I apologize for loyal readers that barnson.org was down from Friday through Sunday morning. I had some strange database weirdness that I still haven't entirely corrected; I've just worked around the problem for the time being, disabling the "top posts" block on the right-hand side. Some of the issues should go away when I upgrade Drupal.
My wife, Christy, is in Nashville, Tennessee attending a conference this week, so I get the two youngest children. My mother-in-law has the older two. It's all right hanging out with these guys, and a Sunday afternoon is quiet enough that I can get some recording done. The noise of my PC has really increased over the last few months, though, and I've found it's fairly loud in recordings. I can deal with the noise by using a noise reduction tool, but what I've found is that doing so leaves a "hole" in instrumental sounds that I can hear clearly when I compare to the original source track. It's just a little bit of aliasing, but it causes guitars to sound just a little more tinny, and voices to lose some high harmonics. I've gotta come up with a better solution for a quiet studio, that includes somehow getting the PC behind a wall, away from my microphones.
I also finally played with making a "pop filter" to help eliminate the harsh sound of "P" and "T" in my vocal recordings. On a tip from a fellow musician, I drafted an old metal coat hanger to the cause. And, whaddya' know, it works! You pull an old stocking (yes, panty hose) over the coat hanger, shape it into a rough resemblance of an oval or circle, and then figure out some way to strap it between your mouth and your microphone.
Oh. Christy. In case you're reading this, umm, I hope you didn't want that old knee-high in the bottom drawer anymore?
I have to kind of work to forget that I'm singing into something that until recently frequently did duty hugging my wife's legs, but I'll manage.
Anyway, it's made a really nice difference. I can get closer to the microphone without popping all over the place, and I don't need the massive chunk of foam inside the mic that resulted in muffled recordings. Small, cheap, and helpful.
The two kids are now quietly in bed for their afternoon naps, and I'm torn: do some more recording, or go take a nap? JJ, our six-month-old, is teething, and, as is the usual with teething, is experiencing an ugly runny nose, fever, crabbiness, etc. He seemed to develop a cough along with it, though, so instead of heading to my mother's house for dinner this Sunday, I'll be hanging out at my house, just chilling with the kids, making music, updating my web site, and making sure they get enough snuggles, particularly the little sick one.
Being a dad is fun.
Oh, right, anyway, I've made it a habit of posting "rough draft" songs on the web site. Here's the latest. Like most of them, there are still glaring errors; when I realize a finished version, they'll be corrected. Notably, I missed several notes both on the guitar and with my voice, knocked the guitar case a couple of times in ways that stand out, and a terrible entrance on "Remember". For those interested, this was a tune I wrote while on a mission for the LDS church some time between 1992 and 1994. Though my religious philosophies have changed a lot in the intervening years, I still think it's kind of a pretty tune.
For those interested in the technical details, for this recording I used a cheap pair of OSM 800 condenser mics spaced about two feet apart, positioned over the twelfth fret and nut of the guitar, at about 24 inches from the mics. I had to yank a lot of noise out using a noise reduction plugin, which made the guitar and vocals a little harsher than I'd like, but I was able to soften them up with a light reverb afterwards.
Here it is (as always, you'll need an ogg-vorbis compatible player, like the free WinAMP to play this tune):