Dear Tobacco/The Four-Poster Bed

  1. Gelsenbury
    Before my holiday, John and I worked together on another online collaboration. In the past few days, we've finished the mix. These tunes have been mentioned in this group before, but don't seem to have their own threads yet.

    As far as I know, Dear Tobacco is an English polka and The Four-Poster Bed a Scottish reel. They are both fun tunes. The knocking on wood in the second tune signifies the four posts of the bed. I think it was Martin who called it a tune with a sound effect!

    John played octave mandola and guitar, and I played mandolin and a few notes of Rauschpfeife. As usual, we recorded each track separately and sent them back and forth until we had enough for the final mix.

    The photos are of my holiday in the south of France! Take it as a postcard to the Song-a-Week group!
  2. Brian560
    Thanks for the postcard, it was very enjoyable !
  3. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    What a wonderful set of tunes! Original, entertaining, joyful, the exotic instrument too. Thanks.
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    That is a fine video you have created to showcase our latest collaboration, Dennis. You have done a great job mixing the tracks too - and giving me a new tune in Dear Tobacco, and a new instrument in the Rauschpfeife. It has quite an individual voice, and blends well with our other instruments.
  5. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    The sound of that instrument reminds me of the different barrel organs we would hear at the parks in Germany when I was a kid.
  6. bbcee
    Wow, what a nice long-distance arrangement! Well done, you two, very enjoyable.
  7. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Huge distance, the whole of France and a big part of the UK.
    5 days total by bicycle (non stop).
    It’s like LA to Seattle.
  8. Frithjof
    I guess you both had a lot of fun with these tunes. Happy sound.
  9. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    This sounds great - worth all the back and forth. I think John and I are into year three now of collaborations. Yikes. I was so young back then. I love these two songs, very unique and well played.
  10. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Ha, what a funny set, with that medieval squawk-box and Four Knocks (gold the Federal Reserve can't provide)!
  11. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Nice pictures from the south of France, and two tunes played with finesse!
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks for kind words, everyone. We had a lot of fun getting this one synchronised - partly because we began with slightly different notation for the Four-poster Bed, so some files flew back and forth, then Dennis was in France and then quarantined back here on his return. I managed to dodge the mixing and creation of the video on this one, so special thanks to Dennis for all his extra work.
  13. Gelsenbury
    I'm really pleased you all like it. They are fun tunes!
  14. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Talk about the South of France, it looks like Macron is going to put the whole of France, at least the schools on lockdown with his speech tomorrow night.
    But, whatever, let the tunes continue!
  15. Gelsenbury
    Absolutely, Simon. We certainly haven't seen the last of the lockdowns, so let's appreciate the joy that music and mandolins in particular can bring ... and the ease with which we can share that joy in the age of the internet.
  16. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thought I’d post a failed vid!
    Just to show what happens most of the time, before I get a reasonable recording... general complaints included.
    Actually the problem here was fatigue which lead to tempo acceleration syndrome.

  17. Frithjof
    Great video, Simon. I like the beginning and the end most.
    It reminds me on the at least a dozen vids I delete today. Every time there is a lot of talking to myself (or to you all in my mind) and of course a lot of laughing about myself. I often thought about including short passages of that into a video.

    BTW, there were a few very nice beats within your playing.
  18. Brian560
    For a failed video that was pretty good Simon! All of the sounds make sense. That includes the tempo acceleration, and your foot tapping even made a pleasant sound. Probably because it is an audio-visual. Of course having a good backdrop is a huge plus.
  19. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    You have got in a nutshell there what we all have done in one way or another, Simon. In the midst of your troubles there was some great picking and left hand fingering going on too! And through my headphones that foot tapping had a real bass-heavy sound. Is it the Boya mic you are using here? I got one after your recommendation a while back and love it plugged into my Tascam.
  20. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks Gents, yes it’s also one of those tunes that you like so much you want to play it faster and faster, maybe the hammer-ons and pull-offs contribute to that -being slightly faster than the other measures?
    Oh yes, this type of vid. This is what hard work learning mandolin is really like, sometimes a lot worse! We’ve all be through it.

    The Boya MM1 microphone is inside the small black sponge case in the vid to cut out the wind. The recording has a slight sea shore background sound for this reason (maybe).

    The foot tapping volume is quite difficult to manage because it’s a one mic recording. I guess two mics would change that.
    -I actually get that sound by tapping my boot on a flat 4"x4" stone that lies on spongey forest earth. The mic picks up some of the sound through the ground, and treble sound from the stone itself. On a previous recording the stone was larger and gave a deeper tone, less aggressive in the high range.

    Ha, ha, yes John I guess one way to manage that drum is to stop it!
  21. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    That's a nice one for an outtake, Simon. Talking is typical. I had to delete videos because they caught me swearing about my previous attempt...
  22. Brian560
    If anyone wishes to give advice on recording I could certainly use it. I really have no idea how far the microphone should be from the mandolin or how much to turn up or down the gain. I am using an Apogee MiC mounted to my music stand about a foot away from the instrument. Unfortunately the microphone still picks up my exhales and my foot taps are annoying thuds rather than the nice percussive sound Simon gets.
  23. Gelsenbury
    Simon, your skills are evident even on this outtake. And part of your secret is surely that you keep calm and in good humour despite the constraints. You mentioned speeding up, but I think you also switched from polka to reel rhythm on this recording. It's an interesting take on the tune, but probably makes it more difficult. Dear Tobacco is a great melody, and I look forward to your final version!

    Brian, I'm no expert but it sounds as if you should move your microphone to a lower position. If it picks up a lot of your breathing, it's too close to your face. Different instruments project differently, but I'd start with the mike at about the level of your picking hand and go from there.
  24. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Thanks for the insight Dennis, I may need work on integrating the different finger techniques. The last thing I want is my polka to sound like a reel.
    Bren do you breathe during a tune? The tunes are only about a minute and a half long.
    -I do groaning but that’s not really breathing.

    Seriously though, one thing I’ve done is to record a ten minute vid and change the mic position, use different foot pads, even blankets hanging on either side of the instrument, different room, small carpet on the floor. I found that a mic that isn’t directly in line with the front of the instrument reduces click noise, but there are lots of different factors, mine for example needs a longer (noisier) cable to be placed lower, even some cheap mics work well in certain situations.
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