request comments on production

Lift It Up - Country Rock Song

I can hear all of the instruments very clearly so I think everything is in its own space. How do I get a more professional sound? To me it has a “raw or live” sound.

This was recorded using a Presonus Firepod interface and n-tracks. Vocals were recorded using an AKG C2000B. Instruments were recorded using MXL pencil condensor mics and a Shure B52 for the kick. Bass was recorded direct using a tube preamp.

Thanks for your input.



The old addage “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” comes to mind.

My opinion is that the song sounds right as it is. The production fits the character of the song.

Good work Keith.


Hi Keith:
Good to hear you’re still working on this project… I sounded great when you first posted it… I wish I had a faster internet connection to download projects… The guys around this Board are producing some great stuff…

Have you re-recorded the tracks? Or, Is it in your plans to re-record them?

The best way to get “Live Feel” to your tracks is to capture them right off your stage…

If you’re looking for some “Studio Feel” from them you can get your guys to create their tracks in a studio environment and then “Add and Mix-and-Match” the studio tracks to the live tracks till you get them to behave like you want them to sound like…

That’s one option… Well…

If you can play to a “Click Track” on the stage, you can use the Stage tracks to “Ghost” the studio Tracks , to… Then you have complete control over them…

That’s another option…

Is your link an updated mix? I have an earlier download… Thank you for posting the link to the song…


Yes. This is an updated link. I redid the bass and vocals. I posted the song on and received several negative comments on the productions. That is why I’m requesting comments on how to improve the production.

Thanks for your input.


Hi Again SaxAppeal:
I’m downloading your remix as I post this reply… I have a dialup… Shame-on-Me… Anyway, i have the earlier mix here and I’ll compare the two versions…

You know , and I get into this without even trying… The first attempt at a mix “Glosses” over some of the details… The next mix session addresses these details and fixes what you thought you heard, the first time… After that you can re-mix the session and tweak the faders and still make improvements… But the changes become more minute for each attempt you make at the details… Well… that’s how I react to re-mix sessions that I get involved in, here…

I’m waiting for the download to complete…



How do I get a more professional sound? To me it has a “raw or live” sound.

Ah - that’s what a good mix engineer does. As Steve says, it sounds OK as is but it could sound more “professional”, depending on what you’re going for.

How were the guitars recorded? Were you using amp modelers or recording the amp using a mic?

Can you be more specific about what the people on garageband didn’t like?

I recorded the guitars by micing a Fender Pro Jr. amp with a MXL Pencil 883 mic.

Comments included that the rhythm guitar was very microphonic. One person said it sounded like the entire song was played in a garage and recorded with a boom box. Others have said the production was OK but not Nashville Studio quality.

I certainly don’t expect Nashiville Studio quality but I do expect better than boom box quality. I believe my quality is somewhere in between.

Keith ???


Keith, I’ve never visited garageband but the quality of your recording is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
You do right seeking a wider range of opinions.



Comments included that the rhythm guitar was very microphonic.

I agree with this comment. That’s why I asked about how you recorded the guitars. Does the rhythm guitar sound like this in real life.

One person said it sounded like the entire song was played in a garage and recorded with a boom box.

I don’t agree with this, i.e., it sounds better.

Others have said the production was OK but not Nashville Studio quality.

There’s a lot of things that you could do to get better quality, e.g., EQ, reverb, compression.

You’ve discovered the pitfalls of doing home recording, i.e., you have to learn a lot and have good equipment to get studio quality.

Saxappeal, periodically I read the comments that reviewers make about recordings that bands post on The comments often have little to do with the quality of the music, and even less to do with the recording quality, and it is clear to me that you can’t get too caught up in what one or two people say. Anyway, there is a lot to like about your song and recording. There is good singing, and some good guitar work. These parts sound right on to me. The cymbals on the drums are way in the background, and although there is nothing wrong with that, some people might expect to hear them more. You might polish up the sound a little bit using compression and reverb as Mr. Soul suggested, if that’s what you want. Let me put this way: I’ve heard lots of music that was recorded in a studio that I enjoyed much less than your home recording. You’ve got a good song that is not overdone, is well performed, and nicely recorded. That’s pretty hard to beat.


Thanks for the kind words, T. I did use some compression and reverb but I will see if I can enhance those effects. I will try to bring the drums more to the front (which I think is needed for a dance song) and probably rerecord the rhythm guitar part. The recording did accurately capture the sound of the rhythm guitar so I will modify the guitar/amp combination and record it again.

I appreciate all of the comments. Fortunately, this is only a hobby for me but nevertheless, I want to be good at it. I built a recording studio in my basement (8 x 10 room with studio foam covering the wall and ceiling) and many musician friends want to use it for their music. After all, I don’t charge them anything except the return favor of playing on my songs!


Keith :D

Nice top 40 DD flair to it. And man whoever is doing the vocals reminds me of Keith Urban. Love the “twang” sound.
Sounds like you had fun doing this.

EDIT) I like the guitar so much. I’m near convinced you used the bridge pickup on a Tele. What about a little slap back delay on the guitar?

Yep. You got it. Bridge pickup on a tele. I will look into adding some slap back delay. That could help fill out the song.

I’m from south Arkansas. The twang comes natural!


Add a little more compression on the vocals. Today’s songs are so compressed its almost rediculous. Bring the over all vocal level down by about 2 decibels or so. I think the drums soound appropriate, if anything just bring the snare up a slight bit. If i were u i would bring up the guitar in the background slightly and pan it a touch. I would also pan the backing vocals a slight bit. By panning u give it more of a 3d sound to it. It’s a great song though and really the things i mention are very slight. The overall mix is very well done. I think the vocals would be the only major problem. If you want you can even send the song to me to be mixed or you can send your final mix and ill master it for ya, i just like doing it. I use cubase sx 3 with the waves diamond bundle, izotope ozone 3, antares mic modeler and autotune, and native instruments guitar rig. I dont have ntrack nemore so if you are interested u can just send me it by mixing down each individual tracks without any effects.

Lee Hoffman
Elite Entertainment

Hi SaxAppeal:
The toughest thing you can do is … Farming your your Hard-Earned Tracks out to someone you don’t know…

On one hand, sometimes you can get too close to your creativity and find yourself unable to get the best end-product from your tracks…

On another hand, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you might get back from someone you don’t know…

Sometimes… being your groups Tracker, Mixerman, Producer and or Musician, can really tax your creativity…

Collaborative projects can give your creativity quite a boost, sometimes… Letting go of your hard earned work is a tough thing, to do…


You know you’re getting close, to it, if you are experiencing what I call the the “Post Project Blues”… Every time you hear it… It sort of makes you ill…


Send me your email and I will send you the song. Thanks for the offer to work on it!