[MUSIC] You Don't Have to be Hot to Like Country

Yeah, that title is a mouthful. :mrgreen:

Ok, so this is my first real foray into the country music genre. But given that I was born and raised in the south, I suppose it was only a matter of time before I took the plunge.

I originally intended to modify the lyrics, but after “careful reflection” I realized that few modern country songs have lyrics that I would put up against Sting or Neil Peart (how’s that for diplomacy? haha) so I opted to leave them alone.

Peter (desert) kindly contributed a great Hammond line, and my oldest daughter helped considerably with the backing vocals.

All in all, I’m happy with this song. I’ve never tried playing a country lead, and it took me a while to get enough phrases that connected well. It doesn’t sound like I hacked it, even though I did. :laughing:

Lead and clean rhythm guitar: American Strat > MindPrint Envoice MKII > Cubase > Guitar Rig 5
Crunch rhythm guitar: Les Paul Standard > MindPrint Envoice MKII > Cubase > Guitar Rig 5
Acoustic: Takamine something (I bought it in the late 80’s and don’t remember the model) > MindPrint Envoice MKII > Cubase
Bass: Fender Jazz Bass > MindPrint Envoice MKII (fairly compressed) > Cubase > Guitar Rig 5
Drums: Jamstix 3.6 > Battery 4
Vocals: Neumann TLM103 > MindPrint Envoice MKII > Cubase

I used plug-ins from Native Instruments, FabFilter, Variety of Sound, and SoundToys (plus, of course, Melodyne to correct my crappy vocals and guitar playing) but mostly used native plugs. I’m overjoyed that the drums finally came out with the prominence that they should have without taking over the mix.

(Edit: updated link to point to Bandcamp)

You Don’t Have to be Hot

I have to say that when it started playing and I heard the lyrics I just started chuckling! Well done, Larry!

Thanks for listening!

I’d appreciate your comments on the mix, however. When comparing past mixes to those from Lenny and Kim, for example, mine have lacked sheen on the overall mix (vs. just the vocals). I’ve not been able to figure out what was going on before in order to fix it. Does this song have any issues that you think need to be addressed before I actually post it to Bandcamp?

Peter pointed out that the organ track was early by a small amount. This has been corrected, and a new mix uploaded to the same link.

Do you have a track in particular you are comparing it to?
Define “Sheen”.

The mix sounds fine. You did a good job with the sound and fitting it to the genre of typical country sonics. Voice seems set back in the sound stage. A little mid eq boost could bring it forward.

From this point forward is a taste thing >>>
As far as the overall sound, it sounds a bit “direct inject” I tend to always process DI bass guitar into guitar rig bass amp sim to give it a little character and stereo presence. I do it even if I have miced a cabinet. Usually I “send-bus” the di to a group channel and put GRig on that track and blend it in. On the group I sometimes gently roll off starting at the low-mids as spatial imaging is determined by higher frequencies and I want to leave room for the growl of the guitar.

There are mix things I would have done differently (again a taste thing). Like, the drum cymbals are very wide and a little sizzly. Perhaps a little too forward? Too wide in the verse for my taste. Distracting. I usually open them up during choruses and have a reverb on the voice tuned to the cymbals (or even dump the vocal into the cymbal reverb if you have one to fill the center image when the cymbals go wide. Then collapse (narrow a bit) it at the next verse…

It could be my listening environment too. I am listening in the studio on my focal trios which have really good imaging.

great fun to play along with, well done larry :smiley:

Listen to anything on Lenny’s The Silver Thread, for example. It’s not like his mixes were particularly bright, but comparing my stuff to that album makes my songs sound quite dull.

Interesting you say this. I thought they were forward, so I pulled them back. Then I made a bunch of other tweaks, which could have crowded that frequency range a bit. I’m awfully scared of making the vocals too prominent, though, so this has something to do with it too I’m sure.

That reminds me that I didn’t use Guitar Rig on the bass, which I normally do. I’m adding that now.

On the drums, I use the Magneto presets, which really change the sonic characteristics of each of the 6 drum tracks I have (kick, snare, hat, cymbals, toms, and “misc” which includes the cowbell). On the hat and cymbals, I’m using the “Cymbal silk” preset, which does make it sound quite bright. I just added a LPF with a rolloff starting at 7 kHz and it does tame the cymbals quite a bit.

Just uploaded a new mix. Same link.