Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Gear Review

This past week I had just finished up recording tracks, mixing and mastering my latest song titled 'Stay', http://alonetone.com/jaraimondimusic/tracks/stay-5.mp3 , for my new EP , 'It takes a Village'. While I was rehearsing the electric guitar track parts for the song I came across some really amazing VST plugins that I had downloaded several weeks prior. The first is a really punchy VST amp plug in called Juicy77 http://www.bteaudio.com/software/Juicy77/Juicy77.html
I used it on both electric guitar tracks which are panned hard left and right in the stereo field. Both guitars sound completely different due to the Juicy77's great tonal control and some use of other effects used in their respective effects chain. If you listen close to the guitar panned hard right you will hear a fairly overdriven guitar tone with a bit of grind. How I achieved this sound is by using the Juicy77 along with a very colorful compressor called the DC1A from Klanghelm http://www.klanghelm.com/DC1A.html . I love this compressor, it adds some vintage color that works great on guitar tracks. The greatest thing of all about these plugins is that they are all FREE! Yes FREE! Okay, so moving on to the guitar panned hard left. Again I used the Juicy77 with slightly less overdrive, the DC1A compressor and for a bit of grease I added the Classic Chorus from Kjaerhus http://acoustica1.cachefly.net/other/Classic-Effects-Installer.exe . I am completely satisfied with the results of these freeware VST effects and the realistic sounds they conjure up. This is proof that you don't need to break the bank or spend a dime to get some great guitar tones. Keep on pickin' and grinnin'.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Andrew Russe, the UK's best kept secret.

Recently I had joined and created a profile on a music sharing and distribution site called http://alonetone.com/ . My main purpose in doing so was to eventually share music that I am currently working and to create a fan base. In doing so I uploaded a backlogue of old material that I had recorded throughout the years in hopes to garner some attention, feedback and maybe even some laughs! ( some of my old stuff leaves much to be desired.) Anyway, most of the Hendrix cover song material that I posted was getting some great comments, especially from one cat. His name is Andrew Russe, a singer, songwriter and musician from the UK. After some flattering  comments on my music I opened up his profile and gave his music a listen. First off I would have to say he has a great command and a dynamic voice, a sort of  Cat Stevens / Ed Roland quality but truly unique one. Once you realise this, it is apparent that the music that surrounds his vocals completely compliments it in every way imaginable. He creates a seemless marriage of instrumentation and song. No one instrument or element is more powerful than the other. There is alot of attention to detail here and the payoff is some great music. If you want to here some great Indie music from Andrew Russe click on the link below. I know you will enjoy his music as much as I did.


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Heart Strings

You Rock guitar Midi Controller

The other night I finally had the chance to sit down and test out my new You Rock Guitar as a MIDI controller via the USB connection to my laptop. I would have to see I was totally impressed with how responsive it was in controlling the various VSTi's loaded in my DAW. I specifically enjoyed using the Piano One VSTi while playing along to one of my latest songs. Piano One has a more realistic sound compared to Acoustica Classical Piano or Grand Piano. The ability to quickly cut tracks for virtually any imaginable instrument without having to learn how to play that specific instrument is Priceless. The YouRock guitar should be in every musicians arsenal.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tracking Bass guitar for "Through the night" & 3rd Bass.VST gear review.

I spent time last night working out the bass line to my latest song project, "Through the night". I had recently discovered a Bass amp simulator plug in called 3rd Bass from http://www.techiepalar.org/3rd-bass-free-bass-vst-amp-simulator-plugin/. I love the sound of the simulator and its gonna be my go to plug in for tracking bass. Check it out.

Friday, June 22, 2012

True Fire Guitar lesson

Check out my Lick Of The Month: Fingers On Fire - Audio Guitar Lessons originally published by Guitar Player Magazine 2001.

Recording Progress of " Through the Night"

Overtime hours at work have slowed down progress of recording my latest song. Yesterday I was able to setup my new interface but not without running into the typical issues of installing drivers. The drivers that shipped with my Lexicon Alpha interface were causing my CPU to freeze when I set the audio I/O to ASIO. After searching the web for solutions I found out that Lexicon had updated its drivers and then downloaded them from, http://www.lexiconpro.com/en-US/softwares/alpha-driver. This did the trick and it works like a charm. I even optimized my CPU by shutting of Windows Media Services which were causing some audio drops. Now I don't have to open Resource Monitor and manually stop the WMI process everytime I use my DAW.
With all this in place I can now start working out vocals, bass & whatever else my crazy mind feels may fit.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jamstix VSTi Interactive Drummer review

Jamstix Interactive drummer by Rayzoon , http://www.rayzoon.com/, is used exclusively on all of my music. I have been using it for almost a year now and still continues to blow my mind how real it plays. The interface is very easy to use and like anything else takes a short time to navigate how it operates. It has tons of controls and parameters to modify how the drummer model plays and reacts to the song pattern you create. Rayzoon offers expansion packs and drummer model add ons to give you infinite percussuon possibilities. This is a great weapon to have in any home studio arsenal.

You Rock Guitar MIDI controller review

I had recently purchased the YouRockGuitar, http://www.yourockguitar.com/, to use as a MIDI controller in my home studio. I would have to say that I was pretty pleased with this device after using it for only a few minutes after opening the package. Most of the built in synth sounds are pretty good.  However most of the guitar sounds leave much to be desired. My intention is to use this strictly to control the VST instruments loaded in my DAW much like you would do with a keyboard. I cannot see using this device as a primary instrument to take center stage in your recording. It would be suited better as a complimentary instrument to add synth, piano, etc. as color to your music. It does have some limitations but it does beat having to shell out close to $1000 bucks for a Roland Midi system
For a musician with a home studio on a budget, this YouRockGuitar is perfect and will get you decent results. I will be featuring the use of the YouRockGuitar on my upcoming CD release later this summer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Progress of song #5 'Take it through the night'

'Take it through the night' is actually a song I had recorded a scratch version of a short time before I started work on the album. It was inspired by a song I had written and recorded called 'One more day'.  I was never really happy with the chorus of the song so I decided to revamp it and ended up with completely different lyrics and music. I ended up recording 3 totally different versions of the song and decided to go with the more upbeat 16th note rock tempo compared to the slower ballady feel which is similar to a couple other songs intended for my album.
Last weekend I was able to cue up the scratch track and lay down a couple acoustic rythym guitar parts panned left and right. This was also the first time I was able to utilize my Sound isolation shield which I modified with some better foam. The new foam worked like a charm and deadened some of the room reflection I was getting previously. I also discovered some better microphone positions which help reduce some of the boominess that was happening from the lower strings.
Next week I should be receiving my new interface and Midi controller so most likely I will be doing lead and background vocals along with a bass guitar track. I cannot wait!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Welcome to J.A.Raimondi Music!

Welcome to J A Raimondi Music (ASCAP), home to the Music of Singer/Songwriter/ Musician/ & Producer James A. Raimondi.