sound with mac

Well, there were lots of things – one great bit of the teaching involved playing movements from Jonny Dyer‘s new nyckelharpa suite. I wanted to have a go at recording some of it – and as it’s a trio it needs multi-track overdubs again.

I had a first go yesterday using the setup with the Raspberry Pi I have described before. However there were definitely problems. First, I have still not mastered playing a second time along whilst listening on the headphones to the previous track, and trying to keep exactly in time; the precision was definitely poor! Secondly, I wondered about some clicking and popping in later tracks. I sent the result to Vicki who gave me some advice and analysis. Then I had an idea …

Last year Marwyn got a new laptop which meant that her old Mac Mini was retired. Apple have stopped supporting the Mac Mini anyway, I could no longer update the operating system. However it still works – and it has a fan that’s pretty quiet. I installed Audacity on it and decided to give it a go today.

Here’s the result:

I made a lot of takes of each part to give the Mac a lot of work – 7 for part 1, 4 for part 2 and 3 for part 3. Basically I kept going until I had a take with hardly any fluffs that I could use in its entirity.

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monitors

Last September the ceilidh band I play with (the Greenbank Buskers) were doing a gig in a hall which was filled with lots of noisy dancers (etc!). We have usually managed fine in the past but found that the fiddles were having difficulty hearing the accordions, and vice versa. We had amplification but only for the hall.

Having done other gigs where we had (gasp!) a sound tech and even (gasp again!) floor/stage monitor speakers, I knew there was a solution to our problem – but commercially at cost – and we are just a band that plays for charity. However, I remembered that I had an ancient guitar amp I made with a couple of really nice speakers in it …

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Ratty

Back from a fun time at the Chester folk festival – the photo is definitely the best I took (though I didn’t take many as the music was too much fun). It’s Ratty of course 🙂  We only stayed overnight on the Saturday but still saw a lot. Very much enjoyed Les Barker on Saturday lunchtime, then the afternoon concert with 5 acts including Will Pound’s “Through the Seasons” which we had heard a lot about on several radio folk programmes so were interested to see it. It was good though I felt the story was a bit disconnected at times. Hannah James with her accordion was superb, as were The Trials of Cato (fantastic mandolin player), and of course Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer were well up to their usual fantastic standard.

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bike and view

Some good weather let me get in a couple of bike rides whilst in Gatehouse. I did a little recce of the roads (since I’ve not been on them much yet this season) and was horrified by the potholes on the Lauriston climb. The top photo is the view from the car park about half way up the climb (as far as I went on the recce).

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