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Author Topic: Arranging Some Familiar Tunes  (Read 1824 times)
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 28, 2016, 02:42PM »

I like that.

The sound was very good and I am interested in hearing about your detailed process of recording using Audacity.

Do you have the free or Pro version of Audacity?. 

Am I correct in thinking that you do not record your trombone into a file for use in the Band-in-a-Box program?

Do you record the BiaB backing direct into Audacity or via your speakers?

Do you use earphones?

This is an area where I am extremely lacking in knowledge. I have only recently decided to try and master the process of recording myself. 
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 28, 2016, 03:17PM »

I like that.

The sound was very good and I am interested in hearing about your detailed process of recording using Audacity.

Do you have the free or Pro version of Audacity?. 

Am I correct in thinking that you do not record your trombone into a file for use in the Band-in-a-Box program?

Do you record the BiaB backing direct into Audacity or via your speakers?

Do you use earphones?

This is an area where I am extremely lacking in knowledge. I have only recently decided to try and master the process of recording myself. 

Thanks for your kind compliment and your interest, Grah. You've always demonstrated a willingness on this Forum to share your knowledge and I think it's very admirable. I'll try to answer your questions point by point.

1) "Do you have the free or Pro version of Audacity?" I have the free version. I didn't even know there was a pro version. Now you have me curious. lol

2) "Am I correct in thinking that you do not record your trombone into a file for use in the Band-in-a-Box program?" Correct. I know there is possibly a better way, but what I feel most comfortable doing is to save my BiaB accompaniment file as a wave file in Audacity. I usually add some amplification to it once it's saved. I then play that accompaniment wave file through my stereo system with the volume down as low as possible. I record into that wave file with Audacity - what I call - "karaoke-style". I'll keep all of my efforts and use the best of how ever many takes it requires for me to get the best product. In this case, I used the Audacity compressor to level the highs. Then I adjusted my sound for the mic by dropping the lows from the 200hz point on a curve to -12db and I gave it a nudge on a curve from the 2000 through the 5000hz area by +3db. I don't really want to do those things, but I feel I have to to restore my sound. I then give it a small, dark room reverb if the accompaniment sounds wet and it did, so I did.

3) "Do you record the BiaB backing direct into Audacity or via your speakers?" No. Not necessary, since it's already been saved as a wave file.

4) "Do you use earphones?" No. I know I should. I know I should just hit the record button on BiaB. I've tried. But I really do not like using even 1/2 of a headphone set. I suppose I could get an even cleaner recording the right way, but since I'm doing this for my own entertainment and not for commercial work, I get pretty good household-quality results.

Please either feel free to use this thread or open another with what you are learning about recording using BiaB! I have no problem at all with this thread turning into a mish-mosh of my "rendition" efforts and/or BiaB.

In a subsequent post, I'll put up the lead sheets I devised for "Under The Boardwalk". It's a work-in-progress. I need to enhance my second run-through to make it a bit different from my first run-through. But for now, I just repeat.

...Geezer
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #22 on: Dec 28, 2016, 03:47PM »

So here's the pics of my little "rendition" of "Under The Boardwalk":







It's a work-in-progress. The lead sheets are guides. I try to adjust the articulation & timing to play it the way I want it to sound, as opposed to my faulty notation.
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #23 on: Dec 29, 2016, 09:35AM »

Graham and all,

Take my recording method with a grain of salt. There are other and probably better ways.

It's been over a year since I have recorded myself and my tone has improved - thanks in large part to my instructor, Bob Riddle. Out of habit, I used the same massaging techniques post-recording as I always did. Today, I discovered that I didn't need to do any of that. My sound is good enough to just use the "raw" recording, mix it down with the accompaniment and then add a bit of reverb to the whole thing.

Here's my little simple rendition of "Blue Moon" (notation shown in one of the above posts of mine):

Geezer's Rendition of Blue Moon

For the first pass, I used a bucket mute. I've always had trouble getting a decent sound with a bucket mute and now I know why. For me, using a mute takes a LOT of finesse. I've always tended to over-blow when using one. The result was that the horn got backed up and there was a nasty rattling sound = not good. Problem solved!

...Geezer
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 29, 2016, 03:19PM »

I decided, rather than mess up your topic with my questions about recording, to open a separate topic in Technology:

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,97046.new.html#new

So I reposted your replies so far.

I do hope some experts will be able to chip in on this topic. Good!
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Geezerhorn

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« Reply #25 on: Dec 29, 2016, 04:41PM »

I decided, rather than mess up your topic with my questions about recording, to open a separate topic in Technology:

http://tromboneforum.org/index.php/topic,97046.new.html#new

So I reposted your replies so far.

I do hope some experts will be able to chip in on this topic. Good!

I don't view it as a divergence to this thread, but it's cool. I'll follow along on that topic you started. I have some procedures - but like you - I want to see what others with more experience might post.

...Geezer
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Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #26 on: Dec 30, 2016, 12:22AM »

So here's my "rendition" of "Under The Boardwalk", performed on my vintage King 3B/F, recorded with an EV RE20 mic & Audacity; using Band-in-a-Box as my accompaniment.

 Under The Boardwalk

I can hear that I rush some phrases a wee bit. Certainly can't fault BiaB for it's splendid accompaniment, though!

Pretty happy with this rendition at present, so it's time to finalize it in Fidelity and move on.

...Geezer

Yeah, man. You got a great core sound.
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #27 on: Dec 30, 2016, 05:13AM »

Yeah, man. You got a great core sound.

Thanks! That's exactly how my instructor - Rob Riddle - has characterized my sound. It's been a tough sound for me to obtain consistently, but I'm starting to get the hang of it a little bit. He has me on the Michael Davis "15-Minute Warm-Up" book daily (actually I do it twice a day) and both his instruction and it have really helped. But now I'm wondering how I can get more overtones into my sound to liven it up a little.

...Geezer
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #28 on: Dec 31, 2016, 10:22AM »

Okay, so this will be my last recording installment in this thread. All the rest of my renditions will be within the mold of the three that I have posted, so nothing new planned.

I had to make a few changes from my original concept. Some things are still a bit questionable as to musical merit, but there are some nice places as well.

You've Got A Friend

Big production. lol It's a kinda long song in the first place and I run through it twice.

...Geezer
« Last Edit: Dec 31, 2016, 06:06PM by Geezerhorn » Logged

Graham Martin
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« Reply #29 on: Feb 17, 2017, 10:38PM »

I went searching for this topic because I have changed my mind about Geezer's approach to writing down and playing tunes with his own phrasing and embellishments etc. It came about because I was putting together a series of tunes that are supposed to be the Standards to learn by ear. I found that I wanted to make my version of a tune sound a bit like one of my trombone heroes each time I played it. Not a complete transcription as such, but phrased similarly. Hence I needed to write down some of the key phrases I wanted to use in the melody.

Band-in-a-Box is the ideal tool for this because it is so easy to edit chords and the melody, and change the key.

Mind you it is going to take a long time to modify some sixty Standards from the fake book versions I have already entered. And a lot of listening to my favourite musicians, which is something I like to do anyway. Some tunes do not need any conversion because I already know them very well and have my own way of playing them.

So, even though Geezer has now abandoned the process, I have got to say that it is a good one for my latest project.

Just in passing. I discovered a very nice version of one of these Standards with quite an unusual treatment. The tune is "Willow Weep For Me" played by Curtis Fuller, which is about No.13 in the list of top standards. Most of the sax players do this tune in G at about 60 bpm. Curtis has abandoned the normal key and gone for Bb, I think mainly because the range of the tune for trombone is better in this key. G is either too high or too low. However, the unusual thing he has done is to abandon the ballad approach, double the number of bars and play it more bouncy - again easily done in Band-in-a-Box. I really like his version better than the standard treatment by a host of sax players:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWsE__aFwHM 



   
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Geezerhorn

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« Reply #30 on: Feb 18, 2017, 05:17AM »

Nice! Curtis is one guy who can play a ballad rather staccato & detached and yet sound darn good doing it.

I admire you for being very active in this process.

I haven't stalled out or abandoned my original idea. In fact, I am hard at play with it. I've done 14 "arrangements" this winter so far. By the time I'm done with this winter project, I should have about 20 completed. Things will be rather hectic for me this summer, so I plan on going back through them one-at-a-time and working out some weak spots. Then, next winter - back at it.

Here is my latest rendition. I hope no one mistakenly tries to compare me to the top pro we just heard on Grah's post (or anyone else, for that matter). But I think I came up with some nice little melodic enhancements for my 2nd pass (starting around 1:35) through the chorus of this Roy Orbison classic

Blue Bayou

I kept my rendition in it's original key because I (obviously) still need a lot of work in my lower/middle range.

OBTW: anyone other than Grah with eyes on this page - I'm not asking for a critique on my playing. That's between me & my instructor.  :D But if anyone would like to comment on style or anything relating to my "arrangement" or use of BiaB, that's fine and thank you.

...Geezer
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #31 on: Feb 18, 2017, 05:36PM »

Nice!

And it is also one of the tunes I have in my master list of files that I have entered into Band-in-a-Box over the years, but without adding any special phrasing. The changes I made to the Orbison original were to use 'C' as the key and not 'F', which makes the top note a D6 (fourth line up in treble cleff). This happens to be my top note these days. Pant Well, it was also the top of the range used by TD in most of his recordings. :D  And I changed the rhythm to a Bossa (Bossa Piano Trio w/ Conga), which strangely enough is similar to that old rock rhythm from the 50s but more jazzy.
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Geezerhorn

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« Reply #32 on: Feb 18, 2017, 07:17PM »

Thanks Grah.

I must be using your BiaB accompaniment then because it's in Boss style. And yes, it does have a certain quality to it we both seem to like for that very fine melody.

For now, I'm trying to keep all my pieces keyed lowish. I need the practice playing in that range with better articulation and fluidity. Also, If I go to play all of the ones I've done one-right-after-the-other, it would be too much for me to play them all up high. But as we both know, one of the splendid things with Fidelity AND BiaB, is we are only a click or two away from putting the melody line and the accompaniment up (or down) how ever many steps we want. So among other things, BiaB is a fantastic training tool, as well as a credible ah-hock accompaniment. And I can always go back to my melody lines for re-writes as I see fit.

Some other tunes I'm working on or have worked on are:

Lionel Richie's "Hello"

The Police "Every Breath You Take"

The Bee Gee's "How Deep Is You Love"

Jim Croce's "I've Got A Name"

Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful"

And others to be discovered.

Artists through the years have tended to perform the music of their lives. That's what I'm setting out to do and I'm not waiting for Hal Leonard or anyone to publish them in play-alongs that I don't much like anyway. Perhaps even 20 years ago we could not have done this, but now we can and I intend to make use of the resources available to me.

...Geezer
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