Southern Gospel, Remixed

The other morning, I was listening to my iPod on the way to work, when The Cathedrals’ “Have You Visited Heaven Lately” came across. While it is a great song, I noticed in listening that the mix was a bit shaky and Danny Funderburk’s tenor vocal is mixed very low throughout most of the song. In secular music, remixes are a fairly common occurrence. I received the newest box set from The Beach Boys for my birthday back in September (it is fantastic, by the way), and one of the big selling points of that set are the remixes on it that bring previously hidden vocals in the mix out front, or to make different instruments more prominent.

Why couldn’t Southern Gospel do this? It would open up the market for compilations greatly. I think that the basic formula that is used by The Beach Boys would work well for Southern Gospel projects. The Beach Boys use a team of three respected producers/engineers that are also fans of the group, and those three guys are responsible for actually doing the remixes, then the final product is approved by the group, whether it is a greatest hits type compilation, a complete album remix, or a large boxed set. This could work well in Southern Gospel. For example, I’d love to hear what Garry Jones and Ricky Free could do with classic Gold City songs or albums. Imagine Jones and Michael English or David Phelps tackling The Cathedrals, or Madison Easter and Michael Sykes remixing classic Oak Ridge Boys material.

The advantage here is that the artist doesn’t have a huge commitment other than giving a thumbs up to the final product, and the actual work becomes a labor of love for qualified, talented people who are fans of the group they are working with anyways. That’s a key point, but it works. The biggest obstacle? While the owners of the masters for these projects aren’t the ones doing the remixing, nearly all of these masters were recorded to analog tape, which means they would have to be digitally converted, which could be a time consuming and potentially expensive proposition, before they were turned over to the engineers for remixing.

Still, I think this could be a pretty successful venture. Who wouldn’t want to hear restored and remixed versions of classics by the Statesmen or the Blackwood Brothers? I’d love to hear a tighter mix of “Have You Visited” that smooths out the blend and brings what sounds like a great high vocal from Danny Funderburk out front so it can be better heard. Who is willing to take the first step?

About these ads

About Wes Burke
I'm a .NET developer and Southern Gospel music fan. Married with a wonderful family.

3 Responses to Southern Gospel, Remixed

  1. bravesfan513 says:

    The song was keyed too high, in my opinion. It sounds MUCH better when Greater Vision recorded it with Chris leading it and the harmonies placed below him.

  2. Kyle Boreing says:

    The idea is great, but when you have artists who recorded for multiple labels, you run into a licensing headache. Not to mention the viability of the masters – some of the older gospel masters (especially the Skylite material) is very hard to come by, and even then, a lot of them were (at most) 8 tracks. If they were overdubbed (as many 70’s recordings were), then remixing all of the tracks would be virtually impossible, as they were often mixed down in groups, then combined.

    I will say, however, that REMASTERING can sometimes fix this issue. Don DeMumbrum did the remaster on “Symphony of Praise” a few years back for Provident (using the original Benson/RiverSong master), and it sounds wonderful.

    If the opportunity ever arose, however, put me in line with Sykes to do some remixing!!

  3. Pingback: Saturday News Roundup #199 | SouthernGospelBlog.com

Have something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 264 other followers

%d bloggers like this: