Eastern Mirage

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User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-03-12

Hello everyone, first post here :)

I submit for your aural perusal, a track created using Ardour 2.8.12 on my Debian Sid box.

Fiirst, a quick tech spec:
CPU: Core 2 Duo (E8400) Soundcard: Integrated Realtek HDA Intel, ALC889A.
Microphone: Maplin EM-268 Type: Electret condenser (stereo).

I'm really liking this DAW as my music creation tool of choice. I went to and fro between Ardour and Audacity, both have their own approach to work flow and can do what I require.

I did have a couple of head scratching moments, notably correct exporting of work (wav).
I couldn't understand why track levels were noticably different to the project data. It turned out to
be a auto-connecting route issue (I simply expected master outs only to be used). I even chained Audacity for a while, until I finally worked it out.
The percussion track, courtesy of Chris Turner, is the basis for the finished item.

Warning: Fade in slow.
Anyway, here it is:-


GMaq's picture
User offline. Last seen 1 week 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-12-11


Nice Job! The percussion is really cool with such a variety of instruments. I like the gradual layering as well as the heavier guitars coming in as it progresses. I'm wondering what the 'jangly' chorded part would sound like with an acoustic guitar instead of the chorused electric guitar...

Thanks for sharing!

User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-03-12

Thank you for listening and replying. :)
Short answer to your question. It would sound amazing and an authentic fit in my view.
When I came up with that rhythm track I had the following in mind:-

Strive for a plausible mixture of Spanish/Arabic feel to compliment the percussion track
using a chord structure and playing style that would also sound good on a electric guitar.
Reason? As I post this reply, I am not currently in ownership of a acoustic guitar - Specifically
the classical nylon strung variety. This might change soon :)

Not being classically trained/skilled I had to explore options within my ability. For instance, the
guitar solo is actually comprised of five parts :-o
The 'punch in/punch out' facility has been invaluable, as it effectively enabled me to compose
the solo through trial and error, as I did not come up with it in one take. :)

I'd just like to add that the percussion track wasn't originally intended as part of a wider project.
It was partly a multilayer experiment and a request for dance classes and as such, little importance
was attached to stereo imaging at the time.
Both Chris and I are looking at subtle reworking of this track, so it will probably change again at
some later point in time.

Thanks again :)

User offline. Last seen 35 weeks 6 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2010-04-18

I really enjoyed listening this track!

In the spirit of "open source", may I make a couple of suggestions?

1 I'd like to hear some very low bass in the percussion. I listened through full-range headphones, and I just felt like I wanted something really deep and resonating to fill out the bottom octave.

2 It would also be nice to hear some finger cymbals (zill or similar?), something with a really clear bell-like ring to cut through the dense layering of guitar.

Just some thoughts. I lost myself for a few minutes listening to this track, so bravo!

Paul H

User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-03-12

Interesting ideas.. ;)
Might well subject the track to further experimentation.
I agree that the bottom end is a bit lacking, this is due to two things mainly:-

1) No Bass (electric or acoustic) has been laid down with the guitars
2) The percussion mix was not multi-tracked, more multi-layered and as such
is difficult to 'tune' beyond what you hear, in terms of definition.

On the first point, I felt that the 'heavy rock' guitar riff fills this part nicely as it is.
On the second point, yes, the addition of zils and a deeper drum to pad out the
low end, could work well. In particular, the zils would probably accentuate best
on certain parts off the track but not all the way through.
I will confer with Chris on your suggestions, as percussion is his chosen craft.
Sounds like good possibilities though and thanks for the compliments. :)

spock's picture
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 2009-07-05

Lovely echoey synth bells later on! What was that done with?
And nice authentic percussion.

User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-03-12

The synthesizer voice used is from the 'Fantasy' sound bank of Yoshimi (fork of ZynAddSubFX).
Preset 36 - 'Impossible Dream4' is used.

It was actually played on my wireless QWERTY at the time. Thankfully not so demanding, as to out-wit the barely adequate scanning of pressed keys.
Wisely, I have now invested in a Korg MicroKey (37) MIDI controller.

I'll pass on the percussion compliments, thank you. :)

froh's picture
User offline. Last seen 14 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2006-10-18

Nice song, good vibe, really nice percussion. Maybe too much distortion on the guitar in some places.

I like that you make do with what you have, using chorus fx instead of a classical nylon guitar. Try to play along with your self in a new track after you have composed the solo by punch in/out. Then mute your "sketch" track. That way you should be able to get a more fluid solo.

User offline. Last seen 2 years 21 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-03-12

Yep, I do get a 'perverse' pleasure out of pushing the gear I've got (due to cost and/or laziness!).
Regarding the classical guitar. I now have a cutaway, 19 fret classical, but it's impractical to play the last part of the main chord progression (very last frets req'd and very difficult!). My electric guitar has 22 frets, lower action and better access. It's 1-0 to the electric guitar this time. That said, I really enjoy the different aspect of playing creativeness it brings out.
The solo on the track using the 'punch in/out' process is deemed as 'good as I get' from my POV ( same deal for 'Kaleeji' too).
I'm not a live performer, so whilst the said technique 'could' be considered cheating, it does represent what I set out to do. That's the power of DAW for ya! Great composing tool. :)

User offline. Last seen 30 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-05-12

good work, very catchy, sure it will be stuck in my head all day