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Thread: first timer - world/folk instrumental

  1. #1
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    first timer - world/folk instrumental

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    Ok, see over there where it says "newbie?"

    This is my first quasi-serious attempt at recording something presentable. I'm trying to (beginning to) work on my recording chops in preparation for my band self-producing a new CD this year. I've been reading HR.com every day since i found it, and i hope to participate more actively here as my skills and knowledge develop (with your help!)

    Anyway, it's my first time in the clinic, so please be gentle. I realize this isn't the genre of music most people here are likely to listen to.

    This is an original tune, with me playing 10-string cittern, mandolin, jew's harp, and cornemuse (central French bagpipe). Recorded through an mxl603s (bagpipe) and a Studio Projects B1 (everything else) into the M-Audio Omni-Studio, into Cool Edit Pro.

    Any suggestions and constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind i've heard all the bagpipe jokes already.

    "Simma Till Sverige" -> http://www3.telus.net/ereiswig/simma.mp3

    Be seeing you,

    eric.

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    Hmmm....no replies yet, that's strange. First off, let me start by saying, I like bagpipes! Though this doesn't sound like a difficult piece, I thought you did a good job on it. It's a nice piece. Were you ramping up the fader gain to gradually build up a crescendo during the song? If so, I like that idea, but I would try to achieve it naturally by bulding the intensity of the arrangement and performance instead of riding the fader. If that's not what you were doing, you can just ignore me now.
    Best of luck, and don't be discouraged by the bagpipe jokes. You know most of them are interchangeable with oboe jokes anyway!

    Twist

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    nice work, We dont have to like a style of music to appreciate the work output to get a decent recording. actually it can open horizons we rarely see or venture to. I dont like the sound of the instrument which makes the vocal/synth like sound, is that a jews harp? I think it detracts from the beauty of the music and sounds like a bad synth setting.

    You're right, I dont listen to this style of music but with the exception above I could easily start. Ive never heard bagpipe music that I didnt think was irritating, however I found this both extremely relaxing and enjoyable! keep em coming.. Id like to hear something bassy instead of the vocal/rubberband/mouth/synth sound. Just my opinion You go ahead and produce whatever your heart and soul desires.

    I appreciate the opportunity to enjoy you're obvious talent
    Peace
    Bill

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    Helloooooooo... and welcome.

    Ever wonder why the Celts would typically put the bagpipe player at the front of the column whenever they were marching into battle? No, I don't think it was so he'd be the first to die. In fact, I think the pipe player was essential to military success. I mean, after about :20 minutes of listening to that, who WOULDN'T be engulfed in a bloodthirsty rage to kill at the first opportunity...LOL

    Sorry, that wasn't so much a joke as a personal observation...hehehee. I actually LOVE bagpipes, although these are of a different variety than I've heard, I think.

    ACTUAL COMMENTS:
    Nice job on the harp. My bass player picked one up on a lark about 10 years ago and started throwing it in on a couple of tunes as a joke, but then he kept it, and I've reluctantly gotten used to the thing. Kinda' like it, actaully. I think it's a cool instrument choice, and I think the level works fine at the beginning but it needs to come down immediately when the pipes come in. Have you listened to this mix really REALLY loud? Don't laugh too much, I crank everything I listen to here at least for a bit to see how it holds up - when you do this on this mix, that harp REALLY dominates over the pipes for too much of the song. I also think it'd be cooler for the pipes to maintain a constant volume level at some point...as it is right now, it's like the player is walking up to you from the bottom of a hill, and he plays constantly until he finally gets up next to you, when he immediately stops, lol.

    THOSE ARE PRODUCTION IDEAS, BECAUSE THE ACTUAL RECORDING SOUNDS DAMNED GOOD...I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU'RE NEW AT THIS, B/C ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTS ARE A BITCH TO RECORD AND MIX...so nice job.

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    Are you related to Posh Spice? Cause I think she's just about the hottest chick in the world.

    Geez if I have to listen to one more song with a 10 string cittern and bagpipes I think I'll scream.

    Seriously, it sounded like a pretty good mix to me. The only thing I might observe is that when the bagpipes come in, they're a bit too low. By the end of the song, I think they're a bit too loud.

    My thoughts.

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    Originally posted by TripleM
    Geez if I have to listen to one more song with a 10 string cittern and bagpipes I think I'll scream.
    That was very funny.

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    first of all

    it really isnt that weird.

    second of all. really amazing job.
    very truly yours,
    hugs and kisses,

    george.

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    I really liked this.

    I'm not familiar with any of the instruments apart from the mandolin, and I don't know much about the genre, so my comments could be nonsense. In fact, even when the instruments and genre are familiar, my comments are often nonsense. But here goes.

    Love the "guitar" sound (presumably cittern and mandolin). Maybe a wee bit of compression to even out the occasional drops in volume?

    The harp sound sounded out of place and a bit annoying to me at first, but it kind of grew on me as the piece went on. Maybe start with it quieter and gradually bring it in?

    The pipes sound very nice - great playing, and an interesting sound. Nothing like Scottish pipes, although quite similar to Northumbrian pipes. I'd maybe like a wee bit of subtle reverb on the pipes - they're just slightly too dry for my tastes.

    Finally, I think I'd put the cittern and mandolin over on the left (about half way), the harp on the right (about half way), and the pipes dead centre. Start with a hole in the middle, and gradually fill it with the pipes, which are (for me) the real focus of the piece.

    Also, the pipes should be a bit louder.

    Overall, a really nice, intimate-sounding acoustic recording of a very well-performed and haunting tune.

    Great stuff.

    Cheers

    AB

  9. #9
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    Hey gang,

    Thanks for the listens, and the feedback.

    Twist: You're right, it's just a linear fade-in from the 2nd to the 4th time through. Pipes are kind of limited in that they don't have ANY dynamics by themselves, so it's hard to build up to anything other than fading it in. I like the fade-in, though maybe it's over-faded-in. I tried to bang a little harder on the mandolin, and having the pipes switch to the main melody instead of harmony kind of intensifies things.

    wfaraoni: Yeah, the Jew's harp is another of those love-em-or-hate-em instruments; it's typical, though, for the "ethnicity" i'm going for in this piece (somewhere between Holland and Sweden.) I'm glad you liked the pipes.

    chrisharris: That's a good suggestion to really crank the volume - it'll bring out a whole different picture of things. I've been mixing at typical listening volume for me, which is probably quieter than most people would. I also think you're also right about the fading in: it would probably be better to reach the peak volume by the _beginning_ of the last time rather than the end. "...gets up next to you, when he immediately stops" - i see what you mean.

    TripleM: Some years ago, my (folk) band all gave each other "Spice Girl" names for some reason. I'm naturally "piper spice," and there's also harper, whistle, diva, and (when we had an accordion player) "polka spice." Btw, Posh is my favourite Spice Girl too. "Geez if I have to listen to one more song with a 10 string cittern and bagpipes I think I'll scream." LOL! There's more where that came from, pardner! <evil grin>

    eeldip: Thanks a lot. This is probably as weird as it gets for me, though i'm itching to arrange some medieval lute pieces for bagpipe ensemble... <even bigger evil grin>

    alibish: Compression, eh? Well, i know what it does in theory, but i haven't really "gotten that far" yet. I'll play with the presets Cool Edit gives me, and see what happens. I did put a little reverb on the whole mix. I really like your idea of "filling in the hole" with the pipes. In a way, i put the pipes in just because the tune fit on the instrument, but it kind of turned into the focal point. The tune started out as a cittern/Jew's harp jam, so i guess in my mind i'm fighting to keep those in the front, while the bagpipe probably should be there.

    Thanks again for the good feedback. More is still appreciated, of course.

    Be seeing you,

    eric.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    pretty cool......it's neat to have a piper on the board.
    I thought the playing was cool and the mix was ok. The harp is pretty cool actually but it needs to be recorded better ( and I'm not sure how to do that ) I'd like to hear a fuller sound on that....more like the sound you get in your head when playing one......somehow a fuller deeper sound. That would allow the jews-harp to take the place of a bass drone.
    The pipes sound pretty sweet....not harsh at all which I was expecting.
    Nice work.....

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