Praise Whistlers Abroad

What a friend
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Author:  Susi [ Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:16 am ]
Post subject:  What a friend

I don't seem very much whistling anymore, mostly because i don't have so much time and my passion stays stronger with strings and squeezeboxes. I made a video one day after my presumed failed research theory exam. Hope you like it.

Author:  Lyn D [ Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Hi Susi,

I just watched several of your YouTube videos, and you play an awesome mando!


Author:  KittyR [ Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Hey, you're suddenly a lefty! :D

Hey Susi, wanna have some fun? (You may not have time for all this)

If you have Audacity, please record this again. First generate a "click track" in the speed you want (I'm thinking 145 beats per minute, and 2 beats per measure). Then listen back to the click track in some headphones or earbuds as you record the song again. This will keep you and I in sync with one another. You'll need to set it for at least 280 measures to cover the whole song. I would say go for 300.

As you record, sing a couple of verses, then do a verse or half-verse instrumental break for a whistle, guitar or mandolin solo. Do that in between a few verses. You could do one short one and one longer one if you like. You should "sing" the verse in your head so you don't get lost.

If you feel it's becoming too long with the added instrument breaks, then skip singing a verse or two.

Then add a mandolin accompaniment track behind the whole thing. Do "just enough" without over-playing, unless you're playing a solo break.

Then choose "export multiple" and export all your tracks in a fairly high bit-rate and send them to me! I would like to add bass, percussion maybe, some guitar noodling, whistle or even harmony vocal.

(As if I have time for all this.)

If you don't understand any of this, just ask.


(oh yeah, be sure you're tuned to absolute pitch so I can match you over here)

Author:  Blackhawk [ Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

I loved this, Susi, keep up the good work.

Author:  ConnieS [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Susi, this is so pretty! Thanks for sharing your healing moment.

Author:  Susi [ Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Kitty, I'm sorry I haven't replied sooner, I simply didn't see this, and also forgot I started this thread!!!! Hmm, I'm having a slight problem with Audacity and my sound card but I have a Zoom H4, you should be able to use an mp3 file and do the same, you just open the mp3 file in Audacity and start recording (choosing "play file while recording"). I haven't even learned to use the Zoom yet, but this sounds like fun and I'll see what I can do!

Author:  KittyR [ Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Ok. My only concern is the both of us staying true to the same beat, that's why I suggest playing along to a click track. Since the Zoom can function as a 4-track recorder, maybe you could put the click on first and then play along to that. When you export the MP3, pan the click to the left and your material to the right.

I would prefer all your tracks to be in separate files, in other words, your guitar & click in one file, your vocal & click in another file, etc. Make sense? That way I can mix and process each one separately. (By the way, if you've never played to a click track or metronome, you will be astonished at how much your tempo drifts... it takes real concentration to stay on!)

To send large files up to 100mb, try using It's free. My email address is kittyrobbins at gmail d0t c0m.

Here's a project I just finished with my daughter (she wrote it for a friend).
Little Liz


Author:  Susi [ Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Separate files? Not like the Audacity project file???
I was thinking that you listen to the file (with earphones) while playing along, to keep time. I will see if I find any time soon to test the audio card... I nearly put it away when we bought the zoom, but it's probably the only way to do it if you want an exact bpm set. I've used the click track, I've used Audacity a lot in the past, and actually for some reason Audacity is the only kind of metronome that has ever worked for me!

Author:  KittyR [ Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Susi wrote:
Separate files? Not like the Audacity project file???

I thought you were reluctant to use Audacity, that's why I made the other suggestion.

I was thinking that you listen to the file (with earphones) while playing along, to keep time.

Well, yes, but... your tempo drifts quite a bit (which is quite normal). I don't need an exact bpm, just a consistent one.

Author:  Susi [ Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

I'm not too reluctant to use Audacity, only because before I had problems to make it work with my soundcard. Probably it will take me less time to pack up the soundcard and connect it for a test drive than to start learning the Zoom...
I just don't know if I'm able to make everything a separate track. I always record backing and singing in the same track, I wouldn't know where to start singing since I'm not able to play an intro on the guitar. I could count the beats and just start but probably that would be very technical and with very little feel, especially since I already have difficulty to sing that song. Really I'm quite incompetent musically, and when doing multitrack recordings I've always just done what worked for me (however unsmooth it has been, like for example adding a little intro as a separate track and clipping it to fit the rest), not as everyone else does them. So maybe I just have to give up the whole idea.

Author:  KittyR [ Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Susi wrote:
for example adding a little intro as a separate track and clipping it to fit the rest), not as everyone else does them

Susi, that IS how everyone else does things. In multi-track work, you record separate pieces and put them all together at the end of the process.

I can coach you through the process, but if you're too busy right now with studying and work to take up a new way of recording, I understand completely. I just thought it would be fun to collaborate across the ocean.

Perhaps I could start the song, send it to you, and you could add mandolin breaks and turnarounds? Or maybe I could sing a reference track, and then you sing the real track along with it so you know where to sing. Send it back and I can add harmony. There are many options, and projects like this usually evolve as they go along. It would probably take us several weeks to finish it, too, because other things in life will come up as well.

And it's just for fun, so if this sounds too much like work and not enough like fun then we can let it go. I'm a geek so this kind of stuff is fun for me. :)


Author:  Susi [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

I thought everyone else would record the intro with a click track, then record the next track and start in the exact place... while I need to cut and paste to make them fit together because I'm not able to start exactly where I should. At the few gigs we've had, I sort of suit my singing to when I'm ready to start singing... usually straight after the intro but not always, it depends..

However, don't get me wrong. It's not that it isn't fun. It will probably be a lot of fun! It is just that I'm in some kind of crisis right now and feel very unstable and depressed, my self esteem is down below my feet in all kinds of situations, and I think I suck at everything so everything negative gets to me really bad. I have some kind of problem with timing - not that my sense of timing is so horrible, but that I think that my sense of timing is horrible, because someone in my past used to complain all the time about my timing (back in the days when I wasn't used to play with other people, and my timing WAS bad), so now that is my weakest point when it comes to self esteem and music. A single word about my timing and I feel like throwing all of my instruments out the window, or at least selling them (they're too expensive to just throw out the window :mrgreen: ) because my lack of musical talent is so complete.

We can give it a try, but I have organize some things first.. set up the audio card, test Audacity, test playing with the click track (I haven't for years), practice the tune:) This week is quite busy because today I sleep 8) (just came back from work), tomorrow I planned to play some bouzouki and possibly squeezebox and then I work, on Wednesday after work we're going to the lovely little spot Gränna where there later this week is Sweden's best and nicest bluegrass festival, we're staying until Sunday. So no serious recording work this week, but I might set up the stuff today.... Do you have a favourite key to play/sing in? I think I do the song in the key of C these days.

Sorry for my seeming reluctant... just that I don't want to put myself in a situation that just makes my self esteem even worse because I feel I can't do it. But I'm willing to try....

Author:  KittyR [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend


You know, as I read this, two thoughts come to mind. Well, three actually, the third being how much I appreciate you revealing this about your past and how it makes you feel now. That took courage and a great deal of trust. I feel honored.

I became slightly angry on your behalf. Whoever that was in your past did you a great injustice, because EVERYONE'S timing drifts -- including the person who complained to you. It takes a great deal of experience to even it out, something that most people never do unless they become professional. It's the reason we all despise practicing with a metronome. :) When I began recording with my daughter in the past year, she was absolutely astonished at how much her tempo varies. I'm a drummer myself, and my tempo is all over the place.

However, in a live music situation (at least in folk-type music) the organic connection between the players is WAY more important than maintaining a perfect tempo. That would actually sterilize the music somewhat. But that's when you're all in the same room playing together. When you are recording many tracks separately, there must be a common reference to keep it all together. That's the reason for the click track.

But all of that is just talk, Susi, in comparison to the other thought I had: perhaps this is the time the Lord has chosen to pull that particular nasty barb out of your heart and begin healing the wound. I'm not exactly sure how to proceed with that, but I'm willing to be a part of the story if I can. All I'm really sure of is that Jesus Christ has more than enough grace for you, and one word from him changes everything. My prayer is that now that this has opened up again in you, he will come in and change everything.

What a Friend, indeed.


Author:  Miniac [ Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

I love your rendition of "What a friend . . . " and I really respect your willingness to share your talents with us. It seems to me like this board is the kind of place where the members are on the lookout for the best in each other. I could be wrong, but I think that it's a "safe place" where you can be yourself without fear of criticism or ridicule. If you lived down the road from me I suspect that we'd find time to sit around on the back porch, sipping iced tea, and playing duets 'til one of us got lost, . . . probably me! Then we'd laugh and try it again. And when we got done we'd both be thinking, "I know that there are trumpets and harps in heaven but I sure hope that there are whistles (and mandolins?) too!" How cool would that be!\


Author:  Susi [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What a friend

Kevin - there are certainly all kinds of instruments in heaven! What kind of paradise would it be without mandolins and whistles?? :mrgreen:

Kitty - thanks for taking the time. At the moments there are many woulds opened up, and I'm not quite sure what the reason is for that. But thanks for your willingness to be a part of mending one of them.

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