Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Drummers - come get your click tracks!

As promised, but in a slightly late manner, here are three tracks from the album with irritating click tracks and no drums. If you require a different mix or anything like that, just get in touch using the contact form. I'm kind of new to this ^^

Bad Code
Harvey Wallbanger
The Mirror

I'm guessing you will all have the complete versions, but if you don't, let me know and I'll send them over. Have fun, and I look forward to seeing some cool videos/hearing some cool recordings!

Imperium Vorago now available on iTunes!

Enough of you have asked for it so, here it is - the first Chimp Spanner release, "Imperium Vorago" from way back when in 2004! Most of the songs on it are even older than that!

You can get it on iTunes here!

I've already had a few people asking if there are plans to release it physically...honestly, I don't think so. Obviously nothing is ruled out! But I can tell you that as things stand, the next physical release will be 100% new! And hopefully quite soon!

Oh and lastly, for those of you who don't use iTunes, Imperium Vorago will be coming to Amazon MP3, Spotify and We7 early next year!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Chimp Spanner goes live! Kinda. Next year. Hopefully.

Well it's been a long time since I updated this thing. The Winds of Plague tour with Monuments was absolutely killer, and has given me some invaluable live experience not to mention some extreme fun-times! The new album is progressing slowly, but with a new POD to tinker with, no doubt inspiration will strike eventually.

In the meantime, however, I'm going to want to be playing a few select shows next year. Perhaps one or two UK tours, and eventually (if I can get enough of you guys behind me) some dates in Europe and perhaps even the States. However, I'm getting ahead of myself as first of all I need...

...a drummer! I'm not looking at doing show after show after show. It's the kind of set that will need a certain audience, playing with certain bands. So the aim, at least initially, is to do fewer better shows, rather than a ton of not so good ones.

As some of you might know I'm based in Colchester, so 2-3 hours travel time would be ideal.

So, what I will do is after the weekend, I'm going to release two drum-less tracks (with metronome) from the album. If you need the original full songs, please get in touch with me using the Contact link and I can send you the tracks privately.

In the meantime, if you have a YouTube account showcasing your drumming, please send these to me! You can either use the contact form, or post it on my wall at

I think that's it for now. More news after the weekend!x

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Well, Euroblast has come and gone, and what else can I say except...what an amazing weekend! It was great to see so many of you come from near and far to check out all the music on offer (and there was a lot of it), and even better to finally get to meet some of you in person!

Also major congratulations to both Uneven Structure, and Aliases, both of who played their first shows, and totally tore the place up in the process!

Thanks must go to John Sprich for organizing the event, and the team of wonderful people he put together to see to everything from sound and soup and chili. I couldn't have felt more welcome in your country, so thank you all!

Next up it's the Winds of Plague tour playing second guitar in Monuments. No doubt I'll see some of you again in Cologne. Now to mentally prepare myself for 6000 miles of van ride...

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Chimp Spanner tee's now available!

Well, enough of you asked for it! So, thanks to the good folk at Basick, you can now get your hands on some official Chimp Spanner tee shirts!

And to pre-empt your question...yes, they ship world wide!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Basick's 5th Birthday Party

Hey all! Apologies for the silence of late - as I'm sure some of you know I've been practicing for my first ever live show at the Basick Records 5th Birthday which took place this Saturday just gone.

Firstly I've gotta say a HUGE thank you to everyone who turned up. The atmosphere and vibe was incredible, and it meant the world to know that you guys and girls were right behind me and Monuments. It made us play better for it, and it made the night something really special. So thank you!

The reaction to the set has been fantastic too. I know there's a lot of work to be done, and it's given me a whole new perspective on my own music, and on what so many other musicians are doing out there day in, day out. But for a first show, I couldn't be happier. There will be video...and there will be clangers. But it'll be something amazing to look back on when this thing is really rolling, and I'm thrilled so many of you were there to be a part of that first step!

So until I've managed to edit, here's a short clip that's doing the rounds on the 'Tube. First song. First show. Crazy times.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Chimp Spanner and Monuments jamming The Mirror

Hey all! Here's a little something for the weekend - me and the guys from Monuments jamming The Mirror. It's the first jam of the day so, a little rough in places. Still need to get channel switching sorted but, it's all coming together! More videos to come soon :]

Friday, 3 September 2010

Album update, and live monkey business!

Figured this place was looking a little stagnant so I'd best update you guys on some important goings on!

First of all, I may have been a little eager in suggesting I'd have an album out by the end of this year ;] But come on, who didn't see that coming?! As some of you might've noticed there has been a steady-ish stream of WIPs so, it does exist! I just haven't had the time to work on it solidly lately because...

...I've been living up at Studio 33 with the lads from Monuments rehearsing for my first two live shows, as well as their Winds of Plague European tour which I'm helping out with in return for them letting me borrow an entire band! As to where you can catch the Chimp set:

  • September 25th @ Luton SU (Free event - contact Basick Records on Facebook to find out more)
  • October 23rd @ Euroblast Festival in Cologne

This will literally be my first time out live guys so, I don't know what to expect but I'm going to have fun, and I hope anyone that comes along will do too! These are first, not-so-baby steps towards, perhaps, a full time live band. We'll see...

A huge thanks to everyone who has been buying the album, joining in the Facebook fun times and generally showing awesome support. And hopefully I'll get to meet some of you soon!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Harvey Wallbanger - the TAB!

Figured I would share this with you all as I know there are a lot of people who have asked for tabs of this track, and it's pretty fun to play! It's guitar only, and just rhythm. I also haven't made TABs before so, if there are any goofs well...just let me know! But I think it all checks out :]

Download Here

Have fun - hopefully the whole album will be available in time and it can find a home on the website!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Production Diary

Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that there is a new link up top, called 'Diary'. No, it's not a place for me to pour my heart out like a love sick teenager - instead, I'll be recording as much of the writing/tracking/mixing process as possible and posting it up there as it progresses. Bookmark it or subscribe to the feed and prepare for some total geekout material...

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Chimp Spanner interview in Classic Rock: Prog

Readers of Classic Rock presents Prog will have noticed that 'Under One Sky' made it onto the cover disc of the last issue. This issue you'll find an interview by Dom Lawson and a picture of yours-truly so offensively large, you can practically count the hairs in my beard. On sale now!

A massive thank you to Dom for the immensley kind words, and to James at Hold Tight! PR for getting the album out to the right ears. Have a good evening everyone!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

New site...and a fresh start!

Why didn't anyone tell me the old site looked so bad? You guys placate me too much. The new site is here and while still missing some bells and whistles, it's generally nicer to look at. There are a few things still yet to come - a Downloads area (including TABs), a tidied up Media section, and sadly Imperium Vorago has once again bitten the dust. But it will be back! I'm sourcing some nifty dual CD cases so in future, double orders will come in one -uncracked- case.

As for news, Euroblast is still looming on the horizon and all is set for October. I've recently forged a simian alliance with the good folk over at Toontrack, so expect a whole bunch of tests and clips and WIPs. And also, I'm very pleased to announce I am on board team Roland. This does indeed mean what you think it more keyboard drumming.

That's all for now. The site will be added to slowly but surely. Again. If you have any problems with the site, or the store, just head over to the contact form.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Bernie Rico Jr endorses Chimp Spanner

Hey all! You might have seen/heard a few rumblings here and there but, it's official:

"Bernie Rico Jr Guitars is honored and delighted to post this endorsement of alliance with Paul Antonio Ortiz : Chimp Spanner. One of the many great perks of being in the guitar industry is the gift of meeting unique artists and the honor of hearing their music. Another perk is working with these artists on crafting their very personal handmade guitars. Last month we were given a release for review titled "At the Dream's Edge". The music explodes in your ears. If we had to sum up what we heard on this album in one word the word would have to be WOW.

Paul is an intensely gifted musician/guitarist and an architect of an unusual blend of music which merges Metal and Fusion with a plethora of other eclectic musical styles. The cuts on this album go from surreal and atmospheric to poly rhythmic and melodic heavy metal within a moments notice. The technique surrounding his playing coupled with his incredible ability to compose, orchestrate and deliver mind altering music is an awe inspiring experience.

It is truly a delight to work with Paul on making him custom guitars. We salute you and your creativity Paul and look forward to working with you in the future.

Bernie Rico Jr."

An absolutely gigantic thank you must go to Keith Merrow (if you haven't heard his music, please do so now.........done? Cool!) for helping to arrange this, and to Bernie for choosing to get directly involved in the development of artists both established, and up-and-coming. It's truly refreshing, and I can't wait to get my hands on these instruments and play the hell out of them!

You can find out more about his custom shop guitars at the link above.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Chimp Spanner signs to Basick Records

Hey everyone! I'm extremely pleased to announce that At the Dream's Edge will be officially released on Basick Records, on April 12th, 2010!

You can read the official announcement here!

I'll gradually be replacing the videos - this, btw, is why they had to come down - with newer, better ones, including songs that you won't have seen played before!

So thanks for your patience while I bring this all together. In the meantime, feel free to come and say hi at to keep up to date with all the latest goings on, and once again an absolutely gigantic thank you to those of you who supported me, and the album so far. Here's to a fantastic 2010!

- Paul

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Missing Videos...

.Hey all!

Just a quick note regarding the missing videos from my YouTube account as I've had a lot of people asking me where they've gone!

I'm currently redoing the videos, for reasons which will hopefully be a bit clearer very soon :) Expect the first one to be up by the end of the week, with more to come including a Terminus video (not sure what I'll do about all the ambience...suggestions on a post card).

But in any case, apologies to anyone who has been trying to get to the videos or people who have subscribed to my channel only to find everything gone. Cheers for your patience, and I hope the new videos will make up for it!

- Paul

Sunday, 3 January 2010

"Untitled" (2010) Pt 1

Hey everyone! So I thought seeing how I never did get around to writing those articles (notice how I cunningly removed the links?) I'd go through all the steps involved in the making of the next album ambitiously scheduled for the end of 2010. That way, it keeps things interesting, and it will also force me to make some progress as you'll all know when I've not been working ;) I also now own a camcorder! So expect to see plenty of tracking videos, and a hilarious blooper reel. Okay. Maybe not that last one.

So here's my new template. Real exciting isn't it. I'm going to be doing things quite differently this time around. With "At the Dream's Edge" I was writing, arranging, tracking, mixing and producing all at once. At the time I thought it was pretty neat, but in reality it made re-writing any part of a song an absolute nightmare, as the songs would degenerate into a tangled mess of automation lanes and parts and odds and ends. I had no option to re-amp, so I was stuck with the tone I tracked with. And my CPU was constantly hovering around 60% or so, limiting the type and complexity of the synths I could use. So for the next CD I'm going to attempt to do things way more traditionally, and split up all the processes:


So this template is where it will all start! I've made a bunch of tracks prefixed with "T". These are just going to be scratch tracks, no doubt with a lot of dropping in, copy and pasting, etc. I'll use them to learn/practice from when I'm happy with the arrangement. I'm hoping this way I'll be able to get out of the "sets of 4" trap, and do things because I want to...not just because they involve the least faffing around.

Those folder tracks will be the final takes. Each one has two tracks within it; wet, and dry. The wet track will just serve as a placeholder so I can record something vaguely amp-y sounding and listen back to it without using any CPU. The dry track will be the unprocessed signal of the guitar so I can re-amp later. Here's a look at it in the mixer:

Having the dry take at -inf doesn't affect what gets recorded. I've just done this so I don't have to listen to the uninspiring fart sound created by bone dry rhythm guitar. You'll also notice that I've got 3 input buses. This is how they're set up/routed:

I've set the X3 to output dry guitar over SPDIF (so there's no loss in quality) and the fully effected sound over 1/4" Line Outs. I've kept a stereo input bus in there so I can work out solo sections whilst hiding behind masses of reverb/delay. Makes me feel safe. Of course, using the old method I could've just tracked with send effects - so it does have its advantages but in the short tests I've done, there's a really noticeable difference in my playing when there's no latency present. Speaking of which, one last thing I've done is route the analog inputs directly to outputs 1/2:

Before, if I wanted to hear guitar I had to:

Have Cubase open
Create a track
Arm it
Monitor it (with 3 - 5ms of base latency, + whatever is added by additional plugins)

This way, all I have to do is turn the volume up on the guitar and start playing with zero latency. Much better. The only downsides I can foresee are:

[::] Reverbs/delays are going to sound mighty sucky, as the tails will be 'printed' to the take. If I stop recording, the effect stops too.

[::] Things like wah/whammy pedal will not get recorded on the dry take. Might have to automate these in later. But we'll see.

So, that's it for now. It's taken a little while to put the template together. Next up, I'll go into a bit more detail regarding the drums, and try and get a test video done and dusted!