ReMix: Super Dodge Ball "Rockin' the Yard"
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5,359,616 bytes, 4:34, 154kbps
Hot damn! Rockin' the yard, indeed... I've been looking forward to Brad's first solo (i.e. non-collab) mix, to see what he could do on his own; his two collabs with Taucer and single mix with Caio were all great, but I'm used to being introduced to artists' solo works first, THEN hearing them in a collaborative context, and he definitely inverted that for me. If there were any doubts he could put together an equally great arrangement by himself, this mix puts them to rest: while zircon did pitch in on mastering, arrangement and performance are 110% mephisto - this is Brad's baby, and it rocks. If you recall, back in April we posted Shaun's Super Dodge Ball ReMix, which was also excellent - both tracks were pulled from the Around the World album project due to scheduling, but it's under new management and should still see the light of day at some point. In the mean time, though, we're certainly getting our fill of SDB action. Since Andy chipped in, let's hear what he says:
"I (zircon) really liked the first sub but thought the mixing/production was dragging it down. That was the sole basis for my original NO, as I really liked the arrangement, interpretation, and part writing. Very creative overall! Brad came to me and asked for some help, and I offered to simply re-mix and master it myself. In doing so I fixed all of my own production/execution problems and I think the final result sounds good, as it gives Brad's skilled playing and sequencing (especially the bass!) the level of clarity and fullness they deserve."
One cool thing (among many!) about the judges panel is that every once in awhile they walk the walk in terms of actually fixing their own criticisms of a mix by assisting artists directly; this was such a moment. In the original submission email, Brad talks more about the creation of the mix:
"i recorded my saxophone through my m-audio mobilepre usb. i also used the vst versions of steinburg acoustic guitarist run through guitar rig 2.2, steinburg virtual bassist and the NI B4 organ. and addictive drums. that's pretty much all the instruments in this - the wah guitar was the steinburg electric guitar, but as a whole, that's really all that i needed. i used my KeyRig 49 for the organ and bass parts.
recorded in two takes, straight through, except for the soli section right before the last time through the head. that was two additional takes for the lower two parts. i'm pretty happy with how it turned out. this was my first real non-collaborative remix that i finished in a while. i'm pretty happy with how it turned out. i'm not a very good jazz saxophonist, but i think i handled myself adequately on the solo section in the middle. the bass is a little heavy in the middle, but it sounds fine on other systems than my computer speakers so i think it's pretty much fine."
This is really excellent use of the Addictive Drums library in particular - lovely breaks and fills keep everything fresh, and the toms bit at 0'44" wit da Shaft guitar is downright nasty. It's also some of Brad's best sax work yet, in my opinion, and I think he pulls off the jazz licks just fine. I suppose one could make some articulation nitpicks here and there, but this sounds so much better than sampled sax, and Brad was actually PLAYING this stuff on the honest-to-goodness instrument, no keyboards, breath controllers, or step sequencing. The combination of continuous rock/jazz jamming and sax noodling actually reminds me of something you'd hear the SNL band playing before & after commercial breaks, back in the day, and I definitely mean that as a compliment. Also, check out the bassline at around 2'03" and then 2'11" - a walking line that segues briefly into solo riff territory. Sweet. Rock organ flourishes the right moments and stays out of the way when it should, and while the backing rhythm guitar does start to sound mechanical at times, it beefs up the accompaninment and fills out the EQ range nicely.
Put simply, this mix rocks. The yard, the garage, the deck - wherever. As Brad's first non-collab mix it clearly shows what he's capable of, wielding excellent arrangement and instrumentation skills with his sax abilities as the icing on the cake. Excellent work.
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