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  #46  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:00 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Yeah that's it! My dad taught here right when it shifted over to COED. He's now been at JMU for the last 30 years.

Thanks for that link! I'll be looking into those for sure. Those are definitely in my price range haha. That sounds like what I would want to do to one of my rooms. Is there a place I can hear some of your recordings in it??


And for me the recording is the icing on the cake, just getting the music out there and being able to hear my own songs from a different perspective. I truly love the playing, it's probably the greatest joy in my life and I really want to do something with it.

I really appreciate all of your help, it means a lot. And you really just seem like an awesome person, I'm glad I came to this forum.
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  #47  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:29 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Okay here we are.

I went ahead and said "to hell with it" and put my mics in an XY pattern and moved around until I heard fat sound. It wasn't quite where I expected but I thought it sounded good. I EQ'd a little bit, all cutting, put some reverb and echo on. No compression at all. I also hung up blankets in sort of a triangle all around me. Not sure if it helped or not.


http://soundcloud.com/fichtezc/xy-pa...s-uncompressed
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  #48  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:41 PM
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*much* better, you're heading in the right direction.
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  #49  
Old 11-28-2010, 10:52 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default All Right, Zach!

Bravo Zach!

That sounded a lot better to my ears than the previous tracks, more musical, much more focussed & centered. X-Y is the one to use in less than ideal rooms, at least in my experience so far. I liked that clip, Zach. Nice playing! Thanks for going to the trouble so late at night your time. What? Your roommate at his girl's room?

Oh, and change those strings. Ya can't fool an old gigger on that one, brah!

Anyhow, I'm heading out to a friend's gig now down at Aloha Tower Marketplace in Honolulu. I might jam for a set. Just gotta to hear & play tonight - and that's a mellow gig. Our styles complement & it's effortless on the harmonies. Gotta go for now on this rainy Sunday night. I'm off from work tomorrow so I can stay out late.

That really was much better, Zach. It's nice to read about what music means to you too. We're part of this wonderful tribe, my friend, one that not many understand. I'm sure you recognize others in that all-time tribe from the past through your history studies, especially Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, all the great global folk musicians of all cultures, all the amazing American acoustic guitarists of the last 45 years - even Washington & Jefferson.

It's far beyond our choice, this passion to play and share that live experience with our fellow men & women. Give it all ya got! It'll take you far. It's taken me to over 60 countries & all the great people & stories that weave the most important parts of my life, my history. That darn guitar!

A Hui Hou!
alohachris

PS: Again, great job, Zach. Experiment with the EQ by taking off a bit more upper-mid's & perhaps adding a tad more focussed bass (which you may get from newer strings, a shade of closer miking or even moving further back for more focussed basses). Thanks for sharing that piece with us. -alohachris-

Last edited by alohachris; 11-28-2010 at 11:27 PM.
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  #50  
Old 11-28-2010, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohachris View Post
Oh, and change those strings. Ya can't fool an old gigger on that one, brah!

+1, yep, I thought the same thing. That may actually be at least part of problem you've had. Now your recording is good enough that you can hear it.
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  #51  
Old 11-28-2010, 11:45 PM
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Yeah he was off to get some food and I jumped on the opportunity. I'm a college student! I'm used to capitalizing on time others would use for sleeping. And I was very pleased by the XY in this room. I've noticed that even sitting here typing I get a ridiculous echo all around.

And how did you guys hear that?? Both you and Doug. Those are 4 week old Elixir 80/20s. They usually sound best to me after about 2 days until about 12 or so but even so they're not at their worst and I've taken pretty good care of them. I'm impressed you guys heard that. I can write down 4 part harmony by ear but I guess my ears just aren't attuned to string life yet haha. I've ordered some Thomastik strings so we'll see how those work.

I am quite envious of your life in the music world. I'd love to be going out for a jam. Alas, I am studying. But this studying and work is going to help me in that life I want. Can't complain.

And I'll play around with that EQ. It means a lot that you guys are willing to help someone you don't even know, I truly appreciate it.

EDIT: Wow! A few Dbs off of some of those 1000-2000Hz frequencies and some higher ups really took away some of the nasal sound. Love it
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Last edited by Fichtezc; 11-28-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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  #52  
Old 12-09-2010, 06:04 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Hey guys, I don't know if you are subscribed to this thread or not but if you are, I have something for ya. Another recording I just did.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KT2bC8MBrE

I think it's a lot better than my other. Sounds more natural and stuff. The problem is it's really quiet. I don't want to compress the crap out of it but it's hard to get high levels with how dynamic it is. Ideas?
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  #53  
Old 12-09-2010, 10:57 PM
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I think you've figured it out, this is a huge improvement over your original tracks. The dynamics issue is a tricky one. I don't think you're too far off here. A little compression is probably useful for something like this. A lot of it might also be technique. Check out the videos for the current issue of Acoustic Guitar, with Andy McKee, for example. I recorded those just with a Zoom H4, and there's no compression on anything. When he's doing things like Drifting, the relative volume of his percussion and his notes are exactly what it sounded like sitting in front of him. He's very consistent and even in his volume. His tapping is loud and full, and his percussive stuff doesn't overwhelm. Probably just something to work on, and then use a little compression to smooth out the remainder.
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  #54  
Old 12-09-2010, 11:19 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I think you've figured it out, this is a huge improvement over your original tracks. The dynamics issue is a tricky one. I don't think you're too far off here. A little compression is probably useful for something like this. A lot of it might also be technique. Check out the videos for the current issue of Acoustic Guitar, with Andy McKee, for example. I recorded those just with a Zoom H4, and there's no compression on anything. When he's doing things like Drifting, the relative volume of his percussion and his notes are exactly what it sounded like sitting in front of him. He's very consistent and even in his volume. His tapping is loud and full, and his percussive stuff doesn't overwhelm. Probably just something to work on, and then use a little compression to smooth out the remainder.
Oh wow, so he just has a lot of control over the playing in the first place. Something to work on for sure.
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  #55  
Old 12-10-2010, 01:24 PM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default Nice Job, Zach

Aloha Zach,

What, finished with finals?

Much improved recording & very nice original tune, Zach.

Tapping dynamics are among the most difficult to master for consistency, to amplify, control & record. In my experience, it takes years of practice to learn how to use them musically & effectively. They have to be mastered in order to mean something & be musical, Zach, IMO. Too much unbridled tapping technique can sound like a lotta noise or just another guy, noddling around.

My suggestion would be to use those dynamics more judiciously & to master the technique a bit more before sharing it. As Bob Dylan sang, "But I'll know my song well before I start a-singin." Good advice in these times of sharing everything on youtube or Facebook almost in real time.

Zach, you have to ask yourself what kind of quality you want your music to stand for. That takes more time. That's what Andy McKee would tell ya.

I have to agree wholeheartedly with Doug about Andy's incredible control over tapping dynamics & creative playing. He & Don Ross played out here in Honolulu a few years back & I had to lend them my rig at the last minute because the airlines delayed theirs. Good guys, odd couple. That Don sure is a very feisty, emotional kind of guy juxtaposed to the very quiet, almost unshowman-like quality & reserve of Andy. Work great together.

It was amazing to see how masterful both were at controlling their tapping dynamics & techniques - even the size of their sound - to complement & play together so well, even at high volumes, speed & even while warming up un-amplified. Their clarity & cleanliness were astounding. That's how they're able to make their livings playing acoustic guitar music, without singing.

Ross & McKee do a lot of damping to control or emphasize tapping dynamics & move into different phrases. They are masters at sustaining the notes they want to for great effect. It's sorta like pedals on a piano. That technique really allows them to be very expressive & to "say what they want to say" with a given piece while controlling dynamics. It also allows them to stay out of each others' way while both tapping on a piece & to sound musical, & not just be great technicians.

I certainly couldn't do that at this stage in that style. Just ran out of time for learning it & all the synapses I now lack - Ha!

In terms of YOUR recording, a bit more K&K or even a tad of magnetic soundhole pickup (in the future) could really add to your recorded tapping sound as well as the very light compression that Doug mentioned. I'm not a big compression fan on acoustic guitar, though, even for recording. But then again, I don't tap much. Tread lightly on the compression, Zach.

In terms of the composition, it's hard to constructively criticize such musical creativity at all. You might pare it down a bit more in terms of what you are trying to say with it - shorten it a bit for more accessibility for the listener. But very nice job, Zach.

BTW, did you notice the imbalance in the stereo staging of the pickup & the 57? More to the left? I heard it in the headphones. If you close-mike in X-Y a pair of 57's or condensers (better-future) near the soundhole or up near the fretboard, & then add the bottom & presence of the pickup in the center, & pan accordingly, that imbalance will even out. That'll help you get that bigger sound you seek.

How did you record it?

You're really on you're way, Zach.

A Hui Hou!
alohachris

Last edited by alohachris; 12-10-2010 at 01:50 PM.
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  #56  
Old 12-10-2010, 02:04 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Yep! Finished my last real final on Wednesday! Just had a guitar one on Thursday which is all about can you sight read, play a Dorian mode across two octaves, improvise using these notes, etc.Practice stuff.

I definitely need to work on that piece more but I really wanted to record it and get a version of it down with me still really feeling why I wrote it. For whatever reason I ended up putting it on youtube as well. I usually like to finish things before I share them with anyone which is why I almost never upload anything I record. There are probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 videos on my hard drive which have never seen the light of day.

I've been practicing that song and developing it more and more every day since I've recorded it and I hope to actually have a finalized version that I can write down soon and then I can really work on perfecting it before bringing it to some open mics and finally getting a solid recording of it down. I've just started my 5th year of playing guitar and before that I had sang in choirs and played hand bells but no other instruments. I really do have a lot more work to go.

I really want to meet these guys, I'm envious that you guys have! I've met Trace Bundy quite a few times and he's the reason why I play guitar so that's probably a good start.

As for the recording, that's just the two SM57s in a space pair. A much closer spaced pair that I've ever done before though and I made sure they didn't cancel this time. I want to add the pickup in as well but at that point I sacrifice having individual control of the tracks as I only have a two channel input. I do have a 12 channel mixer which I can use as well but everything is compressed to a single stereo track.

There's 0 compression because I've listened to a lot of people say it's a sin to use on acoustic guitar. I might give it a try though.

As for the song, I've made a thread about it on this forum as well. I definitely don't need all 5 minutes, it was sort of trying to get it all down at once so I could really have a recording with how I felt when I wrote it, like I said earlier in this wall of text.

Thank you for the reply!

-Zach
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  #57  
Old 12-10-2010, 03:06 PM
Fichtezc Fichtezc is offline
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Also, To Doug. Thank you so much for the AG magazine suggestion! I picked a lot of stuff up watching McKee and reading that article. I think I have a lot better dynamic control over my taps and percussion now than I ever did before and I've worked on planting my thumb on the neck to get a stronger tone.

You guys are great.
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