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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 55: Outback Blitz
 
Artist Name:
Scott Owens
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 55: Outback Blitz
 
Date Posted:
February 2012
 
Genre:
Rock and Pop
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Equipment Used:

PC with M-Audio 1010LT interface running Steinberg Cubase 4 and various plug-ins including Toontrack EZdrummer, Yamaha 03D digital mixer, Tannoy PBM 6.5 monitors, Line 6 PODxt Live, Johnson J-Station, Roland GR-30 Guitar Synth, Fender 1950s Custom Shop Strat, Peavey Bass.

Production Notes & Credits:

"Outback Blitz" is a rock instumental. Scott wrote, programmed, performed, mixed and mastered the track at his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's Spotlight is an awesome display of One Man Band skill sets. It is rare to find someone who has the composing/arranging and programming/performance chops in evidence here. Add to that the obvious recording savvy, and you've got a serious-as-a-heart-attack effort.

Scott writes: "I played all the instruments except for EZdrummer, in which I assembled the drum track, then added the accents and the ending. I have a small studio, 12' x 10', behind my house (hence the name "Outback Blitz"). This song is the title track from my fourth album that has taken almost two years to complete. I mixed and mastered this album about five times, each time listening on different systems and taking notes. I have been recording since 1990 and have been reading RECORDING Magazine for almost that long, but have never submitted a recording."

So what distinguishes Scott's work from the many others that we've heard in this genre? Well, let's start with the programming. For years we have been pointing out the difficulties that many non-drummers have in programming "authentic" drum performances for their tracks. A flexible program like EZdrummer can make it easier to combine good sounds and good MIDI grooves, but the program leaves enough creative flexibility so that a well-meaning but clueless user can assemble its excellent pieces into a nightmare drum track!

This is most definitely not the case here. From the opening tom fill, straight on through to the end of the song, Scott got it tight and right. No crazy double kick drum heroics or wacked-out 32nd-note cymbal hijinks... just a straight-ahead believable performance with good solid tones all around. Well done, sir!

Regarding the additional instruments, the bass is fairly active but never fails to support the drums. Scott tells us that he has been playing the guitar since the age of 5 (he is now 45), to which we can only say, "Yes sir you have!" The guy can flat out play, folks-great fluid fretboard runs and the tone from the Fender Custom Shop Strat through the Line 6 PODxt Live and Johnson J-Station (I remember those!) is killer.

Fortunately, the mix/mastering continues in form. Scott's five passes of mixing and mastering and multiple listening tests really paid off. Well, Scott, as they say Down Under, "Good on ya." We found the mix to be well balanced and energetic, and the time and effort spent on it have resulted in a recording that Scott should certainly be proud of.

Summary: A fine blueprint for all you O.M.B-ers out there.

Contact: Scott Owens, gsrowens@gmail.com
About: Marty Peters

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