Will The Circle Be Unbroken

At my mother’s funeral service, at her request, my brother Scott, my son Nick and I played Will The Circle Be Unbroken. She loved the old hymns from the Baptist Church.

Will The Circle

This song is attributed to everyone from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to the Carter/Cash family. Although performed by both, it is an “old timey” hymn and my best research shows the actual composer(s) to be:
Words: Ada R. Habershon, before 1908
Music: Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1932)

The instrumentation on this recording is as follows:
Todd L. McCagg-Acoustic guitar and lead vocal
Scott F. McCagg-Dobro (slide resonator guitar) and Dobro Solo, background vocals
Nick J. McCagg-Bass and background vocals

Since some folks don’t have broadband and because of all of the filters in use, I didn’t email it. If you would like it email directly to your address, please drop me an email and I will get it to you.

This was digitally recorded over the past week using a PC and a software package called Sonar from Cakewalk and an armada of peripheral hardware and software plug-ins. I mention this only because of the interesting way in which we were able to do the recording. In Ellicott City, I first laid down the acoustic guitar to a “click track” in order to keep time (the click track was later erased). I then added a “scratch vocal” for the other musicians to follow. Nick then put down the bass track and added his harmony (the high part). The entire “mix” up to that was converted to mp3 format and then emailed to my brother Scott in Buffalo NY. The same day he return emailed separate mp3’s of the dobro, dobro solo, and his harmony part (the middle part). These were then converted for use back into an audio format. Something called a midi clock keeps everything synchronized to within 1/100th of a second. To complete the process, I re-did a “final” lead vocal track and added some production refinements (compression, reverb, stereo imaging, etc.), mixed everything to the proper levels and did a final “mix down” and converted the Audio file into an mp3 file for sharing on the internet. mp3, as opposed to Audio CD, is probably (to my ears anyway) about 90% of the quality of CD Audio and most folks would be hard pressed to tell which was which. If any of my fellow audiophiles would like an actual Audio CD, let me know via email and I would be happy to copy one for you.

In case you didn’t read into the above that this is therapy for Todd, I will just say, it is. What got me through this difficult time is knowing that my mom is with Jesus and with my dad, my family’s love and support, and the kind words and thoughtfulness shown to us by our friends. Thanks to everyone in the choir for showing your love.

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