Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Post music you have created here. Doesn't have to be pro quality. the idea is to share and get feedback :)

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Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

This is my attempt to VISUALISE this old composition of mine - using Superstring®




The Song itself attempts to crystallise childhood memories of holidays spent on a Dartmoor Farm from the late 50s

to the early 70s. It tries to present the collected memories as a single imagined "Day" . . . . .

Much of the pictorial and video content is legacy (film) and of it's era and some pics are provided by

others who shared the same experience.

If you are quick - you might spot me at 14 wearing a Green pullover with a Black Neck

. . . . and later, at 25, throwing a green frisby . . . .

The rock-hopping clip actually shows my Partner of ~35 years (Jan) in pink, and my Sister (Jane) patterned jumper . . .

The little blond girl is my Neice (Jennifer)- who is now 41, and the Emergency Medicines Consultant at Harrogate UK.

Time Flies . . . . :o

The 8mm film was filmed on Video - so NOT great.

I'm shortly getting it all digitised - and may revisit the project with better quality footage, later . . .

Chris


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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

Chris...
Oh. My. Gosh!
This is like a time capsule. What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to the little grey house that helped shaped your life and your music. Seeing actual images of this place ... the one that I have wanted to visit MYSELF because of the way you've described it..was like an exclusive key to a sacred place in your memory. No wonder it was so special. The song is beautiful. The words are beautiful. The keys are extraordinary. The images absolutely take you there. This was a labor of love, no doubt. I enjoyed this so much.. it gave me tears. Thank you for opening this chapter of your life. What a pleasure and a privilege.


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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by RLMUSIC Project »

That's pretty awesome Chris, Well done man.

If you don't mind my saying, the instrument mix is great but the vocal seems to be a little overwhelmed by the instruments.

Waves plugins make a pretty inexpensive set of plugins by Greg Wells that can fix that up.There are 4 plugins in his Signature series:
Mixcentric, VoiceCentric, ToneCentric and PianoCentric (bundle costs $60 US). Very easy to use.

There's also another one just for vocals - Izotope Nectar 3: much more expensive ($200 US) but still easy to use or you can tweak everything manually.

These plugins work well with Reaper and make a huge difference to a mix. Check them out.

Still I take nothing away from your performance - very good. Oh and a great use of Superstring as well.

Best regards,
Richard


Subscribe to our YouTube channel and join our Google group to access free downloads of our software Backing Track Maker for arranger keyboards, our backing tracks and a truckload of MP3 backing tracks as well.
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

RLMUSIC Project wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:40 pm If you don't mind my saying, the instrument mix is great but the vocal seems to be a little overwhelmed by the instruments.
Thanks for your observations Richard . . . .

I agree. It's an on-going battle I have with myself.

Generally I feel that vocals are usually too far back in the mix in modern recordings . . . .

Since a lot of my Music is telling a story, I'm usually guilty of having the vocals too prominent - so they'll be understood.

I guess here I backed them off a bit . . . . :roll:

I'm liking Superstring.

I wonder how hard it would be for me to MIME the playing (and/or singing) of the track and include "bits" of THAT

in the production? I'm not sure how easy - or even possible it would be to sync it to the existing Audio Track . . . .

Also, strangely - I noticed that SS seems to speed-up the video, such that it loops (eventually) if you select 1080p

as the output format . . . .


I alerted them to this and sent my .superstring files to them. They could not find a problem, but are "looking"

Rather spookily, they sent me links to the 720p and 1080p videos - that were complete! (still showing the problem) BUT

how was it possible to create the full deal from the .superstring files (79MB) . . . ?

The 720p full video is 245Mb . . . . . Spooky or what?

Chris


Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by RLMUSIC Project »

Lol you mean like Milli Vanilli? :mrgreen:

Actually syncing video and audio from different sources is not all that hard to do. I learned this tip from an internet video. If you are recording with a video camera and also to another source at the same time, here's what you do.
-- Start your video camera
-- Start your other source
-- Do a vocal count in (1..2..3..4) or clap your hands a few times. That's what the clapboard in movie takes is for. You know, the producer's aide has this board in front of the camera and says something like "Recording Take one". then claps the board.
-- now when you are editing your video, simply line up the count-in or claps from the different sources, remove the audio from the video camera and voila, all good -- legit miming.

Regards,
Richard


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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

Thanks for that Richard - that is very interesting . . . . I WILL check it out when I pluck up the courage to try :lol:

I take your point about the clapper-click for video, but my audio has no such click on it . . . . . :think:

I have the audio track as an .mp3 on my iPod and was planning to use that . . . .

problem is, I need to HEAR it (in order to MIME) as well as record it to the DSLR (Nikon D5200) . . .

I could try a headphone splitter from the iPod (3.5mm jack to two 3.5mm sockets) - one, to phones, one to DSLR . . . . .

but sounds like a possible impedance nightmare 8O

Better, might be to use my SoundCraft folio notepad mixer, which could be fine - as in this video?




I will have to try . . . . ;) Just have to tidy the conservatory, which is where I do this stuff

Chris


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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by RLMUSIC Project »

@Chris: Gosh I love these types of conversations.

Don't you have a computer to play back the Mp3? Then you could use a screen recorder to capture the playback while you are miming and making the video. How are you making the Mp3 in the first place?

My next Saturday project is coming along nicely. I will use it to demonstrate what I am talking about.

BTW my next song is from a great UK band of the seventies. I think you will like it.

Regards, Richard


Subscribe to our YouTube channel and join our Google group to access free downloads of our software Backing Track Maker for arranger keyboards, our backing tracks and a truckload of MP3 backing tracks as well.
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

RLMUSIC Project wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:20 am @Chris: Gosh I love these types of conversations.
Me too . . . :lol:
RLMUSIC Project wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:20 am Don't you have a computer to play back the Mp3? Then you could use a screen recorder to capture the playback while you are miming and making the video.
Not sure I understand what you mean?

The .mp3 already exists - has done some long time . . . .
RLMUSIC Project wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:20 am How are you making the Mp3 in the first place?
My Fusion lives in a separate room to my Desktop (Main) PC.

I play the main tracks in to the Fusion in Song mode (it can handle 32 tracks of midi and 8 tracks of Audio).

If I'm using any or the Fusion's internal sounds - of which there are thousands, I export them as 24bit 44.1 khz .wav files.

I solo the track and record it from the Fusion to my M-Audio Microtrack recorder via S/PDif.

I may or may not use the associated midi file for THAT track . . . . to audition alternatives. . . . (VSTs)

I export the entire song as a midi file and import into Reaper.which voluntarily creates the number of tracks it finds . . .

To record vocals, I HAVE to use the conservatory @3am in the morning to avoid traffic noise . . . . :roll:

I listen to the guide track on Cans from my iPod - and record to the M-Audio Microtrack as MONO 24bit 44.1 .wav

This is dropped into Reaper - and the tinkering begins . . . . :)

More recently - I HAVE recorded vocals directly into Reaper on my Laptop . . . . Having sorted out the Latency issues

I'm more or less happy that this is reliable - so I'll probably use this MORE now . . . . :think:
RLMUSIC Project wrote: Thu Oct 22, 2020 3:20 am My next Saturday project is coming along nicely. I will use it to demonstrate what I am talking about.

BTW my next song is from a great UK band of the seventies. I think you will like it.

Regards, Richard
I'll be interested to see . . . . (Y)

Chris


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Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

Just curious .. maybe you've already told me -- is the little grey house still standing? I really love this video/song mix :D


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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by RLMUSIC Project »

Hi Chris,

If you take a look at the BTM Tutorial 5, I used the technique I talked about.
-- I had my video camera trained on the keyboard, recording to it's SD card.
-- I recorded my tutorial and keyboard playing on my Zoom L-12 LiveTrak mixer. It has a built-in recorder, which also writes to an SD card.
-- I turned on the camera first, then the recorder on the mixer. I did the hand claps and then carried on recording the tutorial.
-- When done, I copied the camera and mixer recordings to my PC.
-- I used my video editing software (PowerDirector) to edit the video and audio.
-- I lined up (synced) the video audio and mixer audio on the handclaps and then removed the video audio.
-- I removed unnecessary video and audio and then saved to a new video, now with the synced audio. All done.

You can do the same with your camera and a mp3 file.
-- Play the mp3 back to your headphones and record yourself singing the song.
-- You can sing as loudly as you like because you are not going to use the camera audio.
-- Do some claps or use a count in or whatever to use for syncing the mp3 with your video audio.
-- Put the two together in your video editing software as I did. Plenty of free video editing software around if you don't have any.
-- Use the new, perfectly synced video with Superstring to do the lyrics.

Regards,
Richard


Subscribe to our YouTube channel and join our Google group to access free downloads of our software Backing Track Maker for arranger keyboards, our backing tracks and a truckload of MP3 backing tracks as well.
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 1:58 am Just curious .. maybe you've already told me -- is the little grey house still standing? I really love this video/song mix :D
Yes Shel . . . it's still there . . . .It's now owned by the grandson of the old lady you saw drinking tea outside on a bench.

Mildred, died in early 1977, and Peter has lived there ever since.

As kids, we used to play with his toy cars, out front . . .

In 2014, he invited me back to take a look . . . . There are a few changes, but not upsettingly so. The old place IS

showing it's age a bit - but then so am I :lol:

P1010739.JPG

The main Gate where we started and ended our Holidays. The daily Pony rides passed through here . . . .

P1010742.JPG

The View at mealtimes. Peter's new Table is not quite a large as the original, but basically in the same place.

The Original "Aga" which cooked all the meals and heated the water is still in place, though it has moved to the

opposite end of the room (more central to the house) and has been converted to Oil. .

The River Dart and the Bridge you saw in the video, are down in the Valley . . . .

P1010750.JPG

The Granite roughcast is looking a bit shabby, but the small extension is new and incorporates the old back-door

which you saw in the video where they are all drinking Tea. The little wooden hut replaces the original

one which stored the Riding "Tack", Pony Nuts and corn for the chickens. If you look behind the house, you can just see

a bit of the bank - where the group photos were taken that you see in the video . . . . .

P1010752.JPG

The large Garage to the right was always the Girls Dormitory. It was filled with beds and Bunks + some chests of drawers.

Today, it would be a Health and Safety nightmare - and just wouldn't be allowed, but back then it was GREAT . . . .

Boys of course were NOT allowed in there - except on one instance when there was a birthday party and we took the

(battery) record player in. In the early days, there was NO MAINS POWER. It was candles and pressure lamps - after dark.

Later on, she acquired a Generator that ran for a few hours in the evenings.

That little building on the left used to house it. Next to that (where the Plastic Tank is) was huge Pile of Coke,

that used to fuel the "Aga", that provided heat and hot water . . . . - eventually, Mains Power did arrive . . . .

Boys lived in the Main house, as did the few Parents (including Mine) when they accompanied us.

It really was amazing. Mrs Coaker had Ponies . . . The Ponies attracted the girls, and - you guessed it :doh: The Girls

attracted the boys . . . . . (made in heaven, or what?) :lol: 0-)

P1010754.JPG

I'm standing on the Bank where the group pics were taken. As I said before, it's looking a little grubby with the moss

on the walls and roof. The Front Door is new as is the burgler alarm and the Satellite Dish. Between the extension

and the main house is the place where the bench was where they all drank tea . . .

The ground floor room to the right was an extra bed/sitting room. It housed a single bed and a "Put-U-Up", which was

an early incarnation of what we would call a sofa-bed . . MORE IMPORTANTLY, there was jangly upright Piano, which

I used a lot, GREAT for when it was raining . . . . . The Moors are predominantly a DAMP environment, NOT Piano-friendly.

P1010755.JPG

Mrs Coaker's HELPER, was invariably a 16 year old Girl - who helped with bed making, cleaning, serving meals and

organising the Riding. SHE was allocated a Hut of her own . . (My Sister Jane did it for a couple of years) . . .

Here, you see a new replacement for the original, (which was quite a bit smaller) - between the Garage and the House.

She also stayed for free (All Summer) and had pocket money . . . .

If there was a second in command, SHE was allowed a proper SINGLE bed, rather than a Bunk . . .

If you look at the Horizon between to two buildings - that small "lump" in the middle - is Belever Tor . . . :dance:

P1010766.JPG

Yes, its <parametric> propping myself up on the wall of "Slade". 38 years since I was last there . . .

It was a little strange, to be sure, but I was not upset to revisit, and indeed I found much that had not changed . . .

Chris


Alesis Fusion 8SSD AND 6SSD - BOTH are 384Mb/120Gb SSD/Akai ADVANCE61/Yamaha MOXF6/1024Mb Flash Ram/Yamaha SY85/8.5mb vol/1024k non-vol/DX21/Roland MT32/Bachmann double overstrung Baby Grand Piano/Win10 Pro/Ubuntu MATE 15.0.4/iBook G4/Mac OS 10.4.6/ProTools 7.4/MBox2/M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96

NI Komplete11 Ultimate

Sector101 2x SYEMB06 / 4 x EXM-E3 128MB DRAM Module

BRAND NEW DSDD (720k) FLOPPY DISKS FOR SALE - https://yamahamusicians.com/720k-floppy-disks-for-sale/

Watch out now! take care, BEWARE of the greedy leaders! They'll take you where you should not go - (George Harrison)

IT'S TRUE - "MONEY TALKS" - TO ME, IT MOSTLY SAYS "GOODBYE" ;-)
http://www.chrisnmiller.co.uk/Chris
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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by shelly0624 »

Wow! i really enjoyed the photos from your last trip to Dartmoor. :D Thank you for posting them. The little grey house might show the effects of time, but it seems that it hasn't changed that much. Rustic charm. <3
It's always nice to discover that there is some continuity in life and not everything cherished has to be greatly altered by the years.

The surrounding land is AMAZING .. acres of countryside for all of you young'uns to run free and explore. Definitely a little piece of heaven.
Did Mildred rent her home as a retreat.. to generate a little income, or was she a family friend?

I have a crab fisherman friend who would rent out his beautiful lakeside home for vacationers while he was out to sea .. ($500 a day!) .. so families would share the rent and use it for a summertime family reunion.

I have never been into fancy houses. (I was raised in one). I will take a broad stretch of land over a beautiful home ANY day of the weak. Lots of countryside... humble house, for me. :D

I wondered what the "purple, green, and gold" was in your song.. Then I saw the photo in your video. I was curious, so I googled the type of plants that would fit that description.

"...Slightly lower down the slope, you will find extensive areas of moorland. A lot of moorland is grass moor, but some areas are characterised by western heath, which turns into a sea of yellow and purple in late summer as the heathers and western gorse are in flower..."

Is it that??

Your music video is like a charming painting of the past (to me). You move in closer and suddenly discover that you can walk through it .. into a living scene. You step back in time, to a little house in the country.. to young people in bell-bottom jeans .. sprawling, wild, land with time-worn stone hedges.. a river with an arched bridge -- ponies .. and a wind that blows across the countryside -- (something I relate to; riding horses in the windy farming valley where I grew up). I would love that place and YOUR love for Dartmoor comes through in your song and video. Thank you so much for sharing it.


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Re: Little Grey House on the Hill . . . . .

Unread post by parametric »

shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:21 am Wow! i really enjoyed the photos from your last trip to Dartmoor. :D Thank you for posting them. The little grey house might show the effects of time, but it seems that it hasn't changed that much. Rustic charm. <3
It's always nice to discover that there is some continuity in life and not everything cherished has to be greatly altered by the years.

The surrounding land is AMAZING .. acres of countryside for all of you young'uns to run free and explore. Definitely a little piece of heaven.

All true Shelly. You can imagine the effect it had on me as very small boy from the Big City - or at least, the urban sprawl

of London. My environment was streets with rows and rows of semi-detached houses, shops traffic lights and Buses,

and the constant drone of traffic . . . .

Dartmoor was quiet - apart from the distant calling of cattle and sheep. Zero street lighting - so you could SEE the stars.

I learned the Country ways and grew to love them.

Probably from being so small that I don't remember - right up until 1976, the Holiday at Slade was an annual pilgrimage,

The whole of August, every year. It just became entrenched, and I make no apologies for having become an obsessive :lol:

You really had to be there, to understand. . . .
shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:21 am Did Mildred rent her home as a retreat.. to generate a little income, or was she a family friend?
To explain that, I really have to explain a bit about how Dartmoor runs, so to speak.

Dartmoor is one of our National Parks - and is administered day-to-day by the National Parks Authority.

Having said that, it is also part of the "Duchy of Cornwall".

Prince Charles IS the Duke of Cornwall, and in effect he owns the land that comprises the Duchy of Cornwall.

This includes Dartmoor. The Farms on the Moors are all Duchy Tenancies, so the Farmers RENT their Farms from the Duchy.

The Coakers have been tenants on Dartmoor for Hundreds of Years. About a mile for Slade is Sherberton Farm.

It is a Hill Farm running Cattle and Sheep. It also became known as Sherberton Pony Stud in earlier years.

Mildred's son John and his Wife Diana used to run Pony-Trekking from there - 120 horses a day for all-day rides on to the Moors.

When Mildred and her Husband retired (and John and Diana took Sherberton over) - Slade was built for them to retire to . .

She decided to start taking visitors for holidays - for a bit of extra income - as Farming is not on the whole - pensionable . .

I DO remember Mr Coaker (just). Me being a little kid - he appeared rather big and scary and always seemed so austere . . .

I can picture him sitting at the farm table, shelling Broad Beans - or inhaling his burning asthma-mixture from a tin lid . . .

After he died, Mildred continued to take visitors. In the main - they were unaccompanied kids, occasionally with

Mums and Dads attached.

So, in answer to your question, Slade was Mildred's home - and she opened it up for us. She did the cooking -

making sandwiches for those who were Trekking at Sherberton, and driving to nearby towns for Supplies and Food . . .
shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:21 am I have a crab fisherman friend who would rent out his beautiful lakeside home for vacationers while he was out to sea .. ($500 a day!) .. so families would share the rent and use it for a summertime family reunion.

I have never been into fancy houses. (I was raised in one). I will take a broad stretch of land over a beautiful home ANY day of the weak. Lots of countryside... humble house, for me. :D
Seems like an excellent idea for Fisherman who is going be away for long times . . . (Y)
shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:21 am I wondered what the "purple, green, and gold" was in your song.. Then I saw the photo in your video. I was curious, so I googled the type of plants that would fit that description.

"...Slightly lower down the slope, you will find extensive areas of moorland. A lot of moorland is grass moor, but some areas are characterised by western heath, which turns into a sea of yellow and purple in late summer as the heathers and western gorse are in flower..."

Is it that??
You nailed it! - Yes indeed. The grass of course, but also the Bracken is green. The Heather is Purple, and the Gorse

Has the Gold . . . aw OK, Yellow :lol:
shelly0624 wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:21 am Your music video is like a charming painting of the past (to me). You move in closer and suddenly discover that you can walk through it .. into a living scene. You step back in time, to a little house in the country.. to young people in bell-bottom jeans .. sprawling, wild, land with time-worn stone hedges.. a river with an arched bridge -- ponies .. and a wind that blows across the countryside -- (something I relate to; riding horses in the windy farming valley where I grew up). I would love that place and YOUR love for Dartmoor comes through in your song and video. Thank you so much for sharing it.
It is what I'd hoped it would be . . .

I love the Stone Hedges comment . . . Indeed they ARE a reality. Many of the roads across the Moors are lined with

Granite Stone Walls. These generally "grow" a foilage covering and are best kept away from . .

Granite is very unforgiving to motor vehicles :lol:

Just as a parting shot - this is me, riding my favourite Pony . . . A Mare called So-Big

She had a wonderfully broad back, so I used to ride her bareback . . . . S o comfortable . . . 8)

Probably about 1968/9?

076 Chris on SoBig.jpg
076 Chris on SoBig.jpg (142.67 KiB) Viewed 533 times

Chris


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