Cluny Castle

  1. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    A Scottish Slow Air, Cluny Castle, composed by Alexander Troup and published by James Scott Skinner in his Harp and Claymore Collection of 1904. Lockdown necessitated my going round my garden to get some pictures as the castle is rather far away in rural Aberdeenshire and would not be thought of as an essential journey, I fear! There is an amazing archive in Aberdeen University dedicated to Scott Skinner and his music with many of his original manuscripts which can be browsed freely. Here is the link:

    I recorded the octave on my Tascam DR-05 with the Boya BY-MM1 mic that I heard about from Simon - the one he has been using on many of his recent videos. I then loaded the wav file into REAPER and added guitar backing to it, rendering to mp3 for uploading to YouTube. Thanks for the tip about this mic, Simon. The sound of the octave is not enhanced in any way other than a bit of stereo enhancement (guitar panned 40% to the left for those listening with stereo capability.

  2. Bad Habbits
    Bad Habbits
    Very nice John - another lovely Air, and your octave sounds great.

    Do you believe the Boya to be better than the built-in microphones on the Tascam DR-05? I am curious/interested since I typically use the DR-05 to record and don't find that much difference between that and using a $$ Cardioid mic and DAW for tunes mixed down for YouTube.

  3. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Fine playing and very good sound, John!
  4. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, BH and Christian.
    BH, I reckon you would be very hard-pressed to say that the Boya is better than the Tascam's built-in mics, especially when you render to mp3 then further degrade the sound when it uploads to YouTube, but what I like about it the ability to position it separately (Simon has a very long lead he uses on his riverbank videos so that the camera can be across the water but the mic close to him). I find that with the Boya plugged in I can have the Tascam the "right way round" facing me, letting me see the controls and recording levels, etc more easily than when I use it with its own mics, as it is then facing me and all the controls and screen are upside down; I like to adjust the sound levels manually when I can. I also use it on my DSLR camera and it is better than the built-in mic on this, and again, can be positioned away from the camera. on some cameras the autofocus on the lenses can be a bit noisy so having the mic off-camera is an advantage.
    Lastly, I just like gadgets!
  5. Bad Habbits
    Bad Habbits
    John - I know the 'Like Gadgets' feeling very well!
    I might look into one since I have a couple good Nikon DSLR's, a D-800 and D-850. They shoot pretty good video, but unless you are shooting at a venue where there is a big sound, like a BG show, there is internal noise from the camera, making it not so ideal for shooting soft acoustic stuff.
    Thanks for the help - Mark
  6. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    Very nice tune John. I enjoyed sitting back and listening to your octave.
  7. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I hear you (literally!) John. I think mic choice is one giant leap for sound, but there is a hint of wet tuning in your OM sound that goes all the rest of the way to the moon. I am a big fan of wet tuning and I recognise it when I hear it
  8. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Bertram, if only I could lay claim to using wet tuning! I have a Hohner harmonica with a great vibrato that comes from being wet-tuned, but I have to admit that I did not knowingly attempt this on my octave. I had just been doing some fret adjustments on it (made it in April 2006) and then tuned it (as I thought) to unison on the 4 courses. It may be that there was a wee bit of slippage as the strings had not settled in properly after being loosened off, but I think a lot of the sound you identify is due to my recording in the small conservatory at the back of my house which has no absorbing surfaces so there is a very lively sound. I had the Boya mic plugged in to my Tascam, set the recording level manually and just went for it! And here was I thinking I was in tune!
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I wet tuned mine yesterday, sounded great as long as I didn’t do any up-picking.
  10. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    I started wet-tuning the inadvertent way too, but once I found out about it, I learned to do it on purpose, and it takes practice, because too much of it sounds out of tune. To keep the pulse frequency low is the trick.
  11. Frithjof
    I really enjoyed your recording, John.
  12. Gelsenbury

    I'm running out of things to say about the music in this group. There have been so many really good tunes recently. And this is a special treat even by those high standards. Just perfect.
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