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Current Tape Reviews

Along The Way
Artist Name:
Rob Ruzzano
Along The Way
Date Posted:
March 2012
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Apple iMac Intel 2.4 GHz with 4 GB RAM and Digidesign Mbox Mini running Pro Tools LE, IK Multimedia AmpliTube 2, Ampeg SVX, T-RackS Mastering plug-ins, Toontrack EZ Drummer, Digirack D-Verb, Antares Auto-Tune on vocal. ART Tube MP Studio preamp, Shure KSM27 mic. "80% of the monitoring, mixing and mastering" through Technics DH1200 Headphones; additional studio monitoring using Yamaha 5-channel receiver with 1988 Polk Audio 3-piece speaker system with an added Polk Center channel speaker cabinet. Epiphone Les Paul Standard, Rich (Lead) Modified Strat, Fender Jazz bass.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Along The Way" is a male vocal rock song. Rob did it all ("all instruments and vocals, recording, mixing, and attempted mastering-boy is that hard to do!") with some help from Richard Hartshorn on lead Strat guitar. Rob reports, "I have other out of box equipment but I have now been recording mainly in the box using plug-ins."

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: What we have here is a track that is searching for its true identity. We hear a mashup of styles, from Neil Young harmonica to some quasi-shred/finger tapping, along with programmed drums that are sometimes leaning towards metal, while at other times lean towards more of a folk-rock vibe. So what do these seemingly "strictly musical" choices have to do with Rob's recording? Well, a lot, actually.

How one would go about miking/programming and eq-ing drums for a metal session is worlds away from the approach used on a more organic folk-rock recording. Mic choice/placement and room ambience would also vary greatly, at least in our experience. This same equation carries through all down the line of the additional sound sources. The style of music greatly affects the methods used by the recordist in the studio, and rightfully so in our opinion. As a result of this melange of styles, the recording sounds spliced together and incoherent.

Suggestions: While we rarely make it our business to pass judgement on musical choices, in this case we would urge Rob to take a moment and decide what kind of song he wants "Along The Way" to be. If it's harder rock/metal, then we suggest that he A/B his mix against some successful commercial releases in the genre, and examine the recordings closely. Ditto for any other style that he chooses. A/Bing mixes is still our most immediate and cost effective learning tool. Using it is not a copout, so let's dispense with the notion once and for all.

Summary: Choices, choices, so many choices... time to make a few and stick to them.

Contact: Rob Ruzzano,
About: Marty Peters

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