Artist Name: Olita Duo Title: Kitty Trot Genre: Instrumental Rating:
Zoom H6 portable multitrack recorder, PC running Audacity DAW and AmpleBass virtual instrument for bass tracks, beyerdynamic DT990 headphones. Guitar and cajon recorded with AKG C414B-XLII through Sunset Sound S1P preamp in Radial Engineering Workhorse enclosure. Flute recorded on Yamaha Pocketrak portable recorder using internal mics. Eugene Clark flamenco guitar, Sankyo flute.
Production Notes & Credits
“Kitty Trot” is an instrumental recording with elements of jazz and folk. Robert Zhimantas played guitar, cajon, and virtual bass, and Gabija Kochanskaite played flute. Robert also mixed the track.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
This month’s Spotlight is a super-fun transcontinental duo project that employed some unique recording techniques on some surprising gear. Making great recordings can be difficult under ideal circumstances. Making them when one of the duo is in California and the other is in Lithuania is quite another matter entirely, and yet that is precisely what happened here.
In his production notes, Robert tells us that the process usually begins with a Skype conversation where the duo discuss their ideas/vision for a track. Robert then sets to work in his home studio, creating a basic guitar part and rhythm bed. At that point these are sent as MP3s to Gabija in Lithuania (via SWAN or WeTransfer), where she adds/records her flute parts and then sends her tracks back to Richard as WAV files. He then enters her tracks into his DAW and begins adding his keeper parts. Once that’s finished, he sends a mix, they compare notes and repeat the process until both are happy with the outcome. Get it? Got it!
So, what’s the outcome of all this labor? Well, we find a delightful track full of great performances and tones. Right off the bat, we heard an interesting ambient juxtaposition between the dry guitar and percussion and the more distant flute. Once we found out that the flute was recorded via a Yamaha Pocketrak handheld recorder, using its internal mics, this unusual but beautiful ambience made a whole lot more sense. Richard also employed a handheld recorder for his parts, in this case a Zoom H6, but Richard’s signal path bypassed the unit’s internal mics for an AKG C414B-XLII mic/Sunset Sound S1P preamp combination.
As for tones, we love the nylon string guitar here, beautifully played and recorded in our book. The “rhythm section” of cajon and bass (via AmpleBass software) provides just enough low end to support the higher-frequency guitar and flute. And speaking of the flute, what a great organic sound—it sounds like a flute being played, you guessed it, in a room! Kudos to Richard for keeping it that way in the mix; the natural ambience is a winner to us!
Let’s see… Two handheld pocket recorders, check. Audacity free DAW software, check. One high-quality condenser mic and professional preamp, got it. Excellent open-back mixing headphones, yep. 5,725 (give or take) miles between the performers, no problem!
Let this be a good lesson for all of us recordists who tend to put roadblocks like “if only I had the right gear” and “if only I had someone local to work with” in the way of our dreams. A big thank you to Richard and Gabija for this fine track and great inspiration!
Continued success, friends!
Olita Duo, firstname.lastname@example.org