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A Backing Tracks experiment- The Last Farewell

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A Backing Tracks experiment- The Last Farewell

Postby KMFrye » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:34 pm

This is a backing trax version of the Whittaker classic that I put together to try and come reasonably close to the original recording. I did it to have a background track to use in an audition. Now it's in my kit for my one-man gigs, and I add a 12str guitar to it "live".

It's a little dry, but that's by design. I've learned that adding too much to the background track can really backfire in a very lively room, or if the soundguy insists you need a lot of reverb in the mix.

I've been having some issues with Box links. I hope this one works. If not, let me know.
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Re: A Backing Tracks experiment- The Last Farewell

Postby rbowser » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:00 am

KMFrye wrote:This is a backing trax version of the Whittaker classic...
It's a little dry, but that's by design. I've learned that adding too much to the background track can really backfire in a very lively room...
I've been having some issues with Box links. I hope this one works...

Link success! Now you're cookin', Kevin.

I just now refreshed my memory about what the original version of this song sounded like. OH yeah - That song. Roger Whittaker hasn't really been on my radar, but of course his unique style and this particular song came back to me as I listened at YouTube.

I noticed you raised the original key by a 3rd. Because he's baritone, and maybe you're a tenor?

It sounds nice, Kevin, and I would say you did a very good job of basing this on the original arrangement. Naturally it sounds more tame, primarily because this is straight from Finale I think?- It could be punched up to have a more dynamic sound if you produced it in Reaper, but what you have certainly is a good backing track for you.

What you say about needing to have tracks pretty dry for use on a stage is certainly right on. You probably know I've produced a number of things to be used in live performances, so know what you're saying is true. It's the same thing as physical instruments being played in a venue - the sound out of speakers is going to be bouncing around in the space in the same way, with natural reverberation being the result. We can do a bit of reverb to help the 3D effect of instruments being different distances from the audience, but it has to be much more subtle than when we're making recordings to be heard in a home setting.

Some advice I haven't followed strictly about making tracks for a live show is to make them monaural. I just can't bring myself to do it! I do make the stereo image much less wide, but I haven't been able to bring myself to go fully monaural. The theory is that the audience should hear the music in the same way no matter where they're sitting. When people are off to the sides, whatever speaker is closest to them is what they'll hear most. That's what that advice is based on.

But speaking of stereo images, I noticed right away that the sound in this track is predominantly from the right. Taking a close listen, and looking at the file in Sound Forge, I confirmed that your rhythm instruments are thrown to the right - bass, drums, piano. This would be stronger if they were centered, bass and drums anyway, with piano slightly to one side. That way the rhythm would be equally strong from all points of the house.

You may be tired of getting notes from me--! what with all the posts on your "Pipeline" thread - and if so, I wouldn't blame you--! -- But I would like to pass on a few more things about this "Last Farewell" track, so I'm going to be sending you a PM. Hope you don't mind.

Thanks for getting this on its own thread, Kevin - Sure helps liven up the Media Room!

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Re: A Backing Tracks experiment- The Last Farewell

Postby Michael.B » Mon May 26, 2014 8:44 am

Hello Kevin,

I just found your recording and enjoyed listening to it.

I noted your comments regarding your ambience 'by design' and completely agree with your approach.

It's also interesting that this is straight from Finale. I also use Finale for my scores then move into sonar to work on my performance.

Once again your song provided very pleaant listening and thanks for posting. :)
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