Other Way Around

music by Kevin Carlson

Hi all,

I’ve been messing around with NTrack for a while and have been doing mostly acoustic work but I just finished my first song with a full band. Actually, the band consists of me on the instruments / vocals and NTrack drums. Pretty happy with the way this one turned out. It sounds much better on decent speakers, not the little built-in computer speakers. I’d be interested in your comments on the song, the mix, etc.

www.kevincarlsonmusic.com/OtherWayAroundfullband.mp3

In case anyone is interested, here’s my setup:
- NTrack 5 (24-bit)
- Alesis Multimix 16 FireWire mixer
- Samson Resolv 65a monitors
- Dell Latitude (Intel 2 core 2GHz, 2GbRAM, 7200RPM HD)
- Vocal mic: Samson USB mic and Shure SM58
- Guitars: Taylor 654ce 12-string, Yamaha bass guitar

Thanks,

Kevin

Great job! Guitars sounded great, nice mix.

Enjoyed! :D

Kevin:

Great job on the song!

I like:
1. the vocals - especially the back up vocals. The “Ooooh’s” when the drums kick in are a very nice touch.
2. the drums - what N-Track kit did you use, and did you change the presets and rhythm patterns or are these the factory presets?
3. the lyrics - my favorite line: (“Even angels cry when they miss your smile”). I’d could see another song coming out of that one line.

If I could change something, I guess it would be the bass guitar I wish:
1. The bass guitar were a little more prominent in your mix - I couldn’t pick it out of your mix most of the time. Maybe adding a little more presence to the lower frequencies in your master eq would do it, but it just doesn’t have enough bass guitar in my very humble opinion.

This is probably just a personal preference for me, but I really like to “feel” the bass guitar nearly on the same lvl as the kick drum — akin to a heartbeat or something.

As an afterthought, adding a “slide” somewhere on your bass line, may be all you need to do to bring it out a little more, and separate it from everything else that is going on.

Overall, a very nice song and mix though, and I’d love to hear the story behind the lyrics.

All the best,
Iplan

Thanks a lot for listening to the song and for your comments. To answer your questions / comments:

Drums: I used the Acoustic Live kit for Ntrack drums but I swapped out the sample for the kick and snare, using some I have had (and liked) for a while. All of the patterns are custom, built from scratch just for the song. I wanted the drums to sound as real as possible and to me that meant altering the fills (there about 8 different fill patters used throughout the song with most being used only once) and slightly altering the velocity on cymbals, toms, snare, kick and hihat throughout each pattern according to how a real drummer might actually play. When doing the final mix I went back and altered the individual volume level and reverb level of each drum kit sound as needed. This took a good bit of time, but I was happy with the end result. Another interesting thing is that I originally recorded this song without Ntrack drums, but I used a midi drum track (generic channel 10 sounds) of a hihat hitting each quarter note as a click track. I was able to repurpose this midi track after the acoustic version of the song was done and add in Ntrack drums and bass guitar.

Bass Guitar: I hear you. Just before I posted the URL to this song, I was convinced the bass was too loud and remixed it to make it less prominent. I guess I still have some work to do figuring out the right bass level in the song.

Thanks very much for the feedback!

Kevin