23-Oct-2011 H Is For Hotel

Or Help… or Hawaii…

It’s also for hardware – computer hardware to be precise.

Having pondered long and hard on whether to buy condenser microphones for live performance and recording we took a sort of half-way house decision and bought a pair if sE H1 condenser mics.

According to the helpful chart on the sE website the H1s are happy in both environments. Alas, we found they did not fare well with our Bose L1 system and were ready to ship them back but, out of curiosity, we decided to hook them up to our in-house recording setup. Horror of horrors, the recording PC switched on momentarily then died. No amount of unplugging, changing leads, cursing etc had any effect. Luckily we have a spare PC, so Jimmy went off to install the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software on the spare and, somehow, Val managed to get the original machine to boot up!

To cut a long story short, we managed to get a recording of ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ (2 vocal tracks, 2 mic’d guitar tracks, 2 DI guitar tracks) in a single take before the machine finally gasped its last with numerous BSoDs (Blue Screen of Death). How did the H1 mics fare? Quite well, so we’ve decided to hang on to them for recording, but we’ll stick with our Sennheisers for live.

H is for Help and Hawaii… ah yes, ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’. We’ve entered the song in an online Christmas Song competition which offers prizes for the top 3 best songs/recordings, but also has a bonus prize for the song that gets most plays. Well, lots of people tell us they love our Christmas song – but the competition judges will decide which ones THEY prefer… however we CAN try to get as many plays as possible to also be in with a chance for the bonus. To this end we’ve sent emails to our mailing list, added links on our Facebook profile and band page, also we’ve Twittered and MySpaced and ReverbNationed. First and foremost we’d like to thank friends, fans, contemporaries and well-wishers who’ve taken the time and trouble to listen on line. We’re currently 5th with 94 plays (yes, all of ninety four). The leader at the moment has 425 plays, so we’ve some way to go.

If you’ve not yet played our song (and, why ever not?) we’d really appreciate it if you could head over to:
http://www.soundcloud.com/jivauk

You can play the song (right through, please) and you can download it too. Tell your friends, send them the link, share it on your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc… you’ll feel so much better for it. Honestly…

We will be making a promotional video for the full length version which we plan to upload to YouTube once the competition has ended. Filming has begun… we’ll keep you posted.

H for Hawaii? … drum roll and fanfare at the ready… Hard on the heels of ‘Old Fashioned Christmas’ we have

Another new song in the jiva repertoire!

How do we do it? We don’t know, it just happened very quickly. ‘In Hawaii (In My Dreams)’ has to be the quickest from initial idea to public performance in our history. Jimmy was plonking away on ‘Duke’ (his tenor ukulele) and was thinking ‘Hawaii’ while humming incomprehensibly about ‘walking with my baby, walking hand in hand, stepped onto the beach, strolled along the sand’ – Val added the idea of a wedding, and somehow the song just started to take shape. Val played along on ‘Luke’ (her matching tenor uke), and all of a sudden we had the song. We played with it for a couple of days, and were itching to play it out – which we have now done… all within 72 hours of that first happy thought. How’s that for speed? It’s gone down well in both public airings to date and we have high hopes that it will remain a hardy addition to our expanding repertoire of honest to goodness home brewed material with a helping of humour thrown in.

Funnily enough, the original mumbled verse does not appear in the finished song. Ho hum. That’s how the cookie crumbles.

Hasta la vista from the gentle blend of harmony that is jiva…

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