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Celtic influences?
Old 8th February 2007
  #1
Celtic influences?

Hi Kevin,

Do you regard yourself as a Celt?

If so, do you feel your Celtic background is a strength you can draw on in this crazy business?

Does it provide some sort of bridge to US country music in any way. (or other musical genres, did it link you somehow to Daniel Lanois' Cajun thang)?

Does music run in your family?

Do you have a Celtic soul?

thumbsup
Old 8th February 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
juicylime's Avatar
 

Great question Jules but...um...."Celtish?!!"

(allright allright, I fixed that..! heh What do I know, I am an American cockney, ineye!)
Old 9th February 2007
  #3
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

My Celtic Soul i guess is firmly entrenched. No ifs ands or butts.

How does it help me in the business. Well needless to say when somebody pisses me off, I get out the sword and long bow and go hunting.....tutt

Seriously though, as I was drinking my cup of Irish breakfast tea (barry's) this morning
( thanks Julesthumbsup )I was reminiscing about my first day in the studio. The artist was a local, Mike Hanley being able produced by Bill Whelan and Philip Begley engineering. The band was two acoustics, a mandolin, a bazouki, a bodhram (frame drum ) and a harmonium, It was a great introduction to the art of recording, especially from the perspective of the players who not only had to be adept at playing but being quiet.

The one thing about folk / traditional music anywhere in the world is that there are similarities. You can trace old airs that have travelled to Greece, or Spain or the south east of the US and hear how they have changed and modified to suit the local musical language.

I do believe that music is truly the ONLY universal language it stands to reason that one's background has a direct influence on how you approach work and music. It helps provide the bridge between folks. You just have to look at an event like WOMAD to see how great it can be.

Those first few years where I got exposed to the art of recording real instruments has informed my approach for years.

Kevin
Old 9th February 2007
  #4
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Killen View Post
My Celtic Soul i guess is firmly entrenced. No ifs ands or butts.

How does it help me in the business. Well needless to say when somebody pisses me off, I get out the sword and long bow and go hunting.....tutt

Seriously though, as I was drinking my cup of Irish breakfast tea (barry's) this morning
( thanks Julesthumbsup )I was reminising about my first day in the studio. The artist was a local, Mike Hanley being able produced by Bill Whelan and Philip Begley engineering. The band was two acoustics, a mandolin, a bazouki, a bodhram (frame drum ) and a harmonium, It was a great introduction to the art of recording, especially from the perspective of the players who not only had to be adept at playing but being quiet.

The one thing about folk / traditional music anywhere in the world is that there are similarities. You can trace old airs that have travelled to Greece, or Spain or the south east of the US and hear how they have changed and modified to suit the local musical language.

I do believe that music is truly the ONLY universal language it stands to reason that one's background has a direct influence on how you approach work and music. It hels provide the bridge between folks. You just have to look at an event like WOMAD to see how great it can be.

Those first few years where I got exposed to the art of recording real instruments has informed my approach for years.

Kevin
Hi Kevin

I'm learning so much here; let me add my voice to the chorus of "thank you"s for doing this.

You mentioned mandolin and I've got an important (to me at least) mandolin overdub coming up. How do you like to record it (mics, position, etc)?

Thanks again!
Old 10th February 2007
  #5
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

Kittyboy,

Sure. Mandolin is usually a bright sounding instument. If you have a ribbon mic,( Royer or Coles) try that first say 4 feet off the instrument pointing at the top of the neck. If that is not working you can try a U87/ or other large diameter mic ( AT 4030) and place in the same position and put it in omni.

That might help diffuse the attack on the strings. Last thing to try is to have the player use a felt pick, especially if the strings / instrument is very bright .

The key to any good recording is taking the time to listen to the instrument you are trying to capture in the recording space itself. Sometimes its as simple as placing the mic where it sounds good to your ear. Then go back into the control room and see if the sound is translating. If not, change the mic position. It can help to use a pair of headphones to help locate that sweet spot.

Keep in mind that opening up the mic pre ( to a hotter position) and adjusting the fader level to tape / DAW can also yield a really full sound. Depending on the player / instrument you may have to fool around with the position.

Have fun and lets us know how it goes.



Kevin
Old 10th February 2007
  #6
Gear Guru
I guess this thread is good intro to a Celtic question. "Spike" is one of my favorite Elvis Costello albums. Please talk about recording the Celtic instruments for the gorgeous, vicious "Tramp the Dirt Down". I love the contrast between the beautiful track and some of the nastiest lyrics EC ever wrote.
Old 10th February 2007
  #7
Gear Addict
 
kittyboy's Avatar
 

Thanks Kevin, I'll try my R84 on her.
Old 10th February 2007
  #8
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

PRobb,

Yes I am sure glad that i was not the object of his scorn in that song !

Tramp The Dirty Down and Any Kings Shilling were the first two songs i recorded for Elvis. It was a tough first day for me because at 7AM of the first day i was still wrapping up my first co-production with the wonderfully talented David Rhodes. We had been producing an album for a band called "Cactus World News". It was a classic eighties moment, jump into a taxi with tapes in hand, go to Heathrow airport, board a flight to Dublin to begin tracking "Spike". Frazzled and no sleep !!!

My only saving grace that day was the fact that it was a setup day , plus I was returning to my old haunt "Windmill lane". I knew the studio very well plus all the players hired were old friends. I pulled my assistant aside and appraised him of the situation and he truly covered my back that day.( I have tremendous respect for assistants, having come from that background myself. They are often the glue that hold a session together !)

It was a very strightforward setup, players arranged in a wide semi circle , with some baffles in between. For most traditional Irish music, the proximy of the players is very important as they really do feed off of each others energy.

Donal Lunny was the musical director for the band and we did a couple of run throughs at the end of the first day. Fresh and invigorated after a nights sleep we listened to the run through and it had a kind of spontaneous magic to it. It had a real weave to it and somehow Donal was able to thread the eye of the needle with a new guitar part that pulled the whole track together.

We spent one day on Any Kings Shilling and then EC, T-Bone and myself headed off to New Orleans to record the "Dirty Dozen Brass band." It was quite the start to a incredibly duiverse musical production.

Kevin
Old 10th February 2007
  #9
engineer / producer / mixer
 
Kevin Killen's Avatar
 

Clarification.

Although the "Cactus" album was officially my first co production, the album never saw the light of day until 2003 ! Its a long story.

KK
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