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Leo Cosendai
from: Leo Cosendai

How To Authentically Record The Sound of a Gong Part.1

A lot of people have been asking how they might capture the sound of a gong to share the sonic magic with people who aren’t physically with them. Needless to say, one cannot compare a live, in-person sound bath with a digital experience. However, this doesn’t mean it is not good or not helpful: take an album or a song for instance, would you say it’s the same live and on vinyl? Certainly not! In fact, I would be tempted to state that both offer different experiences which are not meant to be compared. What I’m about to say may have to be explored in another article but to keep it short and to the point: I would like to warn everyone off comparing things/people/events,etc, for comparison is the start of mental dissonance and thus many, if not all, of our problems as humans.

Now back to our gongs. I would argue that listening to a song or a recorded sound healing meditation in the comfort of your own home or alone walking in the woods is likely to give you a different facet of sound immersion than attending a gong bath in public. Both are introspective but there is something about listening to a sound bath with quality noise-cancelling headphones in bed that one cannot have on a yoga mat in a public setting.

Yes, I have had my most transformative experiences with the latter, but I have also chiselled my consciousness through daily exposure to the recordings. Would I want to choose one or the other? Rather not! I’d much prefer having both knowing that going to a sound bath is not always on the menu (timing, costing, travelling time, etc).

You see, the reason why I love technology’s involvement with sound healing is that it enables us to be exposed to sound on a daily basis. Why do I think that is important? Our neurons and minds tend to embrace change only when stimulated frequently enough. This means overdosing on sound for 10 hours (puja) once a month is usually far less impactful than small amounts of time with a professionally recorded gong bath in a what feels like a peaceful safe environment, coupled with a few gongs baths here and there.

I firmly believe technology is a wonderful tool we ought to use to scale up what does the World and its people some good; so let’s show you how to capture the majestic sounds of your gong(s).


STEP 1  

When you feel at one with your instrument and have been working with it for some time, having had feedback as well proper tuition, begin to meditate on the idea of recording the sounds that emerge from your gong. It is time to lay the foundation and meticulously set the space/tone for what is to come…

Ask why? Yes, you want to help people but can you go a little deeper and further? What is the purpose? Who is it for, precisely? Remember, you can and most likely will do several sessions of recording, so you might as well focus on one thing at a time.

Here are more questions worth asking:  

-What kind of space makes you feel good?

-Where does your gong sound amazing and why might that be? How can you recreate those acoustics if you cannot use the space you know best suits your gong?

-Do you know a recording engineer? Someone you feel comfortable with is crucial in the process of giving 100% of your capacity during the recording process.

-What is it that you’d like to keep from the live setting and what is it that you’d like to adapt to the digital format? For instance, do you want to do many 45-minute sessions or are you tempted to try short sessions too? Again, who is it for?

-Practice in a silent environment and imagine microphones are recording every sound you make (breath, movement, jewellery, etc). This will spare you any stress you might feel on the day when finding out your every move will be caught on tape.


See you next month for PART 2!



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