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SPOTLIGHT 94: Rewind
 
Artist Name:
West of Benson
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 94: Rewind
 
Date Posted:
February 2016
 
Genre:
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

MacBook Pro with Universal Audio Apollo Twin DUO running Apple Logic Pro X. Mics: CAD Trion 800 (vocals and acoustic guitar), Shure SM57 and RODE NT1 (electric guitars), AKG D112 (bass). M-Audio BX8a and JBL 4206 monitors, beyerdynamic and AKG K240 headphones. Guild acoustic guitar, Ibanex S570 (solo) and Epiphone Sheraton II (clean) electric guitars. MusicMan Sterling bass. Boogie MkIII, Fender Super Reverb guitar amps, Ampeg V4 and Rickenbacker Transonic cabinets, Peavey TNT bass amp, Whirlwind DI (bass), M-Audio keyboard controller and Alesis DM10 electronic drums playing virtual instruments and Drum Kit Designer inside Logic. "Sounds": Lag bolt, coconut, cookie tin, beer bottles, and a small box of Willy Wonka Nerds as a shaker.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Rewind" is a male vocal rock song. The track was written, arranged, produced, mixed and mastered by Pete West and Brian Benson. Brian sang lead and harmony vocals and played keys. Pete played the guitars and sang harmony vocals. Dennis Harvey played drums and sang. Bernie Lopez handled the bass guitar and also sang. All four members are credited with adding additional "sounds".

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's Spotlight is a sprightly track featuring some excellent vocals and superior balance in the mix stage. Right from the intro we were taken by the energy that these guys brought to their respective performances, an energy that seems so natural in the collaborative environment that an actual band setting offers (with all respect to our many one-man/woman-band submitters, creating this type of energy while wearing all of the hats can be a daunting task).

As for the nuts and bolts of the recording, it's a bit of the old "tale of two songs". The first half of "Rewind" has a country rock-ish feel that really emphasizes the awesome vocal chops these guys have. Brian's high lead vocal is a thing of beauty and the nicely panned harmony vocals are the perfect complement. If you want ideal example of the phrase "seated in the mix", well, here it is, friends!

We love the lightly strummed acoustic guitars, perfect for the genre, along with the active but articulate bass guitar. We also felt that the Alesis DM10/Logic drum kit had some of the best "canned" tones that we have heard, and Dennis' performance was stellar.

As we mentioned earlier, "Rewind" features two fairly distinctive sections, the second being a reggae-style vibe that continues with all of the sonic goodies we've already mentioned while adding some really nice electric guitar to the proceedings, along with some percussion and even more elaborate vocal arrangements. From here we are treated to a lightly distorted electric guitar solo as the song returns to its original vibe and on through to the ending. Compliments to all involved for making these transitions sound seamless -- we hear none of the energy or volume shifts that often accompany these arrangement variations. Well done!

Suggestions: Lots of good stuff to take away from here, friends. West of Benson have provided us with a great example of composition, arranging, performance, and perhaps most impressive, mix balance. The blend and clarity of all the sound sources is among the finest that we have heard at Readers' Tracks, and they provide a fine template for us all in our own recordings.

Summary: Tight and Right!

Contact: Pete West/West of Benson, jammann247@yahoo.com
About: Marty Peters

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