Talk to Your Heart – Carolyn Arnold and Friends

Just completed mixing and mastering Talk to Your Heart, by Carolyn Arnold and friends. 11 songs of great harmonies and nicely picked (and bowed) acoustic instruments.

Carolyn is a staple in the Seattle Old Time music community. She recorded the tracks with her friend Forrest Newton at the helm and handed them off to me for mixing and mastering.

I don’t claim to be a mastering engineer. However, Carolyn was on a budget and looking to sell some CDs while busking and hand out to friends and family. Cubase has a great set of tools to gel the songs together sonically while adding some nice sparkle and polish.

Adventures with a Mackie 1640i, Windows, and hardware

While researching my new recording setup, I eventually settled on a firewire mixer solution for recording using Cubase 5. After checking out a number of different options, the Mackie 1640i rose to the top for the following reasons:

  • Up to 16 simultaneous inputs to computer (for recording)
  • Up to 16 simultaneous outputs from computer (for mixing out of the box, external effects, re-amping, etc)
  • Kept everything analog as long as possible, specifically the EQ.
  • Simple – Didn’t spend a lot of energy/space on internal effects processing
  • Ability to function as studio mixer or as a live board with lots of routing and monitoring capabilities
  • High quality pre-amps

Too good to be true? Well, I started to think so after almost a month of unsuccessful installation attempts, learning way too much about computers, about 200 system restarts, and 8 system restores.

I eventually got a system running that has minimal issues and I’m writing this to share in case anybody out there is thinking about what PC computer system will complement the Mackie 1640i.

Final setup:
Continue reading Adventures with a Mackie 1640i, Windows, and hardware

Songs from the past

This list of songs was transferred from my old site. Rather than uploading each song individually, here is an archive of the entire list. It spans songs from the last 8 or 9 years. Enjoy!

Wet Town 5.7 MB

Wrote the first set of verses while living in Seattle. Finished the final section after moving to Boston. A nostalgia tune that incorporates Sam Russell style of ‘too many overdubs’ as well as some of his melodies. This one’s been finished for a while, but I waited to get some Bass and Drum additions – as added so kindly by Adam Cat and Matt ‘Cutty’ Foster.

Just Fine 3.7 MB

Lyrics I wrote a while ago. Michal and Oliver were out of town so I took a few hours to record it – trying out some Tom Waits vocals.

Ocean View (version 2) 2.7 MB & Ocean View 1 (original) 3.2 MB

I had this melody stuck in my head so I wrote it down and added a B part. When the lyrics wouldn’t come, I asked Michali for some help. She gave me a general idea, including the first few lines. I recorded it and she thought it was too slow and boring. So I recorded it again (with some lyric tweaks) with her feedback in mind. It was a great exercise and I hope it will convince her to help me more often :)

Continue reading Songs from the past