Spooky Delta Blues

Hi all,

I’ve finished (at least for now) a new original instrumental called “Despair”. It’s a very dark improvisational piece I did with slide on my National Steel Tricone guitar. Sort of a spooky Delta Blues.

Go to my personal “other projects” page on the Jobless-Recovery web ste and click on the Despair link:

Best heard with headphones. Interesting to note that the guitar has no effects at all (although the mix has some compression, and the peepers have tons of reverb). I used n-track 4 with a Delta 44 sound card and the built-in mic/pickup I just installed in the guitar.

There are some obvious technical problems (e.g., the noise of the guitar rubbing on my sweater), but I like it as is. Would like to hear critiques on the recording, mix, and whatever.


The mood reminds me of “Ballad of Gator McClusky” by Jerry Reed.

Nice job on the recording. Your correct, very eerie. (too bad they don’t have a clickable scary icon)


Cool playing.
How much is ‘some compression’ ? Sounds a bit over-compressed to me, but that’s just some personal taste for ya :)

Yes, I agree “too much compression”.

I’ve used compression on electric guitar (nice with slide), but this is my first try with a recording. I wasn’t able to get the volume I wanted without uping the compression/limiting to the point of affecting the mix.

What’s the best way to do it?


If you mean overall loudness, as in compared to modern commercial releases, don’t bother. You can’t win and it’s not worth it. When things start sounding wrong, simply use the volume knob.

Hi again,

I’ve done some reading on the correct use of compression and remixed this song.

This time I used 2 compressors in tandem, both set with soft-knee compression and very fast attack.

The result is much better; much less change to the sound, but levels the peaks while still getting respectable volume.

Give it a listen at same place (you can compare the previous one too):


I like it. I’m new to recording / mixing, but I like the song - well done.



Very good work. I like the moody feel of this tune. Thanks.


Well it’s been awhile, and I have a lot more recording under my belt.

I added more sound effects (Bali nut rattle), put some compression directly on the National inputs and added Multiband mastering compression to the overall mix.

As before, Go to my personal “other projects” page on the Jobless-Recovery web ste and click on the Despair link:
Despair by Jim Flowers

Check out the band’s recent demo recording while you’re at it.