Friday, December 28, 2012

The Way

Another song a year or so in the making. My wife has asked me a few times why I never write songs about her. I kind of mumble and avoid answering, but really I had to think about it. Why hadn't I? I actually had tried quite a few times and most all attempts ended up sounding really cheesy. So I wrote this song. Hopefully she won't hate it.

I laid the tracks while she was working on her senior project and the kids were napping. In fact I think I wrote my post about xruns after trying to record this. Maybe not. Anyway. I had the tracks for a long time and every time when I finally sat down to mix it, the results were so poor, I wanted to give up on it. Especially considering the simplicity of the arrangement (piano + vocals) it was discouraging. This last time I really paid close attention and figured out how to get my vocals sounding decent. That made the difference. The piano is fairly untouched really. The tracks could use a few more takes to make it a more professional quality, but if I don't get this out it never will be heard. This is, however, my first recording that I feel is really demo quality. So I'll let you hear it. I know what you're thinking: "Wow, already to DEMO quality!?" That's right.

The piano is myself playing the amazing Salamander Grand sound library running in LinuxSampler. Vocals are all me singing in my AT3035, with the presonus firebox preamps. Its all recorded in Ardour with entirely free and open-source software. Plugins include the IR, and Calf exciter LV2s and Fons Adriansen's 4-band parametric EQ and SC4 compressor LADSPAs, with a little of Barry's Satan Maximizer (limiter) for some mastering compression.

Really this is a big landmark for me. Its the first time I feel like I made some educated mix decisions and actually heard the difference it made. I know the results aren't perfect, but the fact that I can listen to it and most of the critique I have is mistakes made in the recording is refreshing.

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