Golden Heart by M.K.

By Mark Knopfler

Here’s a rough mix of my latest recording of Mark Knopfler’s Golden Heart, which I think it one of the nicest songs ever written. I am playing all the instruments and programming the drum track. I am still working on some parts (penny whistle) but I wanted to get some early impressions.

Go to my web site and click on Fav - it’s the second song in the list.

Nice treatment of the song Mike. Drum track sounds good and whistles are a nice touch. I like the fact you kept the simplicity of the song. I’d like to hear the vocals a little more intimate, I saw Knopfler do this live and he practically breathed the song into the mic, you have the voice to do that. Nice work!

I agree that this is one of Knopflers most beautiful songs. The whole Golden Heart album is great. I recorded Darling Pretty and Golden heart from the album about 3 years ago just for fun. My buddy on guitar loved doing Darling Pretty, you should give it a whirl.

Yarp, that AT4050 is sounding just fine. The acoustic has a really nice shimmer to it. Good stuff. To nit pick, some compression on the vox (or more compression) would help a lot as I feel like the vocals need to be a bit more solid in the mix. Not just louder… just more solid as they seem to peek out and then dip down… Otherwise, pretty damn solid stuff. And what’s wrong with the whistle?

Thanks for listening and please nit pick all you want - I want to hear your feedback.


I like the fact you kept the simplicity of the song.

Right - that was the whole idea. I want my version to be completely acoustic (other than the electric bass), and therefore keep it even simplier than the original.

As for the breathy vocals, I know exactly what you mean (the original recording is like that) but I can NOT do that. The song is very low for my range, and I would probably have to speak the words to get that sound.


some compression on the vox (or more compression) would help a lot as I feel like the vocals need to be a bit more solid in the mix

I’ll see what I can do but there is already compression on the vocals, as there are on all my mixes.

Yes - I think the penny whistle sounds good but it’s too loose for my standards. I used to play the penny whistle a fair amount and I am very rusty on it now.

Heh, I know how it is. Just saying, you are just pleasing yourself (which is 90% of what we do in the end, isn’t it) messing with that penny whistle part as I think it is quite good.

As for the vocals, I heard the fact it was low in your range too and was hesitant to say put it up a step or so… but if you are hip to a retrack… throw on a capo and do it more in your range.

I’m more impressed with your acoustic playing than anything Mike. Very nicely done.
I’m missing some cymbal action at the end of the fill out of the penny whistle section.

Sounds great to me. Can’t wait to hear it when ‘you’re’ happy with it.

One of the best gigs I ever went to was Mark K, Steve Phillips and Brendan Croker.
Three dobros in a small club. Blew my head off!

The guitar playin is real nice Tony, voice works.
If you want to sell it, it would be wise to get a singer, true.
But on the other hand, I’d say your style has it’s own charm

Thanks for all the feedback!


throw on a capo and do it more in your range.

I perform this song regularly and I’ve actually tried that, but the song loses it’s nice sound, so I decided to keep it in G.


I’m more impressed with your acoustic playing than anything Mike

Thanks! Even though the intro part is actually quite easy to play, it was really hard to get a recording of it that I liked. The version now is fairly correct, but I hear lots of small mistakes in it.

No I am not selling these songs (because I didn’t write them).
This project is to take songs that I like and record them with my interpretation.

awwww this is purrrty, right up my street. your soft vocals are lovely and I like the guitar picking style…and of corse, the whistle just put a lovely little lift to it in the middle there, I’m liking this lots.

Ange x

Ange - thanks for the kind words!
Hopefully the final version will be even better.

New mix: re-did the vocal track, added a harmony track, reduced reverb, played around with the stereo image.
Let me know what you think!

Guitar moved further right? It seems to make the sound feel cramped to me. Are you using a stereo verb? It is like things are very live and exciting on the right side and like the left speaker is turned off. The mando has the same deal. Kind of disorienting IMO. I think I preferred it before. A stereo verb might be all you need… but not knowing the path you are using it is tough to say. Digging the vocals. Also, those ride bell hits and cymbal crashes… perhaps bring them down a bit as they are pretty loud in the mix.

Very good Mike, very nice performance.
With the exception of the drums, the left side needs some presence in the mix, sorta muffled.
I enjoyed! :agree:

Thanks for listening & the critique!

Bubba - I should let you mix the this tune :slight_smile:
It’s a Reaper project.

Actually the guitar and mando are at 70 right/left.
The acoustic guitar is actually 2 tracks with the direct line (from my guitar) on the right and the AT4050 in the middle.
I actually like the separation between the mando & guitar but I agree - the right side is too hot.
All I need to do is to bring down the direct line track a bit.
The cymbals & the one crash are too loud & that’s an easy fix.

I don’t have any experience using stereo reverb - could you enlighten me.
I have mixed the reverb toward the left or right side - is that what you mean?

AH, that is likely what is screwing you… panning the verb. Generally it is wise to send a panned dry signal to the verb and leave the verb dead center. The idea being, the sound will “bounce” off of all the walls in the room. Essentially, panning the reverb is moving the room. Panning the dry send to the verb is moving the instrument IN the room. This gives a sense of coherent space which is what is missing here. Otherwise it is like you are listening to a performance with one ear against a brick wall… In Reaper, if you set the send to be post FX/post pan, this sort of setup should be automatic.

Happy to take a stab at a mix if you are serious.

BTW, what are you using for reverb?

You’re damn right I am serious.
If we can figure out a way to share the project, you are more than welcome to mix this piece.
I could mail you a CD or if we can figure out a way to transfer the files, using FTP or something, then we could do that.

Actually I am not panning the reverb on this project, so it is dead in the middle.
I use EasyVerb by PSP Audioware.


In Reaper, if you set the send to be post FX/post pan, this sort of setup should be automatic

I may not be doing this the optimal way because I started doing it before Reaper had of it’s functions. So I am creating a track with just the reverb on it and sending the vocals to it. I also do this for the other instruments in the mix (using a different verb than my vocals) with the exception of the drums which I put a little Ambience verb on.

You have mail… also, I am listening to the original and I think your vocals are much better than Mark’s.