Date: 11 Nov 2016
Well, it would clearly be an odd experience to record without any technical hitches. And the recordings for Phantom Islands certainly are not without their hitches
This time the problem is my aging microphone that I bought somewhere in the 1990s. When plugged into the Lexicon USB audio interface (that basically gets the sounds into the computer), the mic levels are simply too low to pick up the mandolin and classical guitar to any decent volume. I could process the recordings to make them louder but tiny sounds (for example, when the fingers slide along the strings between chords) are overly amplified.
My initial solution was to buy a new microphone, which I had been planning to do anyway. And thus, within a few days, a lovely new C1000S microphone by AKG (pictured) dropped through my letterbox. Alas, the gain increased slightly but not enough when used with the old microphone lead. So what next? You guessed it. A day or two later a new XLR microphone lead also dropped through said front door orifice.
Initial tests have proven this to be recording at a much higher gain but, unfortunately, I have not found the time to record 'in anger' since the new purchases due to the need for a silent house. Now that the firework season is coming to an end - along with its concomitant external bangs and crackles - opportunities may arise once more
So where does this leave the album's progress? I was hoping for a 'release' date of mid-December but this is now nigh-on impossible. I think completion by the end of the year will also be pushing the audio envelope. Therefore, I'm speculatively putting forward a February 2017 release.
That said, I'll attempt to have one track completed 'in rough' before Christmas, so here's hoping to new material on this site next month
Until then, take care.