Please Critique this mix - there are some great respected ears in here -

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by David Kalmusky, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. Please, Please, do NOT....

    ......don't say you don't like the girls voice, you don't like the
    song, that there is too much stuff going on, or not enough stuff,
    it's too sparce etc.....

    Those are Production details, which I am NOT looking for a critique
    on.

    I AM HOWEVER hoping to get some thoughts from some great professional
    ears that post in here on a frequent basis.

    It's a mushy, new country ballad, so many of you won't like the
    song, or the production right off the bat.

    There is however, lots of stuff going on.....and at times, not much
    at all.

    The track has...

    Drums (lots of drum room)
    Bass
    3 Acoustics
    Whirlitzer
    Grand Piano
    Mandolin
    4 electric guitars
    9 piece string section
    Synth Pad
    3 vocals

    I know mp3 is a horrible sonic representation compared to a hi-res
    mix, obviously take that into account, I don't have the bandwidth for
    the potential traffic generated by this post, for everyone to
    download a 38meg 44,100 16 aiff

    Basically, I'm going for an intimate sounding, warm, wide mix, and
    need to know if I'm getting there by leaving most things flat, and
    dry, except for the vocals.

    Intimate, and "organic" can easilly cross into "amateur" mode, and
    sound like a rough 2, lots of room, no rev on anything except for the
    vocals and steel guitar.

    All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    welcome.

    http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3

    --

    David Kalmusky


    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
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    HOSes forum"
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  2. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "David Kalmusky" <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.19bddbf376a4d1a989680@66.185.95.104

    > All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    > welcome.


    > http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3


    Plusses: good, perhaps even excellent musical values. C&W isn't my genre of
    choice but I could listen to this kind of music all night with the right
    food and company. Good art & craft is good for me in *any* genre.

    Minuses: too bright and clipped, thin-sounding. I get instant ear-burn
    listening to it with 7506s. The Adobe Audition FFT filter called "de-esser"
    with the 9 KHz hole reduced to about 6 dB (from 10) and an added rise of 3
    dB at the bottom end, gives a nice start on mastering for a listen,
    natural-sounding product.
  3. In article <FMqdnWOU1Jue4cmiU-KYvA@comcast.com>, arnyk@hotpop.com
    says...
    > "David Kalmusky" <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message
    > news:MPG.19bddbf376a4d1a989680@66.185.95.104
    >
    > > All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    > > welcome.

    >
    > > http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3

    >
    > Plusses: good, perhaps even excellent musical values. C&W isn't my genre of
    > choice but I could listen to this kind of music all night with the right
    > food and company. Good art & craft is good for me in *any* genre.
    >
    > Minuses: too bright and clipped, thin-sounding. I get instant ear-burn
    > listening to it with 7506s. The Adobe Audition FFT filter called "de-esser"
    > with the 9 KHz hole reduced to about 6 dB (from 10) and an added rise of 3
    > dB at the bottom end, gives a nice start on mastering for a listen,
    > natural-sounding product.


    Ok - this is what i need - Thin..... I DONT want a thin mix... I want
    fat, and warm.... the mix had a light L1 sparingly applied to
    increase levels a bit to put the whole thing in perspective, however,
    George Graves at the Lacquer Channel in Toronto, Canada will be
    mastering this project, and i'll be removing the L1 from the mixes i
    bring to him.

    Is this something thst you feel can be mastered into this mix,
    OR... as a main, fundamental, un mastered mix, do i need to go back,
    fatten up the drum room, Kick drum, bass guitar with bottom end ???

    I don't want to have to create a false bottom end in the mastering,
    i'd almost rather have the tracks a little too fat, and warm, and
    have george roll it off, and brighten it up in the mastering.

    what are your thoughts Arny ???

    --
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
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    Or...

    Post your crazy studio mishaps,
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    "studio stories forum"
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  4. David Kalmusky <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.19bddbf376a4d1a989680@66.185.95.104>...
    > Please, Please, do NOT....
    >
    > .....don't say you don't like the girls voice, you don't like the
    > song, that there is too much stuff going on, or not enough stuff,
    > it's too sparce etc.....
    >
    > Those are Production details, which I am NOT looking for a critique
    > on.
    >
    > I AM HOWEVER hoping to get some thoughts from some great professional
    > ears that post in here on a frequent basis.
    >
    > It's a mushy, new country ballad, so many of you won't like the
    > song, or the production right off the bat.
    >
    > There is however, lots of stuff going on.....and at times, not much
    > at all.
    >
    > The track has...
    >
    > Drums (lots of drum room)
    > Bass
    > 3 Acoustics
    > Whirlitzer
    > Grand Piano
    > Mandolin
    > 4 electric guitars
    > 9 piece string section
    > Synth Pad
    > 3 vocals
    >
    > I know mp3 is a horrible sonic representation compared to a hi-res
    > mix, obviously take that into account, I don't have the bandwidth for
    > the potential traffic generated by this post, for everyone to
    > download a 38meg 44,100 16 aiff
    >
    > Basically, I'm going for an intimate sounding, warm, wide mix, and
    > need to know if I'm getting there by leaving most things flat, and
    > dry, except for the vocals.
    >
    > Intimate, and "organic" can easilly cross into "amateur" mode, and
    > sound like a rough 2, lots of room, no rev on anything except for the
    > vocals and steel guitar.
    >
    > All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    > welcome.
    >
    > http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3
    >
    > --
    >
    > David Kalmusky

    b******r

    I'm not a pro so my advice should be taken as such.

    I don't know what equiptment you are working with but this sounds
    really close to the real deal to me. A bit sibilant but that could be
    fixed by a good master. Keeping the instruments dry.... you're walking
    a tightrope there. When all the instruments are plying I.E. the intro,
    it's not, but somewhat close to sounding cluttered, I would say
    because everything occupies the same dry, natural space. I don't know
    enough about this genre to offer appropriate suggestions but whatever
    I would try would be very subtile because again, this sounds really
    close to radio stuff to me. Maybe eq some instruments to be smaller
    than others or a really tight (milliseconds) delay on one or two
    things.
    In the first verse the arpeggiating guitar sounds a bit stark
    which I thought drew too much attention to itself. There was a
    staccato string figure which I thought had the same effect. These
    could be remedied with a really subtile reverb or delay. Subtile
    changes always seem to make the best improvement to me.
    The tracking sounds great. It sounds like you didn't use a lot of
    eq, which I like, and hey, the vocals sound pitch corrected so that
    alone gets you halfway to country gold!
  5. Brian Takei

    Brian Takei Guest

    David Kalmusky (REMOVE_studio@rogers.com) wrote:
    >
    > Ok - this is what i need - Thin..... I DONT want a thin mix... I want
    > fat, and warm.... the mix had a light L1 sparingly applied to
    > increase levels a bit to put the whole thing in perspective, however,
    > George Graves at the Lacquer Channel in Toronto, Canada will be
    > mastering this project, and i'll be removing the L1 from the mixes i
    > bring to him.


    At 0:42, on the fourth syllable of "an-ti-ci-paaa-ting", is the L1 or
    something else on the stereo bus clamping down, maybe triggered by a
    low E from the bass?

    - Brian
  6. In article <MPG.19bea8641c97ce5e989748@news.chi.sbcglobal.net>,
    btakei@mindspring.com says...
    > David Kalmusky (REMOVE_studio@rogers.com) wrote:
    > >
    > > Ok - this is what i need - Thin..... I DONT want a thin mix... I want
    > > fat, and warm.... the mix had a light L1 sparingly applied to
    > > increase levels a bit to put the whole thing in perspective, however,
    > > George Graves at the Lacquer Channel in Toronto, Canada will be
    > > mastering this project, and i'll be removing the L1 from the mixes i
    > > bring to him.

    >
    > At 0:42, on the fourth syllable of "an-ti-ci-paaa-ting", is the L1 or
    > something else on the stereo bus clamping down, maybe triggered by a
    > low E from the bass?
    >
    > - Brian
    >


    You Know Brian... I hear it too now... but just in the vocal... it
    doesn't seem to me like the whole track is getting sucked into the
    void... just the vocal, I drew a vol graph line on that sylable and
    brought it up 1.5 db it seems to straighten it out for me over here,
    just as a saftey precaution, as per your mention, and the fact that
    the bass note is very predominant, I pulled back that bass note 1db.

    the L1 is not showing any gain reduction, just broght up to the point
    of the slightest flicker, then brought back a db.

    thanks for your meticulous listening.

    David

    --
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
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  7. In article <102ccf7c.0309021051.4830dd75@posting.google.com>,
    yambike1@aol.com says...
    <SNIP>

    > The tracking sounds great. It sounds like you didn't use a lot of
    > eq, which I like, and hey, the vocals sound pitch corrected so that
    > alone gets you halfway to country gold!


    Eeek ! this alarms me a wee bit.

    being completely honest, about 25% of the vocal has pitch correction
    implimented to tighen up the vocal and make it a little more
    "Pristene" however, in this day and age, where everything is comped
    from 3 passes, and is run, from a-z through auto-tune mode, I'm
    generally known for working with the vocalist on performance, breath,
    air, dynamics, and I'll sparingly, and selectively graph tune moments
    in what was already a stellar performance, as said before, to tighen
    up moments in the track, for that uphoric "perfect" thang.

    I've been hired on several ocasions, just to cut vocals with
    artists on their records, cause I'll spend all day with them, rather
    than all day with the auto-tuner.

    If you can hear it.... i've gon too far, and your detection of it is
    VERY important to me.

    let me know what words, and area's are pulling your ears into "tuner
    mode" I'd REALLY appreciate it.

    Although this is more of a Production thing, I'm convinced that a ton
    of producers, and engineers in nashville are so de-sensitized to the
    auto-tuner, that they actually can't hear it any more, i've sat in
    the control room, many MANY times, thinking to myself, "you're
    kidding...right?" to hear it go out as a final, and land on CMT and
    the radio, and I honestly think, after day in, and day out, their
    ears have become immune to it, I fear that my theory may be true, in
    which case, I'm not excluded from immunity to hearing it.

    let me know what you hear.

    --
    David Kalmusky


    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
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  8. In article <bj2srq$egdu0$1@ID-75267.news.uni-berlin.de>,
    SPAMLESSradelman@mn.rr.com says...
    >
    >
    > David Kalmusky wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > being completely honest, about 25% of the vocal has pitch correction
    > > implimented to tighen up the vocal and make it a little more
    > > "Pristene" however,

    >
    > At what point did people start deciding that the use of pitch correction
    > was mandatory? Who says the vocals have to sound perfect?
    >
    > I want the singer to sound human. Humans aren't perfect. Of course there
    > are limitations, and would be singers who really can't sing. But that is
    > a different discussion.
    >
    > -Rob
    >
    >

    I agree, the rest of my previous post coincided with that thought
    precicely.

    absolutely not manditory, and in fact, the last thing i think about
    when i'm cutting a vocal.

    I elect to used it, sparingly, more as an effect, to tighten
    harmonies occasionally, on a vocal, as long as it does NOT remove the
    human aspect from the performance.

    Some vocals, I don't use it at all, other vocals, maybe 10% of the
    track, others a little more.

    humans aren't perfect, absolutely, neither are drums, but we
    occasionally compress them, and put reverb on them, a drum doesn't
    sound off reverb, every time you hit it in every environment, now...
    with that in mind, some people over process drums, gate, squash, tons
    of reverb.... i don't like that either, i prefer a natural sounding
    kit, but have many tools at my disposal to go for things sonically
    when making music, and records, in this day and age that have evolved
    many moons beyond banging a drum by candle light in a cave.

    If I "over use" these tools, on drums, or vocals, or anything for
    that matter, then i suppose that is "My sound" when making a record,
    however, in my case, it is not.

    I set out to make the best sounding record possibe, with what ever
    tools i have available to me. fortunately for me, I've had the lucky
    opportunity to work with artists that'll blow you away, singing in a
    room with an acoustic guitar as accompaniment, that performance is
    always there, and it's my job to make a great record, capture that
    performance without steralizing it with all of these toys in the
    recording process, however, I elect to use them ocassionally, at
    different times, I've even used tuning technology to pull a vocal
    just a tad bit less than perfect, from whence it came, to create some
    tension, and widen harmonies, some of the BG session singers are so
    perfect, they CANT sing, just slightly out of tune, and if it's what
    I am going for, i can achieve it, and have, many times in the past.
    my job is to make the best sounding record I can, and leave the
    acoustic performance in the room full of listeners, up to the artist,
    most of the ones I have worked with, can not only cut it, they are
    brilliant at it.

    But you're right... let's not get on the auto-tune thread, i'm really
    not interested in it, it's such a tiny little insignifigant part of
    what I do, I don't want to sit around and talk about what reverb is
    better then the next either, i have my favorites, and my own little
    thing going on over here, some people love my work, some people hate
    it, and they always will, it's a different discussion.
    --
    David Kalmusky


    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
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    Or...

    Post your crazy studio mishaps,
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    "studio stories forum"
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  9. area242

    area242 Guest

    I like this mix. The only things that caught my ear is the hihats...could
    be brought down 1 or 2 dB and the snare up 1 or 2 dB. I found my self
    straining to hear the snare at places and being destracted (very slightly)
    by the Hihats.

    I'll listen to this again a few more times and see if more things pop out!

    BTW, nice song and she has a great voice!
  10. In article <vr75b.15059$jt.849908@twister.austin.rr.com>, area242
    @REMOVEyahoo.com says...
    > I like this mix. The only things that caught my ear is the hihats...could
    > be brought down 1 or 2 dB and the snare up 1 or 2 dB. I found my self
    > straining to hear the snare at places and being destracted (very slightly)
    > by the Hihats.
    >
    > I'll listen to this again a few more times and see if more things pop out!
    >
    > BTW, nice song and she has a great voice!
    >
    >
    >


    Thanks, it's not a big "drum song" I do agree with you, however most
    of the HH are in the room mics, I don't want to really bring the room
    down on this recording, i'm really liking it, and I'm ok with a
    predominant HH as a compramise. I felt the kik was a little loud on
    the outro, i brough it down 1.5 db, but I'm ok with the hats being
    pretty strong in the room, which is up quite a bit on this track.

    I do agree with you however, the drums are good and strong in the
    verses, there isn't much competition, so you can hear the snare, and
    drum room, pretty rockin' the kit becomes a little overwhelmed by the
    wall of strings, vocals, synth pad, piano in the choruses, but I
    don't mind this so much, I'm really featuring that instrumentation.

    I may back the room off a tad, and yank up the snare in the choruses,
    thankyou for your input, and compliments.

    --
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
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  11. My ear isn't respected as much as most in this newsgroup, but I enjoy
    your mix very much. I'm biting my tongue on production notes, but I
    think all the instruments sound very natural. I can hear all the
    nuances of the instruments you recorded, and I especially like the
    sound of the piano. Good work,

    Jeff
  12. John L Rice

    John L Rice Guest

    I'm probably not one of the people you were thinking of when you said 'great
    respected ears' but I'll take up a little space in this thread anyway! ;-)

    So to do was I was told not to do, I really like this song! Really nice
    arrangement and performances. I like the singer. To me it's very
    reminisent of 'middle period' Amy Grant ( and I do mean that as a
    compliment )

    Really nice mix so far too. Most of this stuff is minor and in my humble
    opinion but :

    - it seems like some of the instuments are competing with the lead vocals at
    times, in particular the slide guitar, snare drum and grand piano. (
    especially when listening at low volumes ) Maybe rein them in a little more
    or compress the lead vocal a tad more?

    - I don't know if this was all multi-tracked or what but it's lacking a
    little cohesivness and doesn't 'quite' sound enough like a band of
    emotionally charged musicians playing together. Maybe a little overall
    compression / reverb / EQ etc might help?

    - the mix seems a little light on the bottom. It would be nice to hear more
    bass guitar in particular. Maybe compressed so the notes sustain a little
    more and provide a more solid bottom. Possibly a little more low end 'omph'
    from the toms and piano would be nice and a hair more from the bass drum.

    - It would be nice to hear a little more energy in the chorus'. I know this
    is more of an arrangement/performance/production thing but maybe increacing
    the gain on the choruses or lowering the gain on the verses just a hair
    might help.

    Anyway, beautiful job by everyone involved. I've only listened to it so far
    on some 'good' computer speakers but I know them well and I've listened to
    the song about 20 times so far.

    Keep up the good work. I can only hope that my mixes will turn out to be as
    enjoyable to listen to as yours!

    Best of luck!

    John L Rice
    Drummer@ImJohn.com

    PS - who is the artist?


    "David Kalmusky" <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.19bddbf376a4d1a989680@66.185.95.104...
    > Please, Please, do NOT....
    >
    > .....don't say you don't like the girls voice, you don't like the
    > song, that there is too much stuff going on, or not enough stuff,
    > it's too sparce etc.....
    >
    > Those are Production details, which I am NOT looking for a critique
    > on.
    >
    > I AM HOWEVER hoping to get some thoughts from some great professional
    > ears that post in here on a frequent basis.
    >
    > It's a mushy, new country ballad, so many of you won't like the
    > song, or the production right off the bat.
    >
    > There is however, lots of stuff going on.....and at times, not much
    > at all.
    >
    > The track has...
    >
    > Drums (lots of drum room)
    > Bass
    > 3 Acoustics
    > Whirlitzer
    > Grand Piano
    > Mandolin
    > 4 electric guitars
    > 9 piece string section
    > Synth Pad
    > 3 vocals
    >
    > I know mp3 is a horrible sonic representation compared to a hi-res
    > mix, obviously take that into account, I don't have the bandwidth for
    > the potential traffic generated by this post, for everyone to
    > download a 38meg 44,100 16 aiff
    >
    > Basically, I'm going for an intimate sounding, warm, wide mix, and
    > need to know if I'm getting there by leaving most things flat, and
    > dry, except for the vocals.
    >
    > Intimate, and "organic" can easilly cross into "amateur" mode, and
    > sound like a rough 2, lots of room, no rev on anything except for the
    > vocals and steel guitar.
    >
    > All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    > welcome.
    >
    > http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3
    >
    > --
    >
    > David Kalmusky
    >
    >
    > Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    > audio that should never be heard !!!
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40
    >
    > Or...
    >
    > Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    > and funny studio stories, in my
    > "studio s
    > HOSes forum"
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  13. <SNIP>
    > - it seems like some of the instuments are competing with the lead vocals at
    > times, in particular the slide guitar, snare drum and grand piano. (
    > especially when listening at low volumes ) Maybe rein them in a little more
    > or compress the lead vocal a tad more?


    That's what I like about the whole mass, general consensus thing,
    this is the 3rd comment on losing the vocal, I've since turned up
    specifically noted parts by 1.5db and yanked up the whole vocal, on
    top of that another DB, i'd like to not squash them if I don't have
    to, they were recorded through a neve pre and a manley limiter, that
    is enough squashing for me. but as per your post, I've yanked the vox
    on the choruses up another .5db - so thankyou for listening.


    > - the mix seems a little light on the bottom. It would be nice to hear more
    > bass guitar in particular. Maybe compressed so the notes sustain a little
    > more and provide a more solid bottom. Possibly a little more low end 'omph'
    > from the toms and piano would be nice and a hair more from the bass drum.


    Yes this has also been commented on, I don't want to take a thin
    mix in to be mastered, and "beefed up" I'd rather take a fat mix in,
    and roll it off in the mastering, i'll be looking into fattening the
    bass, kick, synth pad, room mic, piano in small incruments.
    >
    > - It would be nice to hear a little more energy in the chorus'. I know this
    > is more of an arrangement/performance/production thing but maybe increacing
    > the gain on the choruses or lowering the gain on the verses just a hair
    > might help.


    Production wise, (which i didn't want to comment on, but I will)...
    her heart's still breaking, vulnerable, strings, we don't want to get
    too much into "Power balad mode" with this one, we still want some
    soft intimacies, we don't want all of that soft vulnarabillity to
    just wash away, and punch you in the face in the chorus, typically
    this is where the big, distort-o guitars come in, on this track, they
    never do, you might expect it, but they never show up, and I'm
    actually quite happy about it, i really discussed not lifting the
    chorus too - too much on this one, with the artist, maintaining some
    continuity with the vibe of the intro, and we are both happy.

    However - Great production trick / tip / tool, I have used it many,
    many times, even gone as far as lowering the verses 2.5 db, with a
    pretty quick sweep back up to 0db for the choruses, I totally know
    what you're getting at - and you're right, that would provide quite a
    lift.

    >
    > Anyway, beautiful job by everyone involved. I've only listened to it so far
    > on some 'good' computer speakers but I know them well and I've listened to
    > the song about 20 times so far.


    Thank-you, and the musicians and artist thank you, i'm sure, in
    spirit, and sentiment, thanks for a great post john, with some great
    contributions, thankyou for listening so many times, and so
    meticulously. I have changed the level of the vocal after reading
    your post, i agree with you on all points, thanks again for
    contributing.

    ___
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40

    Or...

    Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    and funny studio stories, in my
    "studio stories forum"
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  14. >
    > > The tracking sounds great. It sounds like you didn't use a lot of
    > > eq, which I like, and hey, the vocals sound pitch corrected so that
    > > alone gets you halfway to country gold!

    >
    > Eeek ! this alarms me a wee bit.
    >
    > being completely honest, about 25% of the vocal has pitch correction
    > implimented to tighen up the vocal and make it a little more
    > "Pristene" however, in this day and age, where everything is comped
    > from 3 passes, and is run, from a-z through auto-tune mode, I'm
    > generally known for working with the vocalist on performance, breath,
    > air, dynamics, and I'll sparingly, and selectively graph tune moments
    > in what was already a stellar performance, as said before, to tighen
    > up moments in the track, for that uphoric "perfect" thang.
    >
    > I've been hired on several ocasions, just to cut vocals with
    > artists on their records, cause I'll spend all day with them, rather
    > than all day with the auto-tuner.
    >
    > If you can hear it.... i've gon too far, and your detection of it is
    > VERY important to me.
    >
    > let me know what words, and area's are pulling your ears into "tuner
    > mode" I'd REALLY appreciate it.
    >
    > Although this is more of a Production thing, I'm convinced that a ton
    > of producers, and engineers in nashville are so de-sensitized to the
    > auto-tuner, that they actually can't hear it any more, i've sat in
    > the control room, many MANY times, thinking to myself, "you're
    > kidding...right?" to hear it go out as a final, and land on CMT and
    > the radio, and I honestly think, after day in, and day out, their
    > ears have become immune to it, I fear that my theory may be true, in
    > which case, I'm not excluded from immunity to hearing it.
    >
    > let me know what you hear.


    David, I think your use of auto tune is very tasteful and my
    comment about "pitch correction" was more of a friendly jab at the
    country genre than your production. I think that these days a country
    song, or pop song for that matter, sounds unique if it DOESN'T have
    Auto Tune on it. I would leave it like it is personally but to answer
    your request here are the places that I noticed it most.
    1st Pre Chorus - The falsetto "waiting, anticipating." In the
    2nd Pre Chorus I could hear it all the way through "never known and
    now I'm waiting, anticipating"
    The place that it is most detectable is in the Chorus in the
    higher voices of the harmony "Time brings healing" That sounds like
    the plug in was set to auto instead of using graphical mode.
    Again I don't think that there is a problem. I can hear it
    because I use Auto Tune a lot and I guess I have a keen ear for it.
    Most everyone will just think it sounds like country music which is ,
    I think, what you're going for.
    It's interesting that you like to go the vocal coach route and
    take your time on getting the pitch right in the performance. I've
    tried that and many other ways of getting the best performance out of
    a singer but I must admit, these days I prefer to get the most
    energetic, soulful performance I can get without being really critical
    about pitch and then going into graphical mode and fixin' it up later.
    Whatever ends up sounding good in the end works, I guess :)
  15. <SNIP>
    >
    > David, I think your use of auto tune is very tasteful and my
    > comment about "pitch correction" was more of a friendly jab at the
    > country genre than your production.


    Whew - panic'd a bit, thought I was slipping up, sending out Cher
    vocals, and not hearing it anymore.

    > I think that these days a country
    > song, or pop song for that matter, sounds unique if it DOESN'T have
    > Auto Tune on it. I would leave it like it is personally but to answer
    > your request here are the places that I noticed it most.


    I agree, and would really like to lean towards unique.

    > 1st Pre Chorus - The falsetto "waiting, anticipating." In the
    > 2nd Pre Chorus I could hear it all the way through "never known and
    > now I'm waiting, anticipating"


    1st pre chorus "And I'm" were the only sylables graphed lightly,
    "waiting - Antiscipating" 1st time through were actually 100% girl
    into a microphone, she sings really well, sometimes it's almost a
    tuner illusion when you hear a near perfect vocal, but that's how she
    actually sang the line!

    2nd pre chorus - Never known - yes.. absolutely... and i'm gonna yank
    it - the falcetto's 2nd chorus, anytime there are 2 parts, or 3
    parts, it is used, pretty much through the 2nd chorus, and 3rd half
    chorus, the harmonies with tighter settings than the lead, all as you
    detected, but I'm gonna leave em

    This is all just more incentive for me to use less, and less, I'm
    glad for your post, it's like smoking cigarettes, this whole auto-
    tune thing, it's bad for your music's reality, but it's addictive.

    I really am going to strive to be "the guy" to get perfect vocals,
    that compete with the best of the tuned vocals, without the use of
    any intonation technology, that is pretty much my mission right now,
    although I still Love it on Bg's and once I go there, it makes my
    Lead vox sound just a little less beautiful.... it sucks you in, like
    a bad habit !

    Still, none of the verses, or single solo lines are intonated
    digitally, on the falcetto's, I used an electro harmonix chorus, and
    a Del-Ray echo... that mixed with the "pure tone" of the voice, the
    way she sweeps, may create the illusion at that spot in the fist pre-
    chorus that there is something pulling her into pitch.

    Thanks for your note.... I've yanked "Never Known" back to the un-
    treated comp playlist over here.
    --
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40

    Or...

    Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    and funny studio stories, in my
    "studio stories forum"
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  16. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Nicely done. I did anticipate that the song was going to leave me
    "unresolved" and since this was your intention, you made it work
    perfectly.

    The mix is really nice. However, "organic" or "intimate" intention
    should be true to "real world" listening situations. I wanted to hear
    the strings section in an appropriate room. I haven't had the chance
    to listen to a 9 piece string section in a living room. (To dry for my
    taste.) So, my perspective of the strings section on the recording
    were out of context. I visualize them in a nice wooded room with warm
    ambience. Might add dimension to the mix (which I thought it was
    lacking).

    Try this with the instrumentation, where are the acoustic guitars? In
    the back of the room? Front of the room? Sitting next to you? On the
    beach around the campfire? Same with drums. The Vocalist. Does she
    move in the mix. Foster and Barbra Streisand and the song "Somewhere"
    is a good example. You said it yourself, "mushy ballad". 25
    instruments with vocals is hard to fit in a 300 seat club. Hardly,
    intimate. Not trying to make it hard on you but just driving my point.
    Perspective and concept is really tough to hang on to when your
    mixing. It takes objectivness and self control. You damn near got it
    my friend.

    I'm sure you get the idea.....you seem to have a nice touch already.
    I just wanted to give you an opinion to chew on.

    Anyway, this is was fun. You did a nice job and it always helps when
    you have great talent to work with.

    Good luck,
    Steve



    David Kalmusky <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.19bddbf376a4d1a989680@66.185.95.104>...
    > Please, Please, do NOT....
    >
    > .....don't say you don't like the girls voice, you don't like the
    > song, that there is too much stuff going on, or not enough stuff,
    > it's too sparce etc.....
    >
    > Those are Production details, which I am NOT looking for a critique
    > on.
    >
    > I AM HOWEVER hoping to get some thoughts from some great professional
    > ears that post in here on a frequent basis.
    >
    > It's a mushy, new country ballad, so many of you won't like the
    > song, or the production right off the bat.
    >
    > There is however, lots of stuff going on.....and at times, not much
    > at all.
    >
    > The track has...
    >
    > Drums (lots of drum room)
    > Bass
    > 3 Acoustics
    > Whirlitzer
    > Grand Piano
    > Mandolin
    > 4 electric guitars
    > 9 piece string section
    > Synth Pad
    > 3 vocals
    >
    > I know mp3 is a horrible sonic representation compared to a hi-res
    > mix, obviously take that into account, I don't have the bandwidth for
    > the potential traffic generated by this post, for everyone to
    > download a 38meg 44,100 16 aiff
    >
    > Basically, I'm going for an intimate sounding, warm, wide mix, and
    > need to know if I'm getting there by leaving most things flat, and
    > dry, except for the vocals.
    >
    > Intimate, and "organic" can easilly cross into "amateur" mode, and
    > sound like a rough 2, lots of room, no rev on anything except for the
    > vocals and steel guitar.
    >
    > All sonic thoughts, critiques, praise, dislikes, and advice are
    > welcome.
    >
    > http://members.rogers.com/studio/Heart'sStillBreaking.mp3
    >
    > --
    >
    > David Kalmusky
    >
    >
    > Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    > audio that should never be heard !!!
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40
    >
    > Or...
    >
    > Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    > and funny studio stories, in my
    > "studio s
    > HOSes forum"
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  17. John L Rice

    John L Rice Guest

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the feed back and discussion. I actually listened to the song
    this morning once or twice before I went to work but I would of been a half
    hour late if I would have tried to respond. I figured I would be just
    repeating most of what others had already said but I liked the song so much
    I wanted to be apart of the discussion anyways!

    Right after I posted I got inspired to play around with it a little bit so I
    just spent the last two hours playing around and 'mastering' it. I realize
    that mastering converted mp3s is a little like turd polishing, but even in
    mp3 form this song is no turd . . . and I often ignore common sense so . . .
    .. .

    http://www.imjohn.com/misc/DavidKalmusky/HeartsStillBreaking-MasteringJohnLRice.mp3

    Now, I was just comparing the version you posted to the one I just did and I
    really can't tell much difference but . . .maybe that's somewhat of a good
    thing? It's funny though because I did a lot of different things. Maybe I'm
    to close to it at the moment. I'd appreciate yours and anyone else's
    comments as to if what I did was worth the effort or not and why.

    If there is interest I'll let you know what I did but I missed dinner and
    need to correct that situation.

    Thanks for the inspiration David and band!

    John L Rice
    Drummer@ImJohn.com

    PS - the bass sounded great on my 'actual' system. ;-)

    So I spent a couple hours and did a whole bunch of stuff
    "David Kalmusky" <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.19bf06be727c9c7498968a@66.185.95.104...
    > <SNIP>
    > > - it seems like some of the instuments are competing with the lead

    vocals at
    > > times, in particular the slide guitar, snare drum and grand piano. (
    > > especially when listening at low volumes ) Maybe rein them in a little

    more
    > > or compress the lead vocal a tad more?

    >
    > That's what I like about the whole mass, general consensus thing,
    > this is the 3rd comment on losing the vocal, I've since turned up
    > specifically noted parts by 1.5db and yanked up the whole vocal, on
    > top of that another DB, i'd like to not squash them if I don't have
    > to, they were recorded through a neve pre and a manley limiter, that
    > is enough squashing for me. but as per your post, I've yanked the vox
    > on the choruses up another .5db - so thankyou for listening.
    >
    >
    > > - the mix seems a little light on the bottom. It would be nice to hear

    more
    > > bass guitar in particular. Maybe compressed so the notes sustain a

    little
    > > more and provide a more solid bottom. Possibly a little more low end

    'omph'
    > > from the toms and piano would be nice and a hair more from the bass

    drum.
    >
    > Yes this has also been commented on, I don't want to take a thin
    > mix in to be mastered, and "beefed up" I'd rather take a fat mix in,
    > and roll it off in the mastering, i'll be looking into fattening the
    > bass, kick, synth pad, room mic, piano in small incruments.
    > >
    > > - It would be nice to hear a little more energy in the chorus'. I know

    this
    > > is more of an arrangement/performance/production thing but maybe

    increacing
    > > the gain on the choruses or lowering the gain on the verses just a hair
    > > might help.

    >
    > Production wise, (which i didn't want to comment on, but I will)...
    > her heart's still breaking, vulnerable, strings, we don't want to get
    > too much into "Power balad mode" with this one, we still want some
    > soft intimacies, we don't want all of that soft vulnarabillity to
    > just wash away, and punch you in the face in the chorus, typically
    > this is where the big, distort-o guitars come in, on this track, they
    > never do, you might expect it, but they never show up, and I'm
    > actually quite happy about it, i really discussed not lifting the
    > chorus too - too much on this one, with the artist, maintaining some
    > continuity with the vibe of the intro, and we are both happy.
    >
    > However - Great production trick / tip / tool, I have used it many,
    > many times, even gone as far as lowering the verses 2.5 db, with a
    > pretty quick sweep back up to 0db for the choruses, I totally know
    > what you're getting at - and you're right, that would provide quite a
    > lift.
    >
    > >
    > > Anyway, beautiful job by everyone involved. I've only listened to it so

    far
    > > on some 'good' computer speakers but I know them well and I've listened

    to
    > > the song about 20 times so far.

    >
    > Thank-you, and the musicians and artist thank you, i'm sure, in
    > spirit, and sentiment, thanks for a great post john, with some great
    > contributions, thankyou for listening so many times, and so
    > meticulously. I have changed the level of the vocal after reading
    > your post, i agree with you on all points, thanks again for
    > contributing.
    >
    > ___
    > David Kalmusky
    >
    > Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    > audio that should never be heard !!!
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40
    >
    > Or...
    >
    > Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    > and funny studio stories, in my
    > "studio stories forum"
    > http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  18. In article <bb5928cb.0309021836.31ea6f26@posting.google.com>,
    stelios88@sbcglobal.net says...
    > Nicely done. I did anticipate that the song was going to leave me
    > "unresolved" and since this was your intention, you made it work
    > perfectly.
    >
    > The mix is really nice. However, "organic" or "intimate" intention
    > should be true to "real world" listening situations. I wanted to hear
    > the strings section in an appropriate room. I haven't had the chance
    > to listen to a 9 piece string section in a living room. (To dry for my
    > taste.) So, my perspective of the strings section on the recording
    > were out of context. I visualize them in a nice wooded room with warm
    > ambience. Might add dimension to the mix (which I thought it was
    > lacking).
    >
    > Try this with the instrumentation, where are the acoustic guitars? In
    > the back of the room? Front of the room? Sitting next to you? On the
    > beach around the campfire? Same with drums. The Vocalist. Does she
    > move in the mix. Foster and Barbra Streisand and the song "Somewhere"
    > is a good example. You said it yourself, "mushy ballad". 25
    > instruments with vocals is hard to fit in a 300 seat club. Hardly,
    > intimate. Not trying to make it hard on you but just driving my point.
    > Perspective and concept is really tough to hang on to when your
    > mixing. It takes objectivness and self control. You damn near got it
    > my friend.
    >
    > I'm sure you get the idea.....you seem to have a nice touch already.
    > I just wanted to give you an opinion to chew on.
    >
    > Anyway, this is was fun. You did a nice job and it always helps when
    > you have great talent to work with.
    >
    > Good luck,
    > Steve
    >

    Hey Steve, great post, and great thoughts, as a producer, I
    constantly do all of this, and was fairly meticulous about the
    perspective on each of the instruments and parts, perhaps this is the
    point of the whole post, that as a mixing engineer, I'm not able to
    get it across, I need to hear the room around things, infact
    everything, it's a huge part of what i do.

    The Drums and bass were recorded together in a 900 square ft room,
    with a hard wood floor, and carpeted back wall, the back of the room
    8ft high, the front of the room 16 ft high, the bass amp in
    isolation, in a dead chamber, the main drum room where the bass
    player stood, and the drummer performed had several room mics placed
    in it, and were hot in the mix in contrast to the close proximity
    mics.

    The acoustic guitar was recorded in a den, 12 x 12 with a 130 year
    old hard wood floor, 2 wood walls, and 2 burlap walls, with 12 ft
    ceiling.

    The strings were recorded in an 1800 squre ft studio floor,
    carpeted, with maple walls, and a 21 ft ceiling, extremely paralelled
    with the acoustics of a small 300-500 soft seat theatre.

    The mandolin was recorded very close, in a dead environment, off
    the neck, keeping most of the bright tones, allowing the acoustic to
    contribute body and depth.

    The vocal, I wanted to always be close, recorded close proximity to
    a U-47 through a Neve strip, and Manley limiter, standing right
    beside me in the control room.

    Your post is very important to me, I am always fairly meticulous
    with this kind of thought into tracking music, I'm confident in my
    abillity to make those choices for the track, but curious in my
    abillities to bring it out in the mix, by your comments, i have
    failed to provide you with all of the environments i have created
    during recording, in my final mix.... and this, is exactly what this
    post is about.

    I spent 2 days writing and arranging string parts, and hired top
    call symphony guys to play the parts, directing them to over
    emphasize their vibrato, giving me a "1950's soap opera kind of
    drama" I really got that performance out of them, in an incredible
    huge, and dark / warm room, I REALLY want you to be able to hear that
    room around their performance, otherwise I'm not achieving my goals
    after meticulous thought, the fact that it sounds like the string
    parts are played in a livingroom, to me, makes them generic, sting
    parts that were or could have just been "Thrown Down"

    thanks for your post, i'll put some serious consideration into
    bringing more string room into the track, as long as it doesn't
    interfear with other perspectives i have created in the track.

    you know.... it is MP3 which is robbing a considerable amount of
    harmonics from the final mix... i really need to keep that into
    consideration as well.

    nevertheless (just thinking out loud at this point) thanks for your
    great post.

    Much appreciated.

    --------
    David Kalmusky

    Visit the "DRAWER OF SHAME" if you dare,
    audio that should never be heard !!!
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=40

    Or...

    Post your crazy studio mishaps,
    and funny studio stories, in my
    "studio stories forum"
    http://www.kalmusky.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=6
  19. In article <vlamkqpuhgs168@corp.supernews.com>, Drummer@ImJohn.com
    says...
    > Hi David,
    >
    > Thanks for the feed back and discussion. I actually listened to the song
    > this morning once or twice before I went to work but I would of been a half
    > hour late if I would have tried to respond. I figured I would be just
    > repeating most of what others had already said but I liked the song so much
    > I wanted to be apart of the discussion anyways!
    >
    > Right after I posted I got inspired to play around with it a little bit so I
    > just spent the last two hours playing around and 'mastering' it. I realize
    > that mastering converted mp3s is a little like turd polishing, but even in
    > mp3 form this song is no turd . . . and I often ignore common sense so . . .
    > . .
    >
    > http://www.imjohn.com/misc/DavidKalmusky/HeartsStillBreaking-MasteringJohnLRice.mp3
    >
    > Now, I was just comparing the version you posted to the one I just did and I
    > really can't tell much difference but . . .maybe that's somewhat of a good
    > thing? It's funny though because I did a lot of different things. Maybe I'm
    > to close to it at the moment. I'd appreciate yours and anyone else's
    > comments as to if what I did was worth the effort or not and why.
    >
    > If there is interest I'll let you know what I did but I missed dinner and
    > need to correct that situation.
    >
    > Thanks for the inspiration David and band!
    >
    > John L Rice
    > Drummer@ImJohn.com
    >
    > PS - the bass sounded great on my 'actual' system. ;-)


    Hey John, thanks for taking so much interest, and playing with the
    file, yes... unfortunately mp3 is bad enough, let alone a 2nd
    generation conversion, i'm afraid it's lost too much harmonic content
    to really be certain of the clarity of the mastering curves you've
    applied.

    As well, for level purposes, I applied an L1 to the final that I
    posted, with no real gain reduction, but about as much level boosting
    that i could stand to listen too before i felt like i was begining to
    squash dynamics.

    With that as a start point for your mastering (which i would never
    do....I'll remove the L1 before I take it to be mastered) I can hear
    the punping and breathing of the dynamics limiting on your file,
    especially in the choruses, i'll bet without my L1, it'd be
    considerably less detectable, but compressing an already boosted,
    slightly limited file, already at the brink of dynamic detection,
    just pushes her, over the cliff !

    the Eq'ing from what i could hear on a 2nd generation mp3 was
    really nice, nice choices in bottom end gain, and top roll of, or
    what ever it was that you did, it did make the whole spectrum a
    little warmer, and fatter.

    Thanks again, I'm glad to have provided some sonic experiments, I'm
    definately not going to master this stuff myself, I'll be taking it
    to George Graves at the Laquer channel ( U2, Peter Gabriel, etc...)
    and I'll do it with him, and his ears and gear, I'm just branching
    into mixing, I'm still at least another decade before I decide to
    master everything I produce and mix :)

    Thanks John, i hope you're enjoying dinner, i'm divorced, i missed
    too many dinners tweaking mixes... be carefull !!!

    David
  20. John L Rice

    John L Rice Guest

    "David Kalmusky" <REMOVE_studio@rogers.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.19bf2e7f86ae0f4798968d@66.185.95.104...
    > In article <vlamkqpuhgs168@corp.supernews.com>, Drummer@ImJohn.com
    > says...
    > > Hi David,
    > >
    > > Thanks for the feed back and discussion. I actually listened to the

    song
    > > this morning once or twice before I went to work but I would of been a

    half
    > > hour late if I would have tried to respond. I figured I would be just
    > > repeating most of what others had already said but I liked the song so

    much
    > > I wanted to be apart of the discussion anyways!
    > >
    > > Right after I posted I got inspired to play around with it a little bit

    so I
    > > just spent the last two hours playing around and 'mastering' it. I

    realize
    > > that mastering converted mp3s is a little like turd polishing, but even

    in
    > > mp3 form this song is no turd . . . and I often ignore common sense so .

    .. .
    > > . .
    > >
    > >

    http://www.imjohn.com/misc/DavidKalmusky/HeartsStillBreaking-MasteringJohnLRice.mp3
    > >
    > > Now, I was just comparing the version you posted to the one I just did

    and I
    > > really can't tell much difference but . . .maybe that's somewhat of a

    good
    > > thing? It's funny though because I did a lot of different things. Maybe

    I'm
    > > to close to it at the moment. I'd appreciate yours and anyone else's
    > > comments as to if what I did was worth the effort or not and why.
    > >
    > > If there is interest I'll let you know what I did but I missed dinner

    and
    > > need to correct that situation.
    > >
    > > Thanks for the inspiration David and band!
    > >
    > > John L Rice
    > > Drummer@ImJohn.com
    > >
    > > PS - the bass sounded great on my 'actual' system. ;-)

    >
    > Hey John, thanks for taking so much interest, and playing with the
    > file, yes... unfortunately mp3 is bad enough, let alone a 2nd
    > generation conversion, i'm afraid it's lost too much harmonic content
    > to really be certain of the clarity of the mastering curves you've
    > applied.
    >
    > As well, for level purposes, I applied an L1 to the final that I
    > posted, with no real gain reduction, but about as much level boosting
    > that i could stand to listen too before i felt like i was begining to
    > squash dynamics.
    >
    > With that as a start point for your mastering (which i would never
    > do....I'll remove the L1 before I take it to be mastered) I can hear
    > the punping and breathing of the dynamics limiting on your file,
    > especially in the choruses, i'll bet without my L1, it'd be
    > considerably less detectable, but compressing an already boosted,
    > slightly limited file, already at the brink of dynamic detection,
    > just pushes her, over the cliff !
    >
    > the Eq'ing from what i could hear on a 2nd generation mp3 was
    > really nice, nice choices in bottom end gain, and top roll of, or
    > what ever it was that you did, it did make the whole spectrum a
    > little warmer, and fatter.
    >
    > Thanks again, I'm glad to have provided some sonic experiments, I'm
    > definately not going to master this stuff myself, I'll be taking it
    > to George Graves at the Laquer channel ( U2, Peter Gabriel, etc...)
    > and I'll do it with him, and his ears and gear, I'm just branching
    > into mixing, I'm still at least another decade before I decide to
    > master everything I produce and mix :)
    >
    > Thanks John, i hope you're enjoying dinner, i'm divorced, i missed
    > too many dinners tweaking mixes... be carefull !!!
    >
    > David


    Hi David,

    Thanks for the response. It's pretty pointless 'mastering' an mp3 but I've
    wasted my time in a lot worse ways. ;-)

    FWIW, working in Wavelab 4 I ( from what I can remember ) :
    dropped the overall gain -7 db ( for room to work with )
    raised the choruses +1 db ( 2 db seemed too much ). I started the gain raise
    a couple beats prior to the chorus
    dropped the tail end by -1 db ( starting at about 3:10 )
    UAD-1 Pultec EQ : +2 and -1 @ 30 Hz / +2 @ 5kHz width at 5 / -1 @12kHz
    UAD-1 LA-2A input at 45 / gain reduction at 25
    UAD-1 RealVerb big warm room preset at 5% wetness. I rolled off the low end
    EQ and tweaked the reflections a little
    added a VST reverb starting at about 3:15
    VST puncher soft or medium setting ( forgot which ) at 45%
    UAD-1 Pultec EQ +1.5 @ 10kHz
    raised overall gain by a little over +4 db to bring peak level up to -0.1
    converted to 192 sample rate mp3 using LAME and high quality setting


    You know what would be really great. If it's at all possible if you could
    make the final mix for this one available to me so that I could try my hand
    at mastering it, and then when the actual album comes out I can compare what
    I did to what the actual mastering engineer did so I can learn a thing or
    three by comparison. ( I'd be happy to sign something etc ) Actually, it
    might be a fun concept for an alternative rec.audio.pro release. Make the
    wav file available, let a bunch of folks master it, then put everyone's
    attempts on the cd along with the released version. It could be titled "What
    made YOU think you knew how to master?"

    Anyway, thanks for listening and all the feedback. This thread sure has you
    busy!

    Best of luck!

    John L Rice
    Drummer@ImJohn.com


    PS - dinner was chicken breast boiled with onions, carrots and celery over
    white rice with a side of lima beans. YUM!

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