Custom-built PC with Edirol UA-4FX AudioCapture interface running Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 4XL and plug-ins including Roger Nichols Inspector, Classic Master Limiter, Cakewalk ReverbXL, C3 Multi Band Compressor, LazySnake virtual electric piano, and Elogoxa X-Cita. Mackie 1202 mixer, AKG K141 headphones, Yorkville YSM1P powered monitors. Epiphone Nighthawk electric guitar. Tech 21 SansAmp Classic, Alesis AcoustiFX.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
This month's Spotlight is a groove-heavy slice of summer soul. George tells us:
"The main idea behind this instrumental piece was to revive that classic Motown groove and give it a contemporary spin. The result is a vintage soul beat infused with some R&B and rock elements."
"The solo guitar was recorded using SansAmp Classic and Alesis AcoustiFX multi-effect box (flanger, compressor, delay & hum cancellation filter) through a Mackie mixer in effort to capture that true analog saturation. The guitar has a bit darker eq applied, in order to contrast with the bright, explosive color of the brass section. A generous amount of reverb was applied to the synth and the brass section for the purpose of achieving that "airy", floating feel."
George wanted to put a contemporary spin on the classic Motown sound, and spin it he did, starting with the bass. The low end on "Return to Wonderland" is just as fine as can be, with a huge rich tone that drives the track while staying intact as part of the rhythm section. In a nod to his mission statement, we should also mention that the Temps/Four Tops bass breakdown is about as Motown as it gets.
The drums are also tone monsters; the snare shines throughout with a clean cracking sound, and check out the toms during the awesome fill at the end of the track. Beautiful rich tone and perfect imaging through both our monitors and headphones, crazy good!
As for the remaining sound sources, George gets his Rick James/ Maurice White on with a few vocal punctuations, and the wah-wah guitar positively recalls the early 1970s style (Isaac Hayes, anyone?). We also dug the treatment on the faux horn section, which was blended perfectly as a section to our ears and, as promised by George, presented with just enough reverb to lend it some convincing "air".
Paying homage to a specific era or musical genre is not as easy as it my seem, and doing it well is even harder. George has managed to both re-create AND create at the same time here, with considerable skill and above all, joy.
Summary: Funky Time!
Contact: George Solo / Musicline Productions, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.musicline.ca