I just realized I never posted this video here. It’s a song I recorded with Morgan Lindenschmidt a few months ago, from her upcoming EP.
This recording was done at Halo studios in Windham. It’s a simple recording using an AKG 414 for vocals, a pair of Coles ribbon mics on the guitar, a couple of Microtech Gefell room mics, and a direct line out from the guitar. All live, no overdubs, no edits, one take.
The latest song released by Morgan Lindenschmidt, Wooden Overcoat, is up on Youtube:
It’s another very interesting song…. still recorded live (in a living room) in one take with no overdubs, but this time with electric guitar rather than acoustic. The vocals are mixed more forward than I usually like, but the intimacy of this song called for it I think. I definitely recommend checking out this very promising young artist as she continues to grow and evolve.
I just returned home from Harper Meader‘s CD release party for Sweet Insomnia. Congrats to Harper for his first full-length CD! Doing his EP Honey was fun, but this album is even better. The party was great, getting a chance to hear a few sets of Harper’s music.
It’s always a treat to record in Ironwood Hollow, it’s such an interesting room. Havamal is probably my favorite track from the album:
This song, like all the songs on the album, was recorded in Ironwood Hollow. I set up Harper with his acoustic guitar and we recorded both at the same time as a basic track. I set him up between 4 RealTraps MiniGobos seated with his guitar. I used 3 close microphones, all 3 of which are figure 8 mics. This allows me to use the null points of the figure 8 mics to my advantage, to maximize the side null rejection patter those mics have. 2 mics were ribbons to give a gorgeous stereo picture of the guitar, with nice space up the middle for the vocals. I used a tube condenser mic in fig-8 for Harper’s vocals this time, and it’s a beautiful match for Harper’s voice.
I also recorded stereo room mics, about 20′ away from Harper, pointing at him. Ironwood Hollow is a big room so it sounds nice, and these mics captured the room.
Track 6 was a direct out from Harper’s Martin guitar, when he recorded songs with that. It’s his main guitar but he also uses a Yamaha without a pickup for some of the songs.
These 6 tracks are the foundation of the album for all the songs. Some of them, that’s what the song is. Other songs had some overdubs.
Havamal first had a hammered dulcimer overdub. This is a beautiful instrument, not unlike the internals of a piano, but rather than piano keys you just hit the strings manually with hammers. I recorded this with a cardioid large diaphragm condenser microphone about 4′ over head.
Next was the shaker part. Harper had a few percussion instruments, but I saw him get a twinkle in his eye…. “Wait a second. I have an idea…..”
While I was adjusting the microphone, he came back with a mead horn filled with some barley. This was the shaker. I can’t remember what I recorded it with, probably the same large diaphragm condenser I used for the hammered dulcimer.
These tracks came out beautifully, only requiring a bit of EQ and some volume rides to get them to sit right in the mix. But we weren’t done with this. We had one more on location recording to do, to really fill out the meaning of the song Havamal.
â€œHavamalâ€ means â€œwords of the high one,â€ Meaning the Norse god Odin. It is a collection of verses included in The Poetic Edda, purporting to be wise counsel from Odin himself. It includes the famous passage about how he hung on the World Tree for nine nights in his quest for wisdom, which came to him in the form of the runes.
I have a battered old copy of that work, much underlined and dog-eared, marking where, at one time in my life or another, particular lines touched me. Recently I started singing one section while playing an odd chord on the guitar, and the rest of it just followed along in short order. The song is made of paraphrased bits of many of my favorite lines, enshrining the values of friendship, honor, family, bravery, and respect.
The chorus of this song, “Pass the horn from hand to hand/Pass it along from friend to friend,” evokes images of campfires and drinking horns filled with mead. So of course the backing vocals had to be recorded outside, around a campfire, with the mead horn passing around. The men present sang the backing vocals.
Right at the end of the song, you can hear the voice of our friend Matt Dyer, who has quite a story to tell about his encounter with a polar bear in Canada. He has pretty much completely recovered, except his voice isn’t the same as it was. Did I mention the polar bear dragged Matt out of his tent by his neck, having basically Matt’s entire head in its jaws? It was really a blessing to add Matt’s polar bear voice to this song.
I recorded these voices around the fire with my portable Zoom recorder while we listened to a reference mp3 played through someone’s iPhone, and then imported the resulting tracks for the mix.
This mix came together quite quickly, despite it having the most tracks on the entire album. And it is without a doubt my favorite track. All the songs are very well crafted. This CD is worth a listen. Get one while you can. He also has mp3s available, so head on over to his site.
This is a new song published to youtube that I recorded and mixed. I’m not biased at all, nope not even a little bit, when I say that Morgan Lindenschmidt is a very interesting young artist.
This recording was a pleasure. It was a simple as it gets, a good performance in a great room, all played live, no overdubs. Her guitar is a very small bodied guitar so capturing it was a challenge. Overall I’m very happy with the sonic result.
After a long, long time of production I’m happy to make these 3 songs from my old band, Freakwitch, available.
These recordings began in 2010 when we recorded basic tracks at Jonathan Wyman‘s studio. As always he did a great job getting us set up with fantastic drum and bass sounds, and even a few guitar keepers. From there we started overdubbing to the basic tracks, slowly over time, with me doing all the subsequent engineering. Most of the overdubs were guitars, acoustic and electric, and vocals. Finally, we started mixing in 2013 and finished up the last mixes recently. Mastering was a collaboration between Chad Boyer and myself.
My good friend Harper Meader is an interesting guy. I learned to make mead from him. He built his own cordwood masonry home by hand. Turns out, he’s also a musician and a songwriter. After he had a particularly inspirational year he’d been writing a lot more songs, and wanted some help recording them.
I was happy to oblige. I’ve been wanting to record in Ironwood Hollow — the space he built by hand — because it has wonderful acoustics. It’s a good sized room with tall ceilings, no parallel surfaces, and remains the best mead hall I know.
Anyway, Harper had his songs well-arranged, polished, practiced, and even a few harmony and lead guitar lines. The result is a very fine debut EP. Check it out. You can even get a copy of the CD from Harper.
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by James Lindenschmidt for Crafted Recordings.
Last summer I had the pleasure of recording Dark Follies, an award winning vaudeville style variety show based in Portland, Maine. Â Family friendly while still keeping an edge, Dark Follies Â featuresÂ the live music of the Dark Follies Rhythm Orchestra, dancing, juggling, side show acts, fire performers and more.
This session was over a year ago…. and the best news is, I’m going to record them again very soon. This time I’ll have a larger room, and my new mobile rig with my mic collection. To say that I’m looking forward to the next session is an understatement!
For the first session last year, the instrumentation was very interesting: violin, accordion, nylon string guitar, and 4 percussionists. We ended up booking an afternoon at Peapod Recordings to have a nice quiet spot to record, and they were well-practiced. We recorded all 4 songs in the same session, and the mixing was finished within another couple of weeks.
For this session I took advantage of having several ribbon mics available to me, utilizing both their old-school sound and their off-axis rejection properties to record the entire ensemble in one small room.
We recorded 4 songs that day: Uskadar, Rast Kars Lama, Jovano Jovanka, and Dobriden.
I will also have some audio samples as well, though you can hear some of the recordings I’ve done on Dark Follies and Harper Meader’s sites above. More samples (from Freakwitch) will be coming up soon.