Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mandolin video sample

Felt the need to document this somehow. During the same "session" that produced the fretless sample, I also wanted to hear how the mandolin came across in the same recording environment, and wound up recording this.

  • No audio or video editing has been done, other than timeline cropping. Prior to what you see here there was a diagnostic sounding of open strings, harmonics, and a few chords. After this there was a very short foray into major mode territory before I got a phone call. :-)
  • Video is a webcam (Logitech if memory serves), microphone is a MXL USB.008.
  • Recorded with Camtasia Studio.
  • There is a really annoying glitch in the recording that surfaces at about 1:05, 2:30, and 3:40. I do not know what it is for sure, but I suspect that it is my evil little Blackberry, trying to find its network. If that is true, I'm not sure why it didn't (seem to) affect the fretless recording from the same session, but if anyone reading this can confirm that's what this sounds like, I'd be happy for the certainty. If nothing else it's a reminder to turn that annoying little beast off when I'm doing something important. :-)
  • The synchronization problems between audio and video tracks seem to be less of an issue here than they were for the fretless sample, but there still seems to be a latency in there. More testing, I guess, and I've got a few ideas. If anyone has suggestions, please let fly!
  • Music: improv, with a G tonic. It appears, in reviewing this segment, that I was on the same vibe here that I was with the fretless. Minor second degree, major third, and most semitones above that at one point or other. Broody, for sure, and mostly intentional. :-) I actually like some of the things that come out, even if I do lose the big downbeat a couple of times and fat-finger here and there. (Need more time for fundamentals!) I'm not sure where a few of those ideas came from; they just showed up when needed, and the romantic in me is pretty happy that I can't fully explain that...
So now it's documented. Next step: recording with Audacity, with this USB.008 acoustic microphone into one channel and plugged in through a DI in a second channel. It'll have to be done piecemeal, but I'll get there.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Fretless video sample

Okay, do please forgive me the problems here. One must begin somewhere, and here I am.

Here's a first-take sample of the kit-built acoustic fretless guitar. There are certainly problems--the audio and video seem to get unsynchronized, there is some audio editing that should probably be done to cure boomy spots and hiss, and of course I'm still learning how to play this beastie. But learning consists of putting darts on the board, and this does give an idea of what the instrument actually sounds like in person.

(Constructive criticism from musicky and audiophile folks is welcome. My learning here is both for KPC project business and my own edification. :-)

  • Tuning is Guitar Craft Standard (C2-G2-D3-A3-E4-G4).
  • Bass strings are electric flatwounds; trebles normal-tension nylons.
  • Music hell, who am I kidding? Total wanky improv. ("Okay, so here I am ready to play for a test. What should I play? Uh... Okay, the open G sounds good...mmm...minor seconds...mmm...augmented seconds...what was that again?")
  • Much of the playing is between the third (nylon) and fourth (steel) strings. (That actually was on purpose, and mostly intentional.)
  • No audio or video editing has been done, other than timeline cropping.
  • Video is a webcam (a common Logitech if memory serves), microphone is a MXL USB.008.
  • Recorded with Camtasia Studio. (I'll soon be testing audio recording with Audacity too.)

Again, constructive criticism and comments are welcome. What I learn from this overall process (of audio and video recording and editing) will wind up contributing to our "new to distance ed" video-segment project, from spoken audio to camera recording to background music. Assume I know nothing, and you'll be pretty close! :-)