Just to get it out of the way first, this is by no means a bitch or a moan, or an ungrateful wine about the quality of the World Pipe Band CD’s that come out. The quality is just fine on its own and I will continue to always buy the tracks or CD’s as I want.
Last year however, while listening to the pipe band CD’s in my car and on some nice headphones, I thought that there could have been more volume from the drums. I found the sound quite ‘tinny’ and sharp on the ears. So I had a play with Audacity using some of the mp3 versions of the tracks I had purchased. For those that don’t know, Audacity is a program used to edit audio files, which in all honesty I am complete newbie at myself, so I can’t tell you more than that. I just wanted to play around with some of the predefined effects that come with Audacity. These effects take a few seconds to apply to an audio file and there’s nothing more than a few clicks here and there to apply them. I was curious to see what would come out of it – why not!
After mucking around with various echo’s, sound distorting etc and generally being quite childish about it (and enjoying myself at the same time), the effect which impressed me the most was the ‘Bass Boost’. When listening to the difference on a laptop using the speakers, you might not notice it so much, but take the different tracks into a car with a nice sound system, or use some decent headphones and the effect is just amazing. It really brought out the bass in the tracks, which I felt were lacking a bit. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but this has made the track more enjoyable for me. I like being able to hear and almost feel the the mid section, especially the bass drum, just as you can when you are standing near a well tuned core.
Here is a sample for you to try and make up your own mind about. You will need something decent to listen on (nice car stereo or good headphones) to get the full effect. Listening on a laptop you won’t hear much difference!
Have a play with your own files but remember, save them separately to your main mp3 file, so that you always have a back. Although you can always download them from the store again, those downloads are limited. Try the different effects. Here’s a sample I tried when lowering the pitch. Perhaps if band pitch had stayed the same over the past hundred years, this is what the medleys would sound like Have fun! Short and sweet.
Oh and remember, you can get the Pipe Band World CD’s from any piping store online, or from Amazon ! I felt I needed to add that as I had used a sample for the purpose of this short blog. Audacity is a free program to use. Download it and follow the instructions, or find another useful blog that will take you through a step by step. To be honest, most of it is pretty self explanatory.