Or The Tide

February 11, 2008 5:27 PM

This is the first song I've recorded on my laptop for my band, Low-Tech Riff Raff. Suggestions on the mix are eagerly accepted.

As I continue to learn the techniques of home recording, this is my first attempt at a song by my band, Low-Tech Riff Raff. This is an early mix, so suggestions on how to improve the sound are welcome.

Credits:

John Davis: acoustic guitar, vocals
Sharon Balderson: bongos, vocals
Folly Smith: electric guitar
Myself (Tony Dismukes): bass, sound engineering

Also featuring a special guest appearance by Kathy Balderson on clarinet.

posted by tdismukes (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Wow, sounds great. You have sort of a Neil Finn thing going on there.
My only comment would be that the mix seems a bit left-heavy. You might try panning some more stuff to the right, keeping the vox in the center. Oh, and the bongos are pretty in front and sound like they're in a different room. Drums are hard to record. Try a different mic set-up or bring them way down in the mix, maybe throw a bit of reverb on them. A nice song and I like your voice.
posted by chococat at 6:46 PM on February 11, 2008


I do think that the left side holds the things that are, to me, the most insistent -- the strummed guitar (especially when it does that chuka-chuka-chuka thing -- that really jumps out) and the clarinet when it shows up (it's nice) -- so maybe switching the two guitars placement-wise would help? I am not an expert.

I like the way the background vox gradually become more prominent as the song goes on.

Totally my pesonal opinion: I think the 1-2-3-4 count-off is pretty cliche.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 8:54 PM on February 11, 2008


I second the comment about the bongos - either drop them down in the mix, or maybe find a different percussion instrument. And I definitely think splitting the guitars left and right would help. It's a nice song though - just needs a little space.
posted by awfurby at 1:53 AM on February 12, 2008


Thanks for all the suggestions - keep them coming.
posted by tdismukes at 6:03 AM on February 12, 2008


This is not at all what I was expecting from a band called Low-Tech Riff Raff. It's quite nice, though. I would join in the "lower down the volume on the bongoes" and also, if you guys aren't against adding an extra track that wasn't played at the same time, you could add some sort of shaker or something that fulfills the purpose of "tying" the rhythm together, because the bongoes by themselves sound a bit sparse. Other than that, it sounds very good.
posted by micayetoca at 8:47 AM on February 12, 2008


I agree with pretty much everyone's comments. You've got all the necessary ingredients, just rearrange them spatially (I'd bring the bongos backwards not only by reducing the volume but also through the use of reverb). The quality of the recordings seems high. As for the song, I really quite like it. The female bg vocal really adds something special to it for me, even if I'm not 100% sure about the pitch. Good chorus.
posted by edlundart at 11:01 PM on February 12, 2008


Thanks everyone. I've done a new mix taking into account the various suggestions, and it does sound better. If anyone else has ideas, please share them.
posted by tdismukes at 3:12 PM on February 13, 2008


is that katherine balderson from ft. collins high school? cuz that would blow my mind. I went there from 1997 - 2001 and there was a katherine balderson who played clarinet so...
posted by MNDZ at 2:09 PM on February 16, 2008


MNDZ - nope, sorry. I don't know where Kathy went to high school, but she graduated well before '97.

(Also as a correction, I have been informed that Kathy goes by her married name of Abner, rather than Balderson.)
posted by tdismukes at 2:31 PM on February 16, 2008


well your kathy is better clarinetist anyway, good stuff.
posted by MNDZ at 8:40 AM on February 18, 2008


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