Move over "American Idol," the Audiophillie Music Awards for Excellence in Recorded Sound contest winners are way more talented. They don't just sing--they play instruments, write, and record their own tunes.
Zachary LeFeber's band Magnet South entered "Move On," and I'm glad they did. Zach's the drummer and a very talented audio engineer. A nice fella by the name of Matthew Winner handled vocals and guitar. Magnet South has a blog, where you can see how the music takes shape. The band has been together for two and a half years, but they have real jobs so they haven't played around all that much. Zach recorded "Move On" in his house, using a Sonar digital workstation. He considers himself something of an audiophile, so I wasn't surprised to hear he's getting into vinyl.
Alan Carter wasn't planning on entering the contest, but he had just bought a new Woodpecker ribbon microphone and wanted to record something to try it out. He used the new mic to record everything but the lead vocal and guitar on "Georgia," which was written and sung by Phil Palma. Alan's studio partner Jake played electric guitar; Phil was on acoustic guitar; and Alan played bass.
Alan works for Sweetwater Sound and sells equipment to recording studios,--no wonder "Georgia" sounds so fine. The song was recorded to half-inch analog tape, and, obviously, I didn't know that when I first picked it as a winner. Alan feels that even the best digital recordings never sound as sweet as analog. That's not to say he avoids digital completely--"Georgia" was digitally mixed in Pro Tools, before bouncing it back to analog tape. He concedes there's a lot that you can't do in analog, so he takes a hybrid approach.… Read more