Windmill in a Tree

My newly-acquired '66 Strat.

Lovely job all around. Composition, playing, recording, production were all first rate. The Strat really sings (as it should!). Nice Vibrato, by the way. More David Gilmour than Jimi Hendrix Strat sound, but that’s probably where you’d hoped to go on this composition. Was that a “real” bass, or a keyboard bass? Didn’t seem to have the kind of attack I’d associate with a bass guitar. Not a criticism at all, merely a question.
Definitely liking what I hear of your music.

Swetch, thanks for your kind remarks.
I am glad you liked the Strat. I am very happy with it.
Not having owned one before, I suddenly found myself
Caught up in the blocked/floating tremolo debate, never
having done such an adjustment before, so it has all been quite an eye-opener.

For the past twelve years, 95% of my bass parts have been my trusty J&D precision, but on this track I failed to get a sound I was happy with, so the part here is an old Spectrasonics Marcus Miller sample called “Old Soul”. All the highs rolled off and crushed to hell and back.

Thanks for the listen.

Hi Pearldivers,
Yes, I fully agree with Swetch. Lovely job. Really beautiful Strat! just so elegant.
Couple of suggestions :

  1. This song deserves a break in the tempo. I don’t really know where, probably either in the middle, then back, or later, until the end.
  2. I would love to ear some congas, to have more groove from time to time.

Yo Steph,

yeah, I am still actually pondering the drums and stuff on this one.
It started out with a loop and that set things up for the recording.
Now, it’s ended up neither loop nor “real” drum parts, but at times
I feel I can live with it. I rarely add percussion, not because I don’t like it,
but I tend (perhaps wrongly) to equate it with slickness. And even that
statement has me wondering why.

Did you mean change to tempo or to drum part? Therein, the battle
between simple loop and a more detailed drum part rears its head.

I was in a rush to meet a 24th April deadline, so I will certainly take
note of your comments for a later mix.

Thanks very much for your kind comments, especially regarding the
guitar. I felt like a total dope playing a Strat for the first time.

Good that you thought about adding more drums, it’s only a suggestion from my side. You Drive!
Regarding the tempo , I was thinking about a tempo break in the song itself (not the drums only) , before going back to the original.
Take care.

Hi Jet, welcome to the world of Stratocasters! Do not block the tremolo! If you need specific advice, please let me know. The thing about strats is that they don’t go out of tune (assuming set up correctly), so there isn’t a reason to block the tremolo. And you have it if you want it. I happen to use it a lot. Not wildly, but just a shimmer here and there. I guess you are on the middle pickup. I am unable to get myself to use anything other than the neck pickup. I consider that a personal weakness at this point. Great sound with your Tungsten amp. The recording sounds great. Your drums are straight up center, why not give them at least a little stereo spread? And whatever your deadline was, it passed, so now put in your real bass! And I would like to thank Stephco and Swetch for making the kind of constructive observations that make this place useful! Getting more and more rare.

Hi Leon,

thanks for having a listen.

The guitar arrived from the USA in a “blocked” status and, impatient as always,
I recorded the verses and solo as you hear them the very same day. It seemed like hard work. :unamused:
The chorus parts are the result once I had floated the tremmy bar a few days later. Much easier!

That morning I also put pencil lead on the nut and under the trees, and polished and leaded the saddles,
and the guitar stays in tune really well. You can hear a little “ping” in this track where the string
on delivery day grabbed the unleaded nut at the end of the first phrases of the solo. I left it there in
the recording as an artefact of the moment, and in memory of the loss of my strat virginity. :laughing:

Only the solo and end fills are middle pick up, all the rest is neck. :wink:
Even so early on for me, I too can’t imagine playing much away from the neck p/u.
I don’t think it is a limitation in either of us, just a taste thing.

I shall continue to develop bass and drums.

Thanks again.

Hi Jet, the big disadvantage of a floating block is breaking a string. Every other string goes out of tune. But I hardly ever break a string in a live performance, mainly because I hardly ever have a live performance. What I also learned is that the best guitar sound you can get is from a Telecaster type guitar. The reason for that is that I don’t have any tele type guitars! Enjoy your strat!


Mix #2, with J&D bass and panned drum kit.

Liked it at first, and like it even more now. Very nice work (it’s a labor of love, for sure).

Thanks again for your second listen,
and for noticing that the tune has indeed been a labour of love.

Love the guitar work and sound!

Like it better. Have fun with your new axe!

100% Agreed. Yes, it’s better ! and I like it.
Always the same story, right ? Work on it, rework on it, etc… :slight_smile:

Joe, Leon, Steph,

thanks for giving it a schpin.

Oh yes, that’s great. And it’s instrumental! You’ve got a cracking sound straight off with your new Strat and Cortez. Great tone and playing. It’s funny, I assumed the solo was being played with the neck pickup. Great surrounding sounds - is it all Strat, perhaps through some clever reverby treatment, or keyboards? There’s a bit where the backing chords/ambience sort of ping-pong with the solo, very nice. How are you capturing the guitar sound?

I’m with Early on the tremolo thing. Keep it floaty, a bit longer to tune but a shimmering, glassy addition to the tone whenever you want to use it.


Steve, thanks for the listen and I appreciate your comments.

What you hear as guitar is all the Strat, and nothing else. Anything left or right that doesn’t sound
like a guitar is a keyboard: a few pads and warped pulses. But all the melody and the arpeggios are the guitar.

I switched to the middle p/u for the lead break as it seemed to cut through nicely
without shredding the ear drums. At the moment, I simply cannot imagine playing
anything on the bridge guy. My tinnitus is bad enough as it is.

I put an SM57 right in front of the cone. Bog simple, but it seems to work for me.

I forgot to add that, after 20 years, The Pearldivers have disbanded.
No more lyric-based songs. We have sung ourselves out. :wink: