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Current Tape Reviews

Artist Name:
Gary Schneider
Date Posted:
November 2016
Rock and Pop
Equipment Used:

PC running Acoustica Mixcraft Pro Studio 7 and Toontrack EZdrummer (drum part) and EZkeys (piano part); Gibson SG guitar through DigiTech effects; bass guitar part created virtually in Mixcraft; Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones; Polk Audio Model S 10 & Model 10 monitors (“at least 30 years old”).

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Production Notes & Credits:

"Wars" is a male vocal rock song, Gary wore all of the hats on the project.

Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Rating: 2
Fairly or unfairly, certain phrases, sounds, and styles become part of our common vernacular or culture, often to the point of stereotype. Unfortunately for Gary, the infamous SNL Christopher Walken "more cowbell" skit is a prime example of this. In all honesty, it seems to us that the model here for Gary's track was more "Mississippi Queen" than SNL, but we still couldn't avoid going there.

As for the remaining sound sources, Gary got a great rock tone from his Gibson SG, and he also made effective use of both the Toontracks EZdrummer and the Toontracks EZkeys virtual instruments. Less successful to our ears were the lead vocal and the outro of the song. While we certainly understand the importance of lyric presentation in "message" type songs, we question whether the amount of reverb on the vocals actually supports that goal. In our opinion, a bit drier ambience on the lead vocal would allow the lyrics to be clearer, and also would also provide a better match with the ambience of the other instruments. The abrupt ending of the song also caught us off guard, although that may have been intentional!

Suggestions: While we certainly don't advocate the elimination of the venerable cowbell from our musical palette, it is worth reminding you loyal readers that for every action comes a reaction. High male falsetto vocals are likely to draw a "Staying Alive" Bee Gees reference, backwards guitars might bring up Hendrix or the Beatles, and so it goes. Whether this matters a lick to Gary is anyone's guess, but it's worth the consideration.

As for the other areas, we would urge Gary to dial back his vocal reverb and drop the overall vocal volume a bit in order to seat it better in the mix. Regarding the ending, in our perfect world something less jarring would have been fine by us, but ultimately that ball is in Gary's court.

Summary: I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is... nope, not gonna say it!

Contact: Gary Schneider,
About: Marty Peters

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