• Sheikh, Rattle & Roll

Recording the Rhumba

Having some spare time at the end of the school year, a colleague had brought in his sturdy and constantly well-reviewed Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. He kindly

let me take it for a road test and so I set myself the task of recording my arrangement of Jamaican Rhumba (which I've blogged about before) which would provide an opportunity not just to simply record some music but to try and create some sort of polished finished product. However, the only issue was that I hadn't planned to have this spare hour in advance I so did not have my Mac with me, only my Surface Pro. When recording previously, I would have recorded into GarageBand and taken it from there. This time, though, I made do with using:

  • Audacity

  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface

  • Good quality Stagg leads

Not wanting a MIDI recording from my Yamaha Clavinova, I connected the Scarlett 2i2 into the headphone socket of the Clavinova (there was no L and R output on this particular model). A downside of this connection was that it provided only a mono output. In order to compensate for this I decided I would record 3 of the tracks to the L mono and three to the R mono effectively panning the tracks. A crude solution, but I didn't have a lot of time and it doesn't sound terrible on the final recording! After doing some research after I did find out that you could use an audio splitter connected into the headphone socket to split the audio between L and R thus creating a stereo recording. Or an even simpler solution might be to use the 'make stereo track' function. I'll have to test these out next time!

Obviously, I needed a click track to record each of the tracks which is easy to set up (if not particularity easy to find in Audacity):

Having finished recording each piano part I then applied a little reverb to each track. Not only did this apply the desired depth to the recordings, Audacity applied the reverb on the opposite side to the actual recording. Because I was recording in mono I could only record a track on, say, left. However, after applying reverb a small trace of the track (the reverb) would appear on the right side of the track. This made for a better mix given the circumstances.

So, a quick recording session with a quick mix made for this final recording. Obviously I'd do things differently next time, but nonetheless, the final mix down wasn't too bad! What do you think?

#recording #focusritescarlett #jamaicanrhumba #multitrack #audacity

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