Ride This Train

Inspired by seeing Willie, Mike went home from the concert and wrote this tune. Friday night Mike played the tune for me and we recorded the acoustic rhythm and vocals. Then Mike said, “hey, it’s just like Good Hearted Woman”. Off to iTunes to find Good Hearted Woman. How many versions of Good Hearted Woman do you think there are? Well there are over 80 versions on sale on iTunes alone. So I suggested that Mike consider creating an all Good Hearted Woman double CD compilation from iTunes. If you get one from him for Christmas feel free to blame me. Go check out Willie’s version (Nelson or Boxcar) and then check out the Belligerent 86 version. I guarantee you will laugh when you hear those side by side. Inspired by Willie’s version I set out to create a similar overall feeling. The mandolin is such a happy sound juxtaposed to the rich tones of the Colling acoustic fills. Saturday morning I tracked the bass part. Sunday I tracked mandolin, percussion, and acoustic guitar fills. By Sunday night the tune’s tracks were complete. This is a rough mix with the fills up a bit higher than what the final mix will have. I’ve found that you can’t frown while playing mandolin. See if you can find the parallels between this tune and Willie’s Good Hearted Woman and drop me comments on what you discover.

Ride This Train

Quin McAdam – October 23 – Vocal Compression and Acoustic Guitars Added

To add some more character the vocal track I selected a compressor plug-in that emulates a vintage analog compressor. It adds a little bit of grind or distortion to the signal which has the effect of creating a bit more warmth in the vocal. Compressors bring out more of the sound between the notes as they amplify the lower volume points and reduce the volume on the peaks.

In this version the acoustic guitars have been replaced. Micing of the guitar is done with an Audio Technica 4041 and a Shure KSM32. The track is coming together now and is ready for a final mix down. I like to do that at a local studio where they have a number of speaker configurations including a big blaster.

Quin McAdam – Rough 6

Quin McAdam – October 11 – Add Mandolin

As per my last posting, I was looking for a mandolin to add to the track. My friend Ari was kind enough to lend me his mandolin last Wendesday in prepartion for Thursday’s session. Well, we never did get around to tracking mandolin on Thursday. Instead we replaced the scratch vocal track. Now the acoustic guitar track had to be pulled from the mix as it has bleed in from the scratch vocal. Replacing the acoustic guitar track is a task for the next session.

Now that I had a mandolin it was time to learn how to play it. So, off to YouTube where I found this helpful video…

I printed out the chords from the related web site and found a few formation that would work. Ari’s mandolin worked pretty well but didn’t ring quite like the one in the lesson video so off to the music store I went. This is where my Gear Aquisition Syndrome kicks in. I noticed on videos that some people where playing old 1924 Gibson F-5  ($225,000) and Collings (still crazy expensive) and Eastman (hey, not too expensive). The music store I went to had a full line of Eastman mandolins. I found the one I thought sounded best and made note of it. Later that evening it was off to eBay to check on used ones. I found that these mandolins held their value pretty well, are hand made in China, and with shipping it was better for me to buy one locally than to try to buy one used from eBay. The next day, Saturday October 11, this baby was part of the fold.

The thing about this mandolin is that it rings and rings. Sounds like a harp. It was about mid price in the line but it has that special something that you know is great the moment you pick it up and strum it. So that evening, after the kids were in bed and the house was quite I tracked a rhythm track and a track of fills. The mix here as the mandolin up higher than it will be in order to feature it more.

Quin McAdam – Rough 5