time signature: 3/4
As part of my blog series on mother songs, this post is my recording of the 1893 tear jerker “A Widow’s Plea For Her Son.”
The guitar was a 2007 National Estralita Deluxe. The microphone was a Sure SM 81 pre-amplified with an ART Tube MP3. I recorded on a Macbook using iMovie HD, the 2006 version, and the built-in video camera.
An important tip for this kind of setup is that the audio will have a high-pitched whine unless you use an external mic.
I did about fifteen takes, counting false starts. This is a quarter or less of my normal count.
The setting was next to the window in my workroom right around noon, when the sunlight floods in and creates strong contrasts.
The microphone is positioned just above the camera frame. This is to emphasize the singing.
I did the audio processing in Garageband. First I doubled the original mono source by importing the movie twice into the same Garageband file. In one of those tracks I applied the “guitars/big wheels” filter to give the guitar presence. In the other track I applied the “vocals/male basic” filter to enhance the resonance of my voice. I mixed them back together with no panning to minimize a seasick side-effect caused by the “big wheels” filter otherwise.
The copyright on the composition is in the public domain, so my version is absolutely legal.
My recording here is permissively licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license version 3.0 unported, which means more or less that you can copy and reuse as long as you use the same license and link back to here. If you need another license, like a non-commercial license, just email lucas at gonze dot com to get permission.