Fire & Drew, thank you very much for the feedback, it's always very much appreciated and really helps me stay focused on my strengths and weaknesses.
@Fire - The wah is something I never really play with, I have a terrible sense of rythm, so the wah part is the result of furious pedaling and hoping for the best. Incidentally, you will hear a couple of scratches with no wah in there, I discovered that because I'm using a USB pedal board, to get wah into the recorded part on my DAW (even though I could hear it I had to enable a feature called latch and add the wah to its list - this took me hours of heavy Googling to find someone who had figured it out for me. For me the wah was a case of recording the clean part about 8 times until I got something that sounded like the idiot playing it had some sense of rythm, so the results were entirely accidental.
@ Drew - It's more an overindulgence in compression than a phaser. I decided I didn't really like the presets I had been using in GR5 and made some of my own. I always wanted to create that slightly synthetic sound used by Michael Angelo Batio and Jason Becker on some of their tracks. It's a rather tasteless 80s sound, but it has its place somewhere? I did a little reading on the matter and decided I wanted it stripped down as much as possible, so in went a compressor, overdrive, gain booster and a jump amp (apparently modelled on British amps with boosted mids). Then I went a little nuts and added 4 4x12 Rammfire cabs (based on Rammstein's amps) in control room, why have 1 when you can have 4? For some reason the sound that I liked had them spaced half left, half right, full left, full right, finally I added a little reverb at the end of the mix to take out the dryness. I tried to back off the compression and introduced a noise gate to reduce that horrible phasey aftertaste, but there's still quite a bit in it. Anyway it proved one thing - I know bugger all about amps and setups - it's just constant experimentation for me. Regarding the track, I was totally out of ideas by 2:45 and should have faded out then, I kept going out of some strange sense that a track has to be at least 3 minutes (I think this comes from feeling short changed as a teen when some album I had bought contained a track that was 30 seconds long). The descending runs was not one of my better ideas particularly as that day my picking was sloppy, so you can hear the accidental clangs on the open b.
Now on to the tracks. I liked them all and everyone has a unique touch which says a lot about the journey we have all taken.
Drew - What can I say? You're without doubt one of the best players here and it shows in this track. Loved the legato, something of JS
in there, very tasteful and melodic - like a good Scotch for the ears. Loved those tones (any chance you could tell me where the dials were pointing for that one?). Loved that guitar too and it's great to see a desk that looks like mine, that is to say one that looks like someone threw a grenade into a filing cabinet, scooped up the results and had them thrown across the desk. A wise man once told me that when he saw a clean desk he always suspected that the occupier was not working hard enough.
Kyle - Stellar playing as always. As Drew said you were out of your comfort zone, definitely not Vaiesque as I have heard from you in the past. I feel I heard something that was totally Kyle there and it was brilliant. You've the skills to pay the bills, all the chops and more. To clarify, I mean Vaiesque in the best possible way, we all strive to be the sum of our influences, but something in that track made me think that Kyle the kid who can play his socks off is becoming Kyle the man/guitar god.
Fire - A.K.A Mr. Melody. I really loved this track and the tones you used. While the rest of us have hits and misses, you just build and build. Like Drew, you have an impeccable sense of taste, I think your formative years listening to your dad playing gave you a great ear for what fits and what doesn't - he must be a great musician. I really like how you take your time and build the melody, if you pardon the crude analogy, like a good stripper - "Here's a little bit, here's a little more, I know you want to see it, but wait, here's another bit...." ... you may deny it, but I imagine from your days in the army you know what I'm talking about. It would have been easier to say that each part of the build into the melody teases the listener to a point that they are hooked waiting for the next part of the melody to be revealed.... but I'm too lazy to delete the previous part now. Great work, sir!
Satch - You are definitely living up to your name. Another great track from you. Your tapping runs are magnificent. Your fast parts always me of a man driving a very fast car down a winding mountain road, he presses the brake pedal and nothing happens, so the car hurtles down the road and the man does all he can to keep control. You keep perfect control, but I love that sense of danger in your playing that any second you will lose it which makes it very exciting for the listener. Where many of us (ie.me) would fly off the road, you stay in control. Bravo monsieur!
Wilch - Wow! You're another master of melody and taste. Love the hooks, I love the control in your playing. Where many of us introduce a little melody at the beginning play it a couple of times and then descend into sheer wankery ending with us blowing our load selfishly over the track, camera, crew and any passer by unlucky enough to be witin range, you keep control of those primal urges and deliver quality music. Everything you do has that midas touch, polished melodic playing and great production values! The only issue I have is that desk, it's too tidy, makes me lose sleep, how can a sane man keep a desk so tidy? You're not feeding homeless people to that lovely cat?
I will vote later, but I have a difficult choice and I would like to keep my vote secret, if a comment appears and then a vote, we'll all know whom I cast for!