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Current Tape Reviews

Mambo For Tjader
Artist Name:
Johnny Conga
Mambo For Tjader
Date Posted:
July 2016
Equipment Used:

Windows 7 PC with M-Audio ProFire 2626 interface running Avid Pro Tools 9, Warm Audio TB12 Tonebeast mic preamp, Yamaha HS80M monitors, Sony MDR-V6 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. Mics: AKG C414, Shure SM57, Sennheiser MD421, Studio Projects C4.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Mambo for Tjader" is a Latin-tinged instrumental song. Mario Marrero and Fred Hoadley played piano, Sammy Alamillo played drums, Rick Houle was on bass, Steve Mostovoy played trumpet, Nathaniel Paul played the saxes and flute, Joe Cano handled the guitar, Julio Jarregui was on piano/synth bass, and Johnny Conga played congas/bongos/timbales/vibraphone/cajon/guagua/clave/cowbell/guiro, sang, and also produced the track. Julio Jarregui engineered the recording at Betermusik, his home studio.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 3
A mighty fine overall effort by all involved here, though still a few tweaks away from being as successful as it might be. First the good stuff. All of the performances here are topnotch, as are the tones. We dug the round solid bass (more on this later) as well as the mellow nature of the vibes. The hand percussion was delivered with a crisp clear sound in the mix, while the horns had a nice blended quality through our monitors.

All this being said, we did find that the track had a very narrow stereo field for the sheer number of sound sources involved. With the bass taking up much of the center of the stereo field, the other instruments are positioned in essentially a mono presentation. While there is certainly nothing wrong with monophonic, this is after all a multitrack recording done in Pro Tools in 2016, not a live-to-quarter-inch 1950s model. With many of these well-recorded instruments sharing similar frequency ranges, to our ears the mix starts becoming somewhat fatiguing by its end.

Suggestions: As we stated earlier, everyone involved with "Mambo for Tjader" should be proud of their efforts. In our perfect world, the guys would consider a new mix that reduces the bass presence and takes advantage of the stereo field spread, at least from 10 to 2 o'clock, thereby giving the myriad instruments at play their own voices.

Summary: Quality work, gents!

Contact: Johnny Conga,
About: Marty Peters

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