Ain't Misbehavin'

June 30, 2010 6:09 PM

Just a piano solo of Thomas "Fats" Waller's classic, with me singing. This one just lopes along, when it isn't tripping over the edge of the stage and breaking its face. At least it's interesting. No more whispery, tentative vocals here - dove right in and got muddy with it.

Sincerely, I think the thing I like about Mefi Music is that I can pretend, at least, that it's just like the piano at the back of the bar I used to go to on Tuesdays. That is, I can sit down and hack this out, and maybe y'all will listen to it once, smile and laugh at my sheer audacity, and then forget all about it five minutes later.

I just hope to god this stuff doesn't follow me around too much. It could be very embarrassing later on - particularly the weird crack in my voice, the awful imitation of a blues growl, and most of all the bit at the end where I try to whisper, forget the words, and end up shouting faux-scat to cover it up. Heh.

posted by koeselitz (8 comments total)

... also, this is the first of three tracks I recorded tonight, so I'll have stuff tomorrow and the day after, too.
posted by koeselitz at 6:17 PM on June 30, 2010

Not totally my cup o tea, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Lovely piano.
posted by srt19170 at 7:49 PM on June 30, 2010

Thanks, srt19170!

In fact, what is your cup o tea? I take requests, within reason, and since you're the first one here, I'll give you first pick... call a tune, I'll give it a go this weekend. I'm serious.
posted by koeselitz at 8:05 PM on June 30, 2010

Love the sound of the (happily honky) piano!

Well done.
posted by Zenabi at 7:31 PM on July 2, 2010

I really like the honky piano, too, K. I think you should let go even more on the vocals. It sounds like you are on the verge of something great, if you could just relax even a tad more. You know you want to!

How are you recording this? It sounds very ambient. I'm wondering if you could close-mic your vocals and put another on the piano (unless that's what you're doing already). I'd like to feel a bit closer to your voice, if possible.
posted by unSane at 8:51 PM on July 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

unSane: what I'm doing right now is essentially the same thing I described in my first music post, unfortunately. The little USB mixer that I use to pipe vocals into my computer only accepts one (amplified) microphone, so this is really all I can do. And I don't think it's really ideal, given that what's easiest for me is recording piano and vocals together.

However, today is my birthday. So I'm going to go out and buy myself something a step up the ladder. That's sort of the route cortex described to me when I asked him about how to go about this, anyway: use current equipment until you outgrow it, and then move upward. I think it's time.

I know what you mean about the vocal wanting to be closer, too. When I was fucking around with this in Audacity (that's another thing I have to remedy – I'm pretty damned tired of recording straight to Audacity, though that worked okay starting out) I had to work my ass off to strike a balance between synthesized depth and the intimacy on the vocal that I think sounds nicest. I have a strong feeling that a second mic will help this immensely.

Anyway, thanks for your comments! I really appreciate the feedback.
posted by koeselitz at 10:21 PM on July 2, 2010

I like the $129 M-Audio MobilePre USB. This accepts two mic level signals (with 48v phantom power) and two unbalanced 1/4" instrument inputs, with stereo line out and headphone out.

Basically it will record pretty much anything you can throw at it, and is flattering on both vocals and acoustic instruments like pianos.

If you add a $119 Studio Projects B1 you've got a near pro-level hardware recording solution for under $250, excluding packing and postage and taxes.

I've used Audacity for pulling audio off cassette demos and splitting it into songs but it seemed to make everything twice as hard as it needed to be!
posted by unSane at 5:24 AM on July 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

(oops, the 'flattering' comment was directed at the B1, cut/paste brainfart).
posted by unSane at 5:25 AM on July 3, 2010

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