Do you use ribbon mics?

Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 59: Chester
Artist Name:
Rico Belled
SPOTLIGHT 59: Chester
Date Posted:
October 2012
Equipment Used:

Self-built PC with MOTU 2408MkII, 2408MkIII, and PCI424X running Cakewalk SONAR X1 Producer Expanded. Drums recorded with Electro-Voice PL series mics (tom/kick), Shure Beta 58 (snare), Carvin small condenser (hi-hat), AKG Perception (room mic), into Behringer ADA8000 8-channel A/D. Bass and percussion recorded straight into PreSonus D8 preamp/interface. Car (the Volkswagen Vanagon "Chester" courtesy Ashley Schwartz) recorded with an MCA SP1 through an Avid Mbox Mini. Everything else added later through ART TP-II going into a MOTU 1224 and PCI424X, using an MCA SP1 for the trumpet and trombone. Mixed and mastered on Yamaha HS80M monitors.

Loading audio player ...
Production Notes & Credits:

"Chester" is a jazz instrumental. Jonathan Dresel played the drums, Stan Sargeant was on bass, Ronnie Gutierrez handled the percussion, Sean Erick played the trumpet and trombone, and Rico laid down the guitar and keyboards. Rico also took care of the recording end of things.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
Recording: This month's Spotlight is, as we used to say back in the neighborhood, "as serious as a heart attack". Rico has submitted a killer recording with some major league performances and a great arrangement to boot. To call "Chester" anything less than superlative would be a crime. In our opinion, the performances alone make it is one of the strongest tracks that we have had submitted to us in the past fifteen years here at Readers' Tapes.

So how did all this sonic goodness come about? Well, let's take a closer look-see. Rico tells us that the drums, keys, bass and percussion were recorded live, sans click track, at his friend Mouse's house using multiple headphone mixes for tracking. Additional tracking, as well as the mixing and mastering, was done in Sonar X1 by Rico at his apartment. O.K., so far we've got two guys named Rico and Mouse, how could this track not be funky!

Rico mixed the entire thing "in the box", and wonders of wonders, he even gave us the monitors that he used (Yamaha HS80Ms) -- a practice which seems to have fallen by the wayside on many of our submissions over the past few years.

As for the individual sound sources, well, they are impressive across the board. Starting with the "Shaft" style wah-wah, the electric guitars are clean and precise, the drums have just the right amount of room ambience and the bass brings the funk with a nice mellow tones. We also loved the sound of the congas and hand percussion.

The horns were presented with excellent balance, and how can you not dig a slightly overdriven Rhodes giving way to a Seventies-era flute break! This is big time stuff, fellas, and hats off to all involved. "Chester" is in solid rotation around our place.

Summary: A classic Tower of Power meets The Crusaders groove. Soul vaccination indeed!

Contact: Rico Belled,,
About: Marty Peters

Click to view details

Kef America LS50 Wireless

The Magazine | Featured Review | Resources & Info | Readers' Tapes | Editors' Blogs | News | Shop | About Us | Contest | Subscriptions | Contact
Terms and Policy | Advertise | Site Map | Copyright 2014 Music Maker Online LLC | Website by Toolstudios
RSS Newsletter Refer a Friend Q&A Q&A