Thursday, February 13, 2014

New adventure

Ahhhh ole man winter...

…he needs to take a vacation with Mother Nature and leave us alone for a while!

Snow, snow and more snow
As we sit at home with another day off work because of 14” of snow and still snowing…last week it was ice and no power.

I did something new last evening; I laid down a bass track in a friend’s local recording studio.  I have never been in a recording studio and had no idea what to expect but I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a try.  Our friend Dave is a local musician that we met at a bluegrass jam over a year ago.  He is one of the best rhythm guitar players I get to jam with and a wonderful guy to boot!  He is in the process of recording the Stanley Brothers song White Dove for a friend’s Father that passed away.  Dave was gifted this man’s mandolin and found out his favorite song was White Dove.  So as gift to the family he is recording this song with the special mandolin as a way to express his appreciation.  He is doing all three harmony parts as well as the guitar and mandolin tracks but still needed a bass…that is where I come in.

We went last evening to Dave’s home recording studio with my 1937 Kay M-4 named Polly Pretty Polly under the threat of an impending snow storm.  Once inside in the isolation of the recording studio all thoughts of a cold snowy evening quickly melted.  While the studio is small there was no lack of recording wizardry.  Dave has equipment stacked high around him in the engineer room while the studio is completely covered in paper egg cartons.  The room is completely dead and perfect for recording.

The wizard behind the glass

This is a new look for me...headphones

Dropping out the bad note and inserting the new note...amazing

My 1937 Kay M-4 Polly Pretty Polly

It took me a bit to get used to the head phones and studio microphone…which I kept bumping into with my bass.  After some tests, adjustments and placing a condenser mic behind the tailpiece wrapped in a towel I began to find my groove.  We did four tracks with each one getting better and my playing more comfortable.  I added a bit more walking on the last take but missed a note.  Dave asked why I wrinkled my nose…I said because I made a mistake.  He played the track back and I pointed out the missed note.  No problem.  A quick few notes re-recorded and he was able to drop out the bad note and drop in the correct note.  Watching him break down the sound waves, stretch them out, edit and drop the new note in was fascinating.  I have done a bit of recording with my Edirol recorder and used Audacity software to edit and burn a CD, but nothing like this.

The evening flew by quickly.  We learned much and now have an opportunity to be invited back for more recordings.  Dave has a plan to include a full bluegrass band on his all gospel recording.  It is a real honor and compliment to be included in his project. 

And the weather man was right this time.  We stepped outside at 9:45 pm and there was already an inch or two of snow on the ground.  Spring has to soon be on its way.  I am not sure how much more folks can take.  In 32 years I have never missed two days of work in two weeks because of bad weather.  It’s been a crazy, miserable, cold, snowy, icy winter and its only February 13th…SIGH.

Keep checking back…spring flowers are on their way!

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