I auditioned this one off the album CD. Credits from the sleeve are as follows:
Written by Jessica Cornish, Lukasz Gottwald, Claude Kelly Bobby Ray Simmons Jr.
Produced by Dr Luke
Engineered by Chris 'TEK' O'Ryan, Emily Wright, Sam
Mixed by Serban Ghenea, John Hanes
Mastered by Tom Coyne
I can only assume that jessie
J has some kind of star quality, given how
many tracks on her debut record are mixed by Serban Ghenea, who must already be mightily
busy just dealing with his existing A-list clients. Perhaps that's where John Hanes comes
in, as I've noticed his name appearing more and more alongside Ghenea's in recent mixes.
The mixing equivalent of a ghost writer? One can only speculate...
listening to it again, another couple of things spring to mind which are worth pointing
out. The first is the snare reverb, which sounds to me like it's using some kind of
nonlinear patch (or else a compressed sample with a truncated tail). You can hear it
during the song's intro, but there's also another good opportunity to hear it just before
the first chorus, at 0:42. I like what this reverb does for the mix, giving a sense of
expanse (and some stereo width) to things without contributing masses of tail to muddy the
texture. The subtle pad that arrives with the first chorus is also an interesting one.
It's so fizzy that it's almost unpitched, and it fills out the chorus texture without
making the arrangement any more complex, or distracting from the vocal line.
The second verse is also nicely judged, using the added vocal harmony, a hint of
tambourine, and some slightly more extrovert guitar work to lift things up a little
compared with verse 1, but without any danger of killing the chorus pay-off. (I also
wonder how many people discovered that their speakers/headphones were the wrong way round
at 1:30, when the panned 'to the left/right' vocal responses arrive!
) I love the
backing drops during B.o.B's rapped verse too (at 2:25, 2:27, and 2:30), especially the
last one, which delivers a clear 180ms of digital black -- something that's always
something of a head-turner on the radio.
Last but not least, the addition of
lush massed backing vocals for the second of the final choruses is pretty effective to my
ear, and they make a nice way to end the record too. Speaking of the outro, there's a lot
of subsonic gubbins coming off the vinyl-noise there. This isn't an uncommon
characteristic of vinyl noise in samples, I've noticed, and although the low-end woofs
don't really matter much here (given the lack of bass and drums), if you use vinyl noise
layers for background texture in your own productions, it's not a bad idea to high-pass
filter pretty drastically to maintain low-end clarity.
For more critiques of
commercial productions, browse The Mix Review
--------------------Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio
Edited by Jennifer Jones (25/07/11 10:25 AM)