On the way home from visiting my sis (and hiking/fishing the great Northwest!), I was on a long desert road with a full moon and I threw on Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1 and listened on in-ears all the way home.
I really like some of the arrangements.
At the same time I was working with an acoustic piano library on the MacOS (Addictive Keys by XLN Audio) and I fell in love with a certain sound I was able to get for solo piano stuff.
Also going on was the whole COVID thing and I noticed other musicians recording concerts and posting them online to keep in touch with their fans and use their talents to bless with music.
At first I was just going to play around with Addictive Keys and see if I could make miniature little arrangements of some of the hymns from Acoustic Hymns Vol. 1, and before I knew it I really got into it. Additive Keys SINGS! It’s a gorgeous piano. I have tweaked it to be more “woody” and less “bright” (more like a Steinway) and it really allows you to draw out the phrasing and let those notes ring.
These were all one-take recordings (hence the name “Live Hymns”).
I decided to leave it at one long track rather than break it up.
Softly and Tenderly
Breathe on me Breath of God
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
I Cannot Tell (Londonderry Air/Danny Boy)
O For a Closer Walk With Thee
There is a Balm in Gilead
This track was recorded with the tuning of the Addictive Keys piano at 432Hz (rather than 440Hz).
The temper was set to even pitch across the entire keyboard. I discovered mid-way through this project that I could hear off-tuning based on the temperament of the sampled instrument. Addictive Keys has a setting for an even temperament and when I chose that the discordant sound I heard went away. I understand that sometimes we want uneven temperament, however, to my ears, and considering what I’m trying to accomplish, I like it better with an even temperament. Case closed cuz I said so.
For a controller keyboard I used a Yamaha DGX-640 portable grand. Interesting side note: For years and years I have absolutely *detested* the keyboard action on this keyboard. It is Yamaha’s GHS Graded Hammer Standard keybed and it is *very* stiff. Once I stopped complaining and simply pounded on it as much as I could, my fingers and hands got “in shape” musically and now I love this keybed! It allows me to really swing the dynamics and to make Addictive Keys “speak” the way I would like. I’m currently working on a solo piano album of original work that will be called “Into the Green” (will be similar to At My Father’s Cabin) and I plan on using the same gorgeous Addictive Keys and the patch I programmed. It shall be grand…
I recorded this using Logic Pro X on a 27” iMac.
I used strictly the Addictive Keys plug-in from XLN Audio with its onboard reverb providing a suitable “hall” that the piano virtually sits in.
I used some light compression with the built in compressor/limiter within Logic Pro.
You are hearing this amazing keyboard sound library basically “as-is” with no additional studio trickery.
No effects other than Addictive Keys onboard reverb.
Light compression on the master track.
Hope these contemplative hymns bless you!
Logic Pro X settings: