Making Strange-R n Stranger

The Hip-Hop background tracks are basically the same as those on the rest of the Mississippi Homeboy Throwdown series: Dub Smash, Electric Buzz and Vintage Synth Bass patches in Garage Band created synthetically.

The acoustic guitar tracks are recorded as sample patches, then pasted in position. The guitar is a cheap, old Yamaha SJ-180 using a Jim Dunlop thin Delrin pick drinking luke warm coffee, at least at the beginning, and tuned in Standard E. Shure SM 57 microphone using Natural Strum Patch. The thrills at the end are the only bits of several hours of work yesterday that were salvageable and they were recorded using the Shure SM 57 microphone straight through Mbox2 Pro without any Garage Band patch.

I should point out that during recording and production today, Brother JAY!-rEE Strange-R dropped by to teach us how to use some patches to augment and adjust the sound on the acoustic instruments as they are recorded. He was also kind enough to point out that if you turn the Recording Volume knob all the way down on Mbox2 Pro on Track 2 while you’re recording vocals on Track 1… then switch over and record acoustic instruments on Track 2… without adjusting the Recording Volume… meaning TURN IT UP… you won’t be able to hear a durn THANG on the track when you try to mix that puppy… no matter HOW many samples you record and how much time you waste recording that waste! All you get is just a tiny little almost imperceptible noise… that is overshadowed by the background buzz of the chickens cluckin’ in the chicken coop when you’re recording…. I would also like to point out that not only is Mr. Strange-R kind… butt he also has kind hair…. The kind you find on a pig’s butt….

The tiny amount of acoustic slide guitar was done on a cheap black Briarwood… that actually has a sweet sound… but a high action… that cannot be adjusted… because the guitar is too cheap…. The guitar was tuned to a Mountain Modal Open D minor DADFAD… which we have never used before…. Recorded using Shure SM 57 microphone using Echo Strum Patch.

The harmonica is a Hohner Blues Harp in the key of C played in third position… which is Mountain Modal Dm…. The harmonica part was recorded using the Natural Vocal Patch…. Tried some of the Fuzz Vocal Patch, but decided to go with Natural…. Recorded using Shure SM 58 microphone and Natural Vocal Patch….

The narration was recorded using the Shure SM 58 microphone and Narration Vocal Patch… or no patch….

The vocal was recorded using the Shure SM 58 microphone and Natural Voice Patch….

Tried to make sure everything was lined up pretty good….

The song is based on an old religious Southern Appalachian folk ballad variously titled Poor Wayfaring Stranger… and a few other names… that dates back to the American Revolution…. The first time the song was published… was in 1816 by Ananias Davidsson in a song book titled Kentucky Harmony…. The title at that time was Judgement. This version is in C Major… at least theoretically… but actually in Mountain Modal D minor… if that makes any sense….

The arrangement is fresh. VERY fresh….

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