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bdiament
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Jason Vitelli: Confluence (Soundkeeper Recordings)

7 players, 17 songs, 2 mics

Hi all,

Folks have asked me about the next release on Soundkeeper. Here's the info:

I’m happy to announce our next release is not far off. This has been a big project and a challenging one for all concerned. A veritable tour de force from NYC singer/songwriter Jason Vitelli, “Confluence” is a double album (on one CD), showcasing Jason’s amazing talents as songwriter, vocalist, musician and arranger.

I first met Jason when he contacted me a few years ago, to master his first album “No Photographs”. I was so knocked out by Jason’s music, I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a project for Soundkeeper. Happily, he said he was interested. The only issue was that Jason played almost all the instruments on “No Photographs” and would need to assemble a band in order to do a real time recording in the Soundkeeper way.

The word was put out and Jason auditioned many players and background vocalists. Ultimately, he gathered a great bunch who were sympathetic to his music and provided just the right support to allow Jason to fly. As the pièce de résistance addition to the band, I contacted my friend Dave Ramsay. After hearing Jason’s music, Dave joined to complete the band and lend his special musicianship to the proceedings.

Featuring solo performances, duets and a trio as well as full ensemble pieces, the album’s 17 songs range from ballads to all out electric rockers, all recorded “live” (for the microphones) and in stereo.

For musicians used to the convenience of being able to overdub and/or patch musical performances, the demands were great in that everyone had to be “on” all the time; any mistake on one person’s part would require a retake on everyone’s part. From my perspective as producer and engineer, the different musical arrangements made it more like recording five or six different ensembles. I’d get a sound for recording and we’d capture the takes, then I’d have to start over again as we rearranged the stage to accommodate a different array of instrumentation. When it came time to master, the challenges continued. All the different combinations of players on the different songs meant that getting a consistent volume level from song to song took a lot more time, making settings, listening, tweaking settings, listening some more, etc. particularly in view of the fact that I was not going to simply slap a compressor on everything to “even it out”. The idea was to preserve the real dynamics of the performances, so of course, there were no compressors at all.

Stay tuned for some audio samples, soon to be put up on the Soundkeeper Web site.

Best regards, 
Barry 

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
www.barrydiamentaudio.com 

bdiament
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Album cover and equipment list

Confluence album cover

The equipment was the following:
1. A matched pair of Earthworks QTC-40 (aka QTC-1) microphones, arranged in a stereo array and separated by a baffle of my own design
2. Nordost Valkyrja microphone cables
3. Metric Halo ULN-8 serving as mic preamps and A-D converters
4. Metric Halo Record Panel (this is part of the software that comes with Metric Halo interfaces and provides the most transparent sound recorder in my experience)
5. Mac laptop (in this case, a PowerBook G4) to run the software and store the signals.
6. The ULN-8 and Mac were both plugged into a Monster HST-400 to condition the AC power.  Both were also isolated from ground and floorborne vibrations.

The mic signals were captured at 24-bits with a 192k sampling rate.
The recording was done in a beautiful sounding auditorium built in 1908.  On many of the tracks, we utilized the room's meticulously maintained Steinway, also built in 1908.

Mastering was done in my own studio (see BDA link in my signature below), with monitoring provided by Magnepan 3.6s, augmented below 30 Hz by a pair of Outlaw subs.  
(This was before I got the Maggie 3.7s.)
All studio wiring is Nordost.

Best regards,
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

bdiament
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Joined: Dec 1 2006 - 3:52am
It's here!

It's here!
Confluence
release date: Friday, November 18

Confluence, the new album from Jason Vitelli will be shipping on Friday, November 18th. Pre-orders are now being accepted.

If you saw our last Soundkeeper Recordings update, you know this one was a long time coming. I'm very glad to say this project, which began when I first proposed the idea to Jason back in 2008 has developed into a double-album length release, with a cycle of songs across varied musical styles.

There are four tunes with just Jason on the stage, accompanying himself on piano. There is a guitar/piano duet, a guitar/cello duet, a trio with guitar, cello and french horn and several full ensemble pieces.

Among those ensemble pieces, are a few full-on electric rock tracks. This is a type of music I've long wanted to record in this fashion, with only a single pair of microphones and no overdubs or mixing. Just the sound of the band, not as they'd be heard on a typical studio produced recording but as they'd be heard by a listener present at these performances.

Samples and photos

Samples from all the tracks on Confluence are now up on the Soundkeeper Web site, as are photos from the recording sessions.

Check out Jason's music. I hope you'll find it as intriguing and magical as I do.

Party!

To celebrate the release of Confluence, Jason will be performing a number of songs from the album on Monday evening, November 28th at 8pm.

The event will take place at:
Kenny's Castaways
157 Bleecker Street in New York City
917-475-1323

Admission is free.
Dave Ramsay, who played on Confluence will join Jason on the stage.

I hope you'll join us to celebrate this new release.
See you at Kenny's on the 28th!

Best regards,
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

bdiament
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Joined: Dec 1 2006 - 3:52am
Release day

Today is release day!

Thanks to all who pre-ordered.
They all went to the post office today.

We've got CDs as well as 6 (count 'em!) custom burned formats, from CD-Rs burned directly from the CD master, to 24/96 DVD-Rs that play in ordinary DVD players, to 24/96 .aif or .wav files-on-disc, to 24/192 .aif or .wav files-on-disc.

The rock tracks might constitute the world's first "purist" rock recordings. Direct-to-stereo, with no overdubs and no compression! These tracks will give your system a full workout.

Thanks to Jason and all the players who gave it all for the microphones and hence, for the listener.

Best regards,
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
www.barrydiamentaudio.com

bdiament
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Last seen: 1 month 6 days ago
Joined: Dec 1 2006 - 3:52am
Uncompressed pop/rock, direct to stereo

 

Hi all,
 
For those that missed the Confluence release party at Kenny's Castaways a few weeks ago (and for those that joined us), we've added a release party page with photos from the performance.  If your Web browser is HTML5 compliant, there is also a video of Jason performing "Tribe Song" with Dave Ramsay. 
 

For those to whom this is news, we believe Confluence is the world's first purist recording of pop or rock music.  All the tracks were performed live for the microphones and recorded direct to stereo with no overdubs or mixing.  The dynamic range of the performances were left fully intact, so for the first time, that "in your chest" feeling one gets in the presence of a real band is preserved it all the way to the record.
 
There are four tunes with just Jason on the stage, accompanying himself on piano.  There is a guitar/piano duet, a guitar/cello duet, a trio with guitar, cello and french horn and several full ensemble pieces. 
  
Among those ensemble pieces, are a few full-on electric rock tracks.  This is a type of music I've long wanted to record in this fashion, with only a single pair of microphones and no overdubs or mixing and no PA for the vocals.  Just the sound of Jason and the band, not as they'd be heard on a typical studio produced recording but as they'd be heard by a listener present at these performances.
 
Samples
 from all the tracks on Confluence are up on the Soundkeeper Web site, as are photos from the recording sessions.
 

More of Jason's music
 
I mentioned in a previous Soundkeeper Recordings update that I first heard Jason's music when he asked me to master his previous album, "No Photographs" on the Roomful of Sky label.  Whenever I listen to that album (which is often) I'm still amazed at every song and highly recommend it as an accompaniment to "Confluence".
 

Next chance to hear Jason live: Wednesday, January 11
 
Jason has another live show planned for Wednesday, January 11.
Showtime is 7pm at:
 
The Local 269
269 E Houston Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 228-9874
 
Cherette Lewis, who sang on Confluence will join Jason on the stage.
        
Until next time,
Happy Holidays to all!
 
and Happy Listening!
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

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