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Current Tape Reviews

SPOTLIGHT 102: Memories Of Love
 
Artist Name:
Gregory Piere and David Burke
  Title:
SPOTLIGHT 102: Memories Of Love
 
Date Posted:
October 2016
 
Genre:
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

Intel quad-core PC using a Black Lion modified Digidesign 002 Rack running Digidesign Pro Tools 9, Waves Platinum bundle, Waves Studio Classics bundle, and Waves GTR3 amp simulators on guitars and bass. Sonnox Bundle for mastering. Virtual instruments: Spectrasonics Omnisphere and Trilian, FXpansion BFD 2, Modartt Pianoteq. Neumann U 87 Mic into Universal Audio LA-610 preamp for vocals. Universal Audio 2192, Apogee Rosetta 800, Dangerous Music D-Box for 8-channel summing into a Alesis Masterlink ML-9600 digital recorder. JBL LSR4328P reference monitors with matching sub. Fender Strat, Roland mesh-head V-Drums with TD-20 brain, Korg Triton Studio keyboard.

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Memories of Love" is a male vocal rock song. The lyrics and melody were written and arranged by David Burke, who also sang the lead and backing vocals. Greg Studley played guitar. Gregory composed the music, played all of the other instruments, and recorded, mixed, and mastered the track.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 5
This month's Spotlight is a super-tight recording that combines some great writing, enviable gear, and skilled musicianship to form a mighty radio-friendly track. Since the inception of our Spotlight feature here at RECORDING Magazine, the one constant that continues from month to month is the exemplary writing and arranging found in the featured tracks. As the wise man once said, a great recording of a bad song is still a bad song. Fortunately our tradition continues here with "Memories of Love"; the writing is tight, as is the arrangement. Good stuff!

As for the instruments themselves, they achieve the same high standard set by the writing. We absolutely love the sound of the drum kit that Gregory captured, particularly the kick and snare drums. For those of you out there struggling to achieve the right combination of body, openness, and beater head clarity in your kick drum, here you go! While you're at it, give Gregory's snare drum sound a good long listen as well Snap, body, clarity, its all there. Now for the surprise: all of this "drummy" goodness was delivered via Roland mesh-head V-Drums with the accompanying TD-20 brain. Man, this ain't your parents' electronic drum sounds, kiddies!

In moving on to the other sound sources, instrument arrangement comes to the fore yet again. Check how the pulsing bass guitar and drums move the track along in counterpoint to the whole notes played by the fantastic "grindy" keyboards. Shadows and light, my friends, and that's a good thing!

Moving on, Gregory did a fine job meshing his slightly dirty electric rhythm guitar with the abovementioned keyboards, with no masking or frequency clash to be found. The guitar fills and solo were nicely executed and benefited from some gentle panning, allowing them to speak without distracting from the star of the show, that being the vocals.

As we mentioned earlier, few of us have the luxury of singing through the signal path that was used here ( Neumann U87 mic going into a Universal Audio LA-610 preamp). That said, as Messrs. Clapton and Robertson so eloquently put it, "It's In The Way That You Use It", and Greg used it here to great advantage in capturing David's superb vocals. What we have is textbook vocal recording friends, no sibilance, over compression/limiting, no unbelievable ambience, nope, just a perfectly executed and seated lead vocal along with some equally impressive backing vocals wrapping around it with wide spread panning. Sweetness.

Lastly, we must mention the quality of the final mix. So often at Readers' Tracks we receive submissions that are out of balance, or suffering from ambience mismatches, resulting in a final project that lacks cohesion. Greg's mix reveals none of that, but rather a well-balanced "together" sounding effort that obviously impressed us.

Suggestions: In his production notes, Gregory tells us that his goal was to one day achieve the quality required to make it to our Spotlight feature. Greg also told us to be honest in our assessment of his track.

What's particularly sweet about this Spotlight entry is that this isn't the first time we've heard this... from Gregory! Back in October 2009, Readers' Tapes featured his track "Lonely At The Top", and we pointed out some mixing flaws that kept it out of the winner's circle... and Gregory's come back swinging, and put one over the center field wall.

As a long-suffering Buffalo Bills fan (you know... that whole "wide right", four-straight-Super-Bowl-losses business), we totally get the "we are not worthy" mindset. Well, lay that to rest, Gregory. You and your team have created a winning track here.

Summary: Welcome, at last, to the Spotlight!

Contact: Gregory Piere, gpfromcali@comcast.net
About: Marty Peters

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