The Icing on The Cake to Some Classic R&B

Posted by Rob B

Learn how a 30-year-veteran of Classic R&B, Hip Hop and Jazz brought a song to life with Electric Bass & Fender Rhodes performances, finished off with professional mastering.

The Icing on The Cake to Some Classic R&B

 

Chicago is a city with a vast musical heritage – a major center for music in the mid-western US, it gave us Jazz, Blues, Boogie, Soul and later Hip-Hop and House. Throughout the years, Chicago has propelled the likes of Nat King Cole, James Cotton, Chaka Khan and has continued to do so by adding R Kelly, Kanye West and Chance the Rapper to the roster of successful artists raised in the city.

Chicago is also home to Forrest McFeeters, a talented music producers seeking professional musicianship for his most recent project – Funnel Cake. He mentions the song is about new love at the county fair. 'It follows a couple as they spend a flirtatious and care free day, discovering their love for one another'. Forrest adds - 'my productions have always been a labour of love. I began writing and producing music when I was 17 and have continued to do so ever since.'

The track features singers Stephen L. Williams and Andrea “Nette” Jones with whom Forrest has worked on a several projects over the past 10 years. Their vocals sit in nicely on an electric piano bed and are complemented by a soft brass section, harmonica and electric guitar.

 

Bass Guitar

lakland

Image Source: bassdirect.co.uk

Forrest felt that adding a real electric bass performance would help the overall groove of the track. He contacted Chris Pearson, a professional bass player based in London, UK. Forrest's creative direction was was brief, allowing Chris to add his own musicality to the song - 'overall, keep it funky, consistent and move the track. I'm inspired by Steely, Prince and 90s hip hop. Have fun and be creative most of all', Forrest added. Chris went to work and recorded an original performance for the part. He used his 5-string Lakland bass, recorded through a Universal Audio Apollo interface.

Electric Keys

His performance was well received and, being happy with the results, Forrest moved on to find a keyboard player. Within minutes, he came across Rick Gehrenbeck from Palm Grease Studio who owns a gorgeous sounding Fender Rhodes Suitcase. Armed with the same musical direction offered to Chris, Rick delved into the track and sent over an impressive performance after a few hours from receiving the booking. 

fender rhodes 1

Image Source: vintagevibe.com

By pure coincidence, Forrest realised that Rick is also based in Chicago and, after exchanging contact details, Forrest will be going to see Rick perform with his band 'Poi Dog Pondering' at The Vic in Chicago, on October 21st. Forrest also mentioned that he'd love to meet Chris in person and promised us he would be contacting him next time he is in London.

 

Mastering

To top it all off, Forrest looked further into the matter and found himself a mastering engineer - Audiomaster - whom he approached and sent over 'Funnel Cake' to be reviewed. Within minutes, they were happy to take his project and Forrest was presented with a fully mastered track the following day. We caught up with Forrest after his project was completed who mentioned 'The Audiomaster guys added a sort of punch and clarity to the track that I would not normally be able to achieve. Having such a wide sonic improvement equalizes the playing field for hobbyist like myself. I really appreciate that. Best of all, it was more than reasonably priced. Will book them again!'.

Audiomaster 1

 

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