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Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Date Posted:
January 2015
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC with M-Audio Fast Track audio interface running Cockos Reaper and all included plug-ins. Shure PG27 mic for guitars and vocals. Sennheiser HD800 headphones. 1979 Madeira A-20 acoustic guitar and 1983 Gibson 355 electric guitar.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Change" is a male vocal acoustic funk song. Richie Auriemma did it all at his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Recording: Lots of interesting ideas at play here. Auriemma has assembled a funky music track complete with acoustic and electric guitars, human beat box, canned handclaps and vocals. So how well do the kids play together? Let's take a closer look.

Since we were not provided with an equipment list other than the guitars used, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how things went down, but we can certainly take a guess! Both the acoustic guitar and lead vocal have an ambient, somewhat distant quality, which would lead us to believe that they may have been tracked simultaneously. Anyone who has tried this technique will likely admit that there is a great deal of compromise involved in order to achieve a balance, volume and EQ that is suitable for both sound sources.

Oh, there is also the potential difficulty of dealing with mic/instrument bleed along with its associated phase issues. To our ears, the acoustic guitar gets the worst of the bargain here, coming across as rather scratchy-sounding and lacking low-end body.

On the flip side, we dug the Curtis Mayfield-style electric guitar that Auriemma delivered via his Gibson ES 355 semi-hollow body. Funky stuff indeed! The remaining sound sources serve well to showcase some of the arrangement ideas that Auriemma had for the track, though in our monitors the "beat box" was too forward in the mix, while the handclaps could have benefited from more presence.

Suggestions: "Change" is yet another in a long line of "demo" submissions that we have reviewed. We would love to hear a more full-bodied, present acoustic guitar to anchor the track. How that is achieved will be up to Auriemma and the capacity of his recording device. If he is able to track the guitar separately, he should certainly consider it. Having the ability to adjust his mic position as well as his EQ could solve some of the tone issues that we heard with the guitar.

We would also urge Auriemma to perform a bit of a flip-flop between the handclap volume and the "beat box" volume, in order to achieve a better overall balance in the mix.

Summary: Plenty of potential.

Contact: Auriemma,
About: Marty Peters

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