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Recofrding At The Tsunami...


Jim brought his recording equipment to the Tsunami last night, and recorded basically everybody who played. Of mine, he got “The Resurrection Blues†(the new one), and (because people requested them) “Pole Dancing for Jesus†and (after Jane arrived with her fiddle) “Can I Have Your Car When the Rapture Comes?†and “The Abomination Two-Step.â€

The recording setup was simply one of those fancy omnidirectional mikes in the center of the room, wired into Jim’s mixer and computer, so the sound is whatever the sound was. I am curious to see how it turned out. Jim’s recordings in his shop tend to be a little heavy on the guitar and light on the vocals (the opposite of what I’ve learned to do), but in this case he didn’t have any control over that. Everybody was amplified, but the bass, harmonica and my guitar were being played through their own amps; fiddle, vocals and everything else were through the main PA system, but the big overhead speakers were projecting out into the bar, not at the omnidirectional mike. We’ll see.

Jim would like to produce a “Live at the Tsunami†CD, and that may be possible (got to watch out for those cover songs, though—most of the musicians there, like most musicians everywhere, are doing covers, and if you’re going to put those on a CD that’s for sale, the authors are supposed to be paid their 9.1 cents per song per record manufactured, and it’s a bit of a pain if you don’t know the authors). That probably means I don’t get to have the recordings of my songs for me to sell as part of the Song-a-Month Experiment, which is too bad—assuming the recordings came out decent, of course.

Could I do something like that myself? Not easily; the musical talent at the Tsunami is mostly great, but I doubt I could have recorded in a situation like that. (I did try it once: the original recording of “Me and Rufus, and Burning Down the House†was done live, at the library, with maybe half a dozen musicians playing—all in a line—and I recorded it all with my singing mike on the Tascam. And the quality was pretty poor. I ended up re-recording the song solo for the video.)

Might could try it at the Rapture Room, using Michael and Sedona’s mikes in lieu of an omnidirectional to pick up sound from the room (their mikes are better at that), and my singing mike for the vocals, and run all that through the 5-channel mixer. I don’t know if the mixer can simultaneously feed both an amp and the Tascam, and there may be no way to tell without trying it.

Video thought: if “The Resurrection Blues†is a “keeper†(and it seems to be), then one should on principle try to make a video of it, as well as recording it. Envision: bearded youngish fellow standing alternately inside and just outside a primitive tomb, that’s empty inside except for the stone platform he was obviously sleeping on. He’s wearing a robe and lip-synchs the song with and without a guitar. And in the breaks? Doesn’t the Bible talk about a “band of angels� That would be cool…

Of course, not having any money for that kind of videography, the question becomes what can I do that would be appropriate (using the term “appropriate†loosely, of course) and affordably possible. I do know some actors, and I bet some of them would have access to some choir-type robes. Need to get a good recording of the song first. I don’t know if last night’s is it.



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