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Ged Grimes goes Gaelic with Bard's Tale and Aston mics

Category : Artists

Simple Minds’ Ged Grimes is used to playing rock music in packed out stadiums, but his latest project has seen him recording and producing traditional Gaelic music in, amongst other locations, a remote church in the Scottish Highlands, for the fourth instalment of the hit fantasy role-play game, The Bard’s Tale IV; Barrows Deep

The Bard’s Tale is set in ancient Scotland, so the project allowed Ged to journey deep into his homeland’s cultural history. He assembled some of the nation’s finest traditional and Gaelic musicians to perform the work and set about capturing their performances as naturally as possible, a challenge which he entrusted to his Aston microphones throughout.

“The vocals are at the centre of the Bard’s Tale gaming world. The gamer encounters Gaelic songs as you explore the virtual ancient settlements and landscapes of olde. Top quality vocal recording was a priority for me at the outset, which was why I bought the Spirt. I knew it would work across a range of singers and vocal tones and it made my life so much easier to not have to reach for plugins to sweeten the sound… it captured everything at source.” Ged told us.

Ged is a member of the Aston 33, a panel of audio industry experts (now numbering over 90 but affectionately named after the founder members) who help develop each new Aston microphone by participating in pre-release blind listening tests and ensuring the final versions of each mic are voiced to lead their respective fields. Spirits and Starlights were his choices when faced with the challenges of traditional acoustic instruments.

“I used the Spirit as my main go to mic throughout the making of this soundtrack. Everything from the lead voice actor in the game to Upright Bass. In addition, the Starlights were dynamite as a stereo pair for the delicate acoustic instruments I employed, including gut string acoustic guitars and Clarsach Gaelic harp. The musicians were all world class players, so you want to get it right first time.”

 

Spirits and Starlights in the Highlands

One of the highlights, he recalls, was recording a 40-piece Gaelic choir in a church on the Black Isle in the Highlands. The whole local community contributed to the sound which, Ged says, is: unlike anything else you will hear in a game…”

“There is a precentor who leads out the choir with lead lines of religious singing and the congregation respond, but it’s unlike any “choir” you have heard before and is a haunting and unique sound as the voices layer and overlap one another.”

“I used two pairs of Aston Starlights…one pair for ambience at the rear of the church and the other at the front of the congregation with the Spirit capturing the Precentor on the altar. The separation was incredible and allowed me to practically isolate the precentor for mixing purposes, with the Starlights picking up amazing detail within the choir.”

The Bard’s Tale IV; Barrows Deep was released on 18th September 2018 and the music, which took three years from conception to release, has been enthusiastically received by fans of the game.

“I’m so pleased that this soundtrack has been lauded by gamers and the music plays a major role in immersing the player in a virtual Scotland. The Aston family of mics performed brilliantly throughout.” said Ged.

 

You can hear the results of Ged’s work on the Bard’s Tale IV promo videos on these links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exGbLNEXILk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22oV2EaaYYg&t=14s

 

and keep up to date with Ged’s latest projects on his website:
http://www.gedgrimes.com

 

The Bard’s Tale; Barrows Deep, is published by inXile. Find out more about the game on the official website here:
https://bardstale.com

 

Learn more about Aston microphones here:
https://www.astonmics.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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