Fun little ditty

Remember a few weeks ago I was pestering about how to record an upright? Well, here is the first tune to come off the press for that group. I am supposed to have another doxen tunes mixed fo rthem before I leave for Europe next week… we’ll see. The average age is probably 65 or 70 for the players on this track. All recorded in the Bubba-land studios (my living room) and mixed at Bubba-land mastering (my bedroom that has a significant amount of sound treatment at this point). Let me know what you think of the mix/mastering. This is the first project like this that I have tackled… all live players, no click, all playing in the same room at the same time. (Shakers and claps were added later.)



For some reason, wnen I click on the link, my computer doesn’t open the file properly. Looks like a WMA file from what I can see…

I don’t know why it doesn’t load into windows media player. Maybe something about file associations on my end, but I can’t find any problems.


Here is an MP3 version.

Bubba, that had to be fun. The fellas can play. The mix and production sounds good to me. The guitar especially has a nice sound. I’ve never recorded acoustic bass myself. In the first part of the song, it sounds a bit more out in front than in similar music that comes to mind. It seems to drop back into the mix as the song progresses.

The song is so relaxing that my blood pressure drops a couple of points every time I listen to it.


Delightful! I’ve already listened to it a half a dozen times.

How many mics did you use to record this, because each instrument came in nice and clear. You did a super recording job. The playing isn’t perfect, but it captures a very nice live feel. What is that instrument in the middle the song: it sounds kind of like a dulcimer to me?

I’m in my mid-50s and I don’t think I’ve heard this song since I was about 15. Brings back memories.


Mics… I used 9 tracks. Kick, Snare, OH-Left, OH Right, Bass, Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Bass Pickup, Guitar Pickup. The instrument in a middle is a 12 string Gibson acoustic with a trapeze tail piece. When dude pulled it out, I was quite surprised. These old dudes all have a story of buying a D28 or something like that for $35 when they were 16 and have never sold it.

I am a 27 year old dork, and I love this old cheese. Polkas, accordions, tiki music, Tijuana brass, Lawrence Welk… all cool to me.

EDIT: I just looked this up, this came out in 1961.


Yep, it is indeed delightful!

Good job Bubba.

Minor crit which is really more of a personal preference but I prefer to “feel” rather than hear a double bass and I think it’s a bit too up-front.


Yeah, I listened to the bass else where and it is a bit too smacking you in the head. However, I am also dealing with the client request to keep the bass prominent.

Bubba, can you answer more questions for me? Did you record this in ntrack? If you did, what equipment and soundcard did you use to record 9 simultaneous tracks?

I’m a one-man band, so I’ve never recorded more than 1 track at a time. In any case I actually record using a digital 8-track and then I use ntrack to do my mix.



How much compression you got on that acoustic bass? Does it sound good when you sqeeze it pretty hard?

Oh yeah… the recording on that 12 string is outstanding. I treally shimmers. What did you do to get that sound?


EDIT: Sorry - too many questions?

Feel free to ask away. That is the point of a board like this. YOu know I am a geek if you have been around here for any length of time and love to pontificate. :)

Did you record this in ntrack?
Yes. ver 4.0.5 1846 if it matters.

If you did, what equipment and soundcard did you use to record 9 simultaneous tracks?

I used an EMU 1820M. However, I also have a Mackie Onyx 800R which I ran into the ADAT in of the 1820M and have synched to the EMUs wordclock. So 8 of the tracks went in through the Mackie pres, the other through the built in EMU TFPro pres. With the Mackie and the EMu hooked together I can do 16 simultaneous tracks. The mics… AT4050 and Rode NT1000 for drum overheads. A Shure SM7 (not 57) on the bass. I used an ADK Generis GC1 on the acoustics. Audix D6 on kick and an SM57 or Audix i5 on the snare. I also mic’d the toms with i5s, but I muted those tracks as the overheads were plenty.

How much compression you got on that acoustic bass? Does it sound good when you sqeeze it pretty hard?

A LOT. If you liek the way it sounds, then yes, it sounds good when you squeeze it hard. The bass was a pain as it is soooo dynamic. It would go from nothing to smacking you in the head. So I had to compress it quite a bit… like 5-10db of compression all the time.

Oh yeah… the recording on that 12 string is outstanding. I treally shimmers. What did you do to get that sound?

Not much. I stuck the ADK in front of the guitar, hit record, and that was it. It was positioned right about at the 12-14th fret maybe 10 inches out. Then in the mix I put a high pass at maybe 100hz and a little tiny bit of compression just to get the transients under control. That’s it. The whole mix has a plate reverb on it.

Hi Bubba,

Good job dude!

If I am allowed a small gripe… there is something going on with the reverb on the snare or sumpin’. Guys using brushes right? There is a swishy, reverby thang happening that comes across as “staticy” sounding to me. Kinda like the hiss between stations of the ol’ radio. If it is brushes, the 'verb is maybe messing with the drummers swirls. I dunno… just trying to be helpful I hope.

BTW, I dig this old stuff too. It’s been YEARS since I’ve heard or even thought about “Calcutta”. Thanks for the post.


Huh, you are the second one to mention the “swishyness” and I am not hearing it… or maybe it is the shaker, hihat chick, and the snare fighting for space? Pete broght this up over at the AM board, so you’re not nuts. I am just not sure what it is you guys are hearing.

Must be the shaker and brushes. I don’t hear it as audio artifacts, but I hear the instruments playing. Crank the hi-EQ over and above natural and it starts sounding like tape hiss and can get grainy…that’s brushes for you.

This could be the theme song of a 1960s Italian movie. I found myself humming it at work and even the dog starts dancing when I play it. Chet Atkins would approve.

The fam’ set the dinner table in unison with the song tonight. This could be the song that saves the world.

I’m surprised that you managed to keep the sound of the accoustic bass sounding accoustic applying compression to it. It’s been my experience that compression squeezes all of it out and they might as well have plugged a P-Bass directly into the console. Good job.

Don’t know how much time you’ve got to play with this track but if it were me I’d fix some of the time issues. Blow up the time so that 1 second is about an inch long, put the cursor line on a downbeat & see what doesn’t line up. Block, cut, paste & move things until it’s tight. Then again maybe those guys like it loose.

I like it a lot tho. This is pretty close to the instrumentation I’ve been recording. I’m the string bass player.

Yeah, the timing is none of my business really. In this case I was hired simply to record and mix. I just really enjoy the project so i wanted to share bits and pieces. I agree, i would like to hear it tightened up… but when you have an 85 year old bass player with diabetes and foot problems, whatever tracks you can get you are happy with as they get tired easily.