the classics, particularly The Clash, were exceptionally well recorded, while still maintaining their edge [check out the superb recording quality of Sex Pistols and Ramones… -Ed.] We suggest David throw on London Calling through his monitors and study the frequency distributions—a master class at his fingertips!
A/Bing is your friend.
David Hill, [email protected]