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Instrumental minimalism

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by dlenaghan, Dec 10, 2011.


  1. Well, ok, here goes - some sharing as well as a question.

    I've been recording some solo instrumental minimalism. I know it's a bit odd, it's very soundscape, so if you're into composers like Steve Reich (one of the tracks is a very specific take on his style) or Philip Glass, you might appreciate this. If not, no worries, move on.

    Monophone - Instrumental minimalism from Seoul, Korea

    And the question - I'm recording direct out from a small Hartke combo into a Korg D4 digital 4-track, and then using Audacity to level the tracks and export them into FLAC to upload onto Bandcamp.

    There's lots of noise, but most of it is intentional, as I really am trying to go for a rough, irregular sound as well as structure - I love the chattery 60-cycle hum, and brittle static of the single coils (it's a Guild JS-II with Hagstroms, the one in my avatar), but there's one thing I can't get rid of: when there's a very bass-y signal (I use a Boss PQ-3B for the low end, and an Arion Parameric EQ for the dry high treble), there's this 'microphonic' whistle almost - only when it's a very bass-only kind of signal, pure low frequency. It's not at all present in the performance but emerges in the recording ONLY. I think it's the Korg, because when I listen to the playback on the D4 that's when I start to hear it.

    Any advice on removing that microphonic signal in Audacity, or better yet, preventing it from ever being on the recording? Even in videos online, even Ed Friedland's videos, you'll hear these microphonics I'm talking about when there's a real low-end signal.

    Anyway, enjoy!
     
  2. Any commentary or criticism is perfectly welcome! ;-)
     
  3. FreshTrooperXBL

    FreshTrooperXBL

    Jul 24, 2011
    Riverside
    Hey very cool! Yeah I use Audacity too and its darn near impossible to get rid of the background noise.

    I use a Fostex MR16, but in order to get close to eliminating the static I have to crank any amps I record and use the volume of the amp to max effect versus cranking the mic on the recorder. Also try going to Effects in Audacity and EQing the bass so that its lower (without causing to much clippage). Wish I had a pro-recorder too!
     
  4. ghostrider

    ghostrider

    Jun 12, 2010
    It has a peculiar unique sound to it. But it's an acquired taste to some extent but I like it.
     
  5. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    Enjoying the listen, I especially like how it starts off very slow/sparse and builds up by accretion from there.

    There's a "noise removal" function in Audacity. All the FX in that program are offline (not realtime) so it can be difficult to A/B your changes. I think you'd be better off trying some sort of host/editor with realtime FX. There's a lot you can do these days with multiband compression/gating, narrow notch filters, and spectral denoisers.

    Also if you can isolate the noise when you're not playing, you can duplicate that segment on another, invert the polarity, and see if that cancels the noise in the recording. And record at the highest sample/bit rate possible to prevent aliasing, where limitations in the sampling process can cause artifacts in the audible range.

    To be honest any noises/distortion I'm hearing don't detract from the music. To my ears you're coming from the same quadrant of the galaxy as Marc Ribot's or Loren Mazzacane Connors' solo guitar work, where the extraneous noise is part of the overall charm.

    BTW I have a number of minimalist recordings, though few feature bass. Here's a piece very much inspired by Reich and Glass, this is a percussive number, and here's a spoken word piece exploring the rhythmic properties of silence.
     
  6. Oneirogenic

    Oneirogenic

    Nov 10, 2009
    I listened to the first piece and I thought all the little odd sounds and artifacts fit right in with your aesthetic. My only criticism is that it builds a little too slowly for my tastes. I like more "ambience" too if you know what mean. Reverb washes, drones, echoes, etc.
     
  7. Oneirogenic

    Oneirogenic

    Nov 10, 2009
    I also posted in your minimalism club thread.
     

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