Father and Daughter

  • Artist: Paul Simon
  • Album: Surprise
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Year: 2006
  • Producer: Paul Simon
  • Engineer: Tchad Blake, Andy Smith, Chris Testa

Compression: Acoustic Guitar
Note the hard panned acoustic guitar in the Chorus ("I'm gonna watch you shine..."). It's compressed aggressively, bringing up all the in-between-strum timbral detail that only a close microphone can find. It's a spectral crescendo that adds lift to the chorus.
If you try this yourself, you'll want to learn from Paul and Tchad. The guitar is in great shape, with wonderful tone to start with, and the performance remains rather delicate, not strummed too hard. The compressor smells like a Distressor to me, but any great, fast (fast attack and very fast release) compressor can do this.

Compression: Drums
The mono drums are compressed into a state of low transient, longer sustain textures, with a touch of distortion. Not low-fidelity, just different-fidelity. Low-Fi vs. Dif-Fi.

Echo: Vocal
The recordingography is filled with many examples of slap echo on vocals. This mix offers slap echo on Paul Simon's voice that is more subtle than most. You'll find it easiest to hear on certain words where he sings expressively louder, and ends abruptly enough to reveal the effect. Early in the tune, it pops out on the word "fraction" ("...and for a fraction of a second you can't remember where you are.") and is even more obvious on the "Just" in the line "Just open your window..." But the effect is there the rest of the performance too, adding subliminal support and ear-tingling intrigue - a staple of pop music.

Echo + Reverb: Electric Guitar
The opening guitar phrase panned hard left kicks a long, wide stereo reverb, preceded by a very long pre delay panned dead center. Adds atmosphere and motion; an elegantly simple part becomes big enough to both hold up the entire beginning of the tune and to keep up with the mix when the rest of the band kicks in.


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