Sunday, March 26, 2017

Audacity



For years I have been making videos using video editing software such as Movie Maker and Cyberlink Power Director. I sometimes edit the video sound track a bit with software such as Cyberlink Wave Director or Cool Edit. But making a video hardly involves multi tracking, You just play over an existing sound track and feed both signals into your camera through a mixer. You make a mistake, you have to do the entire video track again ... There's just no way to overdub a video image. So video recording is way harder than recording a sound clip in your home studio.


A friend hipped me to Audacity a while ago and I finally got to try it out over the last few days. It's actually the first time I got into multitracking ever. Can you believe that? Audacity is free open source digital audio editor that enables multi tracking and all kinds of other audio editing features such as:
  • Recording live audio.
  • Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.
  • Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.
  • Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.
  • Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • Add new effects with LADSPA plug-ins.
  • etc. etc.
Way too many possibilities to discuss here. It's really very impressive that the software is completely free. What I like about it is its simplicity. It does not require a long learning curve like Protools or Cubase. Heck, I hate learning curves (I never read manuals of any kind) and I could work with it within hours. But there's a shitload of tutorials on Audacity too. Tens of millions of people use it. Here's one for beginners (of course I did not watch it):

The first problem I had to solve was the latency problem though. After some unsatisfactory trial recordings I found a good tutorial on Youtube and once I fixed that problem I was ready to record my first multitrack recording. I did a quick take of "Body and Soul." I stole a bass part from the internet and I added a comping track and a lead track. I did not overdub though, just played twice over the bass part (so comping and lead) and then mixed and edited the separate tracks. I ran the sound file into my camera so that you can see what it looks like. No eq was involved by the way, just some compression You can alter your recorded sounds in many ways but I just recorded what came out of my amp.


The comping track was done on my Tal Farlow. The lead track on the 1963 Barney Kessel. The amp was my Mambo 10. To record the guitar sounds I used a Samson USB Studio condenser microphone. Somehow I have not been able to feed my Behringer USB mixer into Audacity (the programme refuses to record with it) but I hope to fix that in the near future.

I realise I just scratched the surface of the recording and editing possibilites but Audcaity looks very promising. To be continued!





The latest version of Audacity can be downloaded here. Make sure you select the correct recording and playback devices before you start. And do fix the latency problem by finding the correct latency correction for your PC. Like I said earlier, you will find many tutorials on Youtube for Audacity.








Saturday, March 25, 2017

Remo Palmier's 1979 album.


Remo Pamier's only album as a leader - Concord Jazz 1979 - remains a gorgeous album and a personal favourite of mine. I have written about this album earlier. Here's a full playlist with the 8 tracks finally ...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Doug Raney's "Back in New York."


Last year Doug Raney died. I never got to write that obituary that I thought I would. Seems I don't like writing them. But there's no doubt that I have been a huge Doug Raney fan for many years. He is one of the few players whose recordings I like ALL. I mean, all his albums are at least very good if not totally great. His oeuvre is so consistent that there are simply no bad Doug Raney albums. I even like all of his recordings as a sideman (not to mention the fantastic duo albums with his father). In total Doug has recorded close to 30 records and has truly established his voice as one of the best of the modern bop guitarists in the tradition — no small feat given his illustrious father’s achievements on the same instrument.

His debut album from 1977 "Introducing Doug Raney" was already great (listen here) but the album that I rank among the very best DR albums is his 1996 "Back in New York" recording. The first track is a stellar rendition of "I'm Old Fashioned" that makes the album an instant Doug Raney classic. Let me quote once again:
Accompanied by pianist Michael Weiss, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Kenny Washington, the quartet's head arrangements of the seven standards on the CD seem to come together effortlessly. The intimate approach to "Skylark" starts slowly, but gives way to a brisk, more complex development of its theme. The rhythm section swirls behind Raney in a driving rendition of "All or Nothing at All," and also features a fine solo by Weiss. Of particular interest is Raney's careful development of "I'm Old Fashioned." Highly recommended. -by Ken Dryden
This, my friends, is what a desert island album sounds like.



Ted Greene's 1977 trio recording.


There is this obscure trio recording of Ted Greene on guitar with Chuck Domanico on bass and Shelley Manne on drums. I downloaded it quite a few years ago but for those of you that still haven't done so here's a reminder. The information surrounding this recording is unclear, but it was made around 1977, possibly to be used as source music for a movie but was shelved and never used. It seems to have been recorded in a studio, the sound quality is very good. And the music is simply gorgeous. 10 standards a la Ted Greene in a trio with Shelly Manne on drums. What more do you want?

You can download the 10 tracks from this studio trio session here. The tracks can be downoaded individually or the complete session in its entirety. It's free but a donation is welcome according to TedGreene.com

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ted Greene's Blues in G




I have been going through my external hard drive with old videos and I stumbled upon a blues arrangement by Ted Greene that I studied and recorded about 11 years ago. In the video I am playing three choruses. There's no Ted Greene "feel" at all so I probably only had the notation and just strummed the chords in my own way. I leave out certain bass notes that are on the notation that I have found on the web today. I may have used a different source.

This jazz blues appears to have been an actual lesson that Ted did in 1978. It features mainly chords and showcases some interesting harmonic choices.

I had completely forgotten about my old Ted Greene video but it sounded cool enough. I wondered where I got the notation from at the time so I looked for it at at tedgreene.com but I did not find it in the blues section there. Well, Tedgreene.com probably did not even exist at the time I studied it. 

I did find a later video of Tim Lerch playing it and explaining what is going on. He studied with Ted and plays it like Ted would have done. I did not have the video at the time I recorded the vid unfortunately. Tim's video is from 2010 and mine was recorded in 2006. Anyway, here's Tim's tutorial. Now go and get your Telecaster.