Tag Archives: recording

Latin ballad speed recording with ardour

Today I recorded this one, it’s an old latin ballad which I heard from the italian singer/icon Mina

It has an awesome melody and a nice chord progression, which took me some hours to grasp completely.

I recorded it in ardour 2.8.14, since I switched from ubuntu to debian stable (FTW!) some months ago. The recording took about an hour, and it’s made of seven tracks plus a bus for reverb:

  • guide percussion (on the left)
  • guitar 1 (on the right)
  • bass
  • brushes (on the right)
  • voice
  • solo guitar
  • guitar 2 (on the left)

This is also the order in which I recorded them: I started with a bar of percussion (made banging on the guitar body) that I duplicated for the length of the song.

I did this because it is very difficult to multritrack all instruments on my own only with the click without sacrificing most of the groove. This trick helps to retain at least part of it.

Then I recorded the guitar (an Alhambra 5P with built in amplification) directly into an humble StudioProjects Vtb-1 and then into my trusty RME hammerfall.

The bass is a 90’s squier II precision bass through the same signal chain.

Then for the “brushes” I used a somewhat muted darbouka with a clothes brush, miked with a nice sennheiser md-421: the same one I used for the voice.

The preamp was again the Vtb-1. It’s not the best I have but is always plugged and very handy.

As for plugins, I used my preferred trio: Invada mono compressor on voice and bass, triple band parametric to cut some frequencies on the voice, and Gverb on a bus on its own as a global reverb. I sent mainly voice and solo guitar to the reverb, and also a bit of the two guitars, which are otherwise panned hard L and R.

I replaced some bad notes here and there, exported the file and opened it with mhwaveedit to cut the start and tail, and to boost a little the volume with a gently (I hope) touch of Barry Satan Maximizer.

The whole process take little more than one hour and a half, and the software behaved beautiffully without a single xrun. I feel that now I have reached a very fast workflow with ardour and Linux. Effective!

I hope you enjoy it, and if you are spanish-speaking, please forgive my pronunciation. 🙂

Tagged , , , , ,

Cavaco vou levar – another track made with GNU/Linux

The new album cover

The new album cover

Here you can listen to a sneak preview of th 6th track of the upcoming album “Il capitan Pepito Amarilla e altre storie samba” by Orchestra Rosichino , an italian band where I play guitar that does a strange genre that we call “spaghetti samba”, because we would like it to sound like samba… but with a touch of spaghetti western.

The album backing tracks have been recorded onto analog tape with a tascam TSR-8 recorder. It is one of the latest analog recorders produced; it records eight tracks into half inch tape.

With it I recorded all the band toghether (drums, bass, fender rhodes piano, electric guitar and cavaquinho) into a small room with some acoustic treatment. I used three microphones on the drums (kick and two “overheads”) and one mic for every other instrument.

Playing toghether greatly improves the groove. In the previous album we recorded every instrument alone and while this approach gives the best separation, the interplay between musicians is negatively affected. This time we choose the opposite and played almost everything (except voices and trumpets) toghether. I think the result is far superior in terms of groove.

Then I trasferred all the analog tracks directy from the recorder to the ardour DAW using the excellent RME hammerfall/multiface soundcard. The tracks sounded already very good with no effects or processing, but I added some compression and eq (invada mono compressor and the LADSPA triple band parametric eq).

At this point we recorded the trumpets (two trumpets with a ribbon EHX  microphone, for the most part) and then the main vocal part, with a sennheiser MD441 through a TC helicon Voiceworks processor. Finally we added some backing vocals (again, two voices into a single microphone).

The mixing has been done all inside ardour, and we exchanged some three versions via internet until we found the good balance that everyone liked.

Mastering has been done with mhwaveedit recording the L+R sum which passed throug a FMR Really Nice Compressor.

Here is the final result, all the process has been very quick; we recorded, mixed and mastered 7 tracks in little more than two weeks:

Hope you like it.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: