As I mentioned in this post, I recently got a nice Takamine acoustic guitar in trade for a car amplifier, and I thought it would be fun to record a few songs with it before I offer to trade the guitar. Now, I’ve used programs to mix songs like a DJ would, but this is my first attempt at using a PC to record and edit audio of myself playing guitar – so I’ll admit this isn’t 100% top-of-the-line professional work. It’s more of a proof of concept, letting me practice and get familiar with it.
That said, it’s experimental in other ways too. I’ve always been interested in what are called “voices” in music. In this use, the word voices refers not to people singing, but a related concept. In a quartet of singers you’ll have four people singing, or four voices. In a string quartet you also have four voices, but the voices are of the instruments – usually two violins, a viola and a cello. To give you a visual example of what I’m talking about, check out the video below. Each color in the video represents a different instrument, each with its own voice:
Now to take it a step further – sometimes you can play multiple ‘voices’ on the same instrument at the same time – but if they’re being played on the same instrument people who aren’t musically inclined might not even recognize them as different voices. I wanted to pick a song that has multiple voices being played on a single guitar and record each voice separately. Then I wanted to use stereo effects and panning so each voice would stand out (if you’re not familiar with the term panning, click here). I chose a song by Crosby, Stills, and Nash titled “4+20”. Here’s the song as I recorded it. The panning is more noticeable if you listen with headphones:
And here’s the original artist, for comparison:
There used to be a version of the original album recording on Youtube but it’s been taken down by request of the RIAA. The live version above has some additional variations, but you get the idea. 🙂