New Song: Teflon 4:00 More of that angry R&R

Mark Edmonds

Active Member
JC - really great song! Nothing like a good bit of the old retro funky fusion!

Need some work though. Key words for my comments: snappier, drier, tighter, space.

Usual caveats that I might have got the instruments or technical deatils wrong. So I would suggest:

Wurlitzer riff - 100% dry and shorten the notes. Give it more air. This will then give the piano on top more space. Maybe if you can, try a clavinet - think Trampled Under Foot - harder attack snappier sound. BTW, when the riff started I said to myelf, you've got to put the bass in unison with that so really pleased when that came in!

OK, the bass. Wrong bass sound. Needs to be lighter, more bell like. Bridge pickup instead of neck pickup? The softer bass sound works when it isn't running the main funky riff but when playing with the Wurly, it has to be more percussive and lighter. The odd snap or pull would help kick the rhythm at the right point. Also, *has* to be 99% tight with the Wurly and this to be made a feature of the arrangement. I don't mean 100% quantised - keep the human feel but it has to be tight. Easier said than done I know.

Drums - not too happy that there isn't enough variation. It starts off with a simple 4/4 stomp chop - needs more but just a touch of syncopation. Also, feel the snare is a little too much snares and could be crisper. The whole mix needs more air and space to let the rhythm/syncopation/general funkyness to show throuhg more.

Love the funky guitar at ~1:50 - more please!

Also the guitar slide at 3:14 - give it more ooomph. Make a feature of it. Axeman stuff without being corny. Its a mood shifter gravity effect. Let it cut through more.

I don't know any technique on vocals but generally, I can't hear the words or the background vocals are completely lost and the voice over at the end is difficult to make out. Don't know here but to make that voice over stand out more, could sort of AM radio treatment work - compress it more and lots of low cut. Narrow band IYKWIM!

OK, those are minor comments really. The thing I find myself crying out for is simply more \"snap and funk\" to the instrumentation. You want to dance to it. You've got to feel each element of the rhythm and when it is too mushy, you don't get the body response necessary. Each step of the rhythm has to \"hit\" you (not literally, I don't mean a big aggresive sound)and cause a muscle reaction and it can only do that with space between the elements. I don't know for sure but it might work if you got for a sparse dry mix Headhunters style and then the layers of the arrangement will build up and not make it too dry (which sometimes I find Headhunters too dry).

If you agree with any of this, I'll want to hear the next mix!



Established Member
First of all, thanks Mark. Any time I read -any- thoughtful review by anyone; of anyone's stuff I get a rush. Seriously, it's like a little rise'n' shine o' coke. OK, I need to get out more...

That said, after reading your review it kind of reminds me of that old joke, 'I like everything about the car except the wheels, the body, the engine and the ragtop....oh and I'm not crazy about the radio, either. :mrgreen:

Anyway, the song is decidedly -not- meant to be 'funky'. More marche militaire than anything else. The timbre of the bass is exactly what I was after. And as for the sparseness of the drums, I hear this a LOT. For some reason people ALWAYS seem to want drums to be busier. But if you listen to some of the really great records (Stones for example) the playing is totally simple. Live? Go nuts. Studio. KISS.

OK, I -am- concerned about the clarity issues. There really is not that much going on, so it should sound like there is -plenty- of space---that's one reason I kept the drums simple. And it should -definitely- have that pound you in the chest feel on the strong beats.

In sum, it may not be the song you wish it to be, but your points about clarity are well taken. I'll try a dryer (drier? :mrgreen: ) mix and see where that takes me.

Thanks so much,


Mark Edmonds

Active Member
Awwwwww, JC, I am seriously disappointed! :wink:

On one of the play throughs, I was out in the kitchen making coffee and the groove at 1:20 was really getting to me. That has serious drive there. I reverted to my primeordeal Travolta state (yes, that does happen when no one is around! Stop laughing at the back!). That riff is funky. Surely it is the dominant mood of the song? I even felt you could get away with a corny bog-standard Roland hand clap at 1:40 and other areas. That's the mood I get from this song. Marche Militaire? Not to me! :)

Concerning keeping drums simple. I agree in the principle and I didn't mean anything more than every 2 or 4 bars on the 4th beat and a half, just add a little twist of some sort.

Anyway, it is your musical vision and not mine so if the style is to be more driving four to the floor than funky, go for the leaner mix and get the raw drum beat up more and I think you can afford to give the kick drum much more weight.

(Observation: sibiliance type problem at 3:05).



Established Member
Michael said:
You know what they say : Sounds like funk , feels like funk , must be funk :wink:
Actually, it's gotta -smell- like funk too. :mrgreen:

This one's -way- too 'white' for that.

But here's a DRYER ( 'drier') mix. No more verb on the BD, Wurlie and 90% less verb on lead vocal.

Better? Worse? About the same but in a different way?


Mark Edmonds

Active Member
JC - a couple of ideas.

I only have a semi-functional DAW at the moment with no UAD so I was hoping to give exact Cambridge or Pultec settings but instead, just generic will have to do.

See if you like a low shelf @100Hz, +2db.

Also, try adding ~2db at about 2.6Khz with Q about 2.5. I'm not certain but I think it gives your vocals a bit more edge, if not the whole mix.

Now, going dry on the Wurlitzer (it is one of these right?) was a bad suggestion - sorry!

Do you have an convo reverb like Pristine Space? If so, try using the Lexicon PCM91 \"Room22Chmbr\" impulse on the Wurly. I just left things at the default settings with dry at unity and wet at -9.6db. Totally dry was a mistake but this impulse gives just a bit to take that dry edge off.

Actually, it works quite well (within reason, ie, cut the wet more) on the entire mix but this is probably not a \"keeper\" effect.

Also, something that I can't prove but it sounds interesting here. Use the same impulse on your main vocal. Now at the point when you sing a decending bit at 1:04 to 1:09 (and other bits later with the same motif), try reversing the impulse! I can hear a neat effect here but I can't tweak it because I only have the full mix. Would be interesting to know if, a, you like it and b, does it work and c, can it be merged without being too disjointed.

Liked the extra decoration in the drums at the beginning BTW! Would still like the kick and snare to be punchier though. The drums sound too soft overall to my ears and if you want to move the song away from funk into more solid rock, the drums need to be stronger to emphasise the straight 4/4 rhythm.

Regarding the \"tchew\" in the vocals at 3:06, I can't find a way of curing this. Seems like the artificat is too broadband to be able to get away with a brief automated high Q cut.

Anyway, interesting to experiment. Hope some of this is useful.



Established Member
Thanks Mark, these are good suggestions.

Here's the thing about the old A/B thing. For some reason, I popped in an Ohio Players disc this AM (what a rhythm section BTW). And what killed me was how LOOOOOOUD the drums are on these old funk records. If I heard the same relationships in -my- stuff I'd be like DAMMMMMMN, MAN! TURN THOSE DRUMS DOWN AT LEAST 10dB!

But of course, it's perfect for funk.

So I'll give your suggestions a try. If for no other reason than that it's fun to experiment. Or rather it's -not- but I have wanted to find a 'formula' for getting a good basic rock sound for my stuff that I can re-use and there's no time like the present.


UAD Bundle Month