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Live Harp and Vocal Recording Session
by Sue Czajko on 02/02/13 09:25:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

The sound team at Serial Lab have provided some great tracks for The Legacy of Barubash. Lately we’ve been working with Gina Zdanowicz and her team to come up with a suitable theme for Tafne. Tafne is married to Kaleb (the main protagonist) and will be a central character to the story. We needed several variations to her theme music and Gina suggested that we use a live recording of a harpist and soprano for the pieces.
 
Gina has kindly provided us with a write up regarding the recording session with harpist Erin Hill :
 

Our goal was to really bring the Tafne's theme to life in the game so we recorded Erin Hill playing her V'ger, which is an ebony Camac 3/4-size electric pedal harp.  It's fully electric, and each string has it's own individual pickup.  We ran the 4 outputs through an Anthony DeMaria tube direct box and a Summit Audio Element 78 preamp. We really wanted capture some of the finger plucking & pedal movement in the sound so we also used a pickup mic to capture that.

We changed it up a little for Tafne's meeting theme as we wanted that to come across more like diegetic music in the game as if Tafne is playing the harp and singing to herself so we used a Ylla, which is one of Erin's Cunningham Celtic lever harps. This was recorded with an overhead matched pair of Neumann KM84's through Neve 1073 preamps. She played the harp part and sang at the same time so we can capture that live intimate feel.



All of her vocals were recorded using a Soundelux Elux 251 mic which was run through a Manley Voxbox preamp. The mic really gave us the warm and inviting vocals that we were looking for.

 



It was all very great and the engineer at the studio, Mike Nolan, was very knowledgeable about harp recording.  Spencer and I had a great time with this session and we really feel like Tafne theme will really bring some great memorable music to the game.

 

Quick Youtube video of part of the recording process.

One of the finished pieces, Tafne's initial theme


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