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Orion Sanctum
Artist Name:
Virgil Mania
Orion Sanctum
Date Posted:
July 2014
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Mac Pro running Avid Pro Tools with Universal Audio UAD-2 plug-ins, Avid Strike, and Spectrasonics Omnisphere; Korg KronosX and Roland Integra-7 keyboard workstations.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Orion Sanctum" is a rock instrumental with a hint of jazz and a touch of "prog". The entire project -- programming, playing, engineering, and mastering -- was done by Virgil in his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: Although we've used it countless times in the past, the best descriptor for "Orion Sanctum" is that of "mixed bag". Starting with the good stuff, we loved the faux Hammond organ sound, and the hand drum part as well. We also thought that Virgil did a good job coaxing a fairly realistic electric guitar voice from his keyboard/software rig.

Less to our liking were the "sax" sound and the drum programming in general. We also felt that the building up of sound sources in the arrangement could have happened a bit quicker, though this is purely a stylistic choice.

Suggestions: Before we delve into the particulars, let's take a moment to consider context in the current music environment. There was a time (late '60s/early '70s) when the mighty LP roamed the earth and songs were often sequenced to be listened to as "a piece"... or in many cases, a concept (insert visions of black light posters in your parents' basement here!). In today's social media-dominated environment, however, our collective attention spans have decreased to a level that places such listening into smaller categories such as classical, soundtrack, and occasionally jazz. Whether any of this mattered to Virgil as he put together his musical arrangement here is anyone's guess. That said, we would still encourage him to rethink the pace of his intro in order to draw in the listener a bit sooner.

As for the "sax" sound, we have rarely, if ever, heard a realistic solo sax sound generated from a keyboard. We would love to hear an actual player on this track, taking Virgil's sax sketch to another level. Lastly, drum programming for non-drummers seems to go best when things are simplified. The style of light "feathering" approached here is way tricky to program, and frankly it wasn't pulled off convincingly and hurt the track as a result. Virgil had a good thing going with his kick and hand drum parts; we suggest he let them carry the load.

Summary: A solid start!

Contact: Virgil Mania,
About: Marty Peters

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