…whatever the hell that‘s supposed to mean!
No, I’m not covering that song.
Yes, I totally lied to you in the title. Suck it up and deal.
Yes, I was attempting to be just a wee bit clever.
No, I don’t care if you still want me to cover that song.
Today’s song is a part of an ongoing experiment with the condenser mic. I keep trying out different ways to capture vocals, to capture guitar sounds, to capture fiddle sounds, etc.. I plug things in to the mixer, I mess about with the EQ, I throw too much reverb on things, all that. I’m just trying to see what I can get. I really prefer, though, to have a sound that’s as natural as possible — I want the recording to feel like the music is immediate rather than filtered, at least for some songs. For others, I want things as wacky and artificial as possible. :) I should also mention that I have lately come to hate the sound of plugged-in electric/acoustic guitars with a passion.
Today’s attempt at “natural” is a cover of an awesome Amanda Palmer tune called The Point of it All. One reason I wanted to go natural with this song is because that’s pretty much the way she recorded it herself. If you listen to all of “Who Killed Amanda Palmer,” you hear a recording in which the vocal and instruments are blended with a kind of brittle immediacy. You can hear every nuance of the flawed velvet of her voice, and the piano and string arrangements are subtly held together. There’s not a lot of fireworks in the mix — it’s elegant and present. Even big, loud songs like Leeds United remain immediate, a cool, live cabaret sound that works beautifully. While the sounds have occasionally been messed with a bit (check the vocal in Leeds United, for example), it’s not a sort of autotune-to-sameness thing. The recording engineer and mixer clearly decided to enhance the particular features of her voice instead of smoothing things out.
So I took a shot at something a little natural-ish. I honestly don’t quite know what’s best for my own voice, but this sort of thing gives me a place to start.
It’s a little bare and not quite as sweet with the guitar instead of piano and strings, but it’s still kind of neat. I muddled some lyrics, but my goal was to get the main guitar part and vocal laid down in one take, so I stopped as soon as I got through it and didn’t look back. I added the picked guitar on an additional track to capture the main piano riff.