MadMan

I was recently sent a baritone guitar to play and then review for a forthcoming book about these instruments. It was built by Stephan Killick and is definitely one of the most enjoyable instruments I have ever played.

Having a guitar half an octave lower presented me with the possibility of dark, deep tones and 'funky' riffs. I played and played; constantly switching between groove based and more melodic playing. Whilst this was a lot of fun I could never arrive at a place where I had something 'song' like. I needed melody.

That is where the partial capo came in. It was a way to keep the dark deep groove based tonality that utilized the baritone and combine it with melody in the upper regions of the fretboard.

Lyrics started to form from, and manipulate the melody. I really enjoyed working in contrasts; going from quiet to loud, folk to reggae etc. all in the space of one song.

The electronic side of this song exists entirely in the way it had to be recorded and the post production. As with most music videos we had two options for how to go about shooting. We could either pre-record the audio at home with as many takes as we needed, or, record it live and film this take with multiple cameras. With the intention of an authentic video and accompanying audio we chose the second option.

I used a simple setup that consited of an interface and a laptop, condenser mic and humble sm58 for the audio. We had no way of powering my computer so we had to make sure that we recorded the song before the battery ran out. So then began the struggle against the cold winds and sounds of the harbour. 

Finally we got the take we needed with all cameras rolling and headed home. 

The post production was relatively straight foward. A large amount of volume automation was needed to correct the amount I moved around the microphones. Along side this some simple plugins such as compression, reverb, delay, some specialist guitar and vocal plugins and some noise elimination. I tried to find a balance between sweetening the sound and still making it organic, and apparent that it was recorded on a boat.