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Voyager Recordings & Publications
TECHNICAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE RECORDINGS
Our recordings were made under conditions ranging from real "field recordings" literally done in a field with battery operated reel to reel and cassette recorders, to recordings made in our analog and digital facilities and recording studios of others. It is our desire to present the artists and their music using the best technical resources available. Sometimes these resources are somewhat primitive, but are all that was available at the time. For us, it is better to get the music and the performance recorded on anything that works than not to have it recorded at all. The music always comes first. This technical discussion is to share our recording experience with others who may be recording this type of music. We are always interested in hearing about recording methods that could help us, and others doing recordings of traditional music, to improve the results.
Most of our earlier productions were recorded "live" to two-track stereo. The early field recordings were made with Ampex 960 and Viking 85 stereo recorders, sometimes in stereo and often monaural, and Uher 4100 and Tandberg monaural battery operated recorders. Later field recordings were made with a Uher 4400 stereo tape recorder, Sony 770 stereo battery operated recorder, and Sony TCD-5 and Walkman 6cassette recorders. Concerts and shows were recorded mostly on Magnecord 1028 and Revox HS77 and A77 recorders. Studio recordings were made on Magnecord 1028, Magnecord 1022, Ampex 300-4, 350-2, 351-2, 354, Otari 5050B, and Tascam 80-8 tape recorders; Tascam D30 MkII, and Panasonic SV3700 DAT recorders; ADAT 16 bit and 20 bit multitrack digital recorders, and direct to PC computer. Later recordings in our studio were made routing the mike preamps to a Steinberg UR824 interface to a PC with Cubase 7.5.
The microphone technique most often used in stereo field recording has been coincident ("X/Y") stereo, or spaced pair stereo, using a pair of battery operated Nakamichi CM300 or Sony C37FET condenser mikes. Many studio recordings were made using two mikes, usually Sony C37FET or AKG EB414, in either coincident stereo configuration, or separated about 4 feet, or on a "stereo head." Some productions used a basic two-mike stereo setup, with additional accent mikes for better balance control mixed in live. Studio recordings made after 1980 often were done using individual mikes to a multi-track recorder, mixed to stereo. Lately, fiddle and string band recordings in our studio have been made by seating the band in a semi-circle in front of acoustic baffling with an M/S stereo array positioned about 5' in front of the band. Sound reflecting baffles are employed to the sides of the M/S array to adjust room acoustics for the room ambience desired. If a bass is used, it is put in a baffled enclosure such that the player can see and hear the rest of the players over the top of the baffling. Accent mikes are then positioned for each instrument and the M/S stereo and accent mikes are all run to separate channels of the digital multi-track recorder. The mix is then based on the M/S stereo, with accent mikes added to the mix as desired for balance or increased presence of the particular instrument.
Mikes used have been what has been available. This has ranged from early dynamic mikes made by Electrovoice, Shure, and others, to studio condenser mikes from Neumann, AKG, Audio Technica, Sanken, Sony, Marshall, Octava, and others. Over the years we have used ribbon mikes a lot for fiddle, especially the RCA 77DX, RCA 44, B & O, Shure "Uniron," and Beyer M160 and M500 ribbons. Also have used the B & 0 stereo ribbon, B & 0 ribbon, and a B & 0 ribbon mike re-ribboned with an RCA 44BX ribbon, Audio Technica AT4060, AKG C414EB, Marshall XLM2001P, Octava MK012, and Neumann TLM170. Mikes most often used for recording guitar have been the Sony C37FET, Neumann U87, Sennheiser 441, AKG 414, and, recently, the Neumann TLM170, KM184, Sanken CU31, AKG C3000 and C1000, Marshall 603 Mogami Edition, and Electrovoice N/D767. Banjo has generally been recorded with a Sony C37FET, AKG C414EB, Neumann TLM170 or KM184, and AKG C3000. Bass recordings have used EV 666, AKG C414EB, EV RE20, Shure SM58, Sanken CU31, AKG C1000, Neumann KM184, and Fishman pickup. Piano recordings have been made mostly with Sennheiser 421's, Crown and modified Radio Shack PZMs, and Shure Uniron ribbons.
We have used signal processing sparingly. All of the fiddle productions, except those done recently,have not used any artificial reverb or compression. I have added a very small amount of reverb on the fiddles with Universal Audios Plate 140 reverb in Cubase. Equalization has been used over the years to bring up the level of instruments in field recordings that were somewhat "off-mike," and to make the recording sound more like the instrument being recorded. We prefer using no signal processing whatever in recordings made in our studio, but will use it if it really will improve the "naturalness" of the recording or help eliminate a problem with room acoustics or a particular instrument. We strive to select microphones and position them and the players in the room so as to record the natural sound of the instruments without equalization. We use sound control baffles either to liven the room or deaden it, depending on the amount of room ambience we want, rather than using artificial reverb. We use no overall mix compression to preserve the full dynamic range of the recording, but from time to time may use some compression on acoustic guitar and bass to minimize guitar "buzzing" from improper setup and even out the sound of the string bass. This results in recordings which may not have the apparent volume of more commercial releases, but preserve the life and sound of the performance.
Technical information cannot be remembered for all our productions, and is listed here to the best of our memory and/or written records.
CD 301 Fiddle Jam Sessions
The selections on this CD all were recorded in the field. The earliest were recorded in Missoula, MT, in 1964 at jam sessions around the Missoula National Fiddle Contest. Most of these cuts were recorded in the bar of the Palace Hotel using a Viking 85 recorder and EV 664 mike. Recordings made around the National Oldtime Fiddle Contest at Weiser, ID, were done in the mid-60's on an Ampex 960 recorder using EV 664, Shure SM57, and AKG D202 dynamic mikes, and Sony C38 or C37FET condenser mikes. Later Weiser recordings were made with Uher 4000S and 4400, and Tandberg battery operated tape recorders with Uher and Nakamichi CM300 mikes. Many of the jam sessions recorded with the Uher were done with the recorder on a shoulder strap and the mike in the hand. The original field tapes were edited and prepared for Lp manufacture on Magnecord 1028 and 1022 recorders using an Ampex MX-10 mixer. The basic recording technique was to mike the fiddle and let the backup "take care of itself." Later, in preparing for release, we used a Blonder Tongue "Audio Baton" graphic equalizer (one of the first generally available) to boost the lower frequencies and bring up the level of the guitar backup. Later we used a Soundcraftsman graphic equalizer for this purpose. The field recordings were made by Phil & Vivian Williams and Richard Ponshock. The digital mastering from the original production tape masters was done by Phil Williams using an Otari 5050B recorder, PC computer with Digital Audio Labs CardDPlus, Sound Forge, Samplitude CD, Tascam DA30 MkII DAT, and HP 4020i CD burner.
CD 302 Comin' Round the Mountain
The selections from the two concerts in Seattle likely were recorded on either an Ampex 960 or a Magnecord 1028 1/2 track stereo tape recorder at 7.5 ips. The Ampex was our primary recorder from the mid to late 1960's, when we got the Magnecord. The earliest field recordings, such as those of Henry Vanoy made by us, and of Fred McFalls and Ben Bryson, were recorded on a Magnecord PT6 1/2 track monaural tape recorder we used since the mid-1950's. The selections of Caudill and Vanoy were recorded by Mr. Caudill on an early 1960's consumer tape recorder, probably using the dynamic hi-Z microphone that usually came packaged with these recorders. Later field recordings were made with the Ampex 960, and perhaps a Viking 85 tape recorder. I am not sure what microphones we used back then, but know they were dynamic mikes commonly available. The primary mikes for the concert recordings were Sony C37FET large diaphragm condensers to an Ampex AM10 or MX10 stereo mixer. The CD was made from the master tape used for the initial Lp release in 1969, and the additional material came from the original field recording or concert tapes. Tapes were transferred to computer using an Otari 5050B tape recorder, Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe, to our PC computer used for archiving, using Cool Edit Pro. The computer files were transferred to our main studio PC computer and the CD prepared using Adobe Audition 1.5 and Sound Forge 8. The CD master was prepared using Nero software and a TDK CD burner at 12x. CDs were made in our facility using a Vintech CD duplicator with Plextor commercial drives and Taiyo Yuden CDRs at 12x.
CD 303 Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers: A Corn Licker Still in Georgia
Transferred from 78's with Empire turntable, Pickering pickup, Scott 121C preamp with dynaural suppression, to Magnecord 1028 recorder. Digital mastering and noise reduction done on PC computer by Murray Pleasance using DAL CardDPlus, and Sound Forge. Transferred to DAT on Tascam DA30 MKII. CD master made with Samplitude CD ("Red Roaster") and HP 4020i.
CS 306 Joe Pancerzewski: The Fiddling Engineer
Selections using piano were recorded on an upright piano owned by Toddi Yee in her house up the street from the Williams by Phil Williams using a Magnecord 1028 recorder, Sony C-37 FET mikes, Ampex AM-10 mixer. The selections using string band backup were recorded in the Williams' living room using the same equipment as above, but with two C37FET mikes in "spaced stereo" configuration, about 5' apart, with the band playing "in the round" and the upright bass between the two mikes. Remastered for cassette from the original session tapes using Otari 5050B recorder for playback directly to Tascam DA30 MkII DAT, PC computer, DAL CardD Plus, The Editor.
CD and CS 309 Benny and Jerry Thomasson: The Weiser Reunion
Recorded in a field at Weiser, ID, by Brooks Otis on a Sony 770 battery operated recorder, EV 666 mike. The selections were copied from the 770 to a Magnecord 1028 recorder, and the tape master for the original Lp release was assembled from the copy in the order in which they were recorded. Mastered for cassette production from original production master tape with Otari 5050B for tape playback, PC computer, DAL CardD Plus, The Editor, to Tascam DA30 MkII DAT.
The CD version was made by transferring the original reel-to-reel masters to DAT using a Digitech VPT-1 vacuum tube preamp and 18 bit A/D converter connected digitally to a Tascam DA30 MKII Dat recorder. The monaural signal was split from the reel-to-reel recorder and run through both channels of a Nikko Graphic Equalizer. The low end (200 - 400 Hz) was boosted slightly on the left channel to bring up the level of Dale Thomasson's six-string guitar, which is nearly inaudible in the Lp and cassette releases. The midrange (2000 - 3000 Hz) was boosted slightly on the right channel to give more presence to the fiddle and tenor guitar. The DAT recording was transferred digitally to a PC using the Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and edited using Cool Edit Pro. The CD master was cut on an HP 6020 CD burner using Samplitude CD ("Red Roaster").
CS 310 Gerry Robichaud: Down East Fiddling
Recorded in a house in Wellesley, Massachusetts, by Mark Wilson and Frank Ferrel using equipment lent by Rounder. Recording data unknown to us. Cassette production master made from original tapes using Tascam DA30 Mk II DAT recorder.
CD 312 Grant Lamb: Tunes From Home
The tunes on this CD are from two recording sessions - one in 1974, and the other in 1978. The recordings were made in the William's dining room to probably an Ampex 350-2 using an Ampex AM-10 mixer. The piano used was a Devore upright, miked with a pair of Sennheiser 421 dynamic mikes. The top of the piano was removed, the mikes pointed inside at the treble and bass ends on boom stands, and the whole piano top, front, and back covered with quilts. The fiddle and guitar were miked with Sony C37FET condenser mikes. The bass probably was miked with a dynamic, such as a Shure SM58 or EV665. The recordings were transferred to a PC computer from the original master tapes using an Otari 5050B, Midiman "Flying Cow" AD converter; Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and Cool Edit Pro. The CDR for duplication was made using Adaptec's Easy CD Creator and a Memorex CD burner. The CDR was duplicated at a commercial duplication facility using Teac CD burners and a Mac G3 computer.
CD 314 Neil Johnston's Mixed Bag
This recording was made so long ago I can't remember exactly how it was done,
except that it was done directly to 2-track stereo, probably using the Magnecord
1028 tape machine we had at the time that could be carried around. Many of the
selections were recorded in Neil's living room at his house in Tenino, WA. At
the most, four mikes would have been used, and an Ampex AM10 four channel tube
mixer. Selections recorded at Voyager probably were done to an Ampex 350-2,
using the Ampex mixer. The live recordings probably also were recorded on the
Magnecord with a feed from the sound system, which we usually set up and ran
at these shows in this period.
CD 316 Barbara Lamb, Vivian Williams: Twin Sisters
Recorded in Williams' living room in stereo with a pair of Sony C-37FET mikes in "spaced pair" configuration about 5' apart to an Ampex AM-10 mixer and Ampex 350-2 recorder, Phil Williams, engineer. The band played "in the round." Digital master made from original master session tapes at Sage Arts, Granite Falls, WA, by Daniel Prothero using ProTools on a Macintosh computer, to a Sony DAT.
CD 317 Dudley Hill - Guitar: From a Northern Family
Recorded in Williams' living room in stereo with a pair of Sony C-37FET mikes in "spaced pair" configuration, plus a Shure SM58 "accent" mike in a foamy in the bass tailpiece, when the bass was used. An Ampex AM-10 mixer and 350-2 recorder were used. Unfortunately, a couple of the cuts with the bass have a little distortion as the person "pushing buttons" at the time could not hear the bass well in the headphones and so turned it up at the mixer! The CD was made from the original master tape using an Otari 5050B tape recorder, Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe, and Cool Edit Pro 2.0. The CD was made using TDK CD burners in a PC computer with Nero 5.5 burning software.
CD 322 Louis Boudreault: Old Time Fiddler of Chicoutimi, Quebec
Recorded at Grass Roots Studio, Portland, Oregon, by Michael O'Rouke, engineer, with Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard producing. Recording equipment used not known. Mastered for Lp release by Phil Williams on Ampex 350-2 and 354 recorders, Studiomaster 16 x 4 board. Mr. Boudreault knew that he was recording complex tunes and probably would make a mistake now and then. Instead of stopping when he hit a bad note, he simply repeated the entire section of the tune. He then told us what repeats had the bad notes. The production master was made by cutting out the repeats with the bad notes and splicing the tape back together. The production master had over 70 splices to make the performance nearly perfect. For the CD master, the analog production tape was transferred to a Tascam DA30 MkII DAT from an Otari 5050B tape recorder. The digital recording was transferred to computer using a DAL CardD Plus, remastered using Cool Edit Pro, and the CD master made with Samplitude CD to an HP6020i CD-R.
CD 323 Vivian Williams: Fiddler
All cuts not using piano were recorded in stereo using a pair of Sony C-37FET mikes mounted in a "stereo head" configuration (a Styrofoam head hat display with a wig and a cowboy hat on it, with the mikes mounted where the ears would be, in omni pattern) to a Revox HS77 recorder, Dolby "B" noise reduction, using an Ampex MX-10 mixer. The cuts with piano were recorded with the following mikes: fiddle - Beyer M160 ribbon; guitar - Sony C37FET condenser; piano - pair Nakamichi CM300 condenser; upright bass - AKG D202 dynamic, to an Ampex 300-4 recorder with dbx noise reduction. Mixed to an Ampex 350-2. CD master made from the Lp production master tape by Phil Williams using Otari 5050B playback recorder, Tascam DA30 MkII DAT, PC computer, DAL CardD Plus, The Editor Plus, Samplitude CD ("Red Roaster"), HP 4020i CD burner.
CD 325 Marc Savoy with Dewey Balfa and D.L. Menard: Made in Louisiana - Cajun Accordion Music
Recorded in Marc Savoy's home in Eunice, Louisiana, by John Watt on a Revox HS77 recorder using three AKG D190 mikes, mixed to stereo with a Sony mixer. CD made from original session analog tapes, transferred to Tascam DA30 MkII DAT from an Otari 5050B recorder, using a Digitech VTP-1 preamp with A/D conversion. Transferred to PC computer using DAL CardD Plus. Edited with Cool Edit Pro. CD master done with Samplitude CD to HP 6020 CD burner.
CD 328 Kenny Hall and the Long Haul String Band
Recorded in the Williams' dining room by Dave Huber to a Tascam 80-8 multitrack recorder with dbx noise reduction, using a modified Studiomaster board. Mikes used cannot be remembered, but probably included Sony C37FETs. Kenny wanted a real live sound, and so had the rug and furniture removed from the room, which had a wood floor. The band played along a long side of the room, seated as at a performance. A couple mikes were used to pick up sound reflecting from the floor. Mixed using the Studiomaster board to an Otari 5050 recorder. The CD was made from the original 2-track mix tape using an Otari 5050B for playback, Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe, Cool Edit Pro, and the master CD was made using Nero and a Lite-On burner. Issue disks were made on a Vintech CD duplicator using Plextor commercial drives.
CS 329 Frank Ferrel & Gilles Losier: Down East...Out West
Recorded in a building at Ft. Warden State Park, Pt. Townsend, WA, by David Miles Huber. Recording equipment using not known, but probably to a Revox HS77 recorder using Sony C37FET microphones. Mixed to Ampex 350-2 using a Studiomaster board. Digital master for cassette production done from original master tapes transferred from Otari 5050B recorder to Tascam DA30 Mk II DAT.
CD 331 Myllie Barron: Fiddler On the Loose
Recorded in the Williams' dining room (where the piano was located) by Dave Huber in 1982. Exact recording information for this production has been lost, but it undoubtedly was recorded on the Tascam 80-8 reel to reel recorder we were using at the time, with dbx noise reduction, running at 15 ips. The fiddle probably was miked with a Sony C-37fet, the piano with a pair of Sennheiser 421s pointing down into the upright piano from the treble and bass ends, with a heavy quilt over the piano top. The bass during this period usually was isolated to some extent by a surrounding enclosure made of many quilts. It probably was miked with an EV omnidirectional dynamic mike that Dave liked at the time for string bass. A Studiomaster 16x4 board, considerably modified with faster ICs, would have been used for both recording and mixing, and it would have been mixed to an Ampex 351-2. The CD was made from the original tape master using an Otari 5050 MkII for playback, Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe (24 bit A/D conversion), Cool Edit Pro, Nero 5.5 CD software, and TDK 24x CD-R recorder.
CD 332 Tall Timber: Encore!!
Recorded at Paul Speer's facility to his MCI 8 track 1" tape recorder. This production was done entirely by overdubbing, except for some of the harmony vocals. Paul was one of the early users in this area of SMPTE time code. After scratch tracks were recorded to a click track, this was all mixed down to one track. Neil Speer then recorded the drum tracks on one set of 1" tapes. The rest of the band was tracked on another set of 1" reels. Vivian's "Reel Medley" was recorded at Fisher Studios. When the project was ready to mix, Paul took the MCI recorder and SMPTE sychronizer to Steve Lawson Productions and transferred the two sets of 1" 8 channel tapes to a 24 track recorder. He mixed the production at Lawson's. I do not remember what equipment was used at Lawson's, nor what microphones and preamps were used in tracking. Both our regular standup bass and a Fender Precision fretless electric bass were used. On some selections Paul determined that a cleaner bass sound could be achieved by using the electric bass, which had flat wound, plastic covered strings. He made it sound like the acoustic bass by wrapping plastic foam around the strings in front of the bridge to dampen the sustain. Today I cannot determine which cuts used the acoustic and which the electric bass.
CD 333 Pat Spaeth, Vivian & Phil Williams: Starry Nights & Candlelight
Recorded in the Williams' dining room using a DeVore upright piano from the early 1900's. The piano was pulled about 2' from the wall, which was wooden wainscoting, and two Crown PZM microphones were mounted on a piece of plywood against the wall, spaced about 4' apart, and about 2 1/2' from the floor, centered on the back of the piano. The fiddle was miked with a Sony C37FET about 14" above the fingerboard, and the guitar (Martin 1949 D-28, heavy strings) was miked with a Sony C37FET about 8" above the end of the fretboard. The mandolin (Gibson, 1923 F-5) was miked with a Sony C37FET about 6" in front of the lower f-hole. The accordion was miked with a Sony C37FET about 12" in front. Recorded live to Tascam 80-8 with dbx noise reduction, except that the mandolin was dubbed in later in sections as the player had tendinitis too bad to play through the whole medley at once. Mixed to 2-track analog using a Studiomaster board to an Ampex 351-2 tape recorder.
Digital CD master made from the original Ampex tape master using an Otari 5050B tape recorder, PC computer with Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, Sound Forge, Samplitude CD, HP 6020i CD burner..
CD 334 Bob Simmons: Remembering
Recorded by David Miles Huber in the Voyager facilities to a Tascam 80-8 multitrack recorder with dbx noise reduction. Mikes and setup not known. Mixed to stereo onto an Otari 5050B recorder using a Studiomaster 16 x 4 board to make the cassette production master. For the CD, the original two track stereo mix tape was transferred to a PC computer using an Otari 5050B tape recorder, CardDeluxe audio card using 24 bit A/D conversion, Cool Edit Pro 2.0 using 32 bit floating point processing. After editing, the files were converted to 16 bit stereo and a master CDR was made using a Tascam CD burner and Nero burning software. The CDRs for release were made on the same system.
CD 336 Vivian Williams, Harley Bray, Phil Williams: Winter Moon
Recorded by David Miles Huber in the Voyager facilities to a Tascam 80-8 multitrack recorder with dbx noise reduction. Mikes - fiddle, RCA 77DX about 12" above the bridge; banjo (Gibson archtop), pair of Sony C37FETs in X-Y coincident stereo mount about 18" in front of bridge; guitar (1949 Martin D-28, heavy strings), AKG 414EB with diaphragm pointing up across the soundboard at the bottom edge of the lower bout; upright bass, EV 666 about 14" above top of treble "f" hole, bass in acoustic surround. Mixed to Otari 5050B with Studiomaster 16 x 4 board, AKG BX-10 reverb. CD mastered from analog reel-to-reel using Sony 1630 CD system.
CD 338 Original Fiddle Tunes by Vivian Williams
The selections on this CD were recorded from 1979 to 2016 under varous circumstances. Unfortunately, no recording records were kept for all but the latest recording. The selection featuring Terry Wergeland on the piano were recorded at Voyager's studio. The piano was miked off of the bottom of the soundboard with a pair of Shure Uniron ribbon mikes to an RMP preamp; the fiddle was miked in coincident stereo with a pair of Octava MK012 mikes with hypercardiod capsules about a 1.5 feet out pointed at the player's chin, to a Great River preamp; the guitar was miked in coincident stereo with a pair of Neumann KM184 mikes behind the bridge, to a Steinberg UR824 preamp. All were routed to Cubase on a PC computer using the Steinberg UR824 interface. Other selections were recorded under many different circumstances. Some were recorded with an AT825 stereo mike to a Sony cassette recorder on our sailboat. Some were miked in our living room with a pair of Sony C37FET mikes to an Ampex 350. This is about as much as I can remember
CD 340 Jim Herd: Old Time Ozark Fiddling]
Recorded by Phil Williams at the Taylor's campground at Weiser, ID, across from the school where the National Oldtime Fiddler's Contest is held, on a Sony TCD5 cassette recorder with metal tape using a pair of Nakamichi CM300 condenser mikes in stereo "spaced pair" configuration about 4' apart. Instruments used for backup were 1949 Martin D-28 with heavy strings, "Supertone" open back 5-string banjo, and Kay "M" series upright bass with metal strings. Transferred to Tascam DA30 MkII DAT through a Mackie 1604 board. The initial release cassette master was done on DAT by copying from the Tascam DAT to a Panasonic SV3700 DAT. For the CD release, selections from the DAT were transferred to a PC computer using Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus and Cool Edit Pro. A CD for duplication was made using Adaptec EasyCD Creator, Memorex CD burner. CDR production is done using a PC computer and Lite-On CD burner with Nero.
CD 341 Joe Pancerzewski: Legendary Northwest Fiddler
This CD was assembled from the reel-to-reel production master tapes for three of Mr. Pancerzewski's previous Lp releases. Most of the original analog recordings were made using Magnecord 1028 and Ampex 350-2 recorders, Ampex mixers, and mostly Sony C37fet mikes. The recordings after the initial Lp were made in the Williams' dining room using their DeVore upright piano (Chicago, early 1900's). The piano on earlier cuts was miked with a paid of Sennhiser 421s in each end of the top, with a quilt draped over the mikes and piano, and the fiddle with an RCA 77DX ribbon mike about 12" above the bridge. The guitar probably was miked with a Sony C37FET about 6" in front of the end of the fingerboard, and the upright bass with a Shure SM58 about 10" in front and above the top of the treble f-hole. The tapes were transferred to DAT using an Otari 5050B for playback to a Tascam
CD 344 Fiddling Missouri: Howard Marshall & John Williams
Recorded and engineered by Ted Snow in Studio B, Deer Park Studios, Eureka Strings, Arkansas, on an ADAT. Musicians were miked with Shure SM87s. Mackie 32-8 console. Mixed by Phil Williams at Voyager's studio using Mackie 1604 board, Midiman "Flying Cow" A/D Converter, to computer using Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus. Edited with Cool Edit Pro. CDR made with Adaptec Easy CD Creator, Memorex CD burner.
CD 345 Benny Thomasson: Say Old Man Can You Play A Fiddle
Selections on this CD were recorded in studio, concert, and jam session situations. The selections recorded at the Williams' house were recorded on an Ampex 354 recorder using an Ampex AM10 mixer and Sony C37FET mikes. Concert recordings were made on a Sony 770 recorder using Sony C37FET mikes. The 1974 concert was in a storefront concert hall in Pioneer Square, Seattle, with brick walls and no sound control. The 1978 concert recordings were made in a concert hall in Seattle's University District with wooden walls and a substantial audience. The Weiser and Astoria jam session recordings were made on a Uher 4000S recorder using a Uher mike. All these reel-to-reel recordings were transferred to a Tascam DA30 MKII DAT recorder from an Otari 5050 recorder, using a Midiman 20-bit A/D converter, and then to computer using a Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus. Editing was done using Cool Edit Pro. The CD was prepared using NTI software and a Memorex CD burner.
CD & CS 346 Jeff Anderson: Fiddling in the Family Tradition
Recorded in Voyager's studio to ADAT XT-20. Musicians were arranged in a circle, with the bass behind a sound baffle. The fiddle was miked in stereo with a pair of Beyer M160 ribbons in X/Y coincident stereo about 12" in front of and above the fiddle, pointed at the player's chin, using a Mackie 1202 mixer as a mike preamp. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 6" above the end of the fingerboard, pointed slightly away from the sound hole, using a Digitech VTP1 preamp. Dobro, mandolin, and tenor banjo were miked with a Neumann KM184 to a Digitech VTP1 preamp. The upright piano was miked with a pair of Shure Uniron ribbon mikes about 12" above the floor and about 16" in front of the soundboard, kick panel removed, one mike centered on bass and other on treble side, to an ART DualMP preamp. The string bass was baffled and miked with a Sanken CU31 about 6" off the "sweet spot" above the treble f-hole, to an ART Dual MP preamp. Mixed to PC computer using Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Midiman Flying Cow A/D converter, DAL CardD Plus, Cool Edit Pro. CD made using Adaptec EasyCD Creator Deluxe and Memorex CD burner.
CD 347 Vivian & Phil Williams: Live!
This production was all taken from live concert recordings where the stereo recording was made from the PA mixer auxiliary sends. The selections from the Malo Grange Hall concert were miked with Sony C37fet and AKG C1000 mikes to a PA mixer (type not remembered) with a stereo feed to a Sony TCD5 cassette deck using metal tape and Dolby C noise reduction. The Echo Valley Ski Lodge selections were recorded with AKG C3000 and C1000 mikes to a Mackie 1202 mixer, with a stereo feed from the auxiliary sends to a Sony TCD-D8 DAT recorder. All selections were transferred to computer via a DAL CardD Plus, using Cool Edit Pro. CD made using Adaptec EasyCD Creator Deluxe and a Memorex CD burner.
CD 348 The Fossils: The Fossil Record
Recorded at Voyager's studio, with additional overdubs done at Harley Bray's studio. Recorders were ADAT XT20 and XT. Recorded live, with bass tracks recut, and fiddle or mandolin overdubs for harmony and/or additional parts. Band was arranged in a circle. Everyone was close miked. Barry & Bell vocals - AKG C3000s to ART Dual MP preamp; Doug vocal & fiddle - Neumann U87 to ART Dual MP preamp; Bill vocal - AKG C1000 to ART Dual MP preamp; Mandolin - Sanken CU31 to Forssell Class A preamp; Banjo - Neumann TLM170 to Forssell Class A preamp; Guitar - Sanken CU31 to Digitech VTP1 preamp; Bass - overdubbed at Bray studio with AKG C3000 mike and Studiomaster mixer; Second fiddle (Vivian) - AKG C1000 to ART Dual MP preamp. Mixed to PC computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Midiman Flying Cow AD converter, DAL CardD Plus, Cool Edit Pro. A small amount of reverb was added to vocal tracks with a Yamaha REV7. CD made with Adaptec EasyCD Creator Deluxe and Memorex CD burner.
CD 349 Lee Stripling: Hogs Picking Up Acorns
Recorded at Voyager's studio to ADAT XT20. The band was arranged in a shallow semi-circle at one end of the studio in the following order: guitar, fiddle, mandolin/tenor banjo, bass. The bass was behind a sound control baffle. A pair of Neumann SKM184 mikes in coincident (X/Y) stereo, to a Forssell Class A mike preamp, were placed about 5' in front of the fiddle. The mix was built from the stereo recording, using accent mikes as needed for balance. The accent mikes were: Guitar - Sanken CU31 about 6" off end of fingerboard, pointed away from soundhole, to Digitech VTP1 preamp; Fiddle - Audio-Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike about 18" in front of and above fiddle, pointed at chin of player, to Digitech VTP1 preamp; tenor banjo/mandolin - AKG C1000 about 10" in front, to ART Dual MP preamp; Upright bass - AKG C1000 about 6" above "sweet spot" up from treble f-hole, to ART Dual MP preamp; Vocals - Beyer M500 ribbons to ART Dual MP preamp. Mixed to PC computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Midiman Flying Cow A/D converter, DAL CardD Plus, Cool Edit Pro. Some equalization was done on fiddle and bass using a Rane ME60 graphic equalizer. CD made with Adaptec EasyCD Creator Deluxe and Memorex CD burner.
CD 350 Vivian and Phil Williams: Dance Music of the Oregon Trail
All selections were recorded in our studio to ADAT XT20 and XT, except the selections Sourwood Mountain, Money Musk, and Richmond Polka, which were recorded to computer in live stereo with a pair of Neumann SKM184 mikes through a Forssell Class A preamp, Midiman Flying Cow A/D converter, and Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus. In all the other selections, the fiddle was recorded in M/S stereo using an Audio-Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike for the "mid" (cardioid) mike, through a Forssell mike preamp, and a Neumann TLM170 condenser mike in "figure 8" pattern through a Mackie 1402VLZPro mixer with the right channel phase reversed for the "side" mike. The fiddle mike array was about 18" above and in front of the fiddle, pointed at the player's chin. The cardioid and left and right output from the M/S configuration were run to three channels of the ADAT XT20. All other instruments (guitar, banjos, mandolins, accordions) were recorded in stereo with a pair of Neumann SKM184s using a Forssell Class A mike preamp. The guitar was miked about 8" above the portion of the fingerboard extending over the body. The banjos, mandolins, and accordions were miked from about 12". Mixed to PC computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Midiman Flying Cow A/D converter, Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, Cool Edit Pro. Edited with Cool Edit Pro. CD master made with Adaptec Easy CD Creator Pro and Aopen CD Burner. While instruments were overdubbed on some of the cuts, no signal processing (reverb, compression, equalization, etc.) of any kind was used in this production to preserve the full dynamic range and the natural sound of the instruments, in keeping with the intent of this production. We did make another mix using a TC Electronics Wizard Finalizer. The Finalizer created what was easily recognizable as a more "commercial" sound, but we decided this was not the sound we wanted for this production, though the results otherwise were satisfactory.
CD 351 Vivian Williams: Waltzes
The fiddle and guitar were recorded live in stereo using a pair of Sony C37fet condenser mikes in coincident stereo centered about 4 1/2' in front of the fiddle and guitar at chest height, with a Nagra IVS as the mike preamp. An Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike was used as an "accent" mike on the fiddle, placed about 12" in front of and slightly above the fiddle, pointed at the fiddler's chin. A Neumann KM184 was used as an "accent" mike on the guitar, positioned about 6" in front of the end of the fingerboard, angled at about 45 degrees toward the peghead. Both accent mikes were amplified with a Forssell M2-FET preamp. The bass was overdubbed later using an AKG 414 mike for some selections and a Neumann KM184 mike for others, both mikes positioned about 14" in front of the bass, pointed at a spot just above the f-hole on the treble side, going to the Forssell preamp. Recorded to ADAT XT-20. Mixed with a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer to PC computer using a Midiman "Flying Cow" AD converter, Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and Cool Edit Pro. The guitar accent mike channel was compressed ratio 4:1, threshold -20db, attack 2ms , release 0.5s ; bass was compressed ratio 3:1, threshold -20 db, attack 10ms, release 0.1s, using a Behringer MDX 2100. Fiddle accent channel equalized with a 2.5dB cut at around 3.6kHz, 0.6 octave bandwidth using a Symetrix SE-400 parametric equalizer. Production CDR made using Hotburn Pro and AOpen CD burner.
CD 352 Salmonberry: New England Contra Dance Music
Recorded live at a dance at Temple de Hirsh, Seattle, on May 11, 1991, by Julian
Adamitis and Patrick Cammack. Each mike channel of the mixing board, which was
feeding the sound system, was sent to a separate channel of a Tascam 8 channel
tape recorder. The 8-channel tape was then mixed to stereo tape. The mikes,
mixer, and 2-channel recorder used are not remembered by the engineers. The
stereo analog tape was later transferred to DAT. The selections were transferred
from the DAT tape to PC computer at Voyager's facilities using a Tascam DA30
MkII DAT machine, Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and Cool Edit Pro. The CDRs
were made using Hotburn Pro and an AOpen CD burner.
CD 353 Leroy Canaday: Old Dan Tucker Was a Fine Old Man
This CD was recorded live at the Canaday home in Moberly, Missouri, by Howard Marshall using a Sony TCD6 ("Walkman 6") cassette recorder with metal tape and Dolby C noise reduction, and a Sony ECM 909 stereo mike. The cassette recording was transferred to PC computer through a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Midiman A/D converter, DAL Card D Plus, and Cool Edit Pro. A slight "bump" in the 200 Hz region was done on the right channel to give the guitar more presence, and a slight boost in the 4 kHz region on the right channel to bring out the fiddle a little more, using the graphic equalizer in Cool Edit. The master CD was made using Nero 5.5 software and a TDK CDRW241040 recorder.
CD 354 Hart & Blech: Build Me a Boat
Recorded at Voyager's studio. The band sat is a semi-circle at one end of the studio, fiddle in the center, guitar to his left, and banjo to his right, with a sound deadening baffle behind them and a couple more sound absorbing baffles about 5 feet in front and to the side. The other end of the room was "live." A pair of Sony C37FET condenser mikes in X-Y stereo were placed about 5 feet in front of the fiddler and run to both channels of a Digitech VTP1 mike preamp. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184 positioned about 5" above the end of the fingerboard and angled about 45 degrees toward the peghead. The banjo was miiked with a Neumann KM184 pointing toward the right bottom quadrant of the banjo head (from the player's perspective, from about 6". Both these mikes were amplified with two channels of a Forssell Technologies Class A transformerless mike preamp. The fiddle was miked with a B & O ribbon mike, re-ribboned with an RCA 44BX ribbon, run to a Great River mike preamp. The vocals were recorded with a Shure 330 "Uniron" ribbon mike run to a Great River mike preamp. The balanced outputs of the mike preamps were run directly to an ADAT XT20. The project was mixed and master CD made by Neville Pearsall, Synergy Sound, Port Townsend, WA.
CD 355 Eat n' Run: Driving Me Crazy
The four piece band was recorded live in our studio. Recording was on an ADAT XT20. The band was seated at one end of the room with sound control baffling behind them. The bass was on the right side (from audience perspective), surrounded by sound control baffles. The rest of the band were seated in a semi-circle to the left of the bass, with the guitar on the right, fiddle in the center, and banjo on the left. A pair of sound baffles were placed about 6' in front of and slightly to the side of the band for room sound control. A B & O stereo ribbon mike was positioned about 4.5' in front of the fiddle, using the mike preamps in a Nagra IV-S recorder. The bass was miked with an AKG C1000 about 6" above the top and about 3" above the treble "f" hole, using an ART Dual-MP preamp. The guitar was miked with a Sanken CU-31 about 6" above the end of the fingerboard, angled somewhat toward the peghead, using a Digitech VTP1 mike preamp. The fiddle was miked with a B & O ribbon mike that was re-ribboned with an RCA 44DX ribbon, using a Forssell M2-FET-1A Class A FET preamp. The banjo was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 6" from the head below and in back of the bridge, using the Forssell preamp. Vocals were recorded with a Beyer M500 mike using an ART Dual MP preamp. The production was mixed to computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ board, Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe, and Cool Edit Pro. The stereo mike was panned left and right, each channel given a 5 dB cut at about 3 kHz, and a slight treble boost at 12 kHz and bass boost, and the mix was built from this. The other instruments were panned as per their stereo position in the room, except that the bass was panned to the center. The fiddle was given a 4dB boost at 240 cycles and a 2.5dB cut at 2.8kHz, and a 5 dB boost at 8.8 kHz, using a Synetrix SE-400 equalizer. The banjo was given about a 2dB boost at around 550 cycles, and 3dB cut at 12kHz using the board. The guitar was given a 4 dB cut at about 500 cycles, a 2 dB cut at 12 kHz. It was compressed 4:1, threshold -15, attack 2 ms, release 0.5, using an FMR Audio RNC 1773 compressor. The bass was run to two channels of the board. One channel was compressed 3:1, threshold -20, attack 1.5 ms, release 0.5, with the expander gate at -45 and peak limiting at +6, using a Behringer MDX-2100 compressor. The two channels were mixed with a ratio of compressed to uncompressed of about 2:1. The mix was processed with a BBE processor with a small amount of bass contour and definition.
CD 356 Gil Kiesecker: Dance Fiddler from the Blue Mountains
Recorded at Voyager's studio, Spring, 2002. Gil on fiddle, and his daughter, Jean Levold on piano, recorded most of the tunes without further accompaniment, except on a few numbers where guitar also was used during the live session. The fiddle was recorded using an Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike positioned about 12" above and in front of the fiddle, pointed at Gil's chin, run to a Forssell Class A JFET preamp. The piano was recorded with a pair of Shure Uniron ribbon mikes at the treble and bass ends of the soundboard of the upright piano, about 15" above the floor and 12" in front of the soundboard, with the lower front soundboard cover removed. These were run to a Forssell Class A JFET preamp. The guitar was miked using an Neumann KM184 to a Great River preamp. Recording was done on an ADAT XT-20. These tracks were mixed to stereo using a Mackie 1604 VLZ mixer, directly to PC computer using a Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe (24 bit A/D conversion), and Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (32 bit). The stereo mix was then transferred back to ADAT XT-20 and additional guitar, bass, 5-string, and tenor banjo accompaniment added as desired. The guitar and banjos were miked with a Neumann KM184, and the bass with an AKG C1000, all to the Forssell Class A JFET preamp. This was then mixed again to stereo using the equipment as above. A small amount of compression was used on the bass. The master CDR was made using Nero 5.5 and a TDK 24x CD recorder.
CD 357 Up Jumped the Devil: Bill Lee
This CD was recorded live in stereo at Bill Lee's house in Wright City, Missouri, by Dr. Howard Marshall, using a Sony TCD6 "Professional Walkman" cassette recorder with metal tape and Dolby C noise reduction. A Sony 990 single point stereo mike was used. The original cassette tapes were played into a PC computer at Voyager's studio, using a Sony TCD6 cassette recorder, Mackie 1602VLZ mixer, and a Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe, with 24 bit A/D/ conversion, and recorded using Cool Edit Pro 2.0 with 32 bit floating point processing. Some channel rebalancing was done at the time of the transfer, and some equalization to bring up the backup instruments, using a Rane ME60 graphic equalizer. The master CDR was made on a PC computer using Nero 5.5 and a TDK CD burner.
CD 358 Fiddle Tunes of the Lewis & Clark Era: The New Columbia Fiddlers
Recorded at Voyager's studio in May, 2002. The musicians were seated in a semicircle at one end of the studio in front of a sound absorbing baffle system. When percussion was used, a baffle was placed between the fiddlers and the percussion player. An M/S stereo mike setup was placed about 5' in front of the musicians, with a couple of reflective baffles a little behind and about 4' out on each side of the stereo mike. The M/S setup used a Neumann TLM170 in figure-8 and the "side" mike, to a Mackie 1402VLZPro mixer with the left channel in phase and the right channel out of phase, run to two tracks of the recorder. The "mid" mike was a Sennheiser MKH406 to a Forssell Class A mike preamp. The rest of the instruments were "accent" miked with two AKG C414EB large diaphragm condensers with the C12 capsule, run to a Great River mike preamp, and an Audio Technica At 4060 large diaphragm tube condenser, run to a Forssell Class A mike preamp. Recorded to ADAT XT20. The harpsichord used on one number was overdubbed, using a Neumann KM184 and Forssell preamp. The "pops" on Pop Goes the Weasel also were overdubbed using an AKG C414EB mike. Mixed to PC computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe, Cool Edit Pro 2.0. Some equalization was used on the fiddle channels, using Speck Electronics, Symmetrix, and Forssell parametric equalizers. A small amount of reverb was used on some cuts using a Yamaha REV7 digital reverb. No compression was used. The mix was based on the stereo miking, with the "accent" mikes added in as needed for balance and/or presence. Recorded to computer using 24 bit A/D conversion and 32 bit floating point processing. After all editing was completed in the computer, the cuts were resampled to 16 bit for the CD. The master CD-R was made using Nero 5.5 and a TDK CD burner in a PC computer.
CD 359 Bluegrass Hoedown - Williams & Bray
Recorded in Voyager's studio, January, 2003. The musicians were arranged in a semi-circle, left to right as follows: mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar. They were in front of our customary rear sound baffles, with three moveable baffles 6' to 8' in front of the band, permitting some room reverberation. The instruments were miked as follows: mandolin (Gibson F-5, July 9, 1923, monel strings) - Neumann KM184 about 6" in front of lower f-hole to a Great River mike preamp; fiddle (Seidel, Germany, mid-19th century)- Audio Technica AT4060 about forehead height, 12" in front and pointed toward chin, to a Great River mike preamp; banjo (Gibson Mastertone archtop, circa 1930) - AKG C3000 about 12" in front of lower right side of banjo head, to a Forssell Technologies Class A mike preamp; guitar (Martin D-35, 1967) - Neumann KM184 to a Forssell Technologies Class A mike preamp. All tunes were recorded in one take, live to four tracks on an ADAT XT20. These tracks were mixed to stereo using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer with no signal processing, to a PC computer using a Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe and Cool Edit Pro 2.0. The stereo mix was transferred back to the ADAT and the bass was overdubbed, as well as a fiddle harmony on a couple of tracks. The bass (Kay Model M) was miked at its "sweet spot" above the treble f-hole with a Neumann KM184 mike about 6" above the top to a Great River mike preamp. In mixing back to stereo on the computer, the band tracks were left as previously mixed. The bass was compressed at a ratio of about 4:1 and gated at -30dB with relatively fast attack and longer release times using a Berhinger Composer. The fiddle harmony overdubs were not processed. About eight "fixes" of notes were made on the final mix in the computer, and two selections were shortened by removing repeats of the tune to get the total time down to regular CD length. The CD for replication was made using a TDK 48x burner running at 4x, with Nero software. Other than the compression and gating used on the bass, no equalization, compression, or artificial reverb was used in this production.
CD 360 Gil Kiesecker: Blue Mountain Memories
The fiddle and piano tracks, and some guitar track on CD tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, and 22 were recorded in 2002 as per our previous CD 356. Guitar and bass were overdubbed, as needed, on the original session ADAT tapes. The bass was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 10" above the top and about 4" above the treble f-hole. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184 angled about 45 degrees toward the peghead and placed about 4" above the neck between the end of the body and the end of the fingerboard. A Great River preamp was used in both cases. The other tracks were recorded live to ADAT XT20. The fiddle was miked with an Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser about 8" above the fingerboard, pointed at the player's chin, through a Great River preamp. The piano was miked as per CD 356, using an FMR Audio RNP Preamp. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184 angled toward the peghead about 4" above the middle of the portion of the fingerboard on the guitar body. The bass was enclosed in a sound baffle and miked with a KM184 about 8" above the top about 4" up from the treble f-hole, using a Forssell Technologies CS-1 mike preamp. The project was mixed from ADAT to computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Steinberg VSL2020 audio card, and Adobe Audition on a PC computer.
CD 361 Floyd Engstrom: Kitsap County Fiddler
Recorded June 2, 2003, at the home of the Lawson's, Shelton, Washington. The band was seated in the livingroom in a large semi-circle facing the piano, which was against a side wall. Clockwise, from the bass side of the piano, the lineup was electric bass, banjo, fiddle, guitar, and guitar. The fiddle was miked with an Octava MC-012 condenser mike about 10" above the fingerboard, pointed at the fiddler's chin, to an ART Dual MP preamp; banjo with an EV C15 condenser mike about 8" in front of the lower right quadrant of the banjo hear, to an ART Dual MP preamp; first guitar with an AKG C1000 condenser mike about 6" above the end of the fingerboard, angled about 45 degrees to point up the neck, to an ART Dual MP preamp; second guitar with an EV N/D767 mike, positioned about the same as the mike position on the other guitar, to an ART preamp; piano treble and bass with AKG C3000 mikes using "kickboard" mike placement, one mike on the treble side and one on the bass, about 12" from the soundboard, to a Forssell Technologies Class A mike preamp; electric bass was miked on some selections with a Shure SM57 about 4" in front of the bass amp's speaker and toward one side of the cone, to a Forssell Technologies Class A preamp, and on other selections a Groove Tubes "Ditto" direct box borrowed from Rick Ruskin, Liondog Studios, was used. Recorded to ADAT XT. A Teac Model 1 line level mixer and AKG D240 headphones were used for monitoring the recording session. Mixed to computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Digital Audio Labs Card Deluxe, and Cool Edit Pro. No effects processing used. Cut to CDR using Nero and a TDK CD burner on the PC.
CD 362 Carthy Sisco: Rugged Road
Recorded in Voyager's studio October 4, 2001. The band was seated at one end of the room in front of sound absorbing baffles. A pair of Sony C37FET condenser mikes was set up in X/Y stereo about 5 feet in front of the band, which was in a semicircle with the fiddler in the center, banjo on the fiddler's left, and guitar on the fiddler's right. The fiddle was miked with an Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike about 5" above the fiddle and about 12" from the fiddler's face, pointed at his chin. The guitar was miked with a Neuman KM185 small diaphragm condenser mike about 4" above the end of the fingerboard, pointed at a 45 degree angle toward the peghead. The banjo was miked with a KM184 about 6" in front of the lower right quadrant of the banjo head looking from the front. All mikes, except the fiddle, were run to a Forssell Technologies six chall Class A mike preamp. The fiddle mike was run to a Forssell Technologies CS-1 channel strip. Recorded to an ADAT XT20. The ADAT recording was transferred to Cubase SX3 for mixdown and processing, using a Tascam FW1884 interface to an AMD based PC computer. The fiddle was equalized with a 3 dB cut at around 5kps and 10 dB cut at about 13kps. The guitar was given a 4dB boost at 200cps, as were the stereo mikes. Editing was done using Adobe Audition 2.0. Master CD made using Nero and a TDK burner. CDs made on a Vintech duplicator using Plextor Premium drives.
CD 363 Gary Lee Moore: Uncle Pig
The fiddle and backup guitar of Pete Martin were recorded by Pete at his facility to a PC computer using a MOTU 2408 MKII interface and Cool Edit Pro 1.2a. The fiddle was miked with a Royer R121 ribbon positioned at head height, over the end of the headstock, pointed at Gary's chin, through a John Hardy M1 mike preamp. Pete's guitar, a 1991 Gibson Advanced Jumbo, was miked with a Shure KSM 44, positioned about a foot in front of the 12th fret, pointed where the neck joins the body, and rolled off at 80 Hz, through a Sytex MPX-4A mike preamp. These tracks were recorded to CDR and transferred to Cubase SX 2.0 in Voyager's Studio for overdubbing and project completion. All overdubbing was done using a Great River preamp run to an analog input channel of a Steinberg VSL2020 computer interface. The tenor guitar was recorded with an Electrovoice N/D767 microphone about six inches in front of the end of the fingerboard, pointed at about a 45 degree angle toward the peghead. For the second guitar, a Neumann KM184 positioned as for the tenor guitar, was used. The tenor banjo was recorded with an AKG C3000 microphone about a foot in front, facing toward the bottom right quadrant of the head. Mixing was done by Phil Williams and Gary Lee Moore in Cubase SX, using no signal processing. Editing of the stereo mix was done with Adobe Audition 1.0. The master CD was made using Nero and a TDK CD burner.
CD 364 Jane Johnson and Jeff Anderson: Nordic Spirit
Recorded at Voyager's studio directly to PC computer using Steinberg's VSL2020 interface and Cubase SX. Jeff's fiddle and Jane's accordion were routed through the VSL2020's analog inputs, and the rest through an ADAT XT20 for A/D conversion. All selections were recorded live with no overdubbing. The band Nordic Exposure, used on several of the cuts, was set up in a semi-circle in front of sound absorbing baffles, near one wall of the studio, facing into the long dimension of the studio. A pair of reflective baffles were set up about eight feet in front of the band and about six feet apart, directing reflected sound at about a 45 degree angle into the "Side" mike of a Fostex printed ribbon M/S stereo microphone positioned about six feet in front of the middle of the band. The band was lined up from left to right as follows: guitar, accordion, Jeff's fiddle, second fiddle, flute. The acoustic bass was behind a pair of acoustic baffles in the corner of the room behind the two fiddles. Jeff's fiddle was miked with a Beyer M160 ribbon about six inches above the end of the fingerboard pointed at his chin, and run to a Great River preamp and an analog input of the VSL2020. Jane's accordion was miked with an AKG C3000 pointing at the middle of the bellows and about ten inches in front, run to a Great River preamp and analog input of the VSL2020. The second fiddle was miked with a Beyer M160 ribbon positioned as per Jeff's fiddle, run to a Digitech VTP1 mike preamp. The guitar was miked with an Electrovoice N/D767 positioned about six inches above the end of the fingerboard, pointed at a 45 degree angle toward the peghead, run to an ART Dual MP mike preamp. The flute was miked with an AKG C1000 about six inches in front and slightly to the left of the mouthpiece, run to a Digitech VTP1 mike preamp. The bass was miked with an AKG C1000 positioned about six inches from the top of the bass about 6 inches above the treble f-hole, run to an ART Dual MP mike preamp. The left and right channels of the Fostex M/S stereo mike were run to an FMR Audio RNP mike preamp, and the center channel to a Forssell Class A mike preamp. In the session using just a guitar and second fiddle, in addition to Jeff and Jane's fiddle and accordion, the same mikes as above were used for the second fiddle and guitar, but they were run to the Forssell Class A mike preamp. The Fostex M/S stereo mike also was used, set up as above. The solo Hardanger fiddle tracks were recorded with the Beyer M160 and Fostex M/S stereo mike as above. The project was mixed in Cubase SX 2.0 using no signal processing. The M/S stereo tracks were added in after the overall desired instrumental balance was achieved to add room dimension to the sound. The stereo tracks were edited using Adobe Audtion 1.5. The master CD was made using Nero and a TDK CD burner.
CD 365 Myllie Barron: Riding on a Handcar
Recorded in Voyager's studio in 2003 to ADAT XT20. The musicians were seated in a rough semi-circle with Ray Barron and his bass on the right in a baffled enclosed space to control bass resonance. Myllie was seated in front of the acoustic baffling at the end of the room to the left of Ray, and Phil, on guitar, was seated to the left of Myllie. The upright piano was against the left wall of the studio to the left of Phil. A B & O stereo ribbon microphone was set up about 5 feet in front of Myllie and positioned to capture a reasonably balanced stereo pickup of the entire group. The stereo mike was run to two channels of a Great River mike preamp. Myllie's fiddle was miked with an Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser about eight inches above the fiddle near the end of the fingerboard, pointed at his chin. The bass was miked with a Neumann KM184 above 6 inches above the top of the bass and about 3 inches up from the treble side f-hole. The guitar (Martin D-28) was miked with a Neumann KM184 about five inches above the end of the fingerboard, angled at about 45° pointing toward the peghead. The piano was miked with a pair of Shure Uniron ribbon microphones, each about 18 inches above the floor and about ten inches in front of the soundboard, one on the bass side and one on the treble, with the piano kickboard removed. All mikes, other that the stereo mike, were run to Forssell Class A mike preamps. The project was mixed to computer using a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer, Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe, and Adobe Audition. A little equalization was done on the fiddle using a Speck Electronics parametric equalizer. Otherwise, no signal processing on the production. The master CDR was made on a PC computer using Nero and a TDK burner.
CD 366 Pete McMahan: 50 Old-Time Fiddle Gems
The selections for this 2-CD set were taken from new or new condition copies of the four Lp records made by Mr. McMahan, which were in the collection of Dr. Howard Marshall. They were transferred to computer using a Denon moving coil pickup, Thorens TD 126 MKII Electronic turntable, Nikko Beta 40 preamp, CardDeluxe audio card, to a PC computer using Cool Edit Pro. A small amount of noise reduction was done on some selections that needed it using Cool Edit's noise reduction. The selections were adjusted for level and were transferred to master CDs in the order they appear on the Lps, starting with Lps 1 and 2 on CD 1, and Lps 3 and 4 on CD 2, using Nero software and a Lite-On CD burning at 8x. The project was pressed, printed and assembled at Fastrax, Seattle.
CD 367 Tenino Old Time Music Festival 1970 - 1978 Fiddle Tunes and Other Instrumentals
All selections on this CD were recorded live on stage at the Festival. The selections from the very early 1970s were recorded for the Tenino Lions Club (the sponsor) by Yantis Recording Service, Olympia, Washington. They were supplying the sound system and recorded from the mikes they were using on the stage and their stage mixer. We do not know what equipment they were using. We furnished and operated the sound system starting around 1973 and ending after the 1978 Festival. I don't remember what we used, except that the recorder was a Magnecord 1028 tube 2-track stereo machine running 10 1/2" reels. I think the mixer in the early days was a Tapco. The mikes would have been two or three Sony C37FET condensers, and some EV and Shure dynamics. We recorded the 1978 Festival using a Studiomaster mixer with four output busses to four channels of a Teac 3340 recorder with dbx noise reduction. The four channel tapes were transferred to an ADAT when we got one, and the ADAT tapes stored. Recently, we transferred the ADAT recordings to Cubase SX3 on our PC computer, using the ADAT interface on our Tascam FW1884 DAW controller. The 1978 selections were mixed to stereo using Cubase, and final editing and sample conversion done with Adobe Audition 1.5.
CD 369 Floyd Engstrom: Old Time Gospel Favorites
Recorded at Voyager's studio on February 18, 2006. The fiddle, guitar, and banjo players were arranged on three sides of a hollow square in front of sound baffles at one end of the room, with the fiddler in the middle, guitar to his right, and banjo to his left. The stand up bass was behind the baffles in the corner to the fiddler's left, with a portable acoustic baffle in front of the entrance to the bassist's corner. Additional acoustic baffles were placed about eight feet in front of the fiddler and to the side about even with the guitar and banjo players, respectively, facing toward the fiddler at about a 45 degree angle. The fiddle was miked with a Beyer M160 hypercardiod ribbon mike about 6" above the end of the fingerboard, pointing at the fiddler's chin, run to a Great River preamp. The guitar (a Martin D28), was miked with a Neumann KM184 small diaphragm condensor about 4" above the end of the fingerboard, pointing at about a 45 degree angle toward the peghead, run to a Great River preamp. The banjo was miked with an AKG C3000 condenser mike about 6" in front of the lower right quadrant of the banjo hear (looking at the banjo), run to a Digitech VTP1 tube hybrid preamp. The bass was miked with a Neumann KM184 positioned about 4" up from the treble f-hole and about 4" above the top of the bass, run to a Forssell CS-1 channel strip, using 3:1 compression at a threshold of about -30dB. A matched pair of AKG 414EB mikes was set up in X/Y stereo configuration about four feet in front of the fiddler, run to an FMR Audio Real Nice Preamp (RNP). Three selections, tracks 4, 11, and 17 were recorded with Phil Williams providing only guitar backup, using the same KM184 setup as for the band guitarist. Later, Phil overdubbed acoustic bass, using the same setup as for the session bassist, and banjo, using a KM184 and the Great River preamp. All recordings was done in Cubase SX3 on an AMD based PC computer, using a Tascam FW1884 DAW interface/controller at 24 bits, 44.1. Mixed in the computer. A small amount of reverb was added to the stereo mikes and fiddle using the Cubase plug-in. The guitar and bass were given about a 4db boost at around 200cps. The fiddle was given about a 4db boost at around 250cps, and about a 3db rolloff at around 8.5kps, and further rolloff at around 13kps. Final editing was done using Adobe Audition 2.0. Master CDR was made using Nero, a TDK burner, and Taiyo Yuden CDR. Production CDs were made on a Vintech duplicator using Plextor Premium drives and Taiyon Yuden CDRs.
CD 370 Frank Ferrel: Classic Down East Fiddle Music
The recordings featuring Graham Townsend on piano were recorded in Seattle by Tom Martin. We have no information on the studio, recording equipment, or recording methods used. The recordings features Gilles Losier on the piano were recorded at the 1980 Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington, by David Miles Huber on recording equipment furnished by Voyager. No documentation of equipment or techniques used was kept.
CD 371 Phil and Vivian Williams: Pioneer Dance Tunesof the Far West
Recorded in Voyager's studio November - December, 2006. All engineering by Phil Williams. The fiddle and guitar tracks were recorded live using M/S stereo and accent mikes. The musicians were seated about five feet apart, half facing each other. An M/S stereo array consisting of a matched pair of AKG EB414 condenser mikes (C12 capsules) was centered about 4 feet in front of the musicians. Portable reflective baffles were placed about 2 feet in behind and four feet from the M/S array, angled at about 45 degrees to reflect sound to the figure 8 pattern mike of the pair. The EB414 in figure 8 was run to a Mackie 1402VLZPro mixer and the Right balanced output was phase reversed from the Left. The center cardioid EB414 was run to an FMR Audio RNP mike preamp. The fiddle (mid-19th century Seidel) was miked with an AT4060 large diaphragm tube condenser mike about 15 inches in front of the player's head and 6 inches above the fiddle, pointing at the player's chin. The guitar (1944 Martin D28 with Elixer coated phosphor bronze medium strings) was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 4 inches above the end of the fingerboard, angled about 45 degrees toward the peghead. Both mikes were run to a Great River mike preamp. The preamp outputs were run to a Tascam FW1884 Firewire DAW controller and to an AMD based PC computer running Cubase SX3. This live "basic tracks" session was controlled by Phil from the studio using a Tascam US-428 USB DAW controller. All recording was done with 24 bit conversion at 44.1k sampling rate.
All overdubs, except piano, jews harp, and comb and paper, were done using the AT4060 mike and Great River Preamp. The jews harp and comb and paper were very close miked with a Beyer M500 vocal ribbon mike to the Great River preamp. The vintage DeVore Chicago upright piano was "kickboard" miked with a pair of Shure 330 "Uniron" ribbon mikes about 15 inches off the floor, 1 ½ feet in from the sides, and about 15 inches in front of the soundboard, with the lower cover panel of the piano removed. They were run to an FMR Audio RNP mike preamp.
The banjo used is an early 1880s Dobson with gut strings miked about fifteen inches in front of the lower right quadrant of the head. The viola used was made in Mittelwald, Germany, sometime in the 19th century, and was miked as per the fiddle. The cello was a Kay, miked about fifteen inches in front of the bridge. The mandolin is a 1923 Gibson F-5 with phosphor bronze strings, miked about six inches in front of the lower f-hole; the jews harp was made in Hungary by Szilagy, played close into the Beyer M500; the accordion is old Hohner La Contessa miked about 12" in front.
The project was mixed in Cubase SX3 using a minimum of signal processing. A small amount of reverb was added to the fiddle and stereo mikes in Annie Laurie, and on a few tracks about a 4dB boost was given the guitar at around 200cps, and about the same boost on the fiddle at around 250cps. Mixing was done at an average SPL of 80dB by first bringing up the fiddle track, then the guitar track to balance, and then the M/S stereo tracks to add the ambience desired. Then the overdubbed tracks were brought up and panned where desired. The fiddle, cello, and drum were centered. The guitar was panned slightly to the right, and most other overdubbed instruments slightly to the left. A total of three mixes were made, with selections coming from all three. Beginnings and endings and levels, and dithering to 16 bits for CD making were done with Adobe Audition 2.0. The master CD was made using Nero software and a TDK CD burner. The CDs were manufactured by Fastrax, Seattle.
CD 372 John White: Nine Miles of Dry and Dusty
This CD was recorded by David Cavins. The band consisting of Kathy Gordon, Kenny Applebee, Musial Wolfe, and Howard Marshall was recorded in the home of Howard Marshall, Millersburg community, Callaway County, Missouri. The Nine Mile Band was recorded in the home of David Cavins and Amber Gaddy in Columbus, Boone County, Missouri. The bands were seated in a loose circle. Two large diaphragm condenser mikes were mounted in the center of the circle, head to head. The Behringer B-2 mike was switched to omnidirectional pattern, and the Studio Projects B1 mike to cardioid and pointed toward Mr. White's fiddle. The mikes were run to an ART Pro MPA preamp and an ART Pro VLA compressor with the threshold set at -6dB with a ratio of 3.5:1 to prevent clipping. The projects were recorded on a Panasonic SV3700 DAT and the session tracks were sent to us on CD as recorded. To attain a greater sense of stereo and spatial relations from the recording, which, essentially, was recorded in monaural with the mike technique used, we treated the omnidirection microphone as if it was the mid-side mike in an M/S stereo setup by copying the omni mike track to a new track, reversing the phase, and treating the original track as a "left" channel and the reversed phase track as a "right" channel. The cardiod mike was treated as the "center" mike. This was done and mixed in Cubase SX3 on our PC computer. The project was edited in Adobe Audition 2.0 and a master CD made using Nero and a Plextor Premium CD burner using a Taiyo Yuden CD-R. CDs for release were made on a CD duplicator using Plextor commercial drives and Taiyo Yuden CDRs.
CD 373 Vivian & Phil Williams: Fiddling Down the Oregon Trail
This CD was recorded at a live performance of this program in the theater at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City, OR, in July, 2007, on an Edirol recorder propped on the brim of an old felt cowboy hat on the front of the stage. The Edirol recording was edited with Cool Edit Pro and the master CDR was made using Nero 7 on a PC computer.
CD 374 Tunes From the Peter Beemer Manuscript
This CD was recorded with five instrument ensembles recording live, each with two or three instruments, and the other instruments and violin harmony parts overdubbed. One ensemble was composed of our melodeon (small pump organ), violin, and guitar. The ensemble was recorded live in our dining room, where we used to record in the 1960s and 70s, rather than in our studio, as it has the acoustics we wanted. All the melodeon selections were recorded to ADAT XT20. The melodeon was placed in one corner, facing diagonally across to the far corner of the room. The violin was placed to the left side and in front of the melodeon (all placements are from the audience's viewpoint), and the guitar on the right side in front of the melodeon. The melodion was miked with a pair of Shure Uniron ribbon mikes placed about 12" above the treble and bass sides of the instrument, running to an FMR Audio Real Nice Preamp ("RNP"). The violin was miked with an Octava MC012 mike with a hypercardiod capsule, about 12" above the neck of the fiddle pointing at the player's chin, running to one channel of our Nagra IVS. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184, about 4" above the fingerboard where is goes over the body, pointed 45 degrees toward the peghead, running to the Nagra IVS right channel preamp. A pair of AKG 414EB mikes (with C12 capsules) were set up about 5' in front of the ensemble in M/S stereo, the cardiod mike running to a Forssell CS-1 preamp, and the figure "8" mike (side mike) to a Mackie 1402 preamp, with the right channel output reversed. This M/S setup was used for all the ensemble recordings. No signal processing was used for the melodeon ensemble recordings. The ADAT recordings were transferred to and mixed in Cubase 4 on a PC. This setup was used on the following CD tracks - 7, 8, 9, 16, 17,and 18. The banjo was overdubbed on CD track 7 in our studio using a Sony C37FET mike to the Nagra preamp, and the violin harmony was overdubbed in the studio on track 17 using the same miking, etc. as above.
The second ensemble used fiddle and guitar, and added a mandolin for one track. These were recorded in our studio using a Neuman TLM170 on the violin about 12" above the fingerboard, pointing at the player's chin, and, run to a Great River preamp, directly to Cubase 4 on a PC computer, using the Tascam FW1884 interface. The Tascam to computer and Cubase 4 was the setup used for all the studio recordings. The guitar was miked using a Neumann KM184 as set up for the above recording using the melodeon, run to the Great River preamp. This was used for CD Tracks 2 and 10 , with the violin harmony overdubbed in our studio using the same setup as for the lead violin track. On CD Track 24, the mandolin was overdubbed in our studio using the Neuman TLM 170 and Nagra preamp, with the mike about 12" in front of the mandolin, which was a Neopolitan instrument made by Marco Rebora, Naples, using Thomastik strings.
The third ensemble used flute, violin, and guitar. These selections, CD tracks 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23, were recorded in our studio. The violin was placed in the center, miked with a Neumann TLM170 to the Nagra preamp, as described above. The guitar was to the right of the fiddle, miked with the Neumann KM184 as described above. The flute was placed to the left of the violin, miked with a Beyer M500 ribbon mike, positioned about 8" above the center of the flute, run to the FRM Audio RNP preamp. The M/S pair of AKG 414EB mikes, as described above, was placed around 5' in front of the violin. The accordion was overdubbed using a Sanken CU31 mike placed about 6" from the front treble side of the instrument, run to the FRM Audio RNP preamp. Violin harmony parts on these selections were overdubbed using the same mike setup as for the lead violin. The banjo on these selections was overdubbed using a Sony C37 mike about 6" in front of the instrument, toward the bottom left side of the head (from the player's perspective) to the Nagra mike preamp. One selection, CD track 19, did not used guitar, but used overdubbed cello, miked with the Neuman TLM170 to the Nagra preamp, and an 1849 Wheatstone concertina, also miked with the TLM170 - Nagra setup. One selection, CD track 25, used only flute, with both the lead and harmony tracks recorded in stereo using a pair of Beyer M500 ribbon mikes to the FMR Audio RNP mike preamp. The mikes were spaced about 14" apart, about 12" from the flute.
The fourth ensemble used violin, accordion, and guitar. These selections were recorded in our studio with the guitar on the left side of the violin, and the accordion on the right. The same general mike setups for these instrument, and the M/S stereo mikes were as described above. The selections using this setup are CD tracks 3, 4, 5, and 6.
The fifth ensemble used violin, banjo, and guitar. These selections were recorded in our studio with the violin in the center, the banjo to the left and guitar to the right of the violin, in a semi-circle. The banjo was miked with the Sony C37FET to a Great River preamp, the violin with the TLM170 - Nagra combination, and the guitar with the KM174 - Nagra combination, as described above. The AKG 414EB M/S stereo setup, as described above, was centered about 5' in front of the violin. Violin harmony for these selections was overdubbed using an RCA 77DX mike about 12" above the instrument and about 20" from the player's head, pointed toward the chin, run to the Nagra preamp. Banjo overdubs on these selections used the Sony C37FET mike and Nagra preamp. The selections using this setup are CD tracks 12, 13, 14, 15,
On all tracks, except those using the Melodeon, a little reverb was added to the each instrument track using the UAD-1 "Plate 140" and the "RealVerb" plug-ins. The overall mix itself was not processed.
CD 375 Tunes From the Haynes Family Manuscript
This CD was recorded in the Williams' living room, using their 1920s Baldwin grand piano. All selections were recorded live on violin, piano, and guitar, and the flugelhorn was overdubbed in Voyager's studio. The ensemble recording was made on an ADAT XT20 multitrack digital recorder. The ADAT recordings were transferred digitally to Cubase on Voyager's studio computer for editing, mixing, and overdubbing the flugelhorn. The piano was miked with a pair of Sanken CU31 small diaphragm condenser microphones positioned over the bass and treble strings, run to an FMR RNP stereo mike preamp. The violin was recorded using a Neuman TLM170 large diaphragm condenser mike just above the violin and about a foot away from and pointed at the player's chin, run to the preamp in a Nagra IVS recorder. The guitar, a 1949 Epiphone Triumph archtop, was miked with a Neuman KM184 small diaphragm mike about 5" in front of the lower f-hole, run to the Nagra preamp. The flugelhorn was overdubbed in Voyager's studio using an RCA 77DX ribbon microphone about 3' in front, run to a Great River preamp. The ensemble sessions also were recorded in M/S stereo using a matched pair of AKG C414EB large diaphragm condeser mikes with C12 capsules. The center mike was run to a Forssell Technologies CS1 channel strip. The side mike was run to a Mackie 1402 mixer and the mixer outputs were run to separate channels of the ADAT, with the phase of the right channel reversed. The M/S mikes were about 6' in front of the ensemble. The guitar was positioned to the left of and about 5'' forward of the pianist. The violin was about 5' in front of and facing the middle of the piano. The lid of the piano was raised.
Mixing was done in Voyager's studio using Cubase 4 running on a PC computer, with a Tascam 1884 firewire DAW controller. No signal processing was used on this recording. The mix was first made using the mikes on each instrument, with the guitar panned about a third to the left, the violin centered, and the piano bass about a quarter to the left and piano treble about a quarter to the right to approximate as closely as possible the acoustic sound of the ensemble in the room. Then the levels of the M/S stereo array were raised to add some of the room sound to the recording. The M/S side mike was panned completely to the left and right, respectively. After mixing each selection to stereo in Cubase, the mix was finished for the CD in Audition 3. The master CD for duplication was burned to a Plextor commercial CD burner using Nero 9. The CDs were duplicated by RealTime, Seattle; the booklets printed by TCC printing, Seattle; traycards were printed and the project assembled and shrinkwrapped in Voyager's facilities.
CD 376 Travis Inman - Missouri Fiddler
This CD was recorded by David Cavins in the living room of his home in Columbia, Missouri. He describes the setting as follows: It was a pretty "hard" room with wood floors and painted walls, and not much upholstery. The players sat, clockwise from above, fiddle (12 o'clock), keyboard (5 o'clock), guitar (8 o'clock). The fiddle and guitar were close miked using a Shure KSM27 large diaphragm condenser microphones. Travis was seated in one of the room's corners and his microphone was placed chin high about 12 inches or less from his violin. Charlie's mike was also about 12 inches from his guitar, aimed more or less at the fingerboard extension over the body. It was recorded to a MacBook using an Apogee Duet USB audio interface and its mike preamps. The separate treble and bass line outputs of the keyboard, a Kawai EP3, went to the MacBook's analog line-in jack. The four tracks - fiddle, guitar, keyboard bass and treble - were sent to Voyager and assembled in CuBase 4 running on our PC studio computer and were mixed in CuBase. The fiddle was panned to the center, the guitar a little to the left, the keyboard bass the same distance to the left, and the keyboard treble equal distance to the right. A slight amount of reverb was added to the fiddle track using the UA Audio "Realverb-Pro" plugin running on a UA Audio processor card. The stereo mix was edited in Audition 3. The mix was equalized as follows: +7 dB @ 200 cps, +4 dB @ 5k cps, and +3 dB @ 15,000 cps. Master CD made at 4x using Nero software and a Plextor commercial CD burner. CD duplication at Realtime, Seattle. Booklet printing by TCC Printing, Seattle, rest of production done by the Voyager folks.
CD 379 The Mandolin Player's Pastime
Most of the selections were recorded in the San Juan Islands, Washington, in the cabin of an Alberg 35 sailboat with a pair of Nakamichi CM300 mikes in cardioid "X-Y" stereo configuration to a Sony TCD5 cassette recorder with metal tape and Dolby C noise reduction. Other selections were recorded in the Voyager facilities using Sony C37FET mikes in "X-Y" stereo configuration to a Tascam DA30 MkII DAT using a Mackie 1202 mixer. All selections were transferred to DAT using a Tascam DA30 MkII DAT recorder. They were then transferred to a PC Computer, using a Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and Cool Edit Pro. The CDRs were made with Hotburn Pro and an AOpen CD burner.
CD 380 The John Neilson Music Book
This CD was recorded at Voyager Recordings studio, Seattle, WA. It was recorded to Cubase 8.5 through a Steinberg UR824 USB interface to a four core computer. The piano, a Devor upright, was against a wall. The rest of the musicians were about five feet apart in a semicircle in front of the piano. For the recording, the piano "kick board" was taken off. A pair of Shure 330 ribbon mikes on short floor stands were placed about a foot from the treble and bass sides of the soundboard, running to the UR824. The accordion was miked with a pair of Beyer M160 ribbon mikes, one for the left side and the other for the right side of the accordion, about 1.5' from the instrument, to a RMP preamp. Calum MacKinnon's fiddle was miked with an Audio Technica AT4060 large diaphram tube condenser mike, about 1.5' from the fiddler's face, pointing at his chin. Vivian's fiddle was miked with two microphones depending on what selection was being recorded. Most were miked with a Neuman TLM170, others with an RCA 77DX ribbon mike positioned as for Calum's fiddle, to a Great River preamp. The guitar was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 8" in front of, placed pointing about 4" behind the bridge, to the UR824. The selections were mixed to two track stereo from the multitrack Cubase recording, and finished off in Audition 1.5. A little plate reverb was added to the fiddles from a UA processing board in the computer. The fiddlers were equalized a little, as needed, with a parametric equalizer in the UA plug-ins. The CD was manufactured by Disc Makers.
CD 382 The Burning Barrel Fiddle
This CD was recorded at Voyager Recordings studio, Seattle, WA. It was recorded to Cubase 7.5 through a Steinberg UR824 interface to a custom built 4 core PC. The musicians were arranged in a semi-circle facing the long way of the room. The accordion was on the right, fiddle in the center, guitar on the left. The accordion was miked with a pair of Beyer M160 ribbon mikes, one on the treble and the other on the bass, going to a Great River preamp. The fiddle was miked with a pair of Octava MK012 mikes with hypercardiod capsule, in XY stereo, about a foot above the fiddle, pointed at the player's chin, going to Steinberg UR824. The guitar was miked with a pair of Neumann KM184 mikes in XY stereo about 6" in front of the top, behind the bridge, going to the Steinberg UR824. A matched pair of AKG EB 414 mikes with C12 capsules was used for M/S stereo out in the room about six feet in front of the musicians, the center mike going to a Forsell CS1 preamp, and the side mike to an FMR Audio RMP Preamp. Mixed in Cubase by Jeff Anderson. Stereo file finished in Cool Edit Pro. A little plate reverb was added to the fiddles from a UA processing board in the computer. The CD was manufactured by Disc Makers.
CD 383 Tunes from the Aurora Violin Manuscripts
The recordings for the Aurora CDs were done at two different studios. For all small groups of 2, 3 or 4 musicians, tracks were recorded at Acoustic Prism Studios in Woodinville, WA. The larger ensembles were recorded at the iconic London Bridge Studio in Seattle, WA.
At Acoustic Prism, we recorded all of the small ensembles of piano, guitar, violins, cello, trumpet and cornet. Violins and cello were recorded using a combination of 2 mics: a DPA 4061 omnidirectional miniature, mounted behind the bridge between the strings and soundboard. The second mic was either a Neumann U67, Neumann U87, or Soundeluxe E49, all large diaphragm tube mics, located about 18 inches from the instrument and aimed at the bridge. For guitar, we used an E49 at the 12th fret, about 6 inches from the instrument, and a Blue Dragonfly at the lower bout on the bottom side of the body. On trumpet and cornet, we used a Sennheiser MD421 mkII about 6 inches from the bell as the near field mic, a Neumann KM184 at about 10 feet to simulate the near field group mic, and an AKG C414 BLS at about 25 feet to simulate a Decca Tree group mic. An electric piano, Alesis DG88, was used to record a midi signal, and a Bosendorfer sampled virtual instrument was used for the piano sound. All mic channels were fed into a Millenia Media HV-3D 8 channel preamp, and then into a Prism Sound Atlas for A/D and D/A conversion at 24 bit, 96 khz sampling rate. The DAW used was Nuendo v9 by Steinberg, and Genelec 1031's as monitors. Editing, mixing and mastering was done at Acoustic Prism.
The London Bridge sessions were recorded through an SSL AWS900 console into Pro Tools 10 HD as 24 bit, 96 khz wav files. The wav files were brought back to Acoustic Prism where they were imported into Nuendo for mixing and mastering. See the London Bridge layout sheet for microphone and other details.
CD 105 Phil's Mandolin Workshop of Mostly Familiar Tunes
Recorded at Voyager's studio to ADAT XT20. The mandolin was recorded first, using a click track for timing on most selections. The guitar was recorded next. Both the mandolin and guitar were miked with a Neumann KM184, using a Great River mike preamp. The mandolin was miked about 8" in front of the lower f-hole, and the guitar about 6" above the end of the fingerboard with the mike angled about 45 degrees toward the peghead. The mandolin and guitar were compressed on some cuts for balance with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio, using an FMR Audio "Really Nice Compressor" or the dynamic processing in Cool Edit Pro. The ADAT tracks were transferred to computer using a Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus, and edited with Cool Edit Pro. The CD-Rs were made using Hotburn Pro.
CD 106 25 Reels, Hornpipes, Marches, & Jigs Suitable for Contra Dances
Recorded at Voyager's studio over a period of seven years. Most of these tunes were recorded for use at the Washington Old Time Fiddle Association's annual week long workshop at Kitittas, Washington. All were recorded live with the fiddle in the main studio room and the guitar isolated in another room. The fiddle usually was recorded with an Audio Technica AT4060 tube condenser mike about 8 inches above the end of the fiddle soundboard, pointed at the player's chin. The guitar (1944 Martin D-28) was miked with a Neumann KM184 about 5 inches above the end of the fingerboard, pointed about 45° toward the peghead. Both mikes were usually run to a Great River preamp. Some of the selections were recorded to an ADAT XT20 or Tascam DA30 DAT and then transferred to computer using a Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe and Cool Edit Pro. The more recently recorded selections were recorded directly to PC computer using the CardDeluxe and Cool Edit Pro or a Steinberg VSL2020 card and Cubase. The left and right channels were normalized independently as the intention of the production is to provide maximum levels on each channel without regard to stereo balance as this is not intended to be a stereo recording. For better overall listenability, on some selections the level of the guitar was reduced in the computer. To make the slowed down version of the fiddle track of each tune for tracks 26 through 50 of the CD, the fiddle track was copied to monaural, the first time through the tune selected, and slowed down in the computer using Adobe Audition. CDR masters were made on a PC computer using Nero and a TDK CD burner.
CDs 107, 108, 109, 110 - Repertoire Builder Series
The tunes on the CDs with these Repertoire Builder packets were recorded from 1997 to the present. The later recordings were made as described for CD 106, above. Earlier recordings were made on a variety of equipment, using the basic techniques described above. The earlier recordings were made to tape - either a Tascam 80-8 with dbx noise reduction, or an Otari 5050B with Dolby noise reduction, and were mixed analog to DAT using a Mackie 1604 mixer. Microphones used on the fiddle included Neumann TLM170, RCA 77DX, Beyer M160, AT4060, and possibly others. The guitar was recorded with various mikes, including AKG C1000, Sennheiser 441, Sanken CU31, Sony C23F, and possibly others.
DVD 1001 Fiddle Seconding Missouri Style
This video was made at Dr. Marshall's house in Callaway County, Missouri, in October, 2012, using a Canon HG20 camcorder, with an AT325 stereo mike on a short floor stand placed between the fiddlers for the sound. The musicians were seated in front of Dr. Marshall's piano, and light was provided by the room's skylight. Editing was done with Vegas Video.
PROFESSIONAL MICROPHONE TECHNIQUES by David Miles Huber & Philip Williams
Many of the microphone techniques used by us to make our recordings are described in detail in the book Professional Microphone Techniques authored by David Miles Huber and Philip Williams. The book is a part of the Mix "Pro Audio Series" published by Mix Books, 6400 Hollis Street, Emeryville, CA 94608. It is available at many stores handling professional and semi-professional audio equipment and bookstores in the United States, as well as on-line equipment and book dealers. Its ISBN number is 0-872886-85-9. This book contains descriptions and diagrams on how to mike virtually any instrument from A to Z. While the focus is on acoustic instruments, electric instruments are covered as well. The book is accompanied by a CD of audio examples of all of the miking techniques illustrated in the book, which clearly show the different sounds produced by different mike placements. The book also includes sections on miking speech, stereo miking techniques, and the use of outboard processing equipment to shape the sound.
Studio and Equipment Notes
We are always striving to do the best job we can do within our somewhat limited budget. We are indebted to some good friends in the industry for giving us advice on new equipment, helping us with recording setups, lending us equipment, and the like. Our primary mentor, who engineered nearly all the recordings we issued in the 1980's, and has rendered invaluable advice and troubleshooting in setting up our studio is David Miles Huber (Modern Recording Techniques, Professional Microphone Techniques, and many more classic recording arts books; www.modrec.com; www.51bpm.com). Most major upgrades to our facilities have been at his suggestion, guidance, and advice. We are also indebted to Rick Ruskin (Liondog Music; www.liondogmusic.com) for significant advice on equipment, studio setup and operations, and studio techniques. Rick is a dealer for professional studio equipment from Great River Electronics, FMR Audio (Real Nice Compresser, Real Nice Preamp), Groove Tubes Pro Audio, Speck Electronics, and Old School Audio. He has is own recording studio and is a great producer. Mike Rivers has given us some valuable tips as to equipment and mixing techniques which work well for old time music. Fred Forssell, top professional studio equipment designer and manufacturer, has given us invaluable insights into how top quality equipment works and how to get the best recorded sounds by proper use of the equipment. We are indebted to him for mike preamps that deliver uncolored sound. (www.forsselltech.com).
A few years ago we switched over to hard disk recording using Steinberg's Cubase 4, a Tascam FW1884 DAW controller, Tascam 428 USB DAW controller, and a Behringer ADA8000 8 channel mike/line preamp with ADAT lightpipe interface to the FW1884. Our current productions usually are recorded and mixed completely in the computer and we have taken our analog mixer out of the studio. We still use our ADAT digital recorders for some multitrack location recording. Our collection of outboard studio mike preamps usually is run directly to line or insert inputs of the FW1884. We have set up our old studio computer (AMD Athlon) for archive recording. For short run CDR duplication we use a Vintech tower duplicator with Plextor commercial drives. For the second CD of Jeff Anderson, this time with the Scandinavian band he is in, we borrowed a Fostex M/S stereo ribbon mike from Rick Ruskin and are well satisfied with its sound on a string band. We have used it in other recent string band recordings. We have been using primarily Neumann TLM 170, Audio Technica AT4060, AKG C414EB, RCA 44 and 77 ribbon mics and Octava MC-012 mikes on fiddles; Neumann KM184, Sanken CU31, AKG C1000s and 3000s, Beyer M500 and M160, and B&O ribbon mikes, EV RE20, Sennheiser 441 and 421 mikes, Neumann U87s, Sony C37FET, and Marshall 2001P and 603 mikes, and several Shure and EV dynamic mikes for other instruments and vocals. For sound reinforcement for our bands, which always play completely acoustically with no pickups or clip-on mikes, we have found that many of the Chinese condenser mikes very well on guitars (both archtop and flattop), and nearly always use Octava MC12s for fiddles. It is nice to have these inexpensive mikes to take "on the road" that deliver sound quality close to some of the studio mikes you would not want to chance out of the studio.
We acquired an FMR Audio Real Nice Preamp and find it works very well with ribbon mikes. This preamp has around 70 dB of gain without any discernable noise. We have also found the Great River preamp works very well with ribbon mikes and its transformer input often helps get a smoother sounding recording on some fiddlers. We use our Forssell Technologies Class A transformerless preamps when we want the preamp to add nothing but gain to the sound. In the recording field now there is a lot of good equipment available at from inexpensive to very inexpensive prices. We have been using the mike preamps on our Nagra IVS for the fiddle and guitar on many of our later recordings. Unfortunately, there is no panacea - no piece of equipment that simply does the job best for every circumstance. We always appreciate sharing experiences with others about techniques and equipment. Learning the recording arts is a lifetime endeavor!