The Videos, Raw and Honest

I’ve had a lot of compliments on our videos and everybody wants to know: “Did you produce them yourselves?”

Ah, yeah.

The second question comes up is ‘are they live’ and, then, ‘how’.

Here’s the process:

The master sound track is recorded to computer via the magic of electronica, through one of several varieties of condenser mic (headset, mounted, or suspended) or from the pickup inside Forrest’s guitar to the computer with a few mysterious pieces of equipment in between, namely, two soundboards, two POG2s, two Digitech RP1000 effects units, and a 404HD by Behringer. This allows us to somewhat avoid any environmental noise being captured to the track, providing we do it during quiet hours when the trains aren’t coming through every few minutes. (Train rumbles and their horn noise is, in our set-up, nigh on impossible to eradicate). Of course, because I am live mic’d with a condenser mic that loves to pick up key sounds from the flute and my breathing (and any cat walking across the floor), those sounds are just an immutable part of the experience.

The video captures on camera also catch the sound, unless we turn it off. Because of stuff too technical for me to get my brain around, sound lags the visual on video capture, destroying sync. So sound is recorded separate from video capture, which complicates my job as the video compiler.

So, session done, Forrest does post-processing on the audio that was laid to the computer while I get to start pulling the raw footage.

Forrest can get the audio finalized a lot faster than I can compile the video, which requires me to sort through the various camera angles, deciding what goes where, snipping out the parts we’ll use, then pulling them into the program that actually compiles them. Forrest can usually get the audio processed in hours, while my job takes me days upon days to complete unless it’s something simple like our tribute to Chris Cornell, “Black Hole Sun”.

Laying the Tracks Today for Our First Official Album

not just a flute and a guitar - power-driven flute and electrified acoustic guitar, DLKeur and FWLineberry music
Today, with Forrest home for a week of much-needed vacation, the most they’ll allow him at one time, we’re laying the tracks for our first official album release. …At least, I think it will be our first album to be released, unless some sort of craziness happens and we get to do another release prior to this one’s set-in-stone release date. Because we’re using multiple voicing on some pieces, the tracks must be overdubbed. We usually record live, rather than overdubbing, but, because I’m playing both flute and harpsichord and Forrest is playing recorders and clarinets, along with guitar, well, without clones of ourselves or other musicians willing and capable of stepping in, overdubbing is what has to happen.

It’s an interesting process, much harder than playing live, because you have to implicitly match timing with the previously recorded track(s), not always an easy thing. In fact, not easy, at all for me who is used to syncing with other musicians in the moment.

I’ll keep you all posted on progress as we begin the long process of laying piece after piece, up to twenty in all, for what sounds, so far, to my ear, anyway, like an amazingly glorious album of Forrest’s arrangements of some traditional, but universally beloved music.