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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 32: Big Train
Artist Name:
Steve Waylon and Rebel Ridge
SPOTLIGHT 32: Big Train
Date Posted:
April 2010
Equipment Used:

PC with M-Audio Delta 1010LT running Cakewalk SONAR 6 Producer Edition with Waves L3 plug-in. Mics: Sennheiser e602 (kick and bass), Groove Tubes AM51 with ART stereo preamp (overheads, Takamine acoustic guitar, vocals), Shure SM57 with PreSonus preamp (toms), Shure Beta 57 (snare). Bass and guitar also recorded direct. Fender Telecaster through Line 6 POD 1.0, Roland keyboard.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Big Train” is a powerhouse country tune. Sam Patterson recorded, mixed and mastered the track in addition to playing the guitar and singing the backing vocals. The song was co-written by Steve Waylon (who also sang the lead vocals) and Danny Paradis. Rounding out the band were Jon Morrison on drums, Daniel Beattie on bass, and James Dalzell on keyboards.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
Recording: Smokin’ hot, fellas, just smokin’ hot! This month’s Spotlight is hands down one of the best submissions to this column in a long time. The writing and arrangement are topnotch, the performances are big-time and so is the recording. Over the years we have been asked by many of you to describe what we would consider to be a “radio ready” home recording. Well, whether you dig country music or not, friends, this is what we would call “radio ready”.

Using a combination of a PC with an M-audio Delta 1010LT card running SONAR 6 PE, along with very affordable mics from Shure, Groove Tubes, and Sennheiser as well as PreSonus and ART preamps, Sam has fashioned a mix that equals if not exceeds much of what we hear on todays country radio. We love the rich snare drum tone and the perfect blend of bass guitar and kick drum. The electric guitar, with its “Tele on steroids” tone, adds a nice gritty edge to the proceedings, while the piano is equally immpressive, particularly for an electric keyboard.

As is often said regarding country mixes, the “vocal is king”, and that is the case here in spades. Rarely have we heard a more balanced and “seated” vocal. Again, our hats are off to Sam for a job well done.

There have been precious few times (in the 14-odd years since I became the author of Recording Magazines Reader’s Tapes column) that I have been able to hold up one recording so confidently as a guide and learning tool for you loyal readers out there. In that spirit we would suggest to all of you out there to study this mix, dissect it, examine it and learn from it, cause this one’s about as good as they come.

Summary: If I were a label A&R rep the ink would already be dry.

Contact: Steve Waylon,; Sam Patterson,,

About: Marty Peters

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Kef America

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