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Jim Besser

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Everything posted by Jim Besser

  1. For quick and easy recordings, a portable MP3 recorder will do the job nicely. I've recorded a lot with a Zoom H4n, on a mic stand, about 18 inches from the center of the instrument. When I do this, I record in MP3 format, import the file into Audacity and clean it up. For recording solo with higher quality sound, I use 2 SM57 mics on short stands, on either side of the instrument, feeding a Scarlett 2i2 USB interface to my Mac. I've used both Garageband, a Mac-only app, and Audacity, a multi platform program. Good results with both, but I prefer Garageband, especially for overdubbing. I record in stereo, but generally mix down to mono; the sound of the music flipping from side to side seems to annoy people. For quick and dirty recordings - like when I'm trying something new and want to see how it sounds - I sometimes use a single SM57 pointed at the center, but you lose a lot of signal. I have a pair of excellent condenser mics that I use for live sound, but they seem like overkill for this application, and I don't like leaving them out where they can knocked over by the dogs or the grandkid. At band rehearsals, I've used my iphone when I've forgotten the Zoom, but the sound is pretty muddled (but i play in a very loud band, so others may have different experiences).
  2. I've had one for 4 or 5 years and love it. Here's a sample of how I use it - mulitracked with a standard anglo.
  3. Ha ....the last thing I need is a concertina amplifier. No doubt one factor in my hearing loss is playing a very loud concertina without ear protection for many years. The audiologist was not impressed with my behavior.
  4. Actually, I do that...the 'concertina setting' is off.
  5. After a lot of experimentation, I have concluded that taking them out when playing is the only reasonable solution. For me, that's not a problem when I'm practicing, or at band practice; it's a much bigger problem when the Morris boys are at the pub and I'm called on to play....without hearing aids, I'm in big trouble in crowded, noisy pubs. The best solution in those cases: I use the bluetooth app on my phone to turn them off.
  6. Still messing around with overdubbing - and with playing familiar Morris dance tunes out of context. Here's one of my favorites: Idbury hill. Played on a GD Jeffries Anglo and CG Morse baritone. https://soundcloud.com/concertinist/idbury-hill-overdubbed
  7. I assume it's because most good concertinas reside in blocked cases that keep the bellows firmly closed.
  8. An old English tune of unclear provenance, played on a 30 key Lachenal CG Anglo
  9. YEah, that's what we use. And I think there's a short segment of a third tune somewhere in there. But we haven't done it in a few years, and memory is fading. Ah, here's a video of us doing it. We only dance 1 sword dance each year, and basically practice it on the day of the dance out
  10. Great stuff, as always, Robin. I always enjoy playing for Ampleforth, but we use a slightly different set of tunes.
  11. I don't remember, but I think we talked about it when we met at the Squeeze In in 97 or 98. The year we did a NESI gathering of rec.music.makers.squeezebox participants.
  12. Ha; I stole this back in the. rec.music.makers.squeezebox days and forgot about it. But I think I need to use it again, although not here, since it's clearly your trademark.
  13. Unfortunately, can't do 3 PM - we have grandparent duty. GEnerally free noon-3 PM EST on weekdays.
  14. Me too. I do JK regularly with David, and play mostly the same stuff.
  15. Yes, JamKazam is improving rapidly, and we're learning to navigate its non intuitive settings. I am wondering about the maximum number of players on a JK session; my experience has been that each additional participant adds a degree of instability. Zoom sessions are nice as social gatherings but unfulfilling musically.
  16. I've been using it for a week or so, with mostly positive results. But I am finding some odd behaviors, the strangest being this: laying down a click track and playing along, I'm getting periodic latency, generally in the middle of a tune. To test this, I created a slow click track - something like 50 BPM - and recorded just a simple scale, being very careful to be spot on with the track. Playing it back, I was on at the beginning and end, but in the middle, there was a noticeable latency. But when I record 2 tracks of music, things seem pretty much in sync. Here's something I did this week using Soundtrap. Mostly it seems together; whatever latency there is could be because of the DAW, or because the baritone concertina is slightly slower to respond than my Jeffries. I'm just beginning to play around with this, but it seems very promising. I'm sure all this is stuff I could do with a non-Web DAW, but I'm interested in making music, not climbing steep tech learning curves.
  17. Another quarantine project: learning overdubbing. Currently playing with the web-based Soundtrap, which seems to work OK, except that there is no adjustment to compensate for latency. It's not a major problem, but it's noticeable. Has anybody on c.net worked with Soundtrap and figured out how to reduce latency? Tune: Y Gelynnen, a catchy little Welsh tune. Instruments: Jeffries GD Anglo, Morse CG baritone Anglo.
  18. With all gigs canceled well into 2021, I've been a little unfocused - impending gigs and the fear of failure are great incentives to effective practice. Partially as a response to that, I've created a decent recording setup and am using recording as a practice tool, and learning to overdub, mostly to improve my accompaniment skills. I've been doing a couple of weekly virtual sessions - on on Zoom, with great friends but frustrating because of the limitations of Zoom, one on JamKazam, which is starting to look like a usable platform for realtime jamming. Still playing an eclectic mix of stuff with Randy Stein when we can find the time, and trying out some new genres - a little Riccardo Tesi, a little Remi Geffroy, etc. Doing weekly Zoom Morris practice, but mostly that means playing for jigs, or fragments of dances while the guys work out trouble areas. We've done a few in-person, outdoor, socially distanced practices, which were great, but the onset of cold weather will put an end to that. ANd yesterday played for an outdoor, masked filming of the Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance for the Washington Revels. BUt I miss my bandmates and session friends and Morris ales and the pub. -
  19. Very cool sounding instrument and great playing! Welcome back.
  20. I bought my Jeffries GD from Barleycorn. It was a sight-unseen purchase, and the instrument is everything I hoped for. So from my vantage point Barleycorn is an invaluable resource for the concertina community.
  21. Principessa, by Maurizio Martinotti. Definitely plan to spend some time figuring out more things to do with it on 30 button Anglo; the version I heard was on melodeon, and I can't replicate the chording. Played on a Jeffries GD Anglo.
  22. FOund this interesting jig on the Facebook page Tunesday Tuesdays. Played it fast, at contra dance speed, but decided it sounded better slow.
  23. Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia is primarily an accordion dealer, and in that capacity they have an excellent reputation. As far as concertinas go, I believe they handle mostly entry level instruments - mostly Stagis. For that type of instrument, I'd be more inclined to buy from the Button Box (buttonbox.com) because they make sure these cheaper instruments are as good as possible; I do not know what Liberty does.
  24. Peaceful coexistence between Anglo and English concertinas. Tune is Seul ce Soir, by R. Noel, J. Casanova and P. Durand Played by 2ManyButtons - Randy Stein on Wheatstone English concertina, Jim Besser on Lachenal/Dipper .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnPJwbojZPw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3jpLboCGISHnlvf5JSdsK8QXEgl2OeQh_ZEvMf172Z-9Q4gVbwrjja-8E
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