Recording & Editing Notes | Bowing Down Home

The recordings presented on this site were made by me or under my direction during three periods of time. The first and most extensive round of recordings took place over a period of several months in the summers of 1991 and 1992, and was sponsored by the Earthwatch organization of Watertown, Massachusetts. The second set was made in 1996 in preparation for two commercial CDs later released by Rounder Recordings of Cambridge, Massachusetts under the titles, The Prince Edward Island Style of Fiddling: Fiddlers of Eastern PEI, and The Prince Edward Island Style of Fiddling: Fiddlers of Western PEI. The third and final set of recordings took place in 2006 and was funded by the Canadian Museum of History (CMH) of Gatineau, Québec.

Quite different technologies and procedures were used for the three sets of recordings, which will undoubtedly show up as perceptible differences in audio character and ambience. For the first project, various Earthwatch volunteers were at the controls and sessions were recorded on a SONY TC-D5M, a high end cassette tape machine. The Rounder project was recorded by a professional sound engineer on a portable digital tape recorder. For the CMH project, my own hands were at the controls, and the unit was a Marantz digital flash-card recorder operating at 48 Mhz.

I worked with all three sets of recordings in digital format using the program SONY Sound Forge 8.0. Selections were extracted and edited to make them user friendly. Most selections were "faded" at the end, for example, and a substantial proportion of the 1991-2 recordings had to be boosted in volume. Beyond this, some recordings had to be gently "EQ'd" to redress imbalances between lead and accompaniment instruments, and – in the interests of conserving space – some selections were cut in length via fading or internal editing. Finally, when an otherwise successful performance was marred by a very obvious playing error, it was sometimes possible to snip out the problem passage and paste in equivalent sections from elsewhere in the same performance.

Ken Perlman

Curator