Wren's Hornpipe

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Here is one of my favorite tunes. I learned it off a CD, where it's played on a Tenor Banjo. In fact, it was that tune that turned me on to the TB! In performance, I play it on the TB.

  2. Daci
    What a nice hornpipe...I'll be learning that as well.
  3. hendrix2
    Indeed a very nice tune. That mandolin has a very nice tone!
  4. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I was working on this for a fellow bandmate, so I thought I'd go ahead & video it, and submit to You Tube. I'm playing it slower than usual (she wanted an mp3 of the melody, so she could work on a harmony/counter melody). Anyway, one track is just the melody, the 2nd track was me messing around with double stop accompaniment, with the high e strings droning....

  5. Eddie Sheehy
    St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr whose feast day is the day after Christmas. It is a national holiday in Ireland, but its roots go back beyond Chritianity. The tradition is for children to go "hunting the wren" on St. Stephen's Day. It is killed and its corpse, or its effigy, is put on a pole, or sometimes in a basket. "The wren boys" go from home to home displaying the dead bird and begging for money "to bury the wren." At the door step of each home the 'Bean an Tí' (the woman of the house), is beseeched,

    The wren, the wren, the King of all birds,
    St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze.
    So up with the kettel and down with the pan,
    and give us a penny to bury the wren.

    The house that is least generous is likely to have the wren buried under their door step. Killing the wren is considered a good omen, because the wren is believed to be a treacherous bird. Some believe that it was a chattering wren who betrayed St. Stephan's hiding place. An old Druid story tells of how the birds had a contest to determine who was king of the birds. Whoever flew the highest would be crowned King of All Birds. The wren hid in the back of the eagle. When it was his turn, the eagle soared higher than any other bird. However, when fatigue would let him climb no higher, the wren emerged rested and climbed to the greatest height. So by treachery, the wren became "the king of all birds."
  6. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Eddie, your story so enthralled me, that I recorded yet another rendition of Wren's Hornpipe! This time it's at 120 bmp, and I multi-tracked myself playing my Collings MT2O mandolin, Slingerland May Bell Tenor Banjo & Petersen Cittern.

    Hopefully, clicking on this link will open Google Player and you can listen from there.
  7. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    WHOA!! Now you're really inside GarageBand, Barb! Mandolin Paradise! Best of Barb's Bards!
    That faraway tremolo - OOOOHHHHHhhhhh.....WOWZA! I am downloading this to my iPod, with your kind permission.

    Eddie, that wren & eagle story - isn't that how NASA got to the moon?
  8. Michael Wolf
    Michael Wolf
    That really sounds lovely, Barbara. Nicely played and a capturing atmosphere. Beautiful tune, didn´t know this one. As nice as it is to watch people playing, good recordings do sound so much better than these tiny cameras. Your mando sounds really good, too.
  9. OldSausage
    Nice job, I agree with what Michael said.
  10. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Thanks, guys! Bertram, kind permission granted! As fun & educational as recording in GarageBand is, it's truly a great practice tool! I play in a band, but I live an hour away from the rest of them, and one member has taken a temp job, two hours away. We normally get together twice a week for practice, but this winter weather, and my 'excessive' traveling, sometimes keeps us from those practices. My plan is to record our tunes, which is good practice in itself, and then distribute the mp3s to the rest of the band, to practice along with.
  11. Tony Avitua
    Tony Avitua
    Sounds great Barbara! I was wondering what you are using as your audio input? I don't have a MAC nor Garageband, but have a good idea of what it is. Keep the great videos coming!
  12. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Oh, Wow, Tony, you're asking me a techie question....

    I'm using a Snowball Microphone by Blue. It's a USB mic. My son, who is a sound engineer, got it for me as a 'cheap' microphone suitable for my home recordings on my Mac with Garage Band. He also got me a pair of Samson headphones. I plug those things into the computer, open GarageBand, then start. I'm a complete novice when it comes to what to do in a program like GarageBand, and a novice with a Mac, so all these recordings I'm doing are also a learning process for how to do it!

    As far as the videos... all these mp3's will probably be made into videos and put on YouTube for the Social Group. It's just the last step in doing a video with the already mixed audio.... Recording me playing one of the parts, then syncing it with the audio (not always that easy)... plus, by the time I'm done with the sound mixing, it's pretty late in the evening, and I'm not looking that great for a video... and if you've seen my videos, you know I set my standard PRETTY low for how bad I'll video myself looking....

    Thanks for the compliments!
  13. Tony Avitua
    Tony Avitua
    Thanks for the information Barbara. Your "cheap" microphone sounds extremely clear to me! I am just getting interested in multi-tracking, so just asking questions at the moment. I really enjoy all of the videos everyone posts, and I think you look great in all of them!
  14. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    After a brief sound engineering conference with my son over the phone, I tweaked my settings on Wren's hornpipe. Here's the same recording, with different settings.
  15. Tony Avitua
    Tony Avitua
    Wow, that sounds so clean!
  16. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Engineering track settings can become an endless unresolved conflict of taste. After a recording, we want every track to be audible, or else we wouldn't have taken the pains to record it. On the other hand, some parts are more important than others and should stand out accordingly. I went through this many times. It helped me to follow these rules:
    1 - do not save on tracks, so you have maximum engineering freedom later; don't record two parts on the same track.
    2 - have your instruments stay out of each others way pitch-wise, thus not competing for the same register, then relative volume is much less important because every instrument stays audible.
    3 - roles: do either foreground/background (like in a Bluegrass break) or concertando (equal rights like in ITM), but not both.
    4 - less is more: if leaving a track out sounds better, leave it out.
    5 - orchestra option: in an orchestra, many instruments together are made to sound like a new one. This is for masters only, because it takes much fine tweaking, and no single instrument should stand out unless explicitly soloing.

    Barb, your 2nd version puts the melody instruments much more into the foreground. However, you followed rule #2 very well in version 1 already, so there was no mess to clear up, and rule #3 comes into play. I think the accompaniment is complex enough (more than just choppin') and deserves not to be left outside. But that is all a matter of taste. I'll stick with dreamy version 1.
  17. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    Bertram, thanks for the input, I want to learn everything I can, from everyone that I can! So, I've got some questions about your rules and my recordings. I didn't change my recording between the two versions, just tweaked the pan, volume & reverb. My tracks were (1) mando playing chords (2) cittern playing chords (3) mando playing melody (4) cittern playing melody (5) mando tremolo (6) tenor banjo playing melody, recorded as one track, but split into 2 tracks, along the lines of where it came back in the last time, as I wanted to adjust the volume of the 2nd time it came it, independent of the first time. The 2 chord tracks played all the way through, the others came & went (maybe the mando melody played the whole time, I'd have to go back & check). When I say the whole time, I mean after the 'intro' where first the tremolo, then then cittern melody started.

    What Tommy's input was, he asked about pan, and I hadn't panned the instruments at all. The way he explained it to me, was that the instruments shouldn't be 'on top' of each other, to envision them standing on a stage. So, I adjusted the pan with the melody instruments closer to the middle (but none of them exactly in the middle), and the rhythm instruments further right and left. I then adjusted the volume of each track till I liked the way it sounded. Then, the reverb. I think that is what gave the first version the 'dreaminess'.... I found some setting for reverb, and turned it on, but in my later version, I found how to tweak the reverb, and adjusted the reverb for each track, and the 2nd version has less tremolo.

    So, my question to you, concerning rule #2. Since I didn't change the actual recording between the two, how did changing the pan settings affect the 'pitch-wise' rule? My goal with the second version, wasn't to make one instrument stand out over the other, it was to spread them out, so that you could hear the different instruments more clearly.

    One discussion we have in our band, which is comprised of 4 people..... we have a tendency to play a tune however many times through, all of us playing, all of the time, always the same thing. Some of us think that is boring! In listening to music (for the most part, the music I listen to is IT), I believe that what makes a tune interesting, is arrangement of how it's played. What I tried to do with how I put together Wren, was have it start out with the tremolo, then the cittern, alone, starting the melody. Then, as the tune progressed, the rhythm tracks joined in, filling the tune out. While the cittern is playing melody, I was tremoloing the mando. The second time the tune comes around, the TB plays melody, the tremolo stops, the cittern melody sits out. At some point the mando melody has joined in, I'm not sure where (I don't have it open right here). But, when the TB is playing the melody, I know the mando is as well. Then the 3rd time through, the TB stops, the cittern takes over the melody again, again with the tremolo, but when the B part comes in the 3rd time, the TB joins in, to make the end of the tune as full as possible.

    I didn't change that arrangement between the two versions.... I just changed the pan, volume on individual tracks, and reverb.

    If the arrangement that I did, was more bluegrass, what are ya'll's opinions on how to make IT and OT tunes more interesting, if changing the instruments that are more prominent, as the tune goes through.

    Our band is made up of a rhythm guitar player (she doesn't play any melody breaks, just rhythm guitar), Scott plays the 5 string banjo or the cittern, depending on the tune, I play either mando, TB, OM (or cittern), and Jeanne plays mando, and many whistles, fifes, flutes or piccolo. So, in live performance, we couldn't play this tune the way I've arranged it. What we try to do to give our tunes some life, is have the whistle instrument come in and drop out, and / or play melody/harmony/melody, and if Scott is on the cittern, he'll do something like play melody/chords/melody (on tunes that we play through 3 times)... if I'm on the TB, I'll usually come in later.... that sort of thing. It's just that, to some of us, the sound of the four of us, one rhythm guitar, and 3 melody instruments, playing melody three times through, is boring, and oft-times muddy.

    I would love those of you who have played with others in a band situation, what ya'll came up with to give tunes interest. Like I said, we don't do bluegrass, just Old Time & Celtic (that's what the official band lingo is!).
  18. OldSausage
    I can't comment on the stylistic points, but purely from a listener's point of view what I found with the second version was that the breadth of pan sometimes became distracting, and the relative volume of the lead instrument was sometimes a touch overbearing. Although also I enjoyed your crisper treatment of the reverb and the liveliness that a bit more pan offers in version 2. I always find the tricky thing is getting the right balance between making each instrument have its own place and be audible, while the whole sound, the feel of the piece, keeps its own unity. So my guess is that somewhere in between the two versions you did is the place to try and hit it.
  19. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    I know there are a couple of places in the recordings, 'something' is 'too much'.... hurts my ears for a split second maybe in 3 places. However, I can't figure out just how to fix that. I'm sure there's a way. I know that the program Scott uses (Cool Edit Pro, I think it is), he can isolate the track, and reduce it's all over whatever a certain percentage, to compensate for those places that it's too much, but I don't know how to to that in Garage Band.

    I didn't put any instrument all the way to the right or left, I just didn't have them all in the same place. I didn't move one track to different places along the recording (if that is at all even possible)... So, do you think that tweaking the pan even more minutely, and adjusting the volume of each track, in relationship to the others, would be the way to try to achieve the balance & unity of which you speak?
  20. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    OK, I'm working on it, and the notes that hurt MY ears, are when I am playing the cittern's high A strings... it just rings too much. I don't see anyway to remedy that, other than recording a different cittern melody track, and playing those high A's on the E strings, where they would be fretted, rather than open high A strings ringing....
  21. OldSausage
    If the volume is very uneven on a particular track, you can sometimes compensate for that by using compression. I believe garageband features a compressor. That won't help if it's an issue with the arrangement of course.
  22. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    There's something that says compressor, but I find Garage Band help to be almost no help.... so I haven't tried that yet. I figured I'd wait till my son had a little more time, and he could explore around garageband (he has it on his mac, but doesn't use that for his sound engineering), that way, he could walk me through step by step, how to do the things my ear tells me need doing, but I have no education, so not even the right lingo, much less he knowledge of how to operate that software! But, I love learning, so I'll keep at it! The sun has come out, it looks like I'll be able to make it to band practice (50 mile drive) today, so I'd best run, I'll post my newest tweak later!

    Thanks to ALL who will chime in to help with my education!!!
  23. Eddie Sheehy
    "Eddie, that wren & eagle story - isn't that how NASA got to the moon?"
    I believe that's the European Space Agency's strategy...
  24. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Barb, I meant to say that the instruments were already separated enough to make each one audible, so it was not neccessary to separate them even further by means of volume, i.e. the melody instruments were never drowned in version one, so "towelling them off" in version 2 revealed nothing that had been hidden. Version 2 demonstrates how to make a single instrument stand out nicely, though.
    Separation by panning and reverb are powerful tools, and putting the melody in the middle is what I also do. I remember being impressed by a recording of "After the Beginning" by Fleetwood Mac, where an acoustic guitar suddenly stands in front of the speakers bone-dry, while the rest of the band plays on in a different echoing room behind them.
  25. Jim Baker
    Jim Baker
    T:The Wren Hornpipe
    B:Francis O'Neill: "The Dance Music of Ireland" (1907) no. 945
    Z:Transcribed by Frank Nordberg - http://www.musicaviva.com
    N:Music Aviva - The Internet center for free sheet music downloads
    (ed)|cBA(G Ac)BA|GEDE TG3B|cBA(G AB)cd|eaag (3(efe) de|cBA(G Ac)BA|G(EDE)
    GABd|c2(BA) GAB(G|A2)AB A2:|
    |:g2|a2a2 ac'b(a|ge)de Tg3(^f|g)^fga b2a2|g(ede) Td3B|cBA(G Ac)BA|G(EDE)
    GAB(d|c2)B(A GA)B(G|A2)ABA2:|
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