notes from the shore

Adventures in Home Recording

Production Update – 05/29/09

I’ve moved forward on a number of fronts, without completing anything. Thus, a production update post.

First, I’ve found a couple of hours with an empty house over the last several weeks, and put them to good use doing some acoustic recording. Recorder recording, to be exact. I created a dummy MIDI file of Father’s World with a very simple, low-CPU synth playing the parts. Then I record take after take of the lead Recorder parts. Each of the four recorders is on a different track, and when I have satisfactory recordings of all of them, I will EQ and level balance (and pitch correct and adjust timing) until I’m happy. Then everything will be bounced to a single audio track and imported into the main project.

I’m still somewhat frustrated by how small my window is on the Tenor recorder for the lowest notes. Once warmed up I have about 10 minutes worth of takes with the lowest notes and then I just cannot produce them. Last night I lost the lowest three notes – not matter how softly I blew into the instrument, it overblew into the next octave with a powerful squawk! However, I think I got usable stuff last night and began the process of manually pitch and time correcting the material (And yes, if I was a better Recorder performer with more expensive instruments, I night not have to digitally correct my playing.)

ChildEyeLast weekend I headed back over to Will’s house for a few hours to do some work on his song, Eyes of a Child. After he recorded the final tracks for voice and guitar, I wanted to tweak some of the piano parts a little to fit. I ended up making two more significant changes to the piano part – deleting a small part of the bridge that was superflouous (and leaving the remaining notes more significant) and re-recording the ending. Listening to the ending I thought that the guitar and piano playing in the same register as they were lacked impact (and were almost indistinguishable). I re-recorded the piano an octave higher and we’re both thrilled with the results.

I wasn’t happy with the overall ambiance of the piece, but lacking time to fix it there, Will sent me home with the files to mess with to my heart’s content.

(Edit: Will has posted the song)

Finally, I’ve been making quiet but steady progress on Sacred Head Now Wounded. This is the brass chorale (I’m not calling it a fugue anymore, because it really isn’t. It’s still nice, though). I may be most proud of the fact that, disatisfied with the melodiy in the middle of the chorale section, I threw it out completely instead of trying to massage and tweak what I had until it worked. In fact, I threw it out twice.

I’m pretty happy with what I have now, and am in the process of harmonizing it. I’m having to delve back into my memories of voice leading instruction from college back in the early 90’s. I find that if I violate these rules, the results sound muddy and awkward. I guess those old guys knew what they were talking about.

Last item – I’m toying with not pursuing the Deep Deep Love of Jesus (men’s chorus with handbells and organ) and instead looking into taking a chant, possibly the Gloria from the Catholic Mass, and doing some interesting/contemporary harmonizing/building from that. Not sure yet, but was inspired reading a music history text the other night. (Is there something wrong with me that I read college texts on orchestration and music history for fun?)

More later.

May 30, 2009 - Posted by | Hymn CD Project, Production Diary | , , , ,

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