17 December 2008


Free Christmas MP3: "What Child Is This?"

UPDATE: This recording and its predecessor are both listed at Uwe Hermann's page of freely licensed Christmas songs.

Three years ago I recorded a classical guitar version of "We Three Kings" (MP3 file) and last year I used it as the soundtrack of a Christmas slideshow. People liked both of them, so this year I have for you a short (1 min 43 sec) solo classical guitar recording of me playing "What Child Is This?" (2.4 MB MP3 file), another traditional carol, also known as "Greensleeves" when it's not Christmastime:

I'm putting together a segment for Inside Home Recording about how I recorded and mixed this piece, so watch for that in the next few days. You can also find this recording, which is free for you to share and remix, at the Podsafe Music Network and the Internet Archive (in a bunch of formats).

And no, I still don't have my act together to get the Penmachine Podcast page functioning technically yet, so it's not available there yet. I'll get to it.

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Nicely done. What microphone did you use for this?
This sounds fantastic! The recording and the performance are just superb. What a great and timely segment for the show!
Now I just have to record my narration and description for IHR.

I recorded the piece with two microphones, a dynamic Samson Q8 (similar to a Shure Beta 58) just above where the fretboard meets the soundhole, and an MXL990 condenser mic angled down and at the soundhole from just behind my hand, over the rear of the guitar. I had them both plugged into my Zoom H4 flash recorder.

Unfortunately, while the Samson picked some some nice low end, it also had a lot of hiss (maybe that's the H4's fault). No matter what I did I couldn't control it adequately, so I ended up just using the MXL track, splitting it into two and EQing the two sides differently, very slightly offsetting them in the timeline to get a bit of delay, and adding reverb.

More details at Inside Home Recording when I get everything together this afternoon.
Very nice...and one of my favorites...
Oh sorry, I used my MXL770, not the 990. They're almost identical, except the 770 has a low-cut filter (which I used) and a -10 dB pad (which I didn't). And it's black.
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this.
See details on how I recorded and mixed this track at today's episode of Inside Home Recording.