All posts by mayapur

Adventures With Acoustic Guitar EQ

Before I came across ‘Recording Acoustic Guitar (My Foolproof Method)‘ – a short video by Graham Cochrane (Recording Revolution) – my acoustic guitar recordings would require huge amount of effort and time making EQ adjustments simply trying to achieve a half decent sound. Basically I was working with boxy boomy mud recordings every time. And no matter how much I improved with EQ I was never really satisfied.  … read more

Vocal Performance

This is the way I attempt to capture my vocal performance

Technical Arrangements

  • Rode NT2A microphone with pop shield (pop shield is essential)
  • Position 6 inches to 12 inches from the pop shield
  • Closed back headphones, all backing music panned 100% left, vocal monitoring  panned 100% right (I find I can best hear myself by doing this)
  • Mix/loudness in headphones determined to encourage singing volume/attitude appropriate to style of music (if your vocal monitoring is relatively mixed too loud, then you will tend to compensate by singing more softly … and vice versa)

Attitude

  • Make sure mind remains fully focused throughout take

How do you approach recording vocals? … read more

Deciding Song Structure

I mostly enjoy writing songs on the basis of arrangement/sequence of  the following elements.

  • Verses
  • Chorus
  • Instrumental

A typical song structure might be

  • Intro
  • Verse 1
  • Verse 2
  • Chorus
  • Verse 3
  • Chorus
  • Instrumental (perhaps over chorus chord sequence)
  • Verse 4

A typical arrangement for the above structure might be

  • Intro – just acoustic guitar and organ, panned right and left around 50%
  • Verse 1 – vocal begins
  • Verse 2 – bass guitar and minimal drums (perhaps just hihats and bass drum at this point) begin
  • Chorus – introduce snare to drum part
  • Verse 3 – change snare to side stick
  • Chorus – return to snare, thicken snare sound with claps,  add cymbals, introduce electric guitar
  • Instrumental – bring in lead guitar to play melodic solo – perhaps a simple interpretation of the chorus vocal melody
  • Verse 4 – strip back everything

Normally before I record anything I would have the whole song mapped out in terms of structure and how it builds. … read more

Playing and Recording Acoustic Guitar

I find this works for me

  • I thank Graham Cochrane / Recording Revolution (pictured above) for his tips ‘Recording Acoustic Guitar (My Foolproof Method)‘ … position microphone directly in front of sound hole, but angled toward the 12th fret, which works like a dream for me.  Before I adopted this approach I would spend a huge amount of time with eq adjustments simply trying to get a half decent sound from my take – in this connection see my article Adventures With Acoustic Guitar EQ here.
read more

Writing Lyrics

This works for me …

Dos

  • Know what I want to say about the subject matter I choose to explore in my song before I start writing my lyric
  • If it helps, make a list of key points I want to (or might want to) make
  • Make sure I develop my subject in a coherent way
  • Let poetry come in a natural way
  • Allow  time for the lyric to mature
  • Revisit my lyric-in-progress regularly – with fresh perspective – listen to my gut as I edit and refine

Don’ts

  • Don’t let attachment to perceived clever rhyming or wordplay get in the way of saying what I want to say.
read more

The Fallacy of Perceived Truth

We find it relatively easy to dismiss as false or deluded the truths of others … especially when they don’t tally with our own. We might consider them ridiculous, unbelievable, inconceivable, implausible, or even insane. No more thought required.

But what if the same processes apply to us that make such ‘wrong’ truths acceptable, or even absolute, to others? In other words, our finding something believable – real – true, no matter how implausible to another, is arrived at in fundamentally the same way as theirs is. … read more

You Can’t Say No To God

You can’t say no to God. At least not if you subscribe to the traditional notion of God. You cannot say that God can’t have something God wants. After all, what sort of God would God be if some things are out of bounds? Forbidden. Where would be the divinity in that?

But what about us? What if our not being God does not mean we have lost our divinity? … read more

Freedom From Jugdement Of Others

Many would agree that to achieve freedom from judgement of others is a worthy goal. My song Preacher is about the struggle a person-of-faith likely faces in this endeavor. But regardless one is a person-of-faith or not, I believe the path to freedom from judgement of others has a similar set of obstacles.

At the heart of the challenge always lies conviction there exist ‘truth-absolutes’ of good/bad, higher/lower, worthy/unworthy, should/shouldn’t … in terms of individual attitude and action. … read more

Conditioned Soul – a good thing?

When something is conditioned that means it is made ready for something … conditioning is the process of making ready. Generally that is a good thing.

Perhaps a conditioned soul is therefore simply a soul prepared for their chosen objective. Let us consider this possibility without judgement. After all, if the soul is divine (of God, one and different), and choice of objective is divine prerogative … i.e. … read more

Weighted Words

Ignorance and ignorant are weighted words for me. To be ignorant, or to be absorbed in ignorance, … neither are things to be proud of :(. For me the weightedness of these words has gradually grown over my lifetime. Due, at least in part, to my being born in 20th century England, and growing up within Christian-esque culture.

Yet it seems to me our whole existence is permeated with ignorance. … read more