[Music] Walking in Barcelona

Continuing on the tour of old music that I’ve been wanting to re-record for quite some time…

Walking in Barcelona is a piece that I wrote shortly after getting a crappy $89 nylon string guitar. I had been hearing a lot of nylon on the radio (because my first wife likes sappy music), so I “got a hankerin” for it. The piece was written with a complex sounding but completely repetitive drum line that had no variation, but it had a nice bassline and the guitar wasn’t half bad. The original piece’s sound also taught me that the instruments can be cheap but a good microphone (or two, since the original was recorded using 2 C1000S mics pointing at the soundhole and neck) can make it sound quite good. (This version was recorded using a Neumann TLM103 offset about 4 inches to the left and about 8 inches away from the soundhole.)

This version was recorded in 24-bits so it just sounds better. But, I adjusted the drumline a bit to make it sound less robotic as well as to change it up in a particular spot that cried for a different rhythm. The bassline was changed a bit to reflect my current proficiency level and, scary enough, the guitar playing is crap. :laughing: I do plan on re-recording the guitar before putting it on BandCamp but I wanted to give everyone a preview here. Also, I have quite a bit of automation in this version to highlight certain phrases and to duck behind the solo instruments.

The recorder is a cheap, neon green, $15 plastic Yamaha that I bought at Sam Ash if you’re curious.

The guiro in the percussion represents the shuffle of one’s feet as you walk down the street.

Walking in Barcelona

Comments, suggestions for improvement, etc. are definitely welcome.

Edit: added more stereo depth to the mix; and added more automation to highlight certain phrases.

Edit 2: got to a point where I’m happy with it (unless you point out deficiencies that I missed), so I uploaded it to Bandcamp and adjusted the URL above accordingly.


Hey Larry,
I really dug the tune, very relaxing…sounds great on my iPhone, I am gonna give a listen on some decent speakers later. I noticed you are using melodyne, how does that compare to the cubase vary-audio?


Krist Hochburger

Nice, Larry. This has a cool Santana vibe and a simple, pleasing melody. Good work.
I think this is pretty well blended, actually. I’ll wait 'til you retrack/remix before I try
to get any more focused on the critique than that, but I’ll just say that I’m seeing improvement
in your playing and mixing skills. There tended to be plenty of nits to pick in your earlier postings, but after this
and that other lovely instrumental you posted on FB, I find myself just enjoying the music.

Good show.

Sounds perfect to me. The guitar is actually quite expert, if simple, in execution. The recorder was a nice touch and variation for the tune.

I only have one EXTREMELY minor nit: on the very first beat, a rattly percussion instrument makes a hit and although it’s low in the mix, it’s a bit jarring and actually comes across as distortion at first. Maybe wait a few bars to introduce that element

I never used Variaudio so I can’t comment.

I find, believe it or not, that I use Melodyne more often than not to correct timing issues, i.e. quantize audio. Occasionally it doesn’t work very well, so I go back to the “tried and true” method of editing the waveform.

Thanks Lenny. Retracking will take a while, since the guitar is a cheap, $89 Guitar Center nylon string, i.e. no pickup on it. Since I don’t have an acoustically treated room, I have to wait for the opportunity when no one is in the house and I have time to set up the mic(s), EQ them in the outboard preamp, and then get a good take or three.

Thanks for the compliment on the guitar, but I disagree. :laughing: That was my first time attempting to compose in this genre, so it was rather amateurish in my opinion. You say “simple” though, which is essentially the same thing albeit with a different intention. :stuck_out_tongue:

I really enjoyed playing the recorder, which I did a lot in church at that time. You know I’m a recorder geek when I have 3 different ones: a soprano, a tenor, and a sopranino. :astonished: This was played on the soprano.

I’ll have a listen to the percussion bit when I get home from visiting my father in South Carolina.

the main riff reminds me of ‘badge’ by cream…

‘thinkin bout the times you drove in my car’…

i liked the tune…but not the recorder.

nice tune and recording makes me want to put on the film “woodstock” .the mix is excellent ,wish i could mix with the same quality .

Nice tune Larry. My thoughts…could just be me but the low conga sounds a touch loud…I’d consider dropping it’s level just a hair…2 db maybe???

And bring the lead guitar up just a hair…1 or 2 db maybe…just put it up front a tiny bit more.

Nice track, very well performed and recorded.


  • Guitar nudged up a bit.
  • Low conga nudged down a bit.
  • Compression added to guitar to help handle the points where the playing volume drops to the point of incomprehensibility.

Larry, as usual, very nice! Haven’t been able to listen on my better system yet but, sounds good. Low conga sounds right now.

Would still like the guitar a bit more forward but it’s right on the edge…might just be this system. I’ll have another listen. Great playing!

Maybe this is a function of the fact that I know the guitar playing is deficient. After I’ve had a chance to retrack maybe I’ll be more confident of its place in the mix…?

Or maybe I’m just making this up to justify my mixing. I don’t know.

Hi Larry,

Very nice! Wish it was summer already! :sunglasses:

I agree with Doug about the guitar, it sounds pretty good!
The recorder is a nice touch.


Heh. Thanks Wim. But I’m never happy. :laughing: I just retracked the guitar completely from scratch and am actually happy with it now.

Hearing how the previous version was a bit muddy, I punched in the high frequency EQ section on the pre-amp and boosted the signal at 2.5kHz by 4dBs. This really added some clarity to the track, which when combined with much better execution in the playing resulted in a better song overall.

Lenny: feel free to add new commentary as needed. :stuck_out_tongue:


Just listened on the studio system. Mix and balance sounds very good now. Have one tiny thing (getting down to splitting hairs now), at 2:09, the guiro has been playing it’s bit and you move through a chord progression from C to D to E. On the E, the bass does a little line of e, g, g#. To my ears, the chord you’re playing there is an e maj 7th. The g is a passing note into the g# but it holds long enough that it try’s to make the chord sound like a minor.

What if you changed the bass line right there and instead of it going e, g, g#, do e, c#, d instead? Same timing.

Played under the chord that you’re doing there it resolves the chjord into the 7th kind of sound that it wants to be.

Just a thought. Outside of that, real nice!

Actually that was intentionally chosen to create tension that gets resolved at the end when I climb up to the upper E and then return to the C / D progression. Instead of a major or minor chord, look at it as an E7#9. I’m just playing the #9 as the G natural underneath the 3rd (G#).

Thanks for the comments though. I have a question now. I mixed down to an MP3 in Cubase; loaded it on my iPod; and then listened to it in my Honda Fit stock stereo system. It now sounds like it’s missing some bottom end given how I EQ’d the guitar. I know for a fact that the stereo is lacking in the bass department, so it may be just the speakers but it may also be my mix. Any thoughts on this?

I listened to it yesterday on the studio system (nearfields and a 10" sub that I’ve listened to a lot of commercial CD’s through) and it sounded good there. I’ll put it up on the home theater system and burn it to hear on the car CD player and let you know if there’s any difference.

All the best,


Thanks. I’m looking forward to the results of your “test.” :smiley:

Hi Larry,

Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I downloaded the track and listened to it on the main system. That system has a pretty nice HSU-VTF2 sub and it’s tuned pretty well.

The track sounds good there but I think I hear something in the very low bass…do you have some sort of kick drum or something that hit’s only on the 1 beat or every other bar?


Yes. It’s a type of drum, but I couldn’t tell you the name of it off of the top of my head.