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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 93: Testing Gravity
Artist Name:
Eliot Pister
SPOTLIGHT 93: Testing Gravity
Date Posted:
January 2016
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Cakewalk SONAR 7 Producer Edition, ART Pro Channel and DPS II. Mics: AKG C414BULS, Audio-Technica AT4033, Shure SM57. Takamine G-series acoustic guitar, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul, Line 6 Spider amp, Zoom G1X guitar multieffects, Alesis Quadrasynth plus Piano, Cakewalk Dimension Pro and other virtual instruments.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Testing Gravity" is a male vocal rock song. Eliot did it all, along with some help on additional guitar parts from James Lee.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's SPOTLIGHT is Eliot's second appearance in Readers' Tracks, the first dating all the way back to November of 2003! What a kick to look at the gear list from that long-ago effort... gone are the original blackface Alesis ADAT recorder and Yamaha O1V digital mixer in favor of Cakewalk's SONAR DAW... although Eliot's Alesis Quadrasynth Plus Piano, Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, and Takamine acoustic guitar are still in play after all these years. Hey, if it ain't broke...!

Listening to this new track, we found that certain threads also weave through both efforts, primarily the high quality of the vocal recording and performance. Eliot is blessed with one of those effortless rock/pop voices, and it is certainly on display here. The AKG C414BULS microphone fits his vocal perfectly, in our opinion, and he wisely presents the lead and backing vocals prominently in the mix. We also dug the subtle delay effect that was applied to the lead vocal, lending a bit of flair to the proceedings.

As for the remaining sound sources, the programmed drums were basic but effective, while the round bass tone gave the track a nice fullness. The piano sound Eliot coaxed from his Cakewalk Dimension Pro software sounded excellent through our monitors, with a nice "acoustic" realism, and to our ears the performance was flawless. Kudos must also be given to Eliot and James for the guitar parts here. We were absolutely impressed with the restraint and dedication to the melody that the electric guitars showed. The term "serving the song" gets bandied about plenty, but that's exactly what the guitars are about here. Well done!

Lastly, though it seems to be a recurring theme in these SPOTLIGHT reviews, the importance of a quality overall song arrangement cannot be minimized. All of the great performances and tones won't amount to a hill of beans without a smart, unified arrangement. Luckily for us, Eliot has provided one here. Listen and learn, gang!

Summary: Talented then, even better now!

Contact: Eliot Pister,
About: Marty Peters

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