Well the Erhu recording went to plan and was the most fun I’ve had in ages! Today, Alexander Nasteski and I recorded amazingly talented Nicholas Ng playing the Erhu in the Audient studio of SAE-QANTM Brisbane, to use in the upcoming game, Dyadic.
I have three songs that I have written for Dyadic and in this blog I will give you a quick insight to how the first song has come together. It started with the track ‘Sow The Fields’, originally written for the Red Panda Game, and featured the Milo-Tinsrument and Banjo-Mandolin. For an in-depth look at how Sow The Fields was made click this link.
Using ‘Sow The Fields’ as a base, I then added percussion, fula-flute and synths to fill it out and that’s when I had the idea to try to find some traditional Chinese instrumentalists to really put the icing on the cake (Dyadic has a Chinese theme after all). By using good ol’ Google, I was soon in touch with Nicholas Ng who was kind enough to come to the studio and record the parts I had written for him.
Convert the MIDI to Score
To write the parts for Nicholas, I took the MIDI sequence of the melody and entered the score editor in Pro Tools. The score was way too confusing because the MIDI wasn’t quantised, so I had to copy the MIDI onto another track so I could really quantise the heck out of it. Once the MIDI was quantised, I entered the score editor again and it looked nice and pretty!
Nicholas played the score brilliantly and I have to admit that I felt awesome when I heard my melody starting to play! Here is an example of the above melody.
Here is the session plan for the recording process.
Nicholas Ng – Erhu Recording for Dyadic 19/05/2015
Studio: Audient, SAE QANTM Brisbane
Time: 11 am – 3pm
Participants: Samuel McLean (Producer), Alexander Nasteski (engineer), Nicholas Ng (Talent)
Objective: Record Samuel McLean’s pre-written melodies, played by Nicholas Ng, performing on the Erhu for the game Dyadic.
Sam: 0404 618 #$#
Alex: firstname.lastname@example.org (need phone number)
Nick: 0411 318 #$#
Mics: 1 x AKG C414 omni, at a distance in front of musican
1 x Royer R121 behind the resonator (musicians left side)
Misc: 2 x XLR
2 x Mic stand
2 x Headphone
1 x Music Stand
10 x Patch leads
192kHz @ 24 Bit
11am: Bump in, Sam and Alex to set up Mics, get signal and create headphone mix.
11:30am: Nicholas arrives, warm up, practice parts and Sam and Alex to check signal/best placements for mics
12pm: Record Phase One – The Race
12:45pm: Record Phase Two – The Puzzles
1:30pm: Record Phase Three – The Desire
2:15pm: Sample Erhu and Improvisations/phrases
Erhu Enters: bar 68 and bar 153
Erhu Enters: bar 25
Meter: 3/4 then 2/4 at bar 65
Erhu Enters: bar 5
As you can hear, the Erhu gives the track a whole new element of realism and gives the MIDI instruments more credibility.
With the recording process complete, I went home and started to edit the melody and do another mix of the track.
I decided to use parallel compression and reverb on the Erhu to try to keep the sound authentic but give it a bit more depth.
And now the full track!
I have two more tracks for Dyadic that have Erhu in them so stay tuned for updates!