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“The technology is going to put [a lot of] big studios out of business. Let’s face it, in five years there will be no boards like this [gestures to his studio’s massive Neve console]; there’s going to be a Macintosh. There’s going to be great fidelity, and you’re just going to say, ‘Okay, let’s record.’ That’s it!”- Daryl “The Captain” Dragon

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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 73: Blues Parade
 
Artist Name:
Peter Hanmer
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 73: Blues Parade
 
Date Posted:
February 2014
 
Genre:
Blues
Equipment Used:

PC with M-Audio Delta 1010 soundcards, running Cakewalk SONAR X2 (tracking and mixing), Adobe Audition (mastering). Mics: Shure SM57 (snare, toms, electric guitar amp), AKG D112 (kick), Behringer B1 (overheads and hi-hat), sE Electronics sE2200 (acoustic guitar). Electric guitars: Fender Strat with Texas Special pickups, Tokai Love Rock with Di Marzios (Tone Zone in the neck and Super Distortion in the bridge). Ibanez Roadstar bass, Ibanez Artwood acoustic guitar. Marshall TSL602 guitar amp. Bass recorded DI through Line 6 Bass POD. Gretsch Catalina birch drum kit with Zildjan cymbals and hi-hats.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Blues Parade" is a (you guessed it) Blues/Rock instrumental. This track is from Peter's album "Living For The Moment", on which he played all of the guitars and bass (at least on this track) but drums are credited to Larry Rose.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's Spotlight, recorded in a studio Peter built himself near Johannesburg, South Africa, is a superb example of guitar tone and texture, and how to weave them creatively while building an awesome arrangement. Though it is not uncommon for many guitarists to include in their arsenal instruments that employ different pickups, e.g. a Gibson with humbuckers along with a Fender Strat/Tele with single coils, and perhaps more esoteric choices such as guitars equipped with P-90s, mini-humbuckers and Filter-trons, we have rarely heard them presented so distinctly or successfully.

The track intros with a nicely recorded and beautifully panned conga part leading us into a funky full band groove with a NASTY (in a good way!) sounding lead guitar. The tone here is in the Warren Haynes/Gary Moore camp, distorted but rich and full with great note definition and sustain. At approximately 1:10 into the song, Pete switches to a distinctly single coil sound, a little "quacky", but no less impressive, oh and did we mention the brother flat out burns on the guitar!

The goodness continues with a palate-cleansing acoustic guitar/keyboard interlude at 1:58, providing our senses with a well-arranged and beautifully recorded respite prior to Peter launching into yet another killer solo, this one showcasing some bridge pickup bite. Finally, at 3:22, Pete goes for all the marbles with a dual panned HEAVY rhythm guitar track in support of his final solos, before ending it all with an awesome acoustic "Stairway to Heaven" homage.

Suggestions: As you may have guessed, we were mighty impressed... not only by the skill level and "tone-age" here, but also with the seamless transitions in the arrangement. So often in this type of piece, we hear level disparities and energy drops between sections, but Peter has managed to take us from sound to sound effortlessly, navigating his mix with aplomb.

We should also mention that the rhythm section, while basic, provides a perfect support cast for the guitars. Lastly, Peter receives extra Spotlight kudos for the oh so tasty "shadow and light" he affords the arrangement during the three acoustic sections of the song. Well conceived, well played, well arranged. (We were tempted to disqualify him for telling us about his pickups but not about his studio monitors, but... nah.)

Summary: Lots of folks can riff... fewer can have it mean something!

Contact: Peter Hanmer peter@foxglovestudios.co.za, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZnIuoUUvpI
About: Marty Peters

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