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SPOTLIGHT 33: Cutthroat
Artist Name:
John Lawrence Schick
SPOTLIGHT 33: Cutthroat
Date Posted:
May 2010
Equipment Used:

Apple iMac Computer (24” 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo with 8 GB RAM) running Apple Logic Pro 8. Yamaha MS101 II monitors and AKG K271 MKII headphones. Soundware: East West Quantum Leap Gold Orchestra samples, Native Instruments Xtreme FXs samples, and sample content from Logic Pro 8. Yamaha Motif ES8 Synth Workstation used mostly as a keyboard controller.

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Production Notes & Credits:

“Cutthroat” is an instrumental classical composition. John composed and recorded the tracks at his home studio. John says, “I ran a little short on funds, so for the time being I’m using headphones and modest speakers. My main concern is putting enough bottom-end in my tracks to get that big movie sound; I can never be sure using headphones and small speakers.”

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
We get a lot of submissions that are created totally from samples and virtual instruments. Imagine our great surprise, then, when this short composition turned out to be one of the most "real" recordings we have heard among the thousands of submissions we have received over the years, and the first entirely-virtual song to make it into our Spotlight.

Let us first commend John on his obvious musical/arrangement savvy. “Cutthroat” has got “pro” written all over it, and the fact that it was done entirely in the confines of a home studio should make all of us home recordists proud. The impressive nature of John’s work also speaks volumes as to just how far the quality of virtual instrumentation has come.

Working in Logic Pro 8, and using a combination of East West and NI samples, John tells us that his biggest challenge was to ensure that his recording had enough low end presence. Well, rest assured John, not only did you nail the low end, but the entire piece is brimming with great tone and dynamics. The fact that he mixed on a combination of headphones and small Yamaha speakers forced John to work hard for his results, and it shows.

With the surging popularity of music for film, television and games, John’s excellent recording serves to remind us that the opportunities in our field are no longer limited to rock, country and other “traditional” styles, an encouraging fact indeed. So sit back and enjoy. Maestro, take it away...

Summary: A new flavor, and a tasty one to boot!

More from: John L. Schick,,
About: Marty Peters

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