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Current Tape Reviews

Randy Now
Artist Name:
Chuck Lettes
Randy Now
Date Posted:
April 2012
Equipment Used:

Windows PC with M-Audio FireWire interface running Adobe Audition and using PG Music Band-In-A-Box for drum track, bass, and guitars, plus Sony Sound Forge for mastering. Outboard gear: Alesis Midiverb, Shure SM57 microphone, Mullen pedal steel guitar, King tenor sax.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Randy Now" is a country/western swing instrumental recording. Chuck was the one man band/recordist.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
Recording: Pretty cool, Chuck! We don't receive many submissions featuring pedal steel guitar and we are plenty happy to have yours. The track is fairly simple -- drums, bass, electric guitar, organ, sax, and the aforementioned steel guitar. One listen here and it's clear that these additional instruments are designed to provide support for the steel, although in our opinion they are placed too far back, causing a mix imbalance. While the pedal steel is well played and recorded, it dominates the mix in a way that would be unnatural in a live band setting.

Suggestions: Perhaps having to resort to programmed sounds made Chuck a bit shy about presenting them as full partners in the mix. However, as the saying goes, when you're stuck with lemons, make lemonade. With that in mind, we would encourage Chuck to rebalance his mix with the steel tucked back a tad. Learning proper balancing takes trial and error, but it will pay off down the road irrespective of your eventual sound sources. Someday it would be great to hear your steel in front of a real band, sure, but in the meantime, Band-In-A-Box can provide a very creditable backup for your solo work, and it should speak with pride to support your playing.

Suggestions. As Mr. Wills would say, "ah ha!".

Contact: Chuck Lettes,,
About: Marty Peters

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