Take Five backing track, version 3

Thanks to some help from finotti in the LinuxMusicians forum (and I didn’t even really ask for it, so I’m extra thankful), I’ve got my commercial xln audio Addictive Keys grand piano working in Ardour as well. And while Zuleikha was testing the sounds with my midi keyboard, I made a screenshot:

Screenshot from 2017-04-28 18:49:12

I’ve loaded the virtual instrument into Carla Patchbay, and after some manual configuration to hear the output, I could use the combination as an instrument within Ardour (which is still my favourite DAW (digital audio workstation) on Linux).

In the screenshot you see Ardour with the loaded “Take Five” song again, and I mixed that via Jamin into Audacity. The acoustic bass and the drum tracks both come via the Calf Fluidsynth and its included GM (general midi) soundfont. In the master track I also used a Calf Limiter; EQ and a bit of compression came from Jamin. The .wav file was then leveled to -23dB LUFS in Ardour, and with Audacity I converted it to an MP3 file again which you can listen to here:

This time I wanted a somewhat more warm and intimate sound, and the “Jazzish” preset of xln’s Studio Grand gave me exactly that.

That Steinway really sounds good, it’s the best piano we have in the house. But the Salamander Grand Piano V3, a Yamaha C5 recorded by Alexander Holm isn’t too far off – and it’s free.

Find many more tools for Linux music production on LibreMusicProduction if you like.

And like always, thanks for reading.

See what you can do with Ardour

Saw that cool video:

And remember, this orchestral sample library is loaded to the free Kontakt player for Windows, but together with Wine and Carla, it obviously works very nice within a free DAW in Linux as well.

Not everything will work tho – forget anything with dongles or other “security” hindrances. In that case, take really free (as in speech) things instead.

See also the German Howto about using Carla here. Thanks Felipe for this wonderful tool!

Take Five backing track, version2

I’ve made this today:


Done with a nice commercial sample package from XLN audio called “Addictive Keys Studio Grand” – but on Linux (it’s a Windows version, you can also get it for Macs).

And this is how it sounds:

I wanted it to sound like recorded in some cellar hall, but didn’t use fancy stuff like a Klangfalter reverb yet. Just a Limiter on the master bus, and leveled to -23LUFS.

Anyway – I like the piano. It’s a Steinway Grand, recorded somewhere in Sweden.

Thanks for reading (and listening).

Good one…

Just stumbled over this one. It’s Katharine McPhee, and yes, if you like TV shows, she’s also the actress from “Scorpion”:


Bill Laurance again

Here’s a complete concert, duration 1:44:48, filmed by an amateur (as he calls himself), but with good enough equipment to make it worthwhile:

Cam 1: Nikon D5300 w/Nikkor 18-300mm Lens
Cam 2: Nikon D5100 w/Sigma 17-50mm Lens
Audio: Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro(on camera) SBD Matrix } Zoom H6 w/X/Y Capsule(on stage) + Studio Projects LSD2(Blumlein on stage)

It’s black & white & so cool:

I also really liked Jamison Ross on drums on this one. Never seen him before, but what a cool cat he is! Oh, and don’t get me started on that Nord Stage piano – definitely the thing to take with you in case there isn’t a real one on stage already…


Piano lessons by Aimee Nolte

Well I have to feature someone else again – and like so many times lately, found her on Youtube. So here’s her channel, her playlists, and her homepage.

Aimee is a mother of four, and most of her videos are pretty much advanced stuff – not your typical beginner lessons. But these are definitely fun, so let me give you a short example here:

You have cool stuff like this, and it goes on for hours. Easy to recommend this, especially if you like jazzy tunes (but she also covers simpler stuff at times, like for instance Adele). I find some of her stuff incredibly inspiring and useful – and I’m not even a pianist.


Classical Guitar Lessons by Bradford Werner

I found a really good guitar teacher on Youtube. His name is Bradford Werner, and he is from BC, Canada. Here is for instance his lesson about Tárrega’s “Adelita” which I showed you played by a real master in my last blog post:

This is like lesson 79 of his series, and there are far more important ones for the beginner, so if you’re interested in exploring or learning classical guitar, make sure to look at his complete Classical Guitar Lessons stream.

He also shows useful tips from other guitarists in there, in fact his whole Youtube channel is worth subscribing to, as well as having a look onto his web page.

On his lessons page, he got the order mixed up a bit, in my opinion his lesson 3 should be watched *before* his lesson 2, but otherwise this is very recommendable. What he teaches in a 15 minute video would take a whole 45 minute lesson with a real teacher – still a real teacher makes sense of course in case you are taking this seriously.

But this is fun to watch – Zuleikha laughed about his “crab” hand demonstration for instance. Bradford seems to be a very good teacher, so I recommend watching him.


Enrique Granados y Campiña

A wonderful piece of his, this Danzas Españolas Op. 37 – No. II Oriental:

The artists are Duo Françaix – Isabella Selder and Eliška Lenhartová, more about the composer on the English and German Wikipedia pages about him. You can also find free scores for 2 guitars and the original one for piano. Oh, and the video was recorded at Siccas Guitars, Karlsruhe, Germany. They also have nice tutorials on Youtube, like the ones with Matthew McAllister for instance.


P.S.: here is the original piano version, played by the composer himself – and recorded on a piano roll:

A sad story with him. Returning from a visit to the US (they were invited by the president), a German submarine shot the channel ferry between England and France. He was on the safe half of the boat, but his wife wasn’t. So he tried to save her – and they both drowned. What a tragic loss. I love this piece.

Some first impressions

Yesterday we were at the biggest local music store for a while. Zuleikha played some electric and acoustic pianos and bought some scores. And I took some hands-on first impressions of some instruments. What I found nice was:

Yamaha CG192S

Yamaha CG192S Classical Guitar

Ibanez SRH500F Fretless Bass

Ibanez SRH500F Fretless Bass

This one is awesome. Listen to it here, in 4- and 5-string versions:

In the studio department, we saw both my microphone and also my interface for it – but there, the most impressive experience for me was to listen to some active nearfield monitors:

Yamaha HS8 Powered Studio Monitors

Yamaha HS8 Powered Studio Monitor

Interesting – all Japanese products. Oh, and the Kawai and Yamaha acoustic (upright) pianos were also very nice.

As always, thanks for reading.