Hymns and Songs for Living: Phase II – 2019 to 2022
Resumption of Studio Work
Phase II is the second of two distinct phases in production of Hymns and Songs for Living. The extended pause from studio work (about 2004 - 2019) took place between Phase I and Phase II. That pause of studio work followed several years after the death of David's mom, and was driven by many competing things in the lives of both David and Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins, Producer for Phase I.
However, other important activities continued to be carried out during that extended period. David continued analyzing the draft audio files from Phase I creating multiple revisions of his critical analyzes of the Phase I draft materials for discussions. Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins remained available for brainstorming sessions on options for improvements. That resulted in refined notes to guide future actions to sonically improve the Phase I drafts.
Examples of improvements identified, included:
Which hymns would benefit from adding vocal harmonies;
Which hymns had a "bothersome" sounding accompaniment created by electronic keyboard imitations of pipe organ;
Which percussion accompaniments generated electronically needed improvement;
Where did the draft mixes need to be reworked;
Those notes provided valuable guidance for resumption of Phase II studio work.
Actions in Phase II
David assumed the role of Producer for Phase II, working from the extensive notes developed with Ms. Gerber-Salins during the long pause between studio work.
Mr. Bill McElroy became the Associate Producer, recording, and mastering engineer. In his role as Associate Producer, Mr. Bill McElroy:
Reached out to persons he knew in the choral industry in the Richmond to Fredericksburg regional area for recommendations of vocal artists with the skills to provide the additional vocal harmony parts. Initial persons identified were:
Kelsey Snyder; and
Nogotiated access to the best pipe organ in the Ashland, VA area, the (Scribner-Keeble Memorial Pipe Organ: at Duncan Memorial UMC), for making onsite recordings of real pipe organ to replace keyboard synthsized organ accompaniments for some of the hymns;
Negotiated participation of the organ Professor at Randolph Macon College (Dr. James M. Doering) to play the replacement pipe organ accompaniments. That included finding a number of alternative accompaniment arrangements for variations on accompaniments used with verses of some hymns;
Identified cello and string bass players and scheduled recording of both for broadening accompaniments on a few hymns.
Matt Treacy: cello; and
John Creger: String Base;
Found arrangers for acoustic guitar lead and harmony parts, and recorded their arrangements on the song "Welcome Home". Those were:
Jim Westlyn; and
Found vocal arranger for refrains for "Welcome Home." That was:
John Creger, and
Vocalists to record the arrangements, who were:
Jeanette Creger; and
Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins of All Access Audio of Silver Spring, MD, offered to made time available from her teaching schedule to provide assistance with post production audio processing. Unfortunately a car crash cut short how much she was able to accomplish. In order to move the project forward, after her crash, David obtained audio editing software, learned how to use it and performed the rest of the post production audio processing.
All other work on revisions to finalize this recording were performed by Mr. Bill McElroy of Slipped DISC of Ashland, VA. That included:
Scheduling and managing addition of vocal harmonies on hymns identified to receive such broadening;
On location recording of real pipe organ at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church;
Identified Jim westlyn to write a new guitar accompaniment part for "Welcome Home," and recorded it;
Recorded David as the lead on "Welcome Home" with the new acoustic guitar accompaniment, plus the addition of a women's chorus on refrains;
Made himself available for off-site recording of handbells and shuttle pipe in Westminster, MD for interlude to "Amazing Grace" and last verse of "Just A Closer Walk with Thee;"
Final mixing of all 26 hymns and songs; and
For phase II, the previously recorded analogue tracks with Dolby SR noise reduction on the 2-inch, 24 track master tapes were converted by Bias Recording Studio to digital format at 24 bits at a sampling rate of 88.2 khz.
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