Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Big Gundown cover - opening piano

If you haven't read the other posts :
Making Of : The Big Gundown - Ennio Morricone Tribute
The Big Gundown Cover : Guitar Track

Now that I sorted out the opening guitar track and wrote down the partition, I did a little recording in FL Studio (more on the recording process later) so it became my first recorded reference track.

However I quickly felt I had to lay down the piano track to get a better feeling of the timing and to see how the main guitar track was acting against the piano. What is the song structure in term of tempo and beat ? It's fun to play a line without any structure in mind, just playing it with foot taping but as far as you're going to record and overdub many tracks, it's better to work with some kind of defined grid and tempo.

I set the metronome at 106 bpm which is the same as the original. The tempo is in 4/4 so I theorically have quarter notes 4 beats per bar.

Well, the piano is actually the instrument that initiate the song. With a large 3 octave A chord. There was something that intuitively intrigue me with the timming of the piano vs the guitar introduction. Try to sit down with real song, wait for the piano chords and then tap with your hand when you think the guitar is going to come. Not easy isn't ? It's because the guitar is not coming after an exact count of beat, the guitar enter after 2 and 1/2 beat following the piano ! Welcome in the world of Ennio.

Watch this short video to understand how to start the guitar against the piano

The piano is not very difficult to get. Being a poor pianist myself (but with good ears) I've been able to quickly lay down the partition. I recorded throught my MIDI controller keyboard with SampleTank free VST piano (not the best out there I admit). Check the video to catch the piano partition :

Ok good enough so far ! After that part, the piano seems to disappear and somehow is replaced by the cellos for the following sequences. There is no electric bass in the original recording, rather some background cellos that seems to be buried in the mix under male vocals, rolling bass drum and brasses. So that's where I will start to deviate from the original by introducing a nice foreground electric bass.

Next Post : Electric bass - first track

Please note that I don't have any real musical scholarship and that english is not my first langage. Please, kindly indicate me the mistakes I could have made, especially the ones that prevent you from sleeping. :)

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