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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 89: South Side
 
Artist Name:
Joscelyn Drainville / JossFunk
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 89: South Side
 
Date Posted:
August 2015
 
Genre:
Latin
Equipment Used:

Quad-core Mac with RME Fireface 800 interface and Universal Audio UAD-1 running MOTU Digital Performer, UAD plug-ins, Toontrack EZdrummer (cymbals and a few other drum sounds), and East West Quantum Leap COLOSSUS virtual synth. Mics: Electro-Voice RE20 (tenor sax), RODE Classic (alto flute, Quena flute, acoustic guitar, snare), RODE M3 (percussion: congas, repenik, agogo bell, Pearl practice congas, etc.). Preamps: TL Audio 5001 quad-valve, TL Audio Ivory Series (used as bass DI). Monitors: ADAM Audio P22 and KRK RoKit 5.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"South Side" is a Latin jazz instrumental track. Joscelyn Drainville (a.k.a. JossFunk) composed, recorded, and mixed the track, along with playing the Quena & G flute, tenor sax, keyboards, additional percussion, main snare, and drum programming. The acoustic guitar was played by Willie Pietrocupo. Marc Sohier was on bass, and Alain Labrosse rounded things out on the main percussion. Mastering was handled by Claude Lemair at UltraHiFi.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's SPOTLIGHT is a sweet uptempo composition, filled with top-flight performances, tones, and recording chops. Joscelyn and the band waste little time getting things up to speed -- a few intro snare hits and it's game on!

We absolutely love the sound of the nylon string guitar here; the RODE Classic mic did a fantastic job picking up the nuances of Willie's superb performance. We have had the pleasure of using this particular mic on vocals in the past with outstanding results, and after hearing it on the guitar, it will be on our radar in this application as well!

We must also compliment all involved for the killer bass tone in "South Side". The juxtaposition of the smooth guitar and the "growly" bass really puts some teeth into the arrangement, taking the song out of the smooth jazz realm and injecting the perfect amount of funk to the proceedings.

Moving on, the myriad percussion sounds form an awesome blend. There's some great mixing going on here, with fantastic balance, placement, and frequency choices. In lesser hands this amount of sonic information could easily result in a train wreck, but JossFunk has handled it skillfully. Big ups again to RODE mics here: the M3 shines on the percussion instruments.

Speaking of shining, Joscelyn's sax and flute sounds may well be at the very top of the list that we have heard here at Readers' Tapes, and the performances are simply world-class (you don't land a gig with the incredible Cirque du Soleil without some monster chops!). We have always loved the Electro-Voice RE20 mic on horns and woodwind instruments, and it certainly does the job here!

We must also compliment Joscelyn on his keyboard and drums. The piano provides a nice thrust to the arrangement, while the combination of the live snare/programmed kit works very smartly in this context. The cymbal sounds, courtesy of the Toontrack EZdrummer software, have a surprising "realness" to them as well. Lastly, though it has already been touched upon, we can't stress enough how skillfully balanced both the mix and mastering are. Artfully done, say we!

Suggestion: Being able to provide working examples of outstanding recordings is one of the real joys of our SPOTLIGHT feature. We urge all of you out there to study and learn from these great efforts. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a recording of this quality is at least that!

Summary: Formidable!

Contact: Joscelyn Drainville/JossFunk: jossfunk@yahoo.ca, www.myspace.com/jossfunk, www.cdbaby.com/jossfunk, www.jossfunk.com
About: Marty Peters

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