Into the Light

Into the Light
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Hi… This rock/pop number we recorded about 11 years ago at Sound on Sound Studio, North Baddesley, Hampshire, UK. It has had a good bashing on other review sites as @ptalbot and @ingolee well know!

If you think the mix could be better, download it and have a go yourselves with our blessing :wink:



Can’t comment on the mix as I only have crappy laptop speakers, but the lead guitar is well early. Not sure if that’s down to the playing or some technical glitch but it would probably stand being moved back 10 - 20ms.


Nice - a little Dire Straits-ish - particularly the clean-ish rhythm guitars and the descending chord sequence.

I like the tone of the vocalists voice. The mix sounds pretty good on my cruddy little work speakers, which I am quite familiar with and usually signal any drastic issues. I’d like to take a listen on studio speakers as well, when I get home…

I have to back up @AJ113 in his comments about the lead guitar - it is really rushing, and there are few spots where the timing is needs quite a bit of attention. For example, the re-intro lead around 2:20 is pretty “out there” timing-wise.

Actually, after listening through quite a few times, timing is probably the biggest issue in the production. All of the instruments have timing issues at various points, and I think this is a major thing holding the production back. For example, the section from 1:30 - 1:35 is quite loose, with the bass not really nailing it there. The rhythm guitar is also rushing and pulling against the other elements. The overall impression I get is that the groove is not really locked in.

Depending on how you recorded this (live on the floor or via overdubbing) would depend on how you could remedy the situation. Either way, more work and critical listening in pre-production, as well as some tasteful post-production editing would probably do wonders for the overall feel of the track.

Vocally, the performance is good but a little out pitch-wise in spots… Nothing big, but just a little more time nailing down those slightly sketchy moments would really improve the first impression IMO.

Another thing the production is begging for is some vocal harmonies. Even if you need to get your vocalist to overdub them all and you never sing them live, harmonies will add to the appeal of your songs no end. They are really worth putting lots of time and effort into.


Hi Ailwyn, I think the comments above are pretty accurate, as is usually the case here. But the Frontliners have the odd ability ( to my ear at least ) to rise above issues that would be more troubling to other groups. I hear things that are a problem but this is still a likeable track to me.

The mix is not too bad I think, there’s room for improvement, but I would hesitate to mess with the mix at least until some of the other issues are resolved.

How about giving us a more recent track, I hate to pick on issues that may no longer matter.


Hmmm! Sound on Sound is a makeshift studio constructed inside a garage. It was like a maze! From what I remember we had the drums and bass being recorded in one section and the two guitars in the other section! Oddly enough, we couldn’t see the recording engineer… He was separated from all of us, chirped into our headphones occasionally, and I remember after recording one number we went out to talk to him and he had disappeared! Needless to say, we didn’t go back there!

We recorded this one “live” and did “drop-ins” to try to perfect it, which kinda might explain the timing issues[quote=“ColdRoomStudio, post:3, topic:1495”]
Another thing the production is begging for is some vocal harmonies. Even if you need to get your vocalist to overdub them all and you never sing them live, harmonies will add to the appeal of your songs no end. They are really worth putting lots of time and effort into.

Yes, hindsight is a wonderful gift, and we do have regrets not putting backing vocals on this one!

Yes, more recent tracks to follow…


Just another thought here Ailwyn, if you guys are self-produced, maybe it’s time to get some other ears involved? Somebody who is a stickler for details and a slave driver as well. Doesn’t sound like fun, but a good producer has given many bands new insights into their approach to their songs. A good producer can hear you before you go to the studio and work out a lot of problems before you start spending money on a studio. Don’t know if you’ve tried that or not.


Hi Intro a little long. Sounds a bit like the old song runaway. Or “in the year 25 25” ha ha The vocal in the chourus needs a lift of some harmonies.





Hey Ailwyn! I’m sure I’ve heard this before, but it’s been a while, so listening today it is quite fresh to me. First, I like the song. It has a compelling melody and classic rock vibe delivered with plenty of authenticity and enthusiasm for a fairly simple arrangement. The singer, for example, has a very likable voice, even though he gets a little flat during the end of the chorus. For many Voice fans that may be a dealbreaker, and I don’t feel it was necessary for the arrangement, but I do not require that from many of my favorite bands and singers. Dire Straits was mentioned, a great example where you just get used to how he sings and eventually like it like that. I love lyrics, but I admit I rarely follow the them on one listen. All I remember is they felt sincere and nonoffensive, and probably easy to sing along with.

The timing issues mentioned may very well be real, in the sense that if subtly adjusted could improve the energy, the mood, in a way I personally cannot imagine. I found myself liking the mix as is quite a lot. There was no distracting noise or muddiness, and all the instruments had plenty of space. It hearkens back to the Grass Roots or the Animals but with far better stereo. It is very straight, lacking any Beatles or Kinks acrobatic moments, but it has an excellent hook with the guitar line in my opinion.

Me, I’d enjoy a tad fancier version, a slowed down intro, strategic vocal harmonies, a bridge or a break, a dramatic ending, that sort of thing, but I like a lot of songs that do none of that. In my opinion Sound on Sound did a respectable job for you, one you can be very proud of. I would guess the band learned a few things in the process you used moving forward. Now you probably are self-producing at a higher level, but this sets a bar, and you know what you can shoot for.

This classic pop rock style song is not as easy to pull off as it may seem. All too often a song just barely misses, is a little too similar to something or someone else and loses its memorability, its individuality. I think you achieved it here.