The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Several years ago, one of the fiddle lists came up with an interesting project. My understanding is that several members of the list made home recordings of a tune or two, and they were all compiled on a series of cassette tapes, and distributed among the contributors, for the purpose of each getting to know each other a little better. The entire thing was done on a non-profit basis, with each participant covering his/her share of the costs, mailing, blank cassettes, etc.

I wonder if there is interest among the members of The Session to embark on a similar project, except perhaps we might find someone among us with the necessary technical expertise to convert the tunes to some suitable digital format, perhaps wav. files, etc. We might each contribute a tune, perhaps a personal favourite, or one which we have submitted to The Session, or whatever seems to be of the most general interest, and post it on a web site. (Jeremy, I am trying to keep in mind that this site must consume a terrific amount of your time, and am trying to find a way to do this without increasing your already heavy load, or putting huge demands on your ISP server space.)

If we decide to put the tunes on cassette tape, then it can be as simple as sending a cassette with your tune on it, and maybe one or two blank cassettes, and a SASE to one of a number of people who will co-ordinate to create a master tape and dub copies..

Any thoughts on this concept? Comments about content, format, suggestions…?

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Funny, I was just thinking of this sort of idea, Scott!

Well, I’ll volunteer to put everything into e-format and from there onto CDs, and if people will put a few bucks in to cover the cost of buying the CDs and labels and cases and postage, I’ll repro the things. If we end up with more than say fifty orders for the things, I could take ‘em to my regular repro house for even cheaper repro purposes.

I have a PO Box already set up for the Cuirt House, and we could use that, if you all think this’d be a good idea.

I suspect that that many sound files would be more than Jeremy’s server might have available. We’ve a LOT of members, although I don’t know how many are actually active.

Is there interest?


I’m on!

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Nice idea. I

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Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

I remember when something similar to this was done a mailing list I was subscribed to. It’s certainly an interesting idea.

Seeing as Zina has offered to handle the formatting, the easiest thing to do would be to simply mail the files to her. Ideally, an FTP server would be the best solution.

I’d like to be able to do this through the site somehow but there are a lot of technical difficulties mostly to do with bandwidth and the ammount of time it takes to upload a sound file.

I’d like to make the following suggestions:
The best format to use would be MP3. The files still aren’t small but they’re much, much smaller than .wav files.
It would be great if all the tunes were ones that appear in The Session (if it doesn’t, then submit it pronto🙂

The biggest obstacle will probably be the initial recording and encoding. Can anyone recommend good programs for recording music and then encoding it into MP3?

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Well, MP3s are great for keeping the things online, but unless everyone has an MP3 reader or only wants to play the CDs on their computers to be played back through a MP3 player…

What would everyone like — CDs that have more tunes on them and can’t be read on a regular player, or CDs that have less on them and CAN be played back on a disc player?

I can take tape recordings and record them using CoolEdit and take them to whatever format we end up using, but it’d certainly be helpful if people could do that themselves.

More input?


Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Wow, Zina!! Most generous of you to volunteer your time and skills.

Personally, I love the idea of putting the tunes on CD’s. It would allow me to listen to the tunes while surfing The Session!

I am quite naive when it comes to using my computer. Even though I have a microphone (a real cheapy) on my computer, I haven’t been able to figure out how to record a fiddle tune on it, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t be able to figure out what type of file I had created.
So, I lean towards the low-tech solutions, such as recording on cassette tape with a ‘ghetto blaster’, and mailing it. But, I am certainly most willing to learn how to create a suitable file, if doing that will lighten the load for someone else. i.e. Zina. I really don’t have any strong preferences, except to include as many people as possible.

Irina, I have been thinking about your response all day. I hope that you will change your mind and contribute a tune as well. Your tune is like your vote; if enough people ‘vote’, then our collection of tunes will represent a truer picture of what The Session is all about, namely people coming together to share together, and learn together, and grow together. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be fair to ‘push’ anyone to participate if he or she were uncomfortable with the prospect. It might help some people if contributions were made anonamously (sp). This may be worth consideration.

Well, lets wait for input from more people, and we’ll find out how this project is going to take shape.

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

great idea. I’ve had a lot of luck using ProTools LE to transfer mediocre tapes into decent sounding AIFF files. Zina, if you want to split the workload, I could eq, master, and burn CD’s of the submitted material for you to convert into MIDI or MP3 or something and upload onto this or another site that we can link to…

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

I’ve only been around for a couple of weeks, but I think the idea sounds great. Very fun. And since I won’t actually have to watch Will, Scotty, or Zina snorting out their drinks and slapping their knees as they listen, I am willing to contribute a tune. That is, of course, if the fiddlers here are interested in a lowly whistle tune. 🙂

I like the idea of sending tapes and making a CD. I might be able to record a tune on my computer, too, though.


Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

I’ve never snorted out a drink in my life, not even milk! I once nearly choked trying not to, though. *grin* They thought they were going to have to take me to the hospital.

C’MON, everybody, don’t be shy. I want to make sure that EVERYone gets a tune on something if we decide to do it, and we won’t if we don’t get more response than this.


Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Zina? Never snorted a drink in your life? Hmm, are you implying that you are under the age of majority, the ever so coy "I’ll be 21 next year", routine? Well, I, for one, am not buying it. :O) (BTW, rumour has it that you were caught snorting on another thread. Lucky for you, that I absolutely refuse to spread rumours. You can trust me to keep it hush-hush…. )))))))

I just had a brain storm. Don’t tell anybody about this, OK? There are 5 people so far who have outright said that they would like to contribute a tune or two. Why don’t we make a CD…. We’ll all assume fake Irish names…. Zina O’Lee, Scotty O’Fiddler, Fiddler O’Thatched-Roof….Erin Bloomfield, Glauber O’Ryan, etc…. We could call ourselves the Bothy Altan Chieftains, or some other great name, and then, …. we could post the CD to the Recordings section, and all of us could tell everybody about this great new band… great players,… great tunes…. write absolutely stunning reviews. Nobody will guess that it is us on the CD, and then we will sell thousands of them to everybody in the SESSION! Or better yet, DON’T sell any. No need for fake identities. We’ll just tell everybody how great each other sounds. i.e. "You should hear that Zina play the flute, and the whistle,… at the same time! Absolutely amazing, folks, not only does she play the whistle and the flute at the same time, but she plays a jig on one and a reel on the other……. We could do all that,…. or maybe not.

Even if there is just the five of us, I think that we can scale down the project and have fun with it. But, like you, I am hoping that there are more who are interested in it.

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Yes, it would be especially stunning since I don’t play a flute or a whistle, so "stunning" would probably be a really descriptive term for any track I did on them. *grin*

Hey, I’ll snort, but I never snort my drinks — although roundabout here, snorting a drink out means laughing in the middle of drinking and having it come out your nose. Ever so genteel. I can only imagine what it would feel like with an alcoholic drink. hehehehe

Sounds like a good idea to me, Scott. Will, where the heck are you on this? Jeff? Brad? Dave? C’mon, you guys…I’m dying to hear what you sound like.


Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Count me in (snorting drinks & submiting tunes)
my computer skills are laughable but my fiddling is ok (well I think so)

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Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

I’m up for it

Some thoughts…

If it helps I can create a FLASH front end to make it easier for people to access the tunes on a CD.

I guess the hardware / software needed to create recordings needs to be easily obtainable, and cheap.

I favour recording tunes on old-stylee cassette tapes and popping them in old-stylee envelopes and sending them in the old-stylee post - I’m guessing even the most techo-challenged would be happy with this!

An old-fashioned music CD would be the best outcome in my opinion - we could just send a cheque for the postage and whoever generates these things could put one in the post.


ps. love to contribute a tune - it’s a great idea

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

I don’t know how to put audio cassettes on to the computer but would be happy to post a tape to someone who does as I think this is’nt a bad idea.

Snorting drinks,yes,that happens,as does the involuntary clash of pint glass on the front teeth; you would think that after all these years of dedicated practice…

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

>although roundabout here, snorting a drink out means laughing in the
>middle of drinking and having it come out your nose. Ever so genteel.
>I can only imagine what it would feel like with an alcoholic drink. hehehehe

Well, Zina, that’s what it means around here, too. And it actually feels better
with alcoholic drink, especially a lot of it, because you don’t feel the embarrassment
quite so keenly when the snorted-out Guiness lands on the dress of the girl
you’re talking to. Of course, it helps if she has had a lot of those alcoholic drinks,
too, and it takes her longer to decide whether she should wipe it, or just pretend
she didn’t notice anything. Like the jig, someone ought to write, "The Spattered

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Zina, I think more people will contribute when this is a thing that is actually happening, rather than an idea for a nifty possibility. I say we just get started and see what blossoms. How do you feel about me mastering raw material on ProTools? Do you have a system that can compile data from various sources? I can take mini-disk, CD, tape… (what else is there)… and burn fairly even CDs (I did this for Xmas for my dad - took badly decayed tape material of his hippy musical compositions from twenty-five years ago and made him a CD. How do you want to split the labour, Zina?

Re: The Session Recordings: a borrowed idea

Up to you, Kerri. Let’s see — I use Cool Edit, myself. I think it would be best overall if only one of us does the final mastering, though — since there’s going to be a really wide difference in recording qualities, if one person does the final mastering, the thing wll stand a better chance of not being something that drives us all mad to listen to. I’m no audiophile, but it makes me nuts to listen to noise-nonoise-somenoise-noise-etc. ad nauseaum. We can throw the files up onto a server to let each other work on them, as well.

We can work off of the NTW servers, if you like, Kerri — they owe me some fairly large favors. I’ll check today to see which server we can chuck sound files onto. Do you have an address you want to use for snail mail? Can you easily ftp to our servers? I’ll get you (and anyone who wants to ftp an e-file in) an ftp address as soon as I know which server NTW would rather we use.

I’d have to borrow a mini-disc player, so if you’ve got that already, why don’t you take mini-disks and tapes. I’ll take CDs and e-files (MP3s, AIFFs, .wav, whatever), since I don’t know what kind of connections you have at home and I have DSL and access to a T1. Kerri, do you have an address you’re willing to put online, or do you want to have people contact you for the address, or do you want to send me your address off list, we’ll use my PO Box and I’ll just send you one big package after we get enough stuff?

Once we have all the materials mastered, then we can figure out the CD from there. If there’s enough interest, we can get them burned at one of the replication houses I use regularly if everyone will chip in a dollar or two. I can do all the printed materials (labels, covers, etc.). We should have everyone send a short bio and explanation of the tune(s) (say, 100 words or less). If we eventually find a server that we can put this all online with (and I have one in mind, Dirk, are you out there? Unless you think your servers can handle the load, Jeremy?) then we can duplicate the tracks off in MP3 — David, am I remembering correctly that Flash doesn’t have an MP3 player interface? We can do a front end for that hypothetical website with Director, I suppose, because I think I remember that Director can handle MP3s — I’ll check with my husband Pete since he just finished a project using MP3s and players using both Flash and Director.

I think it’s time to reiterate — IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE A BEGINNER — record a tune and send it anyway! Think of this as a beginner friendly session. If you’ve never been to one (!), what that means is that, sooner or later, everyone would force you to play a tune in front of everyone (in the nicest way, of course!), so this is the e-quivalent! Give it your best shot. At the very worst, in two years you can drag the old CD out and laugh at yourself later. At the very best, know that you might be encouraging and helping another beginner to learn some basic tunes by being able to play along with you. Just do your best, and don’t worry about whether your skills are up to some level.

Which reminds me — we need to start a thread with everyone posting what tunes they’re going to record so we don’t have duplicates. I’ll do that as soon as I’m finished here.

Kerri, as soon as you and I have worked out the labor issues, we’ll post our shipping address(es) here, too.