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Book on Jazz recording by Dan Moretti: Review

Discussion in 'Recording' started by BobRogers, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    This came up on my recommended list on Amazon. Anyone have any info on the author or advanced info on the book?

    Moretti is a sax player, Berklee Professor of writing and production. The book is not yet released, but the subject is of interest to me. The Berklee titles I've seen have been a mixed bag, but the price for this isn't too bad, so I may just take a chance. But I thought I'd see if anyone knew anything about this before making the plunge.

    Update: I changed the title of the thread since I bought the book and have now received it. I'll write another post with a preliminary review.
     
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    So I preordered the book from Amazon a while ago, and after some delay it has arrived. I note that Amazon is no longer stocking it, and they link to other sellers that have it for $25.

    Here are my impressions so far. The book itself is thin with some basic, perfunctory, good advice on recording and mixing. The real meat is in the DVD which contains (1) the individual tracks 16 bit tracks from three songs (2) partial submixes and a final mix for each of the three songs (3) scores and notation for all parts played on all tracks.

    I loaded the tracks for the first song, Avant Blue, into PT Le last night. The tracks (if I remember correctly) were
    Kick
    Snare
    HH
    OHL
    OHR
    Rack Toms
    Floor Tom
    Conga L
    Conga R
    Hammond upper
    Hammond lower
    Bass
    Guitar
    Sax
    Each track was clean, clear, well recorded, well played.

    The other songs have different instrumentation. Acoustic bass and piano included.

    The book is set up in 16 "lessons" - I assume to coordinate with a Berklee on line course. For instance, the first lesson is to mix the drums in Avant Blue. You mix and compare to his submixes that use only eq, compression, and reverb. He gives settings he used for levels, panning, and effects. Second lesson is on bass, and so on.

    I probably won't get to try this until the weekend, but everything looks very good so far. There have been a number of posts where people have asked where to get this type of learning material, and this seems to be well done. I will post further impressions as I work my way through the book.
     
  3. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Sounds like fun.

    I want an Hammond.
     
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    So I went through the drum "lesson" on the first song the other day. Pretty good experience. It was worth it just to listen to the way he recorded the individual track - less damping on the kick than I have been using and a few other little differences. I didn't like his high hat sound that much, but I must have a high hat sound in my head that I can't capture. I don't like the high hat sound of my own set either live or recorded. (My wife and I are going to Drum World in Pittsburgh for a romantic weekend to check out high hats. It is great to be married to a drummer.) He has two submixes - one with compression and EQ and one with reverb added. He gives screen shots of the settings he used in his DAW (I don't know enough to recognize it). Of course, they don't translate exactly. It's a cool sort of competition, trying to make my mix sound better than his.

    Best feature for me is that I got my wife to work through it with me. She has been playing hand drums and steel pans for years, but just took up the set about a year ago. She has not really done any recording other than sitting in front of the microphones. I think it made her more aware of what goes into recording the set and the various components of her sound. It also let me to think that someone new to recording could work through this book and learn a lot. Shirl had me pushing her through faster than she could absorb the material (and she wasn't trying to learn all the details). But I think it was valuable for her.


    P.S. to Greener -

    I want a Leslie before I get a Hammond. I have a Nord Eletro that weighs about 400# less that "an" Hammond. In 1971 I was in my first band and the organist had a Doric....and a Leslie 147. The Doric was a cheesy combo organ, but I would kill for that sound. I love the Hammond/Leslie sound combination, but it is a huge problem of size and weight. If I have to choose, I want a Leslie.

    [Edit: Typo fixed - Did you hear the one about the dyslexic blues musician who went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to Santa?]
     
  5. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "(My wife and I are going to Drum World in Pittsburgh for a romantic weekend to check out high hats. It is great to be married to a drummer.)"

    Apart from being the coolest $*^t since sliced bread... Apart from that nothing, I'm jealous.

    "I must have a(n) high hat sound in my head that I can't capture. I don't like the high hat sound of my own set either live or recorded. "

    Umm, try getting different hats and putting different tops on different bottoms. I have a set of Sabian B8 pros and a set of Zildjian scimitars. The B8s sound the best of the two, the scimitars sound like arse. But put the B8 top on the kind of tinny scimitar bottom and it's sonic hat gold. To my ear.
    Try it out. Maybe even with better quality hats not just the crap I have to play with. I know it's worked for others, I swapped my mates tops around on his kit (two sets of cheap hats) and now he loves both instead of hating both. Meh... Just an idea.

    Btw, your story about this learning experience via a book, it's inspirational. You get the biggest props I can hand out over the Internets. You get two thumbs up. :cool: :cool:


    "I want a Leslie before I get a(n) Hammond. I have a Nord Eletro that weighs about 400# less that "an" Hammond. In 1971 I was in my first band and the organist had a Doric....and a Leslie 147. The Doric was a cheesy combo organ, but I would kill for that sound. I love the Hammond/Leslie sound combination, but it is a huge problem of size and weight. If I have (two) choose, I want a Leslie."

    Duly noted. Cheers.
     
  6. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    I used to have a Doric!!! The band used to call it a "Dork" !!! When I played it through my Sunn Colisseum stack it sounded like crap, but I finally got a Cordovox Leslie (for accordion!) and replaced the cheesey 10" Oxford in it with a 10" out of an Ampeg SVT that had fallen off one too many stages...The band stopped calling it a Dork after that!
     

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