Technical Notes about O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

This year’s Audio Christmas Card project was again recorded in Audacity.  Last year I took a little more time, but this year I had a strict 2-hour time limit for arranging, recording, and processing.

To save time, I arranged as I recorded, and I didn’t bother with any notation. The arrangement is pretty simple this time – simple solo first verse, duet with a drone for second, and fairly standard four-part third with a brief tag and pickerdy third at the end.

I began with the solo line for the first two verses.  Then I recorded and looped the oohs over verse two, followed by the second verse duet harmony.  Then I recorded the third verse, beginning with soprano, then bass, then alto and tenor.  I usually record the inner voices last because they anchor themselves on the soprano and bass notes.

I was not pleased with the stock Audacity reverb plugins, so I installed and applied Freeverb.  I wanted to apply some chorus effects during verse 3, but I wasn’t satisfied with the sound I got from the plugins I tried.  If any of you have a recommendation, I would love to hear it.

For a two-hour project, I thought the results were decent.  Obviously not studio-quality.  Hopefully Santa will bring me a Blue Spark Digital microphone for next year.  🙂

Merry Christmas!

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Nathan Howe is a Colorado composer, performer, and teacher. If you enjoy the free music available on this website, please share it with friends, commission a composition, or make a donation. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Technical Notes about O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

  1. More than decent, Nathan. I worked with Audacity a bit before I got myself my U24XL (Esi external sound card) which came with a free version of Cubase. The reverb you used is really nice. Surprised how clean the recording is – where did you record?

  2. I recorded in my classroom at school, using a small microphone that was sticking out of the mic jack on the tower. Not an ideal studio, but Audacity’s stock noise reduction tool was handy.

      1. By the way, Nathan, today I tested the free noise removal plugin from Reaper, called ReaFir (works as a noise removal when switched to Subtract), worked pretty well in my Cubase studio. If you ever need a VST plugin, here is the link:

        By the way, some of the home studio owners I talked to do their music productions in Repear and think it is the best DAW 🙂

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