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davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11105
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 2:18 pm:   Edit Post

I wasn't planning on uploading something today, but I got lucky on my recording levels, and I played the song half decently; so I've uploaded a tune to Soundcloud. The is the closest I've yet come to having something worth putting on a CD. It's still rough in spots, and I was a little too light on the open A string, and one fill was completely improvised when I forget the line as it was supposed to be played. But I made it all the way through (short song), and the quality of the tone isn't bad. Anyway, I thought it worth sharing with you guys.
that_sustain
Advanced Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 205
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 3:46 pm:   Edit Post

It sounds hopeful, like every thing is gonna be alright.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11106
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 5:10 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Daniel; I like your interpretation.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5487
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 5:46 pm:   Edit Post

Sweet, Dave! Cool tone - I would have guessed this was a guitar or maybe a baritone guitar, not a bass!

Bill, tgo
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11107
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, July 05, 2013 - 6:41 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Bill! It's amazing what an Alembic bass can do. :-)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11109
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 3:49 pm:   Edit Post

I recorded another one; I seem to have hit upon a good combination of recording level and tone.
charles_holmes
Advanced Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 266
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 5:28 pm:   Edit Post

I'm diggin' the groove and those tones..man!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11110
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 6:22 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Chalie!
pauldo
Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1017
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 6:51 pm:   Edit Post

Dave, that was a beautiful Message.


It also did not go unnoticed that that song is 4:20 . . . :-D
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1524
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 7:31 pm:   Edit Post

I can't figure out how to rave enough about "Message To The Heart" without sounding as if I didn't like "A Spring Day" - which I did. A lot. But "Message"; man, that's gorgeous!

Peter
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11111
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 8:50 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks guys!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2973
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 9:48 pm:   Edit Post

" A Spring Day" has got the grass hoppers and birds in action and the sweet fresh spring air filling my lungs and beautiful tress rustling in the breeze. Lots of visuals !
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2974
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 07, 2013 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post

"Message to the Heart"

An introspective manifesto from the heart to ones sole in mindful cognition that the ship is on the correct course __________
that_sustain
Advanced Member
Username: that_sustain

Post Number: 207
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 12:02 am:   Edit Post

Master of dynamics.
jacko
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3394
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Monday, July 08, 2013 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful playing Dave. Wish I had your skills.

Graeme
811952
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 2326
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 6:21 am:   Edit Post

Very nice.

John
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11112
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 09, 2013 - 7:56 am:   Edit Post

Thanks everyone; knowing that you guys like what I'm doing is very encouraging and much appreciated.
musashi
Intermediate Member
Username: musashi

Post Number: 194
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 - 11:23 pm:   Edit Post

Message to the Heart.....

How worthy of you, Dave. Well done.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11145
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2013 - 5:21 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you!
eligilam
Senior Member
Username: eligilam

Post Number: 408
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, August 08, 2013 - 8:24 pm:   Edit Post

I agree with the "master of dynamics" comment. Nice build-up. Cool chord progressions (especially that repeating climbing one). And, of course, unassailable Series tone.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11148
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, August 09, 2013 - 9:39 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Will; and yes, I love what this bass makes possible.
hammer
Advanced Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 399
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post

Dave:

I've listened to Message To The Heart as well as A Spring Day a number of times. All I can say is that both tunes bring out what I take to be your unique personality and bring me back to a much earlier time when unencumbered by other responsibilities I'd come home from work most days, throw on the headphones and listen to early Weather Report (Weather Report, I Sing the Body electric, & Sweetnighter).

Your work "sings" and evokes a visual as well as an auditory response.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11151
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 6:47 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you Brian! I had hoped that the songs would "tell a story"; so I greatly appreciate your confirmation.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11179
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 12:30 pm:   Edit Post

I wasn't going to upload this one. I recorded it a few weeks ago and then put it aside; but I just listened to it, and it's not too bad. So I thought I would share it with you.

There are some mistakes, so it's not CD worthy; but it's close. And there's some rig noise; I guess at some point I'm going to have to tear apart my rig and see if I can get rid of the noise.

This tune is in two parts; the first part is essentially a prelude, and the second is my arrangement of a song many of you may be familiar with. I would like to see if it's recognizable; so don't look at the name of the song and let me know if you can tell what it is. :-)

Like the others, it's hidden from public view; but you can hear it here.
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1903
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:09 pm:   Edit Post

That was wonderful Dave! Great tone too!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11181
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:43 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Art!
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1319
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 1:59 pm:   Edit Post

Great - I've enjoyed all the stuff you've posted here. The tone is stellar - iconic Alembic sound! Looking forward to you having some public sounds on your soundcloud page! ;)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11182
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Harry! Yeah, I guess I feel like I'm just putting these up temporarily just for you guys and a few other friends until I record better versions. (I wouldn't want the music police to hear this stuff.) But then I've yet to record a "finished" version of anything.
hieronymous
Senior Member
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 1320
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 2:41 pm:   Edit Post

I think you can post what you have put here publicly with no embarrassment whatsoever. Just put "demo" or "work in progress" so people know.

But I know it's a personal decision so do what you feel. Now that I think about it, I slave over my stuff before I put it up, so I can't be the one to tell you to just post anything or how to run your soundcloud page!
musashi
Intermediate Member
Username: musashi

Post Number: 196
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post

What Came Before \ Somewhere

Just beau-ti-full, Dave. Clean up the noise and start releasing these gems. You have arrived in the here and now, brother.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11185
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 7:06 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Musashi, much appreciated. I guess I need to work on the rig noise :-)
klinkepeter
Intermediate Member
Username: klinkepeter

Post Number: 113
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post

fantastic, Dave! i loved every single note, did you use a 5 string with a c on top? Is there a way to avoid that noise in the background? My series II does it sometimes too but in the studio she is almost clean..., but once again: great playin!
klinkepeter
Intermediate Member
Username: klinkepeter

Post Number: 114
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post

Man, this tone....awesome, and so clean- uve got ur fingers under control
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3049
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 1:26 pm:   Edit Post

Dave,

Your music is always very enjoyable for me to hear. I am impressed by your focus and mindful delivery . It sounds like your fingers are serving your mind well. Thanks for sharing this.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11189
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 1:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Peter! It's a six string, tuned normally except that the B string is capo'd at the third fret for an open D.

I don't know where the noise is coming from. I suspect grounding or maybe a bad patch cable; I don't know. I need to see if I can isolate it by starting through the signal chain, removing components and switching out cables.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11190
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 1:37 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Wolf! I'm really glad that you guys like these tunes.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11220
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 7:58 am:   Edit Post

Realizing that I'm forgetting a lot of the stuff I've been working on, I've recently been recording a lot of the songs even if I can't play them well yet. This morning I sat down to record a cover I've been playing for a while, though not much recently, before I forgot about it too. It turned out good enough to share with you; though the usual flubs and fluffs are included, and I haven't yet addressed the rig noise.

Some of you will recognize the name, it's by a well known rock artist. The original is beautiful. My arrangement significantly differs from the original; including that I leave out an entire section and substitute my own in its place.

The dynamic range seems a bit too wide; my rig is running a bit "hotter" than I've had it on past recordings, and sections seem a bit too loud. I like the way that it's now "breaking up" when it's driven, but I need to learn to control it.

And as with the past recordings, it's a rough demo and is not publicly accessible. Wild Theme.

[moderator's edit: original poster uploaded wrong song to soundcloud, and has posted new link to newly uploaded song below; edited to strike through previous link]

(Message edited by davehouck on November 02, 2013)
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1649
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 12:24 am:   Edit Post

Great piece! I always love listening to your music, the composition, execution and sounds are always a joy. The tone has a reminiscence of the original, as well, but it's all new enough that it's its own thing.

Thanks for putting it up!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11221
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 5:22 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin; I'm glad you like it! And I appreciate the kind words.
artswork99
Moderator
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1915
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 6:49 am:   Edit Post

Very nice Dave!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11222
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 7:15 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Art!
dadabass2001
Senior Member
Username: dadabass2001

Post Number: 1776
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 9:51 am:   Edit Post

Very nice indeed! and well played, oh Moder Dave.
Based on the thread title, I was thinking maybe "Wild Thyme" from ABAB by the Airplane. Obviously a wild guess on my part.
No more divergences from me here, but if the Highway of Life takes you to the Schlossen Cutoff - Stay In Your Car!
:-)
Mike
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5578
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post

Very tasty! Thanks for sharing, Dave.

Bill, tgo
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11223
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Mike and Bill! And no, not Airplane.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11230
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, November 02, 2013 - 12:22 pm:   Edit Post

Well this is embarrassing, or perhaps just a side effect of aging. I uploaded the wrong song last time.

So here is the tune I meant to upload previously - Wild Theme.

My apologies for any confusion; and I'll understand if you don't want me behind the wheel when we go into town for dinner.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11590
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 8:10 am:   Edit Post

It's been a while since I've uploaded anything new, but I thought I would share this one that I've been working on recently. It still needs polishing, but I'm slowly making progress with it. This is my arrangement of the orchestral passage that opens the second movement of Beethoven's fifth piano concerto. Uploaded to soundcloud here.

(Message edited by davehouck on December 19, 2014)
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 1429
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 8:53 am:   Edit Post

The link doesn't work Dave, it says they can't find this track.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11591
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:09 am:   Edit Post

Whoops; okay, I've edited the link. Let me know if it's still not working. Thanks!
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 1430
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:14 am:   Edit Post

Now it works! That was beautiful Dave! Great job & killer tone! Nothing like the pristine clarity of an Alembic!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11592
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:29 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Rusty! In addition to Alembic, Beethoven deserves a lot of the credit; I love hearing that passage played by an orchestra.
rustyg61
Senior Member
Username: rustyg61

Post Number: 1432
Registered: 2-2011
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014 - 9:34 am:   Edit Post

Yeah, Beethoven definitely had some skills! I love orchestral music. My son used to play in the Houston Youth Symphony & they sounded every bit as good as the Houston Symphony! I miss those days!
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1810
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 4:35 am:   Edit Post

Very nice! I love the lute-like tone!!!

Peter
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11595
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 6:17 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Peter!
klinkepeter
Intermediate Member
Username: klinkepeter

Post Number: 158
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:33 am:   Edit Post

nice work Dave! love also the variety and dynamics of the sound made by your fingers :-)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11597
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Peter; the passage depends on dynamics to be effective. The original has pizzicato in the bass at the beginning, which is very effective; but I didn't even try to pull that off.
moongerm
Member
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 67
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 7:07 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice work Dave, I enjoyed it! Uniquely wonderful tone too.
mica
Moderator
Username: mica

Post Number: 8354
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 9:21 pm:   Edit Post

Beautiful! I love the care that you impart to your playing - truly heartfelt.
wfmandmusic
Intermediate Member
Username: wfmandmusic

Post Number: 144
Registered: 1-2012
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 2:29 am:   Edit Post

Truly outstanding work Dave!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11599
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 5:19 am:   Edit Post

Thank you everyone!
dead_head
Member
Username: dead_head

Post Number: 62
Registered: 5-2014
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 8:28 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice, Dave!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11602
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 - 8:35 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Rob!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3831
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 10:00 pm:   Edit Post

Dave , As always has been my experience listening to your playing , is a refreshing breath of clean air ! I really like it .
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11606
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 6:48 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Wolf! Last night I might have taken a step toward significantly reducing the rig noise; if so, maybe I can eventually attempt something worth putting on a CD.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1886
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 8:24 am:   Edit Post

Dave, if you need some noise reduction or mastering done, get in touch. I could probably clean it up a bit.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3832
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 9:07 am:   Edit Post

(double post gremlin )

(Message edited by sonicus on December 24, 2014)
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 3833
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 9:13 am:   Edit Post

Edwin , I am doing exactly that for a client at this time on some mastertapes & live recordings recorded in the 1970's.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11608
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 10:46 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin! That would really be helpful. I'll let you know when I have something for you to see if it's usable.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5927
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

Dave:

Just got a chance to listen to Houck does Beethoven. Suh-weeet! When some high notes kick in about 2/3 through, it almost sounds like the flutes or violins joining in!

Bill, tgo
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11609
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post

Thanks Bill! After six and half years of playing this bass, I'm still amazed at the tones it creates.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11829
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 2:24 pm:   Edit Post

I just uploaded a new track, here.

The overall quality of this track seems the best I've done yet; there are only a few noticeable flubs, and the consistency of the lines is getting better. Getting closer to something perhaps worth putting on a CD.

The raw recording was done on my new Zoom R16. I used Audacity to take out line noise and to set the beginning and end, including the fade out, and to also raise the level of the track to a 0db ceiling.
growlypants
Intermediate Member
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 140
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 3:05 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice, Dave - very nice, indeed!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11830
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 3:15 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Dan!
edwardofhuncote
Senior Member
Username: edwardofhuncote

Post Number: 429
Registered: 6-2014
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 4:28 pm:   Edit Post

I like it Dave! I'm listening during a set break. Relaxing... feels like a cello counterpoint would fit in there.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11834
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 4:32 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Greg!
charles_holmes
Senior Member
Username: charles_holmes

Post Number: 403
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 4:43 pm:   Edit Post

I like the calmness that your tune presents Dave. Very cool!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11835
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 5:37 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Chalie!
rv_bass
Junior
Username: rv_bass

Post Number: 49
Registered: 8-2014
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 6:47 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice, Dave! Very refreshing and expressive!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11836
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 6:59 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Robert!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2055
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 7:41 pm:   Edit Post

Very nice, indeed. It's always great to hear your playing!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11837
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, July 05, 2015 - 8:02 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin; it seems like the sound quality is getting closer to where it needs to be, but it's hard for me to tell.
flpete1uw
Senior Member
Username: flpete1uw

Post Number: 521
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 3:36 am:   Edit Post

Dave,
We are always our own worse critic.
Beautiful playing, very enjoyable. Glad the Zoom 16 is working out.
Peace,
Pete
moongerm
Advanced Member
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 226
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 4:11 am:   Edit Post

Nice work Dave!
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11838
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 6:30 am:   Edit Post

Thanks guys!
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 4313
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post

Dave,
That new addition is very enjoyable . You are a good influence on my own musical reflection and development. Thanks for sharing that with us .

Wolf
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 6131
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 11:12 am:   Edit Post

Dave:

VERY tasty! Sounds like a pro job of recording too.

Bill, tgo
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2056
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

Well, since you asked, the only thing I'd say in terms of sound quality is that it sounds like it could some very slight mastering, just to bring up the overall level a bit with a little bit of limiting or compression (although it's very nice to hear something like this with all of its dynamic range intact) and perhaps a bit more of the low end. The wonderful tone of your instrument and your playing does shine through, though, and that's what really matters. If the listener finds themselves caught up in the music, you know you've done a good job and that's the case here.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11840
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 11:53 am:   Edit Post

Thanks everyone!

Edwin, and others with experience in this; eventually I hope to have maybe ten or so songs to put on a CD. (It will take a while; I'm slow.) My expectation is that there is no significant "market" for this music, and that distribution would for the most part be to friends. For this and household budgetary reasons, I don't want to expend significant funds on this project. I am considering putting the songs up on CDBaby or some similar service, and having them available for download and possibly for streaming, in addition to actual CD's. (I'm still learning about all of this, and the technology seems to change faster than I can read. For instance, apparently Apple is getting ready to launch Apple Music, which from what I read will change the industry significantly.)

I've also been doing some reading about mastering; and Edwin, within the light of what I've read, your point is well taken. My guess is that the difference that mastering would make on the finished songs might significantly depend on who does the mastering. I'm also guessing that there might be a significant difference in price as well.

Again, it may be a while before I have ten or so songs recorded; but I would appreciate any advice on how I should proceed with mastering at that point; who generally I should consider, what I might expect in cost, how I should prepare, and whether it's worth the cost.

A couple things I've read are that the recording provided to the engineer should have a db ceiling of less than -3db to leave room for the engineer to do their work, and that the recording should be 24 bit. So, apparently there are things I should know before I even record the songs, if I intend to have them mastered.

I have much to learn.

Thanks again for the kind comments and suggestions. They help show me how to proceed from here.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 4314
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 11:55 am:   Edit Post

Mastering is one of those issues with variables relavent to the monitors used and the persons hearing who is listening ( and doing the mastering). :-). Too many " Mastering Engineers "step over the line of their own preferances in a way that does not reflect the intentions of the artist AND muscians that end up unhappy without a say in the matter because they were just " sidemen" or a session player only with out a "say".

Often neglected by some mastering engineers are the intended sonic aspects and sound preferences of the instrumentalist and or vocalists . Recently the sound of my Bass was compressed and equalized in a way that I did not care for on a recording for a local song writer singer. My Alembic sound was messed with in a way that I did not care for at all . :-).
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11841
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post

Wolf, you wrote "... the intended sonic aspects and sound preferences of the instrumentalist." I don't even know how to express to someone what the intended sonic aspects and sound preferences are. From the same site that I was reading from was the suggestion of sending the engineer some examples from other recordings that sound similar to the intended result, but I can't even do that.

I do understand what you are saying. Without guidance, the engineer wouldn't know how much limiting or compression, to use Edwin's example, I would be expecting to be applied. They wouldn't know what I want it to sound like. And I guess I don't know either.
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2057
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post

Well, good mastering engineers wouldn't make it sound different in terms of the artistic choice the musician or engineer makes (and Wolf, without knowing more details, it sounds like you were the victim of a recording/mix engineer more than a mastering engineer). A good mastering engineer is sort of invisible, but the end product just sounds "more there". A good mastering engineer also knows their monitoring chain and room well enough that they are not making decisions and performing drastic changes based on erroneous information. It's one of those things that, when done well, are simultaneously subtle and miraculous. A bad mastering engineer can completely butcher the material, but that's not always the fault of the engineer. A fair percentage of the butchered mastering jobs are the result of record companies demanding a loud record at the expense of sound quality (google The Loudness Wars).

Dave, you are right about keeping the files at the highest resolution possible with a bit of headroom. If you like, you could send me some files via dropbox and I can do a bit of work on them, just so you can hear what I am talking about. You are also right about the variability of cost and expertise. I tend to do it myself unless there's a budget, in which case I'll give the project to David Glasser at Airshow (he has done a number of the official GD releases, including the E72 box, the high res mastering of all the official studio releases, and pretty much all the video/movie releases in the last 6 or 7 years), Brad Sarno, who not only makes great preamps, etc., but is an excellent mastering engineer, or Steve Berson. There are many other good ones, but those are my go to guys.

My personal mastering philosophy is less is more. It shouldn't sound significantly different from the original recordings (unless there are obvious problems, but I don't hear those in your recordings). As far as guidance goes, it's pretty easily dealt with these days by sending references back and forth. In your style of music, limiting and compression should be pretty much inaudible. I just mentioned them because I know they could make the recording sound more present. If you hear it working, then it's too much.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 4315
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 1:03 pm:   Edit Post

Edwin I heard the final mix before it went to mastering.
I was in the control room with the mix engineer. I have just left that project behind me anyway. :-). It is done and I am gone .
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2058
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post

Bummer. I hate it when it goes down like that. At least you know who not to go to next time! The amount of mangling it takes to change a bass sound so drastically means that the rest of the mix was also probably equally adversely affected.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11843
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 1:53 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin! So, using the present recording as an example, I would go ahead and remove any line noise, trim the lead at the beginning, fade out the end, as I did here, and raise the db to -3 instead of 0, and that's what I would send to have mastered?

Also, when I recorded this track, I didn't realize, didn't think to check, that the default was 16 bit. But I should be recording at 24 bit?
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2059
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 2:39 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, always record at 24 bit. It means that you can have the levels set safely lower than the peaks and not incur a noise penalty. I try to keep my peaks in live recording at -8dbfs to -6dbfs, just in case anything comes along and surprises me. And, with modern digital recording, at 24 bit you can have a signal that's quite low (-20dbfs) and still pull it up to full level without too much added noise.

As far as the editing, you might want to leave out the fade if you are assembling an album because that might be something that you might want to change in the context of the other music around it. Also, it can add noise when other processing is done, even if it's minimal. Definitely edit out any noise you might have, but if it's just a live to stereo track, find out what kind of noise reduction the mastering studio might have. It can make a difference in quality and would be better than the stuff that comes with editing software. Some noise reduction software, like Sonic Solutions, CEDAR, and to a slightly lesser extent products like Izotope RX (which I use), can do amazing things and not harm the fidelity or dynamics of the music.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11845
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 2:48 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks again! I was indeed concerned about the noise removal tool that I was using. And I did not know that about the fade. I'll rerecord at 24 bit and see where I'm at.
sonicus
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 4316
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 3:19 pm:   Edit Post

I totally agree with Edwin regarding a preference for 24 bits @ 96, later on you will have to what is called dither down to 16 bit 44.1 sampling freq. for a "RED BOOK" or Audio CD standard release if that is one of your choice's for release.

Dave please excuse this response to Edwins comments , I have no intention of a hi-jack .

There are various evil short cut digital software mastering programs and hardware ( as you know) that utilize multi-spectral compression . These can have an evil and adverse effect on your project if the parameters are not carefully set. I suspect that in the example that I referred to in my case above this is what could have happened. It is also entirely possible that they just agreed with me at the time in the control room during the final mix that I heard and then just did what they wanted after I had left before sending it out for mastering. This totally make sense to me , they deceived me to just make me go away ! :-). LOL .

Dave I hope to hear many more of your wonderful musical pieces ! They are very inspirational.

Wolf
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11846
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 3:51 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Wolf!
edwin
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 2060
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 4:10 pm:   Edit Post

Wolf is right on. Dithering and sample rate conversion are both steps that mastering engineers typically take care of as well. Dither is pretty amazing. Done properly, it can actually let you hear detail in the music below the noise floor and it's done by adding noise! It was lack of dither and bad dither that contributed to some of the perceived negative aspects of digital audio in the early days.

While this article is outdated in many respects, it does address dither and a number of other issues that are not always intuitive. Bob Katz is a great mastering engineer, one of the best in the business. I think this is from the first version of his book Master Audio; The Art and the Science. The latest version is well worth getting for everyone who deals with recording.

http://www.ingelec.uns.edu.ar/pds2803/Materiales/articulos/BobKatzArticles.pdf

And yes, Wolf, I remember when multi band compressors came out and were all the rage! I have a few of them, but they rarely get much use unless I have some forensic work to do. If a mix requires the use of one, usually that means the mastering engineer should send back the files for remixing.
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11848
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, July 06, 2015 - 7:04 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Edwin; I've downloaded the pdf.

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