MUSIC – About – Gear

 

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Eilee’s gear is minimal but adequate for her needs. This page also tells about her style and sound and how that works together with her gear.

STYLE & GEAR: 

My vocals are described as sweet, soothing and slightly flirty (even sultry at times), and aptly fits my instrument of choice right now: ukulele. I have both acoustic and electric ukes (the electrics are both by Ibanez), and a small, clean Fishman amp/monitor hybrid that accommodates my headphone/mic. I have acquired a looping effects pedal, but am still learning how to time it. Here’s a quick pic (without my loop) to the right:

photo of Eilee’s Ibanez electric ukulele, Fishman Amp and headphone/mic the day she brought them home

I still tend to push ukulele far beyond people’s typically limited perception of its stylistic range, and have delved into pop, mambo, jazz, flamenco, rock, bluegrass, bolero, blues, country, rockabilly and alternative, all in my unique little style. I have a good ear for which songs do – or don’t – adapt well to both the instrument and my voice, but I am open to musical experimentation. I’m not a professionally-trained musician but I have, by declaration of several fellow musicians – a natural gift/great ear – yet a humble openness and quick response to guidance and wisdom from others.

Many of the musicians I’ve met and befriended have been exceedingly generous with their knowledge, and I am ever grateful for them! Universal Music has been a great support to me with lots of free info, as well as helpful self-teach books, luthier services, and gear (I bought 90% of my gear there, and they reward customer loyalty), and even Wildwood Guitars (who regrettably don’t sell ukes, or didn’t back then anyway), threw me some good advice when I was just starting out. I also got some nice guidance at The Denver Folklore Center. (Disclaimer: nobody knows I’m pitching or linking to them; I’m doing this for free, because I believe in people who believe in people. If I ever get compensated in any way for doing so, then I’ll disclose that in close proximity to where it happens, just so that you know.)

More recently I added to my arsenal some recording components, since I’m so prolific and inspiration strikes at odd hours of the morning. If I didn’t invest in this stuff I’d go bankrupt renting studio time. I’m working on perfecting and/or rerecording many of my songs so that they’re cleaner and truly release-worthy. It’ll sound much more professional but won’t be so slick that I lose my folksy sound (no auto tune EVER, hello); it will be what I call handcrafted (like a microbrew, cheese or wine 😉). I have a nice Audiotechnica cardioid condenser mic on a stand, with a pop filter, a Presonus AudioBox iTwo, and some sweet Audiotechnica headphones. I converted one of my closets into a recording booth and did all the soundproofing and sound damping I could manage on zero budget. I’ve already learned how to interface everything with my Mac and use a DAW (GarageBand for now) to edit the recordings, and have had some successful results, and I’m really happy with them!

I’ve added other live instruments to my skill set (mandolin; bass; bongos, washboard, spoons, maracas, castanets, and other percussion; some old keyboards, kazoo, and a small squeezebox) to fill out my recorded arrangements, and occasionally embellish with software instruments when necessary. (TBH, I do not perform well live with every one of these auxiliary instruments, only a few!) Quite often I hear entire orchestrations in my head. My learning curve is good on all of this equipment and software, but I’m not ready to offer recording services to other musicians at this juncture. It’s just too crowded in there, and it gets hot in that booth, even with just me in it. You can’t just vent it or throw the door open; it defeats the whole point of soundproofing/damping. Where there is air transference–there is sound transference.  I’ve researched and learned a lot about soundproofing and sound damping, but short of building a house from scratch with a studio and proper multi-turn, sealed air ducting integrally planned into it, I can’t really resolve the ventilation issues in our current locale post-construction, so for now I must take breaks between tracks for the sake of temperature control and, well…you know, that pesky breathing thing. Paying my dues, I guess!

 

 – Eilee

 

 

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