Eleventh Hour Sunrise is that rare local band you run into that isn’t making garage/punk rock, art rock, or pop rock. This band is making a radio friendly brand of college rock and really owning the style; finding their place in it. The EP was recorded by the band themselves, Dan Michaud, who did all the technical work, is the band’s guitarist. Then you notice one of the credits and, if you’re anything like me, begin to panic. Dan was also the person to master the CD. This is something that could actually ruin a perfectly well recorded album or even not make a difference. In fact, anything in the middle could be true also though. I’ll say that in my time I’ve never seen an album to benefit from being mastered at home though. So I dive in, after all I have to find out on a scale of “Useless” to “Totally wrecked” just how bad this mastering is.
|Produced by Eleventh Hour SunriseRecorded by Dan Michaud
At his house
Mixed by Dan Michaud
At his house
Mastered by Dan Michaud
At his house
The first thing I notice when listening is that this EP sounds just like a home recording. Home recordings sound a bit small, like the mics are pretty tight to the instruments, space is limited, and there are comforters and egg crates EVERYWHERE. Though it sounds small, it sounds great. Dan really seems to have a good grasp on what he’s doing and what product he wants to end up with. He is only limited by his surroundings. Recording studios have the benefit of being bigger spaces that can block sound from area “A” getting into area “B”. They have $10,000 ribbon mics that can pick up such subtle nuances that you could hear the differences in a guitar played in 70 degrees or 75 degrees. You don’t get this at home. This is what creates that small sound. In a basement you are fighting with the sound, trying to kill it everywhere you can and if you win you are forced to mic everything at 3 inches. You have to put amps in closets with blankets covering every surface, singers end up in showers. This gives you that trademark sound of home recording. Some people do it a little sloppy, and some people, like , do a nicer, cleaner job of it.
All in all, this was a pretty solid 4 song EP. The chops these guys showed in a bedroom really go to show that they could kill it in a real studio with an engineer and producer. Nothing against Dan’s work, but giving him the ability to just focus on playing, and people to only focus on recording can never hurt the process. I’d love to see this band get out there and start playing some shows. Check this one out, you can really learn a lot about recording and also just get some enjoyment from the songs.
Dear Eleventh Hour Sunrise,
This is really great for a first outing. First off, I’d go pay someone to master this, or just say it isn’t mastered, there’s nothing wrong with unmastered at this point in the game. Can you throw a little gate on those cymbals for me? I think you EQed them to perfection, but they ring a bit too long. If I didn’t know any better I would say a drummer mixed this (all drummers leave too much cymbal, it’s all they can hear when they are behind the kit). Also I bet if you cut the 1K on that acoustic guitar about 1db and then raised the volume on it 2db you’d come out with a nice sound. It’s a little trick of mine, you get the clarity of the guitar sound, but it stops fighting for ear space with the vocals or keys or anything else that falls in that range. Lastly, next time around skip the auto tune. Yeah, I caught that. I know you used it more for the effect and not because the vocalist needed it. Auto tune is just tacky though, it really is. On the next album send more of the aux to the reverb and you’ll get a similar effect without the pretense that you get from auto tune. Way to go guys, you really set the bar pretty high for recording your own album in your mom’s house. I was really pleased with what I heard, some great stuff coming out of you guys.
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