Just completed a recording with 8 tracks.
#1
Since I retired I started arranging more music and also making recordings of my arrangements. The main issue is always to keep tracks that are recorded separately perfectly synchronized.
I just completed recording the first movement (Allegro) of the Concerto for 2 violins and orchestra, by Antonio Vivaldi. I arranged this for accordion orchestra with 8 parts (7 accordion parts and a bass accordion). Every part was recorded with a pair of AKG C214 mics and a Tascam DR-100 recorder, and then everything was mixed using n-Track (which I have been using for over a decade now). I posted the result on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GGNHkPyMVE

This is not the first recording in my attempt to make "perfect" recordings through this setup. The previous song was España Cañí, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=647Qg5CBIO4 but that was only 5 parts.

I hope that my attempts at playing these non-trivial works sound acceptable. I would like to continue towards completing a whole CD but that will take at least a year or so...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#2
Paul -

This is excellent. As an accordionist that plays all of the old standards and familiar tunes I always love to hear different genres. Classical music is something I've never entertained personally on the accordion. When I was taking lessons years ago we worked on "show pieces" like Dizzy Fingers or Jolly Caballero but never classical.

I found your recording to be soothing and very entertaining. The multi tracking worked well. It's something that I likely will never attempt and therefore I completely appreciate you uploading it and sharing it.

Well done!
Current Accordions:

2003 Excelsior 960 Custom Magnante 5/5 - Hand Made Reeds
Excelsior 930 Van Damme Jazz Accordion - Hand Made Reeds
Roland FR-8X Digital Accordion - No Reeds
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#3
Serious....in the bestest of ways...
I'm quite stunned...
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...
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#4
Great stuff Paul, very enjoyable to listen to whilst appreciating the technical achievement at the same time.
Tom
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#5
Thomas N Wrote:...
As an accordionist that plays all of the old standards and familiar tunes I always love to hear different genres.  Classical music is something I've never entertained personally on the accordion.  When I was taking lessons years ago we worked on "show pieces" like Dizzy Fingers or Jolly Caballero but never classical.
...


Well... my plan for a CD is to create one that only contains music that is in the public domain here, and in most of the world. This requires the composer to have died at least 70 years ago. (In some countries the limit is 50 years, but in the USA the rules are different because they want to ensure Disney's work remains copyrighted forever.) I do have some "modern" music which is based on classical work but arranged by myself, and fortunately some of the "show pieces" are actually not so recent. One still on my list to arrange and play is the Csardas by Monti (who died in 1922). I believe that should qualify as a show piece. (I played it solo and have done so for the first time about 40 years ago, and several times since.)
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#6
Wow ! Those arrangements were a real pleasure to listen to, particularly the Vivaldi. Bravo !
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#7
This is really great, Paul, I am impressed with the sheer quality, and quantity, of the works you present on your website.
Cordially, Tony
Artisto, Italian, LMM, 41/120, PA
Warning: Only speaks/understands American English
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#8
In the YouTube clip the two solo parts (acc 1a and acc 1b) are rather dominant.
I created a new mix that is more balanced (I think).
It can be found at https://www.de-bra.nl/muziek/Concerto-rv522.mp3 or https://www.de-bra.nl/muziek/Concerto-rv522.wav
One of the problems with such multi-track recording is that there are just so many possibilities to balance tracks that it is difficult to pick a choice that sounds "best", at least to my ears.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#9
debra Wrote:One of the problems with such multi-track recording is that there are just so many possibilities to balance tracks that it is difficult to pick a choice that sounds "best", at least to my ears.

I guess that's an advantage professionals have! Perpetual time pressure - make a choice, move on, end of story.
.... until the re-mix!
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#10
(19-01-2019, 07:51 PM)debra Wrote: In the YouTube clip the two solo parts (acc 1a and acc 1b) are rather dominant.
I created a new mix that is more balanced (I think).
It can be found at https://www.de-bra.nl/muziek/Concerto-rv522.mp3 or https://www.de-bra.nl/muziek/Concerto-rv522.wav
One of the problems with such multi-track recording is that there are just so many possibilities to balance tracks that it is difficult to pick a choice that sounds "best", at least to my ears.

Lovely works indeed, each one.


As I am sure you know, you don't need to mix it once, placing one or two accordions in the dominant "role", but you can vary this so that at any point, you have one accordion that is a touch louder than the rest, depending on what flow or musical story you want to tell.

If you thought just mixing an overall mix once based on the accordion part alone was challenging, adding this dimension to it brings up the challenge factor by 10 because different accordions become the dominant sound at different times within the piece!  Big Grin
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#11
Smile 
Thanks Paul, that really does sound good blasting out from my speakers. I like the arrangement and the recording is clear with plenty of detail.
I've never come across nTrack recording software before but it obviously does the trick.
How many "re-takes" did you need to do (honesty not required [Image: smile.png])
1) Ballone Burini 46C (4+5) cassotto (LMMH) 3/3 PA; 2) Accordiola Piano V (5+5) cassotto (LMMMH) 3/3 PA;
3) Roland FR8X; 4) Hohner Vox 4k (LMMH) 3/3 CBA
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#12
(21-01-2019, 01:24 PM)Glenn Wrote: ...
I've never come across nTrack recording software before but it obviously does the trick.
How many "re-takes" did you need to do (honesty not required [Image: smile.png])

First, what you do in n-Track is to change the volume "envelope" wherever desired because not only is one instrument more dominant than another all by itself but the importance of each voice at any point in the piece may change as well. So that is a first challenge, especially as my AKKO is clearly louder than the Bugari and that is still louder than the Hohner. And for some notes you need to also play a bit more with the volume because the cassotto makes notes louder but more so on the first and second row of buttons than on the third (because of where the reed blocks sit in the cassotto, on the AKKO and Bugari, not on the Hohner which has only two reed blocks in cassotto).

Then there is the matter of how many "re-takes". Well, it's not really a matter of counting re-takes. For this piece I simply recorded each voice separately in one go but started playing (with metronome), stopping and going back a bit each time something wasn't ok, and I made sure I had at least 2 and sometimes 3 or more takes of each fragment (in each voice). So you can imagine that if you count the number of cuts I ended up making in the end it far exceeds 100. I recorded the voices in something like 3 hours (something like 50 times the duration of the final outcome), and I think the overall time spent on editing in n-Track was something like 15 hours (no kidding!).

Of course it would help if I really mastered this piece completely before I started, but the reality is that I do play acc 1b in the orchestra that plays this piece and I played the bass in another orchestra (different arrangement but mostly the same bass part), and orchestra in which I play acc 1b does not play it as fast either. So I had to actually study all the parts. Two parts (2b and 3b) are quite easy, but all the others are surprisingly tricky at times.

Anyway, I want to do this for other pieces as well, and hopefully one day complete a whole "Professor P" CD...
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#13
(21-01-2019, 02:30 PM)debra Wrote: Anyway, I want to do this for other pieces as well, and hopefully one day complete a whole "Professor P" CD...

We have a similar goal, except that I want to do a complete BlueRay DVD one day.  There are several reasons, one of which is the higher audio quality levels.  CD is recorded at 44khz while BlueRay start at 48khz and can go higher, to 96 or even 192khz.  Of course, having 4K video to look at is also a big plus over just listening to the music... actually seeing someone play, their technique, their style and their musical story is much more enjoyable to me as a medium.  Smile
___________________________________________________________

My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com
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#14
This is new to me in recording concepts. I am into the drums, bass, rythmns, fills, accordion synth and vocals type of recording. Indeed an art in producing a good mix. Depends on the persons impression. No right or wrong. Just the final mix should sound good on cheap small speakers.
I notice reverb effects on many recordings, especially the vocal tracks are heavier on the right channel. Why? Not sure? But it seems to fatten it up? You can hear this lots on modern country western music stations. Try panning right/left channel on your car stereo. On some recordings you will hear the difference...
Larry Roberts Entertainment
https://www.larryrobertsent.com
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#15
(22-01-2019, 07:07 AM)Keymn Wrote: This is new to me in recording concepts. I am into the drums, bass, rythmns, fills, accordion synth and vocals type of recording. Indeed an art in producing a good mix. Depends on the persons impression. No right or wrong. Just the final mix should sound good on cheap small speakers.
I notice reverb effects on many recordings, especially the vocal tracks are heavier on the right channel. Why? Not sure? But it seems to fatten it up? You can hear this lots on modern country western music stations. Try panning right/left channel on your car stereo. On some recordings you will hear the difference...

These are good tips. I do check my recordings on cheap (but reasonably good) PC speakers and on a high-end pair of headphones to see if they sound right on both types of playback devices. I also try to not add too much reverb. I like the somewhat drier sound when it doesn't sound like the recording was made in an empty church. I never noticed a difference in reverb between left and right in recordings. I use exactly the same for both channels in my recordings. It never even occurred to me that people would do otherwise. I usually just add reverb to the final master, but on one occasion where I added drums I only added reverb to the accordion parts and not the drums as that sounded pretty bad (especially due to the "early reflections").
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#16
(21-01-2019, 11:53 PM)JerryPH Wrote:
(21-01-2019, 02:30 PM)debra Wrote: Anyway, I want to do this for other pieces as well, and hopefully one day complete a whole "Professor P" CD...

We have a similar goal, except that I want to do a complete BlueRay DVD one day.  There are several reasons, one of which is the higher audio quality levels.  CD is recorded at 44khz while BlueRay start at 48khz and can go higher, to 96 or even 192khz.  Of course, having 4K video to look at is also a big plus over just listening to the music... actually seeing someone play, their technique, their style and their musical story is much more enjoyable to me as a medium.  Smile

Best of luck with creating a BlueRay DVD! I must say that the audio quality level of CD is hard to beat for normal human ears. It is mostly the addition of a video stream that is a big bonus over just listening to the music, but... it requires much greater mastery of the player(s) because you don't want to see them struggle.
I'd like to try something like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rFZEH_2sbg which is played very well, but sadly it is played on a digital instrument (Roland FR7x) and Silvia Richter looks way too serious in the recording, not like she is enjoying herself. I also do not like the reverb which is seriously overdone.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#17
excellent stuff!!

the vivaldi one is a real casual listener

if I would make one remark it would to widen up your stereo spectrum, especially when you have 8 tracks. A lot of it is in the centre now, and it could be more exciting if it was spread out more.
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#18
I am not enough educated on stereo width. But if you listen to some of those polka recordings, especially Franky Yankovich Slovenian style, the accordions have that suttle reverb. It seems there are recording studios that are equipped in accordion engineering. Yes, over doing effects and EQ could do more harm then good.
Larry Roberts Entertainment
https://www.larryrobertsent.com
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#19
(22-01-2019, 02:55 PM)jozz Wrote: excellent stuff!!

the vivaldi one is a real casual listener

if I would make one remark it would to widen up your stereo spectrum, especially when you have 8 tracks. A lot of it is in the centre now, and it could be more exciting if it was spread out more.

Good point and I actually did that in the remix. But it isn't always obvious as some part that is on the left may play the same notes (at times) as another part that is on the right. I don't make stereo too wide as many people use headphones nowadays and they require a narrower stereo than when you use hifi speakers. Extreme stereo recordings sound really strange when you use headphones. Ideally you should have two different mixes for every song: one for speakers and one for headphones.
Paul De Bra (not Debra...)
http://www.de-bra.nl
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#20
Here a picture of the settings on my QSC Touchmix 8. Channel 1 Vocals first pic.
Channel 2 Accordion, 2nd pic. This is my live settings EQ. I use compression in both channels as shown.  Effects on mic but no effects on accordion, use accordion effects.


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