An awesome example of dedication

Listen to Glen McArthur, farmer, and maintainer of AVLinux, and maker of the AVL Drumkits (his and his son’s):

Oh, and hear Glen and his son Connor singing and playing as well:

Good stuff and people. I always say thanks when virtually meeting him in the LinuxMusicians Forum.

The risk

Devin’s take onto Arno’s original “Under the wind of the cold night” template, on which Thierry and me had played before as “Ton parfum“:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

I decided that my bass from “Ton parfum” still fitted nicely into this one, so I simply added it again. That makes the list of musicians for this one as:

And since some people had commented onto “Ton parfum” because of my bass tone, here’s some short technical info in case you want to get a nice, mellow, and full tone like that. The technique I used for this is called “serial compression”, and what it means is that you simply add two compressors in a row, and play around with their settings. In my case, with the Calf compressor, it looked like this:

You see that both have a ratio of about 1:4 which is good for bass (tho normally I use less, like 1:3 or so). And while the first one does the heavy lifting with that additional +6dB boost, the second one still smoothes out things a bit. It’s not a technique you could use on every track (normally I use just one compressor with a 1:3 ratio or thereabouts), but here it fitted quite nicely.

On the Ardour channel strip on the left, you see that both instances of the Calf compressor are used pre fader. There’s also the GxSVT amp/cabinet simulation plugin from the Guitarix project, but that one is turned off here. Plus there’s a Calf limiter post fader, set to cut everything at -0.5dB just in case.

And that’s pretty much all there is to say about the tone. My Squier VM Precision Fretless Bass with its stock roundwound Fender strings was directly plugged into the Focusrite 6i6 2nd gen interface, and everything else was free software (Debian GNU/Linux with additional KXStudio repositories, Ardour, Calf Plugins). A cheap but effective setup as you can hear.

Thanks for listening, and for reading.

Update, from next morning (at least, morning here in Europe):

Perfect add from Mark – I suggested using some brushes, and he delivered like a pro:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

That makes the new list of musicians:

Thanks everyone for making this so wonderful!

Update from Sunday evening (CEST):

On top of Mark’s brushed drumkit, Tof from France added his beautiful guitar. Listen:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

List of musicians:

Thanks for listening.

Funky Duck, GxQuack, and Dr. Duck

I saw this “Funky Duck” title in Wikiloops, and of course I was reminded of the same title used by Vulfpeck. But the original upload from DaFunkyDrummer, and the added bass from Woodstock had nothing to do with that.

Lots of space for other musicians in this one, I thought, and because I liked the groove and what was there very much already, I decided to download and to play around with it for a bit.

In the end, I used effects from Guitarix in a Carla Rack host in my Ardour DAW, namely the plugins/pedals GxQuack, and GxHyperion. Looks like this on my screen:

GxQuack_GxHyperion

And that sounds like this (the higher-pitched, and more distorted second bass is mine):

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Musicians:

And I got remixed already, by Pit Brett who added his guitar and harp in just one upload. Thanks Pit! Now this – his – version sounds like this:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

Musicians:

Very nice. There was another download already, so I’m eager to see what will probably be coming. My suggestion was some kind of “bass fest” (there is a very good one already in the loops). Let’s wait and see. Or hear. ­čÖé

Thanks for reading, and for listening.

Warren Huart about mixing

Another set of ten useful quick tips from Warren Huart:

Of course you don’t really need all of his plugins, or his Mac and ProTools setup – Ardour and some free tools will do as nicely. Like he says, use these tools wisely and sparingly (a dB or two can make a big difference) – and create your own signature sound.

Recommended viewing for music/video and other content producers.

An interview with Paul Davis

Almost a year ago, I reported about the keynote speech of the Linux Audio Conference 2017 at the Universit├ę Jean-Monnet, Saint-Etienne (UJM). That one was given by Paul Davis of Jack and Ardour fame, and very interesting not only for Linux Audio users. It’s still online if you want to see it.

Effects on Shi's vocals

Ardour, and some of the Calf Plugins (which are available on Linux only), running on my computer, to work on vocals of a great singer who’s on Wikiloops)

Now, as I found via the Ardour site (and via the Linuxaudio Planet first to be correct), there’s an interview (from January 2018) with him again, by Darwin Grosse of Cycling 74, at the Art + Music + Technology site.

Find the 1 hour podcast and interview with Paul there.

It’s always interesting to listen to people like Paul, and this time you’ll learn a bit more about his personal history, how he got into music making with computers and Linux, and also about the close relationship between Ardour and its commercial sibling, Harrison Mixbus. Another thing I didn’t know so far was that the founder of Ableton was also heavily involved in Ardour at some point.

Paul also talks about the differences of linear workflow tools like Ardour, ProTools, and Cubase (just to name a few), and newer products for a more groove oriented workflow, like Ableton Live, Bitwig, or Fruity Loops (again, to name only a few).

Especially interesting for beginners, or for people who might play with the idea of switching over from Macs and Windows-based machines to Linux Audio are his two advices, like:

1. if you have already a workflow, and that is based off of plugins which might exist for Windows and/or Macs only, best forget about it, and

2. if you’re still interested and just don’t know where to start, try AVLinux.

(to which I might add that yes, AVLinux has the best of all available documentations about it all that I personally know of, but there are others which do more or less the same, like KXStudio, or even Ubuntu Studio (Zuleikha is using the latter on an older laptop, and all of them can be downloaded as Live images to put them onto a bootable USB Stick). The repositories of KXStudio are probably the way to go if you happen to run Debian Linux already, like I do.)

So in case you’re interested, go and have a listen. I always learn a lot from just listening to guys like Paul. And we owe them a lot.

So this is recommended listening for musicians, and even for video producers, or film music composers.

As always, thanks for reading.

An awesome change

Wow. Just discovered a change on Wikipedia: if you search the German Wikipedia for a word it cannot find, it now shows suggested findings from other languages, in this case from the English sister site – with a 100% hit:

Cool job, everyone, bravo and thanks a lot!

Oh, and if you don’t know what “Frobscottle” is, look it up, and maybe watch the mentioned movie – it’s fun!

Thanks for reading, and cheers…

Preparing the next (musical) collab

I just put one of Al’s (jonetsu; nominal6) latest pieces into my Ardour multitrack recording software – looks like this:

Screenshot from 2018-01-19 20-48-48 - the next collab

Al asked me to play some bass onto that, after I suggested more collaborations. I will link to the final version or embed it here when it’s done.

I love this at least as much as photography. And who knows, maybe we’ll put up some musical collection which could then be used again for videos or whatever? We’ll see.

Thanks for reading.

Auf Deutsch: Workshop – Die komplette DAW f├╝rs Mini-Budget – aktualisiert f├╝r 2017

Im deutschsprachigen Musiker Board hat der User @mk1967 – ein wohl professioneller Radiomacher aus Krefeld – einen wie ich finde ganz hervorragenden Workshop bez├╝glich Tonstudio in Linux ver├Âffentlicht. Den hab ich auch im ebenfalls deutschsprachigen Recording.de Forum hier weiter verlinkt.

Also f├╝r Alle die des Deutschen m├Ąchtig sind und die sich f├╝r eine quasi kostenlose Aufnahmem├Âglichkeit mit dem eigenen Computer interessieren – absolut lesenswert!

Danke f├╝r’s Lesen.

Vulfpeck

I was looking up some things in the forums, and also some of the test sites for musicians, so I first stumbled upon Vulfpeck (“Mit Peck”, like they called their first album) here on the German-speaking Bonedo site. And wow, indeed their bass player Joe Dart really is “Beastly” (the opening track of their first album “Mit Peck”)!

Here’s one track from their latest album “The beautiful game” – this one is called “Aunt Leslie”:

And here’s another one, called “Dean Town”:

But if you want to see (and hear) Joe, look at this:

If you want to hear more, then almost everything is available on Youtube – just look at their website for more information. If you want to buy something, they’re on bandcamp as well; two of their tracks (including the quite impressive “Beastly”) are even available as multitrack records if you want to mix and/or play along yourself – cool! Also look on their Youtube channel which has some quite funny and interesting things as well.

This is some very professionally played 60s and 70s soul & funk, and these guys groove like hell, tho they weren’t even born yet during the time of their musical style. So if Snarky Puppy is a bit too demanding, maybe this is easier to digest (and to dance to; can hardly keep my feet still when listening to this).

Meanwhile, I’m practising playing my bass ( a picture of which has been in my last blog post). And I’m also learning some cool new (and free and open source) stuff, like for instance rakarrack. Having a wonderful time.

Thanks for reading.

Recommended: Scott’s Bass Lessons

From time to time I unsubscribe from all Youtube channels (except my wife’s of course). But now that I bought a bass, I re-subscribed to Scott Devine, who can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/devinebass
http://www.scottsbasslessons.com/

Here’s an interview with him:

http://bassmusicianmagazine.com/2015/06/scott-devine-using-his-bass-superpowers-for-good-bass-musician-magazine-june-2015-issue/

Thinking of also joining his academy for 14$/month – that’s way cheaper than any real music school, and after my 35-year- (or so) hiatus, I probably need something like proper training.

Here’s the first freebie of his which I found interesting enough:

So I went and subscribed to his website for free, and downloaded the backing track to that lesson. It came as an .mp3 file recorded with a sample rate of 44.1kHz, so I had to convert it (using Audacity) to 48kHz and a .wav file to have Ardour accept it with my current settings.

Then I followed his advice about first playing root notes (and fifths) only – still made some “errors” (like playing the 6 on a 5 chord, or an ‘a’ instead of a ‘g’), but it’s still fun to have a nicely played II-V-I chord progression. Will keep my busy for some time, until my fingers get used to the quite high string tension of those Fender┬« USA Bass 7250ML, NPS, (.045-.100 Gauges) roundwound strings (as listed on the instrument’s page).

So here’s my first attempt on it:

Oh, and to another problem I’ve had until a few minutes ago:

Couldn’t upload .ogg files, or .wav, the only file type which worked in the past was .mp3. Which seemed a bit strange for a free software package like WordPress, because if one of these formats isn’t a “free” one, then it’s .mp3. So I searched around for the error message on their site, and found this new plugin which isn’t integrated yet into the current 4.8 version of WordPress. “Lord of the Files: Enhanced Upload Security“, what a cool name! Of course I thanked the developers, and gave proper feedback (which is the least I could do)…

Anyway. As always, thanks for reading, viewing, and/or listening!