THE S&V INTERVIEW

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: Sep 05, 2012 0 comments

Harmonix Music Systems redefined the peripheral-based rhythm genre with Rock Band in 2007. Five years, two numbered sequels and a few notable band-specific spin-offs later, their fans have a huge music library at their disposal. Thanks to smart thinking at the outset, almost all of the material from each successive game release has been playable within the Rock Band ecosystem (The Beatles Rock Band notwithstanding). There's somewhere in the neighborhood of three thousand songs in the Rock Band catalog if you count the community-authored tracks available on the Rock Band Network store.

The problem is, no one wants to buy peripheral-based games anymore. The novelty's over and isn't coming back anytime soon. Despite this, Harmonix has been keeping Rock Band fresh by releasing new songs and albums each week for players to download. This is great for hardcore fans, but not everyone wants to go through the hassle of getting the band back together because they want to play a few new tracks. That's where Rock Band Blitz comes in.

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Timothy J. Seppala Posted: May 23, 2012 0 comments

Late last year during the Spike Video Game Awards a familiar image resurfaced: A lanky towhead skateboarding around a dingy warehouse. The problem was that - aside from the sound of trucks grinding on a railing - the video was silent. Today, the team at Robomodo - the developer behind Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD - breaks that silence. I took the opportunity to speak with the game's producers and audio designer to learn how much work goes into re-licensing a classic soundtrack, picking out new songs and what original track almost had the studio's president breaking out his wallet to buy the rights.

Kim WIlson Photography: Joe Tabacca Posted: Jan 22, 2010 1 comments

Located in the Soho district of lower Manhattan, the Savant Experience Center is an actual living space complete with a media/living room, home office, master bedroom, kitchen, dining room and a dedicated 800 sq. foot theater. Close to the Apple store, the Experience Center showcases the latest technologies in home entertainment and control to dealers, architects, designers, industry associations, and prospective clients.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Sep 03, 2014 0 comments
From the smallest of triggers come great things. I was sitting in the dressing room at Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas on April 14, 2012 with Garbage drummer and co-producer Butch Vig before soundcheck, and we were looking at an album cover from his lesser-known ’80s band, Fire Town. “You know, one of the guys in this band, Phil Davis, and I have started a side project, a band called The Emperors of Wyoming,” Vig revealed. Initially released in late 2012 by Proper Records, The Emperors of Wyoming is a grainy, smoky spaghetti western come to life — pure Americana through and through, from the defiant twang of “I’m Your Man” to the harmonica-driven singalong jangle of “Cruel Love Ways.” Vig and the EOW gang decided to update the album for a 2014 Deluxe Edition released by Liaison Records (“a Super Duper Super Deluxe Edition,” Vig clarifies) by adding two covers — the Afghan Whigs’ “Rebirth of the Cool” and House of Love’s “I Don’t Know Why I Love You” — plus one original: “Drinking Man’s Town." Here, Vig, 59, and I get down to discussing the Emperors’ recording techniques, his views of hi-res audio, and what to expect from Sonic Highways, the new Foo Fighters record that Vig just finished producing, which is slated to come out in November. Right from the hilt of the holster, Vig and The Emperors sure know how to draw big.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 22, 2011 0 comments

Good news, friends — we have another exclusive video treat for the S+V faithful.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 20, 2014 0 comments
Forty-five years ago this past weekend, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on Max Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel, New York, and the world hasn’t been the same since. The music and overall collective harmony in evidence August 15-18, 1969, showed how the counterculture had spread to and ultimately influenced the mainstream. To further commemorate this 45th anniversary, besides producer/recordist Eddie Kramer, I spoke with five other Woodstock principals about their experiences during that storied weekend: Michael Lang, Woodstock’s chief organizer and festival impresario nonpareil; Gregg Rolie, keyboardist for Santana; Tom Constanten, keyboardist for The Grateful Dead; Graham Nash; vocal cornerstone of Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes “& Young”); and folk singer Melanie, who went from relative obscurity to international acclaim in the span of her 30-minute set. It’s been a long time coming…
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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 30, 2014 0 comments
“Yes likes challenges.” So says Yes guitarist Steve Howe (far left in the above photo), and the proof is in the output. The band has been out on the boards in the U.S. and Canada playing a set comprised of three full albums: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge, and Going for the One. On their upcoming summer tour in July and August, they’ll be doing two full albums: the first-ever full run-through of Fragile and Close to the Edge, in addition to an encore centered on the band’s greatest hits. Plus, an album with new lead singer Jon Davison, Heaven and Earth, is slated for a July release. And, of course, there are the sonically brilliant 5.1 mixes of Close to the Edge and The Yes Album on Blu-ray as masterminded by Steven Wilson—and more are on the way, with the band’s blessing. Howe, 67, and I talked about those 5.1 mixes, what we’ll hear on the new album, and what constitutes a musical legacy.

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