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New Playing for Change vid
Old 16th February 2020
  #1
New Playing for Change vid

Great version of Mama Africa featuring Peter Tosh's son Andrew

These guys take their remote possiblities seriously!

I hope everybody enjoys this like I did - this might be my favorite of this series so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqc0FXiazQM
Old 16th February 2020
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for flagging up the latest Playing for Change recording/film. I always enjoy these. Indeed, they influenced my own attempts at recording on location such as in this version of This Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10DNu-Fi738

Obviously much more amateur than Playing for Change, but it was my first foray into overdubbing on location (I used a Mixpre-3): outside the usual fun and games of recording outside (traffic etc.), challenges included sound recording whilst operating cameras, and recording a steam train getting up to the tempo of the song! Anyway, was a bit of fun...

Cheers,

Roland
Old 16th February 2020
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omega75 View Post
Great version of Mama Africa featuring Peter Tosh's son Andrew

These guys take their remote possiblities seriously!

I hope everybody enjoys this like I did - this might be my favorite of this series so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqc0FXiazQM
Didn't hear a some of the instruments that were in the video...
Old 16th February 2020
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Didn't hear a some of the instruments that were in the video...
Democracy's a tough thing, when it comes to mix time...I liked this one too (in the key of F Demented...) : https://youtu.be/ph1GU1qQ1zQ

Here's a little set of videos, showing the "making-of" process for the series:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...DstvbnoK819YUO

One more thing, if you ever want separate isolation-room-ype separation for a whole band together recording, using dynamic mics outside with suitable wind protection (quite modest foamies will often do...because they're not condensors or ribbons) will get you that eg : https://youtu.be/4cRVRCW0YHc

Each mic is super dry, due to no reflections from surrounding surfaces, so it takes reverb or any other processing really well with no artifacts or overlap with existing early reflections. You can hear how all the sounds on "Honky Tonk Women" stop on a dime, with no overhang.

Last edited by studer58; 16th February 2020 at 03:11 PM..
Old 16th February 2020
  #5
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Thanks for the link to the 'making of' video, though I'd love it if they provided some more detailed ones on the technical aspects. As far as I can tell, when they began with Stand By Me, they just began with recording Roger Ridley, then overdubbed other parts, but I suspect things might have developed since then. Certainly, I found it useful to record a scratch track (guitar and vocal) first (itself, underpinned by a click track), which was then dropped after a couple of overdubs, to get some reasonable consistency with timing.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 16th February 2020
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Thanks for flagging up the latest Playing for Change recording/film. I always enjoy these. Indeed, they influenced my own attempts at recording on location such as in this version of This Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10DNu-Fi738

Obviously much more amateur than Playing for Change, but it was my first foray into overdubbing on location (I used a Mixpre-3): outside the usual fun and games of recording outside (traffic etc.), challenges included sound recording whilst operating cameras, and recording a steam train getting up to the tempo of the song! Anyway, was a bit of fun...

Cheers,

Roland
Roland, very impressive recording! The steam engine firing up was perfect. Reminds me of a gig I once played in Haymarket Va near the tracks, we worked the sound of passing freight trains into our set, just jammed along as they rolled by!



Old 16th February 2020
  #7
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Thanks for the kind words Omega75!

I guess others have done similar Playing for Change-style recordings: if so it would be good to see/hear more, and learn more about them too.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 16th February 2020
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
One more thing, if you ever want separate isolation-room-ype separation for a whole band together recording, using dynamic mics outside with suitable wind protection (quite modest foamies will often do...because they're not condensors or ribbons) will get you that.
Playing For Change use a wide variety of mics (e.g. see https://www.mixonline.com/sfp/sfp-playing-change-369239). I've not found dynamics as useful as you suggest, using mostly SDCs, though in the This Train example I posted I did use a dynamic on the flugelhorn (at 4:17). On a still summer's morning this needed no additional wind protection: most wind protection, of course, is much more suited to SDCs. And outside this overdubbed example, most of my outside recording is of bands playing together using spaced omni SDCs, capturing the sounds of the location (which is rather the point).

Cheers,

Roland
Old 16th February 2020
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Democracy's a tough thing, when it comes to mix time...
Don't understand what this means...I simply don't understand the point of putting musicians playing in the video when you can't hear the instruments they're playing in the audio.
Old 17th February 2020
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Don't understand what this means...I simply don't understand the point of putting musicians playing in the video when you can't hear the instruments they're playing in the audio.
My comment was simply meant to emphasise that mixing involves the art of layering, adding and subtracting, allowing instruments to exist often on a barely perceptible level yet still contribute to a song...or in this case to be audible for a second or so, then recede...mixing as an active (verb) process of subtle fader moves, rather than throwing them all up to 0 and letting them battle for attention on equal footing. Often in this series of videos when you see an instrument it does indeed gain brief increased perceptibility....but it could also just be the eyes fooling the brain?
Old 17th February 2020
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
My comment was simply meant to emphasise that mixing involves the art of layering, adding and subtracting, allowing instruments to exist often on a barely perceptible level yet still contribute to a song...or in this case to be audible for a second or so, then recede...mixing as an active (verb) process of subtle fader moves, rather than throwing them all up to 0 and letting them battle for attention on equal footing. Often in this series of videos when you see an instrument it does indeed gain brief increased perceptibility....but it could also just be the eyes fooling the brain?
So you're teaching me how to suck eggs...? Sheesh...hopefully I'll remember all this the next time I sit down behind a console.
Old 17th February 2020
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
So you're teaching me how to suck eggs...? Sheesh...hopefully I'll remember all this the next time I sit down behind a console.
You seemed not to have grasped the basics...and in the case of these particular location videos, it probably involves no small cost to include players from far flung places on screen...only to have them apparently absent from the mix ? My point being that they were likely present ...even if not to the satisfaction of yourself (or, more likely, either present subliminally or in some other part of the song than when they were depicted)
Old 17th February 2020
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Didn't hear a some of the instruments that were in the video...
Which ones? How did you like the song otherwise? i thought it was really outstanding. Brought back memories too - I was lucky enough to see Tosh during the Mama Africa tour, back in the day. Wonderful show in Boston. So much weed in the air! Peter said we should smoke down in the bathrooms cuz cops and everybody cheered then he launched into a rousing "Legalize It"
Old 17th February 2020
  #14
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What is encapsulated on all the Playing for Change videos is the sheer joy of creating music...for the players themselves as well as their viewers and listeners. Part of it may be that they have cans on and they know that they're adding materially to something bigger than each of them individually...the power of the Greater Collective ?

This young woman has contributed to a few of that movement's videos, although in this case it's purely a home rehearsal with a friend...I love the ease (and again, fun !) with which she delivers her playing: https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PL-...n6PI2ACbed3wvQ

More power to the Uke !
Old 17th February 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omega75 View Post
Which ones? How did you like the song otherwise? i thought it was really outstanding. Brought back memories too - I was lucky enough to see Tosh during the Mama Africa tour, back in the day. Wonderful show in Boston. So much weed in the air! Peter said we should smoke down in the bathrooms cuz cops and everybody cheered then he launched into a rousing "Legalize It"
I like the video and song, but found it a little weird that they would feature a musician playing in the video at a moment when his playing/instrument could not be heard. I've started to find the videos a little formulaic and boring in general though, and if nothing else, these covers make me appreciate the original versions of the songs more.

I worked with Peter Tosh a couple of times during the Sly and Robbie years...interesting to say the least.
Old 17th February 2020
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I've started to find the videos a little formulaic and boring in general
Although I enjoy the Playing for Change videos/recordings (and, as I have said, have been inspired by them), there is no denying that they have become a little formulaic, as you say.

I'm not desperate to repeat the exercise of my amateur video/recording along similar lines (although might be doing something similar soon - but indoors - with some ageing musicians who live far apart and don't/can't physically reunite), but the main reason for me isn't the formulaic nature of such videos (which you could apply to most videos of music recordings), but the fact that there is little reason to record outside for this type of production.

With Playing for Change the motivation to record outside came from street musicians (go right back to their initial Stand By Me recording), but, clearly, that doesn't apply to many of their musicians today: they could as well be in studios, or at least indoors. To me the motivation to record outside - and I do a lot of this, but mostly live, not overdubbed - comes from the specific ambient sound that is so different from studios - the birdsong, the sea, sheep etc. - while the overdubbing approach means that you end up miking so closely (or even DI-ing) that you lose this.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Playing For Change use a wide variety of mics (e.g. see https://www.mixonline.com/sfp/sfp-playing-change-369239). I've not found dynamics as useful as you suggest, using mostly SDCs, though in the This Train example I posted I did use a dynamic on the flugelhorn (at 4:17). On a still summer's morning this needed no additional wind protection: most wind protection, of course, is much more suited to SDCs. And outside this overdubbed example, most of my outside recording is of bands playing together using spaced omni SDCs, capturing the sounds of the location (which is rather the point).

Cheers,

Roland
I see mostly Schoeps Colette mics on these vids. They sound fantastic. Do you mainly use them in omni, or do you use any other capsules for them?

And from your experience, what are the most effective and acoustically transparent windshields, more for pops than for outside wind?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
I see mostly Schoeps Colette mics on these vids. They sound fantastic. Do you mainly use them in omni, or do you use any other capsules for them?
Well, I can't speak for Playing for Change, but in that interview with Mark Johnson that I linked (https://www.mixonline.com/sfp/sfp-playing-change-369239) he refers to heavy use of hypercardioids, which is what I'd expect, and I'd have thought omnis unlikely for this type of recording (i.e. where ambience isn't really featured, and where the recording is, essentially, trying to replicate a studio). As I said, in contrast, I use omnis outdoors where overdubbing isn't involved and where I want to capture the birdsong, sea, sheep etc. in the background.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
And from your experience, what are the most effective and acoustically transparent windshields, more for pops than for outside wind?
I'm not certain what you are asking: simply what is the best pop filter for inside/studio use? If so, that's for a different thread. In terms of outside, I use a variety of windshields, depending on mic size, type, and wind: Rycote Baby Ball gags more often than not, with and without fur as necessary. Rycote baseballs might be better (more transparent) in extremely light to no wind: I have yet to try. Cinela Leo seems a more expensive version of the same. Oh, and full blimps if needed, including a huge one for LDC mics.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omega75 View Post
Reminds me of a gig I once played in Haymarket Va near the tracks, we worked the sound of passing freight trains into our set, just jammed along as they rolled by!
Always amused by this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbN-jO11vKg
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