D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

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Marko Räsänen
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:18 pm

Thanks Mark!

I did slow down a little for poco rall., as poco means little, but probably not more than I would for the end of a piece or a part of it. Professor Delcamp uses rubato for this piece quite a lot. It does require quite much skill and experience (way more than I have) to get away with that. I'm also a bit hesitant about using too much rubato nowadays before I can technically play the piece with strict tempo, so that I won't cheat myself slowing down difficult passages. If I manage to do a second recording, I'll try to be a bit more expressive and slower.

I agree that Lockvogel is more difficult, but strangely enough I struggle more with the first part, which seems technically easier on paper. It's the :twisted: damping! That is of course not to say that I'm perfectly happy with the way I execute those mordants and slurs in the second part :D

Something I thought I'd mention about the first part of Lockvögel to the group: Pay attention to those accent marks. I listened to the orchestral version of the piece in youtube, and for example in measures 17 and 18, the second beats sound like echoes (i.e. softer) of the first beats.
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Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Catherine Livingston » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:18 pm

Marko,

It was enjoyable to listen to your recordings! I agree that it's difficult to incorporate the "rubato" with skill while maintaining appropriate timing. The Mazurka sounds very good to me. I think if it were played at a slightly slower tempo that might add a bit of a "romantic", "sweet" quality. I now hear what you mean about the timing of the second part. You breeze through the chord changes in measures 37 and 38. That part really took a bit of practice for me! The Lockvogel sounds beautiful. The slurs are played very well in my opinion. Your first part sounds very good as well. I am also surprised that the first part is proving to be more difficult for me to produce a clear tone. My version sounds quite "clunky" at this point but I hope to post it within the next few days. Thanks so much for the tip r.e. the accent marks.
:) Cat Livingston

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Catherine Livingston » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:23 pm

Hello Group!

I tried to incorporate some of your suggestions into my practice of "Mi Favorita Mazurka". It has been a busy week so I haven't practiced as much as I would have liked. I mainly focused on improving the timing issues in the second part + I played with my right hand closer to the sound hole to produce a "sweeter" tone. The microphone was too close to the soundhole so the low notes sound distorted. Sorry about that! It's still a work in progress but I hope this is an improvement. The Strauss piece is not ready to post but I am planning to record it within the next few days ready or not.
Thanks so much for listening and any feedback is welcome as always.
:bye: Cat Livingston
[media]https://youtu.be/z2Oj5lrZi-o[/media]

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:40 pm

Hi Cat,

That was very fluent playing! Only some slight hesitation in couple of places, but no technical issues.

You're right the bass was very boomy in this video, but I've noticed it in your videos as a general tendency as well, and I wonder if it may have something do with with the way the microphone's top is aimed towards the guitar? It looks like a mike that is meant to be held upright the sound coming from the front, not above it. I assume it has a cardioid or figure of 8 pattern, although I could be wrong. I've also read somewhere that the microphone should never be aimed directly at the soundhole, so if yours is, that may also be the reason for boominess.

Marko
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Mark Bacon » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:59 pm

Cat,

Sounding good. Really good. I don't mean to beat a dead horse though-but you're still leaving out those bass note A notes I mentioned. They really cement the harmonic change. With a little slow practice I know you can work them in-your hard work has been showing!

Mark

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Catherine Livingston » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:32 am

Marko,
Thanks for the feedback. That is true that the mic shouldn't be pointed toward the sound hole. Some of the recordings I have done with the mic a bit further away sound much better but the volume is low. It's difficult to get it just right because I lean over to turn on the recording on my computer and bump the mic out of place. Recording technique is just another aspect of this course!

Mark,
Thanks for the encouragement :)
You are correct, I didn't address the bass notes when I recorded this take. It's amazing how you notice every detail! You have an amazing ear! I may try another recording with the bass notes incorporated + better placement of the microphone. Maybe then it will finally be a recording worthy of sharing with my friends and family.

I am working on the Mazurka but am making slow progress. Marko, your reminder to notice the accent marks is very helpful. It's beginning to sound a bit more like a waltz. I am planning to post a recording of it on Sunday whether I am ready or not!
I am looking forward to hearing more recordings....
:) Cat

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:08 am

Hi group,

I recorded a slower version of the mazurka, and my first version of Se io m'accorgo ben. Mazurka has some reverb added, the renaissance piece is dry. Both pieces were recorded with Rode NT5 matched pair in ORTF configuration approx. 60-80cm away from the guitar. Not perfect takes, but hopefully you'll enjoy them!

[media]https://youtu.be/s6J3xA_DLzE[/media]

[media]https://youtu.be/S9r9wwTWiXM[/media]
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Mark Bacon » Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:00 pm

Marko,

I've always firmly believed that constructive feedback is the most valuable in these lessons. That is-what can be done better/where the mistakes or technical flaws are. But with these last uploads I'm afraid I cannot offer any. I enjoyed both immensely to the point where I'm a tad jealous. So in the tradition of giving feedback even if only positive I'd like to highlight what I really liked.

-the recording quality. Especially the reverb. Very tasteful, not overdone.
-With Mi Favorita you've accomplished that lack of rat-tat-tat in the melody that I was referring to earlier. It may be the rubato or the volume difference, but it sounded great. So did all of your glissando slides.
-I also liked all of your rolled chords in the Renaissance piece-very appropriately stylistic. I'm guessing you've put some time into this month's lesson. It shows.

Mark

Catherine Livingston

Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Catherine Livingston » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:59 pm

Marko!
:bravo:
Thanks for uploading these beautiful recordings:)
"Mi Favorita Mazurka" sounds lovely at a slowed down pace with the reverb. It captures the "romance" of the time period and is much improved compared with the first recording in my opinion.
"Se Lo M'Accorgo Ben" Is beautifully played. You play it with sensitivity and good tone. You have definitely inspired me to learn this piece.
Your recording setup works very well.
Thank you for the inspiration,

Cat Livingston

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:16 am

Thank you for your cordial comments, Mark and Cat!

It definitely helps to have worked with these pieces previously ("Se io m'accorgo ben" I already know from Noad's, though there are some changes in Delcamp's version), and they're not the most technically challenging pieces of D04. This leaves more time to experiment with musical expression during the lesson. I also happened to have a chance to record coinciding with a musical inspiration. Sometimes it all just clicks together, if you know what I mean.

Regarding the recording equipment, I believe that not only the equipment can make a good performance sound bad, but also make a performance sound better than it sounds live (at least from the player's perspective). For me it's also the matter of getting a reference against the professionally made recordings, answering questions such as "How close I am to the tone of artist X?", "Does his guitar sound this much better, or is it mainly the differences in recordings?". This has been motivated by the observation I have made here at Delcamp lessons, that it is easy to confuse the player's tone aspect of the right hand technique with the recording quality. This has become apparent when someone has upgraded from, say, webcam mic optimized for speech to a proper condenser mic.

Reverb is another step towards the sound we're used to hearing in the professionally made recordings, and for example damping for the rests will sound different depending on how much there is reverb (natural from the recording room, or artificially added) in the recording. In my opinion guitars are ultimately meant to be played in spaces larger than standard living room, and therefore some reverberation within reason is usually called for to simulate a typical live listening experience.

As Cat said previously, recording technique is another aspect of this course. It is the medium through which the students represent their actual playing to others. Unfortunately it is out of scope for these lessons, but there is plethora of information at the recording section of this forum, and internet in general. What is wonderful about the modern day and age, is that near-professional level audio is at anybody's reach at relatively low cost.
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:56 am

Catherine Livingston wrote:Some of the recordings I have done with the mic a bit further away sound much better but the volume is low. It's difficult to get it just right because I lean over to turn on the recording on my computer and bump the mic out of place.
I assume that you're using an USB mic connected to Windows7 PC? I recall there is a problem that Win7 audio USB drivers are optimized for headset mics, and there simply isn't enough gain to record from a distance more suitable for classical guitar recording (50-100cm).

One possible solution would be to look for Universal ASIO driver to use with the mic. But then it's up to your recording software whether it recognizes that driver or not.

However, If you're getting serious about recording yourself, I would suggest to get a "proper" mic with XLR connection. The cheapest small diaphragm condensers cost only 30$ or thereabouts, but naturally you'll only get what you pay for. With that kind of mic you'll need an audio interface box to connect to the computer with USB, or alternatively a small mixer such as Mackey 402VLZ4 (which I happen to have myself) to provide the phantom power for the mic(s) and to get a an analog line level signal to any recording device accepting analog line audio input. Either of these devices cost in the vicinity of 100-200$ although there are cheaper options as well, but it's probably not worth the saved $.

The third option is to look for software solutions to amplify the audio outside the video, and then put it back to video. If you don't want your recordings' volume to vary from one recording to the next, that's something you'd probably want to do in any case.

All this of course comes with a learning curve, which you may or may not enjoy depending on how technically-minded you are :D Perhaps that's something to get into during the summer months?
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Catherine Livingston » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:18 am

Marko,
Thank you for the recording advice! I am using an inexpensive MXL condenser USB microphone with a Macbook Pro computer. I record using Quicktime and upload the videos directly to Youtube without any editing. It's an easy to use setup but I am working on the mic placement. They do sell a pre-amp that works with the setup I have. I may purchase it so that I can achieve adequate volume when I place the mic further away.
Fellow Classmates-
Here is my "rough draft" version of the Strauss Lockvogel Waltz. I was actually just trying not to sound too "clunky" during the first part and was happy to survive the second part without any major blunders. I am having some difficulty playing the first part in a way that sounds pretty. This piece still needs some work but I am feeling a bit "stuck" so any feedback is welcome. Thank you so much for listening.
:bye:
Cat Livingston
[media]https://youtu.be/LUElPlTxBw8[/media]

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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi Cat,

I would say that your Lockvögel was much more than a "rough draft"! :bravo:

The first part already had quite good feel to it. Perhaps experiment with little more staccato to the 2nd beat notes, and use some split chords (play the bass note with thumb slightly before the other notes), and experiment with accentuation bringing various notes out from the chords (for example in measures 9 & 10 for the second beat chord you can get a different feel by emphasizing either e or g#). It's pretty much adding some details to it from this point on.

For the second part you slow down the tempo slightly. I can see that you struggle with the mordents and slurs slightly. You just need to work the technique there. They're pretty difficult in this piece, was for me too when I first took this D04 course, and considering that you did a fantastic job with them! This second part of the piece is also an excellent drill for slurring, if you're like me who's a bit lazy doing those slurring exercises. You already made the hammer-ons stand out quite well, so perhaps you could concentrate on the speed of the mordents.
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sat May 02, 2015 11:37 pm

Well done Cat and Marko. I should have consulted you, Marko, or read more before I purchased my recording set up. I'm using a Sterling small diaphragm condenser mic through an iTrack Solo pre amp to my iPad. Once I climbed the learning curve to get it working right, it seems passable. But any other recommendations would be appreciated. I have experimented a little with reverb and such, but haven't found the right combo yet, so my videos are generally dry.
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Re: D04 Classical guitar lesson 08

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sun May 03, 2015 9:06 am

Thanks Rick!

In my experience to record the sound of the classical guitar the way we're used to hearing it in studio and live recordings, the microphone(s) needs to be placed 60-100cm away from the guitar. This will eliminate most of the string noise coming from finger/nail - string contact. Another option is to close mic the lower bout, but then the sound tends to be a bit cold (depending on the guitar).

The problem with recording from 2-3' distance is that there will be a lot of the room reflections in the recording, and these are much more prevalent in the recording than any difference a reasonable mic might produce when changing from one mic to another. Therefore rather than changing to another microphone, I would suggest to acoustically treat the recording room at least to some degree. Although absorber panels usually aren't too pretty to look at, they're relatively inexpensive these days. Also the reverb will work much better on a recording that doesn't have much room reflections in it to start with.
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