Recording Progress

For the past fortnight or so I have been recording my multi-movement work for guitar orchestra (technically, a guitar octet with bass guitar). This will be released commercially at some point in September. It is a pretty big undertaking – the entire work runs at around 30 minutes, so I suppose you could call this an album’s worth of material. Except albums don’t usually involve hundreds of different time signatures. Unless you are in a math rock band.

The first movement is completely tracked, and I am currently working through movement II. It is quite a challenging project, because it is rhythmically very complex, and recording demands that the result be absolutely precise, and so there have been plenty of punch-ins and small edits to make everything extremely tight. It is also being recorded using slightly unconventional equipment.

I am using a Thermionic Culture Rooster preamp in conjunction with a Mojave Audio MA200 mic – so an all-valve signal path. Generally, people opt for more neutral preamps when recording classical guitar, but when I A/B’ed the Rooster against my Orpheus preamps, I immediately gravitated towards the larger-than-life, valve sound, and it appears to have paid off so far: everything sounds punchy, clear and slightly ’rounded’, like analogue tape, which is always a good thing in my book.

I have yet to decide on what formats in which I’m going to offer the finished product – the audiophile in me would like to supply people with a 24 bit, 96kHz version, as well as the standard 44.1, Mp3 VBR and all the rest of it, but that will probably come after the initial release. It will initially be download only and is going to be priced slightly cheaper than an album, and there will be probably be nice artwork and things too.

More to come later.

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