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9 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Actually, that makes perfect sense, especially as a learning tool. I love the concept of inversions and voicing, but I’m trying to compose, so unlike improvisation, there’s no time pressure.  It still strikes me as a useful way of thinking of things.

I would like to know more about these “chainings” (“families”?) , but that’s an area of music theory that I am sorely lacking, and will have to research on my own.

Thank you, as always, for the thoughtful response.

The chainings or concatenations (encadenamientos) refer to the groups of modes that derive from the main (root) scale building the whole family. So in the most basic form, which is the diatonic chaining, you start from the diatonic scale (ionian mode) that has seven notes following the pattern of intervals (1 is a whole tone, ½ obviously a half tone) 1-1-½-1-1-1-½-1 (C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C) take into account that the sixth mode of that chaining is the aeolian mode which also happens to be the "natural minor" scale. This is important because when we speak of minor tonality we're not really speaking of a different thing than the diatonic chaining but starting on a different note. For C diatonic major the starting note to make it natural (or diatonic) minor would be starting on Eb. This makes that the Eb tonality is the ascending parallel of C. Both tonalities are siblings and when moving from one into the other, you're not actually modulating but "false modulating". This is one of the relationships that make tonalities not being separate entities but groups or families that spread a lot the range of chords and modes that you can use in your playing/composing/improvising. This kinship is important because it would allow you to play the same pentatonic scale on all the modes of all the tonalities within the family (politonal) but one.

Harmonic chaining derives from the idea of the harmonic minor scale which is a natural minor (aeolian) replacing the 7b for a 7. This note swap transposed to the first degree of the chaining (ionian mode) leaves us with the harmonic major scale. For C it would have the C-D-E-F-G#-A-B notes which is the interval sequence of 1-1-½-1&½-½-1-½. If you develop all the modes derived from that ionian scale you'll see that the 1&½ interval moves to a different degree of each mode, which makes that the chords (triads and 7th ones) in every mode are different from the ones in the diatonic chaining. This opens a new whole spectrum of secondary dominants, symmetric chords, inversions and tensions that you can use to produce sensations and moods, for instance that the 3rd degree (phrygian mode) instead of being a minor one as it is in diatonic, becomes a major mode, with a major chord that is dominant and that includes alterations (9b, 9# and 6b). Depending on the mode you use, harmonic chaining melodies sound flamencoish, arabic or manouche with a slight modification. That modification leads us to the next chaining family which is

Neapolitan chaining. It derives from the concept of using a "blue note" and/or a major 7th in the 3rd degree (phrygian mode) of the harmonic scale. This produces the funny effect of the chords in that chaining moving around a dominant chord instead of a ionian chord, so the rest position of the tonality shifts to a different degree without a real modulation if you play those notes as color notes of the minor chords involved.

These three chainings, diatonic, harmonic and neapolitan are all considered a part of the diatonic conception of western music and have produced most of the harmony that we can hear on classical music up to Beethoven.

The other two chainings derive from the melodic scales. The melodic major is kind of complementary of the harmonic minor, both include a 1&½ intervals at some position of their modes and offers a couple of very interesting features, they being that the phrygian mode is major (hence a dominant) but has not a 4th note so it doesn't ask for resolution, and that we have a minor subdominant (minor lydian mode). The melodic minor chaining is pretty complex because it doesn't have a ionian (rest) mode, it's mostly comprised of dominant chords having tensions in unusual degrees, very interesting ones as in semi-altered chords (dominants with a 2 and a 6b or 2b with a 6). On classical (Berklee) harmony most of its modes aren't contemplated as a part of a whole sequence of modes into a chaining but as separate scales that you could use when certain dominant chords are in the harmonic progression. So what I see as an aeolian major they name it as a 6b mixolydian. The difference is huge because knowing the chaining and the degree that the mode you're into (or leading to) is into the "whole", allows you for a quicker and easier chords substitution or location in the fretboard of the mode that is convenient to play. It also allows you to understand why you can use tritone substitution on dominant chords, and also the most interesting thing of all, implying without playing, which is suggesting with your melodies something in the harmony that isn't really sounding, and vice-versa. That's something that Stevie Wonder absolutely masters.

This conception makes an easier learning of the secondary dominants and the scales you'd be able to use when they're in the progression, also makes a lot easier modal modulation, and helps much more to understand and use voice movements since the change of a single note into a chord, takes you to a new and different set of harmonic and melodic possibilities.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the bass rules. You could be playing on your guitar a wonderful second inversion of FMaj7 (FMaj7/A which on guitar is also Am7/6b) that if the bassist is playing F it will pass unnoticed, so what would be in your arrangement a movement into the harmonic area of the dominant, would clearly remain in the harmonic area of the tonic.

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This thing is fucking hawt, but I forgot to order the $50 windscreen. So far it is behaving even better than I had expected in my shitty space.     

Don't mean to change the topic but I have moved my setup to the living room for the next three months and I'm excited. As you were. Better photo.

I spent the evening tidying and organizing my desk. Cable management, schmable management. My studio is in the corner of an unfinished basement, and I think this fall and winter I'm going to try

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2 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Wait, I’m confused:  I thought A natural minor was the relative minor to C major.  I think you got them swapped:  C natural minor is the relative minor to Eb major.

I think that's what I said but probably wrongly worded. C natural minor (C aeolian) is the 6th degree of Eb major. Both tonalities are siblings, Eb is the ascending parallel of C, so C is the descending parallel of Eb. When playing C ionian and shifting to C aeolian (what most would say going from C major to C minor) you're "false modulating" from C to Eb. You can improvise on both chord changes (any chord of any of both "tonalities") just going from C major to C minor pentatonic, or even just playing C major pentatonic. Boring but effective. Once you learn to look at single note changes from ona tonality and its modes to another, improvising and harmonizing gets a lot easier and quicker if you pretend to improvise on the fly.

A minor (A aeolian) is just the 6th degree of C major (ionian) so both are into the very same scale and tonality without any note change. You're right, A is the relative minor to C and C is the relative minor to Eb, which is why they're intertwined tonalities. If you assume that A minor (aeolian) is just a mode of C major, both are the very same tonality which is C. Now think of A major (ionian), this tonality despite having very different notes to C major, is its descending parallel. This leads us to another interesting finding, A and Eb are also connected and while not politonal tonalities (sharing the very same pentatonic scale) they share chords and dominants, which is useful to suggest without playing.

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Ah, okay, I missed the part about “modulating from C ionian/major to C aeolian/minor.  Thank you for clarifying.  Part of it is you’re talking right at the cusp of my understanding, so I’m just barely keeping up.  Up until just a couple years ago, my world revolved entirely around the harmonic minor scale. :) 

5 hours ago, acidbasement said:

Don't mean to change the topic but I have moved my setup to the living room for the next three months and I'm excited. As you were.

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Better photo.

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Derail away, it’s all music making.  Also:  noice!  My setup should be so tidy and accommodating.

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Evidently the MixPre does not stream to Audition to record so they recommended I try Reaper.  .Holy Fuck, that software is like something that someone that has never seen a computer, heard a noise or breathed air designed it.  Makes no fucking sense whatsoever.  

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1 hour ago, VPI said:

Evidently the MixPre does not stream to Audition to record so they recommended I try Reaper.  .Holy Fuck, that software is like something that someone that has never seen a computer, heard a noise or breathed air designed it.  Makes no fucking sense whatsoever.  

Oh. So you are saying it is a Microsoft designed product?

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So I do not like the Tascam or the MixPre 10 II, does anyone have experience with the Allen & Heath QU-16C Chrome or QSC Touchmix 16?

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On 9/4/2020 at 6:24 PM, VPI said:

Evidently the MixPre does not stream to Audition to record so they recommended I try Reaper.  .Holy Fuck, that software is like something that someone that has never seen a computer, heard a noise or breathed air designed it.  Makes no fucking sense whatsoever.  

I’ve not tried either, but perhaps Ableton?

 

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Maybe I have spent enough time with the various low end DAWs to sort of understand how they work so the new one is getting some familiarity benefit, but Luna seems to be the easiest to use and best sounding DAW that I have worked with so far.  The level of integration with the Apollo is fantastic as is the easy of playing the virtual instruments with the Keylab.

Working on the Shape instrument that lets me bring in strings, etc. to layer on the piano to great effect.  Next is recording the Tele into the 55 Tweed.

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Question for the Pros.  I have a recording to do of a trio that intend to play guitars and mics into their amps, no mixer.  Am I better off throwing up a couple of Omni mics to get crowd and band, or individually mic each amp with SM57s?

Gracias.  I have recording off of a mixer/PA figured out, but recording outside with three individual sound sources seems a bit different.

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I’m not the last word in pros here, but I would put 57s on each amp so you can set your own mix. Vocals into an amp is not ideal, it would be better to have vocals into a mixer and then wedges on stage to monitor, but talent wants what talent wants. If the vocals share an amp with a guitar your levels there are out of your control, but I’d still close mic that then put an omni out for crowd noise and possibly some ambience on vocals. 

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Yeah, I am just not sure that what I would get from the amps could be balanced enough to cleanly separate vocals from guitar, even if Izotope has some magic juice.

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It depends what sound you want.  If you want that “audience taper” sound, then omnis, but unless you’re experienced, it’s hard not to get too much atmosphere, and not enough main instruments.  I certainly couldn’t when I recorded myself that way. Ask Dan for advice if this is the direction you choose.

 I would place SM57s on the amps, myself.  I wouldn’t worry too much about bleed, you’re going to mix it all together in the end.

That said, “both” is the choice of professionals.  They like to mix some ambience with the close-microphone recordings for “that live sound”.  And you certainly have enough microphones to pull it off.

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Current game plan is SM57 on the two primary guitar players’ amps, Earthworks on the vocalist’s amp and then either the U87 or an Aston Spirit in Omni or a pair of condensers set up stereo on the band. 
 

All going into the MixPre 10 II on Sony L Mount batteries recording in 32bit Float to hopefully be idiot proof. 

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are they playing accoustic?  Is their amp something like a full spectrum pa with multiple inputs, or are they traditional electric instruments, and they're just gonna add a mic into that?

 

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I am hoping it is fishman performer amps across the board, not even sure how to add a mic to a standard guitar amp.

These guys typically have a nice setup, but this in an informal small group breakout.  Need to get some more details as I would assume some level of percussion would be needed regardless.

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