In the Hands
Paul Cantrell’s music
blog & podcast
Piano music old and new from a devoted amateur,
all free to listen to, download, and share.

Exciting! New! Read all about it!

I’ve added a two new things to my web site that may be of interest:

New Music-Only Podcast

For those of you not up on all the tech-y stuff, this site has a “podcast” — a feature that lets your computer automatically download the music and save it to your music library or portable music player.

Until now, the podcast has featured a spoken version of the written commentary that goes with each piece. This works well for people listening, say, at the gym or in their car. However, while you might want to listen to the music over and over, I really doubt you want to hear my introductions all that often. (My voice is just not that exciting.) Because the podcast always included the commentary, people who wanted just the music still had to manually download each track. Aaron wisely suggested that I do a music-only podcast as well. It’s a great idea, and I finally got around to doing it.

So now, over on the right (under the “Syndication” heading), you’ll see two links: one for a podcast with commentary, and one with only the music:

  • If you are listening on the go, and want a radio-show-like format with spoken commentary, subscribe to the podcast with commentary.
  • If you want to automatically download just the music to add it to your listening library, subscribe to the music-only podcast.

And heck, if you want the spoken commentary for the first listen and the music for future listening, well, subscribe to both!

Recording Method Explanation Updated

I finally updated my description of how I make my recordings to reflect all of the work I did last year to improve the mastering process. Although I made revisions throughout that whole area of the site, the bulk of the new information is in the section on mastering.

This is primarily of interest to others making their own recordings, but may also be of idle interest to anyone who is curious what goes into producing the finished product you hear.


Pedro Fortuny Ayuso

Just great. Many thanks and do keep the good job.

Good luck.


John Baxter

Hello Paul, my name is John…

(Guess all we need now is George and Ringo??? :)

My day-job is in software quality engineering, and my passion is music. It is my privilege and joy to work with pianist, teacher and composer Lydia Ferrell, recording her piano improvisations.

Imagine my amazement and gratitude to find your incredibly helpful description of tools and techniques - and for the very environment that Lydia and I use (Peak 4 and Logic Express 7 in the Macintosh OS X environment).

Your tips, techniques and recommendations are so valuable to us! And we love your performances and original compositions! Several friends who have heard your recordings loved the performances, and commented about the pristine sound of the audio!

I love Lydia’s works, and I’m always looking to learn techniques to help me to try to do justice to her creations. Your helpful tutorials as well as your recommendations regarding Elemental Audio Systems tools are of incredible value to me. Have sent along a small donation - hopefully more to come once my day-job throttles up again (and, alas, takes time away from music :(

We have known you for all of three days now - so great to meet you!

Also, thanks for passing along your father’s website - Lydia is keenly interested in the application of theories of intelligence to learning the piano in a multidisciplinary context. Her studio site is

Lydia’s new music site (very much a work-in-progress) is Thanks to you, I am in the process of happily re-mastering all her tracks.

All the Best!!!

of “sound” mind,
John William Baxter
audio guy for
Lydia Ferrell


Hey Paul, it was nice to meet you last weekend. I read through your information on your recording process / techniques and am very impressed! You probably know more about recording piano than a lot of recording people do (I certainly have limited experience in recording the instrument). What’s most impressive is your well rounded and knowledgeable approach to music and recording; it really does start with a good player, a good instrument and a good room. Furthermore, it’s refreshing to read your perspective on recording vs. live. I fully agree. Best to you, and I hope to attend one of your performances some time.


Having read your description of piano recording and having heard to some of your recordings, I’m confident that any serious pianist will improve his/her playing by thinking through the recording process as you have done. As you have listened to the recording you have no doubt become more acquainted with the source.

I know that this will help me.

Thank you.