There’s always the risk that when you take on someone’s tune they’re gonna respond with shock and horror! It has happened in the past.
So… in this case, PHEW!
There were a number of issues which I tried to tackle. The recording has symptoms which I’d associate with being too close to the mic: very pronounced ‘esses’ and sibs. Also the attack on ‘k’ sounds pronounced and trailing consanants which normally I have to boost… in this case I had to do the opposite. I tried to attend to most of these issues manually, but there’s some significant ‘de-essing’ still at work. Also signs of proximity effect… which I may have been over-zealous in trying to tackle with some heafty EQ.
Tube preamp perhaps? I personally never really liked what valves applied up front did to a vocal to be honest so I ended up selling my tube pre-amp last year. People say valves impart a nice appealing warmth, but all I heard was noise and fizz. I like my vocals to go in crystal clear, the sort of pristine clarity you get form solid-state analog. Add the fizz later if you want it. There’s an element in your vocal recording that reminds me of that ‘warm fizz’ you often get from valves (tubes).
And also … did you use variaudio? I use this all the time but one thing it does is turn ‘esses’ into ‘zzeds’ if you’re not careful. I just wondered because some of the ‘esses’ sound a bit ‘zzedy’ !
Anyway… I’ve now tweaked the vocal EQ and replaced the mix.
Bane wanted to know what was used in the track. Here’s a quick summary:
As guessed, piano is Alicia Keys Yamaha. The original MIDI was modified… it was a bit flat dynamically and a bit over quantised I thought. I’ve tweaked velocities manually, and also randomised timing (MIDI Modifiers - velocity and timing) - just to help loosen it up a bit. Also messed with some notes… in places moving things up an octave.
Drums are Jamstix 3.x driving Steve Slate 4. Jamstix player is “Phil” which based on the fill’s style is probably modeled on Phil Collins. Tamborine is live!
Guitars - 2 x acoustics recorded live. Lead guitar is my strat run through VST Amp Rack. Bass is HALion Sonic sample (Fingered Bassman) also run through VST Amp Rack.
Strings are Garritan Personal Orchestra. A lightweight amongst the libraries, but VERY affordable and well-suited as a backdrop to pop/rock productions where the orchestra is not the main event. Even U2 use it in their live shows! http://www.garritan.com/u2-in-concert/
Vocal harmonies were created from duplicates of Kevin’s lead vox and re-tuned to suit. Artifacts are very apparent solo’d but in the mix… seems ok?
I’ve created some sample sub-mixes, to help Blake mostly hear the various different parts making up the final mix.