Thursday, December 13, 2012

Desert Run - Contrabass Native American Flute

Hello, and welcome to installment number four in my articles about the songs on the new "Walking Eagle" CD.

Today's article is about "Desert Run." Here is the link to listen, if you dare:

There is always a song on the album that I wished wasn't there. This is that track from this album. It really has to do with the recording.

Here is the Contabass Native American Flute, by Collin Peterson.

This flute is about 4 feet long.

The problem with this flute is mic-ing it for recording. If the mic is too close, it picks up all the wind and squeaks it is proned to. In order to avoid that, I set the microphone a little too far away to pick up the warmth of it. I tried to correct it in the mixing, and thought I had it fairly well with my high-end studio headphones... and then I forgot the first cardinal law of recording - mix it so that it sounds good on the worst speakers someone is going to listen with. It doesn't work at all on the little computer speakers most of us listen with these days. I didn't eve realize this until I was listening to it after it had been put on download sites.

But, apart from that, this song was written just before recording. The contrabass flute is in C minor. For some reason, I always find it challenging writing for pentatonic scales, but I did come up with a decent progression.

Dugg developed this method of using shakers and the rain stick when we were working with my first Native American Flute, 15 or so years ago.

Otherwise the recording process was uninteresting. But I am going to have to think about using this flute on a recording again. I'll have to be more diligent about experimenting with mic placement.


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