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Kmetzger
10-14-2012, 04:53 AM
I've been working on cover song recordings, with the intention of using nothing but multiple ukulele tracks - except for bass and drums. The idea has been to see how well I can fill out the arrangent/production considering the relatively narrow sonic and musical range of the ukulele (and avoiding any temptation to add a guitar, or feel like the ukulele is not enough...)

Here is one I just finished - a cover of the Beatles song "Yes it is": http://soundcloud.com/keithmetzger You may not be familiar with this song - it was never on a Beatles album, only the "B" side of the 45 single of "Ticket to Ride".

I played all the ukulele tracks on my Moore Bettah Tenor. Some tracks are "clean" and some have effects on them.

The only exception to my ukulele only rule this time is a very brief cello thing played by my 12 year old daughter (the descending part for one measure towards the end of the song). I felt it needed to be played by a fretless stringed instrument.

To my (admittedly biased) ears, this song shows the ukulele as being amazing in its ability to represent such a wide variety of musical parts/expression. Let me know what you all think.

(You can hear the Beatles song here if you're unfamiliar: http://grooveshark.com/s/Yes+It+Is/4OGsHu?src=5 )

Keith

GKK
10-14-2012, 05:10 AM
Sounds, Awesome!...

Just need to up the volume on the Uke a little more in the beginning and towards the end of the song.

Otherwise, Great job!...

Geno
10-14-2012, 02:53 PM
Keith, that sounds great! I really enjoyed that. That is one of my favorite Beatle songs of all time. I too have a home recording studio (very small one). I have found recording the uke well to be a bit testy, but I'm getting there. Again, great job. By the way.. "Yes It Is" can be found on the album "Beatles VI".

Hippie Dribble
10-14-2012, 03:50 PM
man this is BRILLIANT. perfect pop. Beautifully done mate. Never noticed anything missing at all, it's a gorgeous, full arrangement. Great job recording the drums too, never easy. Bravo!!!
:cheers:

Dan Uke
10-14-2012, 04:46 PM
What do you use for recording? It sounds really good!

Plainsong
10-14-2012, 05:11 PM
That's some creative cello use there. It's my favorite bit in this arrangement. The arrangement isn't really my cup of tea, but it's beautifully recorded, and you're right, there's nothing missing.

eor
10-15-2012, 01:12 AM
Hey

Nice job but maybe a little more cowbell.

kirbo
10-15-2012, 04:15 AM
Nice dude!

peaceweaver3
10-15-2012, 03:16 PM
I really like this, Keith! You have some great uke tracks here, thanks for sharing!

Skinny Money McGee
10-15-2012, 04:32 PM
Dude, you have a great voice. Thanks for sharing your music

Kmetzger
10-15-2012, 07:22 PM
What do you use for recording? It sounds really good!

Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I appreciate the feedback.

With regards to nongdam's question about what I used to record the song:

Recorded all my vocal and ukulele tracks with a RØDE microphone, using Cakewalk Sonar multitrack digital recording software. And though on most of my songs I play a Fender bass, for this one I used a sampled bass which I played from a keyboard (doing so because I'm not good enough on the bass to play well the part I heard in my head, but am good enough to play it on a keyboard.) Drums are also sampled and sequenced from a keyboard. They are an acoustic set played with brushes, which I find is most complimentary with ukulele. (The drums and bass are virtual instruments that come with the cakewalk sonar software.)

The main rhythm ukulele and lead ukulele had very little processing on them - just some eq and reverb. But on one ukulele track (the one panned to the right) I ran it through a guitar amp plug-in and compressor plug-in. At certain points I doubled the lead vocal. And during the chorus I'm doing a three part harmony as well as recorded about twelve tracks of myself doing the oohs and ahhs. Also recorded my daughter on cello with the same RØDE microphone.

When I finished mixing the song, I sent it off to Abbey Road Studios in London for mastering, via their online service. I've used them before and they typically do a great job. Though this time, in order to boost overall volume a bit, I think they over compressed it. Gonna send it back to them for a redo.

All of it recorded in various rooms in my home.

For those that are interested, here are links to what I mention above:

Ukulele: www.moorebettahukuleles.com
Microphone: www.rodemic.com/mics/nt1-a
Recording software: www.cakewalk.com/products/sonar/
Abbey road's mastering service: http://www.abbeyroadonlinemastering.com/

Kmetzger
10-16-2012, 09:51 AM
Keith, that sounds great! I really enjoyed that. That is one of my favorite Beatle songs of all time. I too have a home recording studio (very small one). I have found recording the uke well to be a bit testy, but I'm getting there. Again, great job. By the way.. "Yes It Is" can be found on the album "Beatles VI".

You're right - but when I think of The Beatles albums, I think of what they originally released on EMI records in the UK - as opposed to the repackaging and recreations done by Capital records in the US. Beatles VI was something only available in the US via Capital records.

Regardless, I think the main point is that it may not be as obscure a Beatles song as I thought in the US given that it was on Beatles VI.

Rubio MHS
10-16-2012, 06:22 PM
Love the ukulele bits. As a drummer, I'm curious as to why you put the drums exactly on the beat instead of just behind it the way Ringo did (or well behind it, like on "Taxman").

ukegirl
10-17-2012, 04:01 AM
Wow, I'm not a big Beatles person but I really dug your versions! Really enjoyed the tunes!!

Tootler
10-17-2012, 04:42 AM
Superb. Sounds really good.

Garydavkra
10-17-2012, 08:37 AM
You're right - but when I think of The Beatles albums, I think of what they originally released on EMI records in the UK - as opposed to the repackaging and recreations done by Capital records in the US. Beatles VI was something only available in the US via Capital records.

Regardless, I think the main point is that it may not be as obscure a Beatles song as I thought in the US given that it was on Beatles VI.

I don't think it's obscure at all. I have it but, I can't remember which album it is on.

Really nice job, Kmetzger. You do have a good voice and I like your version. I've been thinking about doing some multi-track stuff with the ukulele. I was wondering what software others are using so, thanks for mentioning that.

Kmetzger
10-17-2012, 06:59 PM
Love the ukulele bits. As a drummer, I'm curious as to why you put the drums exactly on the beat instead of just behind it the way Ringo did (or well behind it, like on "Taxman").

For no reason other than it didn't occur to me to do so!! Which is surprising, given how much I love drummers who play a little behind the beat. Something to work on for my next song.

Kmetzger
10-20-2012, 08:27 AM
I was wondering what software others are using so, thanks for mentioning that.

Btw...I started using Cakewalk Sonar almost as an accident, really. But have upgraded a number of times and am happy with it. However, had I not been using Windows at the time (I've been on Mac now for a few years) I probably would have gone with something more "mainstream" like ProTools. FWIW.

Plainsong
10-21-2012, 10:57 AM
It's on the Anthology 2 as well, for those who might have it and don't know they have it. :)

Kmetzger
10-23-2012, 07:06 AM
It's on the Anthology 2 as well, for those who might have it and don't know they have it. :)
I stand way corrected about it not being on any Beatles album! That makes two albums it was on. (Interesting to listen to the version on Anthology 2 - gives you some idea on the process of it coming to be.)

xyz
10-23-2012, 08:58 AM
Awesome ! Excellent work !

Kmetzger
10-29-2012, 02:48 PM
Awesome ! Excellent work !

Thanks. Nice tabs and videos on your site. Especially that version of "Stardust". Wow! Spectacular.

ukuleletown
10-30-2012, 05:05 PM
That sounds great man!

Kmetzger
11-10-2012, 05:58 PM
Btw...if any of you have suggestions on what I should record next - something that would fit with my past recordings - I would enjoy hearing your ideas.

UkuleleThreads
12-03-2012, 10:57 AM
Ukulele is always ALWAYS enough.

Sari
12-03-2012, 12:44 PM
Check out this:
http://thebeatlescompleteonukulele.com/

Pippin
12-03-2012, 08:49 PM
I'd love to hear what you put together for "Here Comes the Sun".