Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bill MacKay at Acme Records and Music Emporium in Milwaukee on September 14, 2017

Bill MacKay is a versatile guitarist who is perhaps currently best known as being Ryley Walker's favorite guitar foil when Walker performs in a band setting. He's quite active and plays out very often, as his website (below) shows. He has an excellent solo recording on Drag City and on October 20, 2017 he and Ryley will be releasing a duo album (also on Drag City (see links below).

This was really an excellent performance by Bill -- solo electric instrumentals with a few simple effects boxes. He was the opener for Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon (with whom he had played in Chicago the previous night). His obvious deep concentration while performing allowed his fluid guitar lines to build and fall into quite beautiful patterns. There was a clear structure with enough freedom to make repeated listenings especially rewarding.

Bill MacKay: electric guitar
in the "Bay View" neighborhood of Milwaukee 
Thursday, September 14, 2017

This recording was captured by Richard Hayes using a pair of modified Audio-technica AT853 microphones (cardioid) which were fed directly into a Sony PCM-M10 recorder at 24/96 resolution. Software such as Audacity and Fission were used to clean up the sound a little and also to split the tracks. Conversion into ALAC and mp3 were accomplished using the program "xAct."

With many thanks to Andrew Lyon for the two excellent photos above. The crappy one below is by me.

A guide to download formats:

WAV = files which are able to be burned as a CD without any conversion steps. This is the largest size of file on offer here.

ALAC = stands for Apple Lossless Audio Codec, which is a method of making a lossless copy of an audio file with about 50% of the space required. With any apple device such as iPhone or laptop, you can natively play these files and enjoy the same resolution as a WAV file (it just takes up half as much space on your hard drive).

mp3 - this is a lossy compression codec which utilizes psycho-acoustic "tricks" to drop certain audio information which is not noticeable under normal hearing situations. I am not a fan of mp3 but still find it useful as a high quality mp3 file will take up about 20% of the room on your storage device as a WAV and about half as much as a ALAC file.

Please support this fine artist and decent person by going to his shows, buying his merchandise, and talking to him like he is a human being after shows.


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