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“I can spend all evening goofing around in my studio, getting the right sound. Then the next day, I go in and nail it. If you’re of that mind, if you want to do it yourself, I think it’s a good idea to have your own studio.”- Michael Hedges

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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 31: In Deep Water
 
Artist Name:
Dot Allison
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 31: In Deep Water
 
Date Posted:
March 2010
 
Genre:
World
Equipment Used:

Tracking (London): Mac Dual 2.0 G5, sE Electronics Gemini (vocal), two modified Oktava MK-012s (acoustic guitar), RCA BK5 ribbon (room mic). Tracking (Miami:) Dual 2 GHz G5 PowerMac running Apple Logic Pro, with IK Multimedia Miroslave Orchestra and SampleTank, GMedia M-Tron, Native Instruments Akoustik Piano and Elektrik Piano, and Swar Systems Indian percussion plug-ins. Mixing and mastering (Miami): Apple Logic Pro, IK Multimedia CSR-1 reverb plug-in, Universal Audio UAD plug-ins: 1176, LA-2A, Pultec Pro, Sonic Maximizer, Waves SSL 4000 plug-ins.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“In Deep Water” is a World music piece. Dot Allison played the acoustic guitar and sang the vocals, all of the additional arranging, programming and recording/mixing was done by Kramer.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
Recording: This month’s Spotlight truly is a world music affair. The tracking began in London, with Dot using a sE Electronics Gemini dual-tube large-diagphragm condenser mic along with two modified Oktava 012 mics to capture her vocals and acoustic guitar, respectively. From there, the project relocated to Kramer’s home studio in Miami, Florida, for the additional tracking and mixing.

Now for the cool part. Many of you older readers will remember the famous “Is it live or is it Memorex?” commercials back in the day. While that classic piece was extolling the virtues of cassette tape (!), the modern day equivalent may well be the burgeoning use of virtual instruments in our brave new recording world.

You see, aside from the aforementioned vocals and acoustic guitar, all the remaining sound sources here are courtesy of software-generated virtual instruments. The results, as they say, speak for themselves. Getting his sounds from plug-ins such as IK’s Miroslav Orchestra and SampleTank, GForce’s venerable MTron Mellotron instrument, NI’s now-discontinued but still great sounding Akoustik and Electrik Pianos, and some very cool Indian percussion software by Swar Systems (we don’t know if Kramer used SwarShala, SwarPlug, or both), Kramer has done a superb job in arranging and programming as “real” a piece of music as we have heard in these parts. We particularly dug the opening violin, as well as the tabla and the perfect cymbal swells.

We should also send our kudos out to Dot herself; her breathy vocals are spot on for the genre, and the acoustic guitar is beautifully played and recorded.

While we have had other submissions that have employed the same concept, Dot and Kramer’s effort is by far the most successful. You see, buying plug-ins is easy; having the taste, skill, and knowledge to master them is priceless.

Summary: All hail the mighty microchip!

Contact: Kramer, busterkeatons@gmail.com. You can learn more about Exaltation Of Larks, the Dot Allison album that features this track, at www.exaltationoflarks.co.uk .

About: Marty Peters

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