PC running Steinberg Cubase 5.5 and Toontrack Superior Drummer; Fender Telecaster designed by the painter Tanja Scheithauer (www.tanja-scheithauer.com); Epiphone Elitist ES 335 Dot electric guitar, Yamaha bass.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: It's best of all when we have submissions that are great all around; almost as good are submissions where the recordist knows his limitations and is eager to get around them, so our job of teaching is already half done. That's sort of the case with "Burrito Time"; Leo has cooked up a spicy little blues treat here, complete with some Rev. Billy Gibbons style electric grunge and snarl. We also dug the Dusty Hill fuzz bass action. Great tones, Leo!
But not unlike many one-man-band recordings, the weak spot here rests with the programmed drums. Let's face it, very few guitarists are also good creative drummers; heck, it's hard enough to master just one instrument. As good as the virtual drum programs are getting these days, they can't completely replace a lack of hearing good drum parts in one's head. And unfortunately for the majority of these projects, Leo's included, a lack of a real drummer to interact with tends to strand them on Demo Island, irrespective of the quality of the other performances/sound sources.
When we read in Leo's production notes that he was hanging out at the collaborative music site www.rockmydream.com and looking for other players to help flesh out his work, we had a moment of real joy, but it was fleeting. He wrote: "I'd like to do more recordings with other musicians too. If you are interested please check out the forum on www.rockmydream.com and look for my projects there. I am looking for lead vocalists, piano players and lead guitarists to record some own heavy blues music!" Nooooo, Leo! Don't forget a real drummer!
Suggestions: The easiest solution to the problem here would be for Leo to simply beg, borrow or steal a drummer to replace his current drum tracks. Short of that, he may be able to find someone with more advanced programming skills to create a new performance using Superior Drummer's excellent tools and sounds, or take advantage of the many fine players that are for hire via the Internet these days. Emailing tracks is a common occurrence in today's recording environment, and with a bit a research it is possible to hire the services of some pretty heavy players for less than one would imagine.
Summary: Leo has the right idea here, but is reaching for the wrong player (at least at first). As for the burritos, I'll have mine extra hot, por favor.
Contact: Leo Risch, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rockmydream.com