Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Recording Update: Heavy Nylon Demo 2

Now we're getting somewhere.

My new recording routine has done for me what the performance routine I developed did a few years back: Got rid of my anxiety. Before, I would work on a single piece until I got three acceptable takes, and this lead to getting bogged down on single pieces, sometimes for an inordinate amount of time. Now, my job is only to make three attempts to capture a take, and then move onto the next piece. I've also found it useful to perform the piece all the way through, even after a mistake that would render it unsuitable for a recording. This way, I'm combining practicing with recording. Neato.

I have found that I actually make more mistakes when I'm relaxed, but the feel of the performances is much better, so it's a tradeoff, but one I'm more than happy to make. As I continue with my metronome work over the next winter, the playing will get more accurate anyway, so this is a temporary situation that isn't unexpected. The third demo with the Reynolds fretted Glissentar next summer ought to be quite good, and then I'll be ready to record the final CD version. As I did with the first Heavy Nylon demo last year, I'll post downloadable MP3's when I'm done.

I'm two-thirds of the way through at this point. I've captured two takes of each piece with the Godin Grand Concert SA and the RMC Parker Nylon Fly, and I'm quite happy with how it's coming along. I have changed my EQ profiles radically with the Digi 002, and am getting a more natural nylon string sound now, which is great.

Today I'm practicing through my repertoire, and tomorrow I'll start the final passes, so I'll be choosing the best of six takes for the final version. These last two passes will be with new strings on each guitar, and new batteries as well.

As for the EQ, I started with the highs in the Lexicon MPX-G2 being set at +4 (Out of a +/- 25 range), and now the highs are at -8 (!) which gives a warm, round, classical guitar sound. This evolution, I did not expect, but the Digi 002's preamp is forgiving of a wide range of variation in tone.

I've also decided to, while I'm recording, go ahead and throw a bunch of my own pieces into the mix - some of my personal favorites that I've written - where they will fit. This will give many more options for the demo CD my manager wants to put together, which ought to make her happy. Not sure all will make the final CD, but the song list is like this now:

01] Classical Gas - Mason Williams (A Minor) Pgm01 08
02] Desert Song - Eric Johnson (A Minor) Pgm02 11
03] G-Axis Study No. 4 - George Pepper (C minor) Pgm04 06
04] Ode to Joy - L. van Beethoven (C Major) Pgm12 07
05] Spanish Fly - Eddie Van Halen (E Minor) Pgm03 16
06] Fighter Pilots - George Pepper (E Major) Pgm10 02
07] G-Axis Study No. 1 - George Pepper (G Major) Pgm03 10
08] A Day at the Beach - Joe Satriani (G Major) Pgm04 17
09] Scherzo - George Pepper (B Minor) Pgm05 15
10] Prelude No. 23 - George Pepper (D Minor) Pgm06 12
11] Eu So Quero Um Xodo - Dominguinhos (D Major) Pgm04 14
12] Prelude No. 7 - George Pepper (F# Minor) Pgm07 03
13] Heavy Nylon - George Pepper (A Major) Pgm09 13
14] Yankee Doodle Dixie - Chet Atkins (A Major) Pgm08 09
15] Prelude No. 11 - George Pepper (G# Minor) Pgm11 04
16] Tears in the Rain - Joe Satriani (A Minor) Pgm10 01
17] Stairway to Heaven - Jimmy Page (A Minor) Pgm08 05

The PgmXX numbers are the 12 MPX-G2 programs that go with each piece, and the numbers to the right are the recording order I've worked out. I'm finally actually psyched about recording instead of dreading it. Definite progress.

That's a rockin' image, right there.


Blogger Minicapt said...

Wait till that Pepper guy finds out your stealing his stuff. Can you get this out so we can snaffle it before he catches on?


2:44 AM  
Blogger Can Bass 1 said...

Are you sure you're a monk. Which order are you in?

3:57 AM  
Anonymous David Miller said...

Wow, this was an interesting article after I read it. I initially thought it would be a Buddhist monk or something. Great pieces of music here, especially things you don't always hear about. And I love the site in general. Everything is on here!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

can bass: My order was founded by Hugh Hefner. LOL!

david: Thanks for the props. The original Hucbald was a monk who lived in the ninth century, and he's the earliest western music theorist known to us by name, which is why I chose it. I'm retro in that sense.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

minicapt: Shhhh! I don't think he knows about Google yet.

11:00 AM  

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