I reviewed the version of this single from chris brown
's album 'F.A.M.E.',
which had the following details in its liner notes:
Written by chris
, Marco Benassi, Alessandro Benassi, Jean Baptiste.
Produced by Marco
'Benny' Benassi, Alessandro 'Alle' Benassi.
Recorded by Brian Springer.
by Serban Ghenea, John Hanes.
Mastered by Tom Coyne.
The more I listen
to this track, the more I think I should stick it into my own little reference library.
The reason for this is that I really like the way Serban Ghenea has managed to get the
vocals right up front and clearly intelligible, but while still managing to maintain a
sense of size in the track as a whole. The ever-present danger, of course, is that
bringing the vocal too far up front turns everything else all Mini-Me, but I think he
treads this tightrope brilliantly. The aforementioned clever use of pumping is clearly
part of the recipe here, as is the calculated mono-incompatibility of the pumped synths --
the latter are still present as a statement in mono, in terms of giving enough harmonic
support and that pumping effect, but just don't deliver the same masking 'fizz'.
However, the vocal processing also has an important part to play in this too, by
giving chris brown
this kind of hyper-glossy high-end sound that can really
cut through the mix. The question I find myself pondering is how Ghenea's achieved it.
Obviously, there's a great deal of 10-20kHz top octave in there, to start with, but I
doubt that it's as simple as just slapping on a 15kHz shelving boost with a DAW's bundled
channel EQ. If I were shooting for this sound, I'd certainly head towards high-CPU
processors, probably of the modelled analogue variety, because it's very easy to end up
with harshness otherwise. Industrial-strength de-essing would be pretty much a
prerequisite as well, or else some kind of multi-band processing that obviated the need
Listening to the stereo Sides signal leads me to suspect that there's
a combination of bright modulation effect and very short bright reverb being used for
further HF enhancement too -- both stalwarts in this kind of application, although I don't
personally use the latter as often as I probably should! (Note to self...) There are lots
of bright delays going on too, with all sorts of different taps pinging around the place
(including a feedback tail in the right channel imbalancing the stereo field -- not
something that I normally recommend, but it does catch the ear nicely here), which aids
the top-octave sustain and density.
Altogether I think this is a
premium-grade job, not least because it manages to avoid being too fatiguing to listen to,
despite the overall high-frequency density. I do still secretly wish it had been a Marilyn
Manson cover, though...
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Edited by Jennifer Jones (25/07/11 10:26 AM)