All the Passion of a Passerby – Details

This song was originally posteed by back in December. Since then, I did a major re-arrangement and remix in Cubase 7.0. I cut it down to just around 3 and a half minutes, changed the melody in the verse slightly, re-recorded the vocals and lead solo, added a piano track, and re-recorded the bass using a new Fender Rumble 75 amplifier. For the re-recorded bass track, I recorded two tracks (a mic track and a line-out track) and mixed them together. The entire mix came together with a deeper, more solid bass line.

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All the instruments were recorded into Steinberg Cubase 6.5 and Cubase 7.0, using a Firestudio Project audio interface. All effects are from the Cubase built-in plugins, running on an iMac.

Rhythm Guitar: Gibson SG played via my stock Fender Blues Junior, mic’d with a Shure SM57. I used no pedals or other effects on the track–just the natural overdrive and a little reverb on the amp. I used a capo on this song, placed on the fourth fret.

Bass Guitar: Yamaha RBX 170 bass, played directly into a Fender Rumble 75 solid state bass amp. I mic’d it with an SM57, but also recorded a line-out track at the same time. Then I was able to mix them down to get the sound I was looking for.

Drums:These are live drums, played by me. After laying down the basic rhythm and bass tracks, I developed a drum rhythm with a snare hit on the third beat of the measure for the first half of each verse. Then I switched to the emphasis on the 2nd beat of the measure at the end of each verse line. This seemed to work pretty well, as I naturally had a more driving beat on the guitar rhythm as I wound up the chord pattern.

The drums were recorded using my usual setup: SM57 on the snare, Audio Technica AE2500 on the kick drum, two CAD CM217’s as overhead room mics, and an old Shure BG 5.1 to pick up the toms. I added no effects are on the drums whatsoever–only a little EQ adjustments to the kick drum tracks–both of which come out of the two-channel AE2500. You’re basically hearing the room (which is rather small) and nothing else but the Tama kit.

After laying down the drum track, I re-recorded the guitar rhythm and bass lines. This made them a bit tighter with the drum groove, although if you listen carefully, you can still hear some misses on the kick drum–a sure sign of a drummer still learning to play. I later re-recorded the bass track with the new amplifier.

Vocals: The final lead vocal track is actually just one track with two effects on it: a little compression and a thin plate reverb.

For the chorus and bridge, I added a two-part harmony, doubled and panned right and left. No effects on the harmonies in the chorus. On the bridge, I added some room reverb only to the lower harmony, which seemed to be just enough to help it blend together. I also added a single lower harmony line on the first half of each verse, panned slightly right, to give some depth to the vocal.

Organ pad: For a simple fill pad, I used the General MIDI Rock Organ patch that comes with the Cubase-provided Halion SE software synth. I panned it slightly right, since I the rhythm guitar is panned slightly left.

Lead guitar riffs: I struggled a bit trying to find a proper lead sound, but ended up going with a simple twangy sound, since I wanted to use my G&L ASAT Classic tele on the song. This is also played directly into the Blues Junior with no effect pedals–just some adjustments to the tone and some reverb coming from the amp.

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