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A new sample of my playing...

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Tbeers, Jun 16, 2005.


  1. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    And not much has changed. *sigh*

    I have jacked the strings up to oblivion and yet it still clicks like a geiger counter.... It's these damn Obligato strings. I need something that will push back when I pull on them, something with a little bit more backbone than these weak things.

    Recorded today. "You Look Good to Me", a good old tune that Oscar Peterson played a bunch.

    This was recorded with one crappy microphone about 6 feet away from the three of us, into a minidisc recorder. So excuse the poor sound/balance issues.

    And please excuse the clicking, I am at my wits end with all of this. Maybe I need a new fingerboard dressing as well.

    Enjoy, this is a long one, the bass solo is the last of the solos, but don't skip to it, it's bad!

    :)

    http://longinusrot.home.comcast.net/You_Look_Good_to_Me.mp3
     
  2. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Ah! I just listened to my solo, the time is crap. Forgive me, it's so hard sometimes with no drummer, and I am as yet inexperienced. I'll have to ask the vibes player to comp more rhythmically.. sometimes the way he tries to play off what I am doing messes me up (I feel like he does it a bit *too* much).
     
  3. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Regarding the comping, maybe you can ask him to do something different - nothing wrong with that.

    YO - stop freakin out so much with your clips! You're doing FINE. How long have you been playing again? It takes time and hard work. Was Coltrane at 29 (1955) the Coltrane we all know now? Not by a longshot, just an unexceptional bebop tenor player.

    And the clacking - is it mostly a setup problem? What does your teacher say?

    All the best

    Alexi
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You've got some really good things going on, and the clicking doesn't really bother me all that much. Some strings with more tension should go a long way toward cleaning that right up, anyway. The biggest thing I hear that i would address is the time concept. One of the greatest kicksin the *ss I ever got was from a lesson I had with Sigi Busch, where we worked on what he called "microtiming" with a metronome for about two hours. Basically, his concept was about developing the ability to play behind, on, and on top of the time. What I discovered in my own playing was that could play behind and on pretty well, but my "on top" playing was very inconsistent. Since then, I've devoted a lot of practice time to working on these concepts with a metronome or a drum machine. The real art is to be able to play CONSISTENTLY against the time in either direction while still implying what "on" is. Keep up the good work!

    ALEXI AND GOLIATH - your signature is killing me: in what context did I actually say that?
     
  5. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Let's just say that someone had threatened to use the word........"fret"! :bag:
     
  6. Alexi David

    Alexi David

    May 15, 2003
    NYC
    Very well said, bravo
     
  7. Yeah! And don't you fergit it either!
     
  8. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
  9. This is some good advice for life.
     
  10. Savino

    Savino

    Jun 2, 2004
    nyc
    I think the track sound great Tbeers. You get a real nice sound and your ideas feel good. One thing I would look into is trying to avoid slapping the strings after you play a phrase, Many guys do this to keep time. Try to relax and be aware of when you do it. If your worried about your time, (which I think is fairly good) There are a number of online metronomes that allow you to place the beat very slow. You can set it on the one of every four bars and try to nail it each time. A little while doing this and your internal time clock will improve drastically. Try Dr. Betotte if you have a mac. Otherwise keep it up man, sounds good.
     
  11. Tbeers, you worry too much!

    My foot tapped throughout; what more can you ask? There's only one bit in the triplets in the second chorus of your solo where the time goes out a tiny bit to my ear, the rest of the time it all just flows along.

    As to the string clacks - the vibe player's singing bothers me a lot more!

    By the way, nice recording for a single mike. Vibes are notoriously difficult to record well because the transient from the mallet strike is so much higher than the note, and people often put a mike too close and overload the mike or its preamp, but you seem to have got the perspective right on it and the rest of the band in balance with that. Well, done, don't change a thing about the recording setup!
     
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Agreed - well done. :)
     
  13. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for your nice comments. Recently I've been leaning away from placing a microphone right next to the bass, right next to the other instruments etc. It makes everything sound too artificial. My ideal setup would be two really nice mics placed several feet away from the ensemble. And preferably running into something nicer than a minidisc recorder.
    :)
     
  14. The classic way to do it is to use two mics arranged as a stereo pair. You take two cardioid mics and arrange them so that their capsules are very close together and pointing left and right with an angle of 90 degrees or more between them : like a flatter V with the capsules at the point.

    With a good pair of mics and the right positioning you can get a really faithful rendition of the music - get it right and it's even good enough for a symphony orchestra. You could compare it to taking a photograph if you like, as opposed to multitrack recording which is more like a painting. With a stereo pair your creative input is at the recording end as you select the best place from which to capture the sound in the room, whereas with multitrack your input is at the mixing stage and doesn't have to have any bearing on reality.

    So Tbeers you might want to think about acquiring a second "crappy" mic (I don't think the results are crappy at all) and pairing it up with your original mic to get some nice stereo recordings. The only caveat is that it should be the same model: if you want to get an accurate sound picture you have to use two identical mics.
     
  15. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I might buy two new microphones, actually. And something better than that minidisc....
     
  16. bass117

    bass117

    Apr 7, 2005
    Levittown, NY
    Hey TBeers, sounds good to me. I am an electric bassist but use a Hohner Steinberger-licensed fretless / headless bass sometimes so I have some appreciation of what you are playing. I always tell my sons that I am sorry for only mentioning what they do wrong but what they do right is what they are supposed to do so that's why I don't mention it :)>). Anyway as I said it sounds good to me, but as you are looking for improvement (as we all are) I would just draw your attention to your playing at the beginning of the piece, you sounded a little behind the beat to my ear - unless that was intentional. But good stuff, didn't notice the clicking you are bothered by, and a change of strings is always around the corner anyway so try something different next time.

    Regards,

    Kevin of the Thurstons
    www.howlinthurstons.com
     
  17. There's many more pluses in your playing than minuses. On the timing issue, I think you were holding it pretty well considering the *especially* sparce percussion.

    IMO, good drums;- brushes are best on this kind of piece, make our job easier. (Of course bad drums are worse than no drums at all!!) The vibes seemed to either overrun or underrun a bit on the solo. They are on time but the phrasing sounded rushed at the end maybe. The player more just stopped than actually finished. But you pulled your solo off well in spite of that precarious transition you were left with. I noticed another part of the passage during his solo where he holds out some notes and gets a beat off for a few measures. You held the 1's down while he was lost and he catches back up to you before the turn around so everybody's covered, but it felt like a close one. It's tough to hold perfect time with that stuff going on and no nice little drum fill to mark it for everyone. Under those conditions, you're holding it down. I think that is very impressive.

    There's some times where you might consider more half notes, maybe. It's all a feel sort of thing and can get tricky, but it helps take the monotony away and adds some time for the listener to absorb some notes and for you to breathe a bit and put more into what follows. Overall, very well done though. The structure of your lines is where I'd give you the highest marks. It moves really well all along. I thought your timing was pretty natural sounding and not too mechanical. If you want to be picky, yeah there's some smoothness to work toward, but you'll get there if you just keep doing what you are doing. Give yourself some time; it will come.

    Things that helped my timing greatly:

    1) Marching Band- My opinion is that almost nothing can make your beat more stable than marching and playing simultaneously. Of course you can't always march with a double bass, but hey, trombones are way cool. That might be impractical, but if you have some portable music you can do the same thing while you are just walking.
    2) Dancing- Quite a bit of popular music forms are drawn from dance steps that are ancient. It can help smooth things out a bit in your motions and feel. So dance whenever you can. Then dance with that bass when you play.

    The mix on the recording sounds fine. (drums could come up a bit. Sounds like he's in the next dimension!)

    The live recordings (Sentient Bean Savannah) on my homepage were done with mismatched regular dynamic vocal/instrument mics. Of course we had eight of them on separate channels, with plenty of cross bleed, but the point is you can get a good recording with very modest mics. At the Robert Plant concert a few evenings ago, we checked him out through binoculars and he was using a plain old SM58. We had the luxury of a borrowed 8 track DAT for that Savannah gig and a fine pre-amp mixer with absolutely no EQ, just gain and limiters, so the recording quality was sweet. This year I got some of those Chinese MXL mics, the 990 & 991 pair from Guitar Center. They are condensers and not identical, but close enough if they are far away. I've used the two of them in stereo like you are wanting to do for a jam session test recording back in Feb. I'll see if I can get that into an MP3 so you can hear what those sound like. They aren't bad for the price. Very detailed and clear with an open sort of feel. We ran them into a Tascam US-122 and a hot-rodded Power Macintosh 7500 with Cubasic. It's not a bad result at all from a recording point of view, but the high end is a little hot and the drums are too loud in the mix. The drums really were too loud so we need to work that out but I think those mics worked very well for the price. The Tascam US-122 worked great also. I loaded the software and immediately had it up and going on the Mac. We also used a modest Windows 98se computer when we ran out of drive space on the Mac and that worked almost as well. I didn't use Chris's type of mic positioning because we were in a very small room. Instead we placed the mics approximately across the room from each other, at mayber two o'clock and ten o'clock (right about where my stereo speakers are). We put the instruments in a circle in the room. In a larger room, we would have done it differently, but under the circumstances it worked really well. Through headphones it is like you are right there. 3-dimensionality is very realistic. You can hear my dog's collar jingling through the jam session like he's right there.

    I had trouble getting into your link to listen to the other tracks, so check that one out, it seems to be down. Anyway keep up the good work, T.