This video showcases a kaval made by Lucas Fovet. Lucas makes beautiful flutes out of cane (and occasionally bamboo). All of them are very precisely tuned, and Lucas is usually happy to adjust them in various ways to the player’s needs .

The B flat kaval in this recording is tuned to equal temperament, which makes it suited for playing with a rich harmonic accompaniment.

The tune is freely adapted from a hora dance which I once recorded in Romanian Moldavia. The bass & chords harmony is also freely inspired by what moldavian Roma musicians (lăutari) would presumably play to accompany such a tune.

Technical details

Recording/mixing a kaval is generally easy but also open to many variations. After some experiments, here’s what I did did:

  • The flute was recorded using a SE Electronics X1 microphone. It’s a moderately low budget voice microphone and works very well on flutes in general. As can be seen, the microphone is placed in front of the lip-flute junction, where most of the flute’s sound originates.
  • The effects on the flute track are : reverb, lowpass and highpass filters (to cut some grumpling breath sounds and some unpleasant hiss from the mike), slight compressor (to level out some articulation peaks).
  • Bass and chords were synthesized in Yoshimi. Sequencing, recording and mixing was done in Ardour.

 The audio only recording is available in this other post.