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Horn and piano
Old 15th June 2021
  #1
Gear Addict
 
apotheosis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Horn and piano

Dear all

A while ago I had the pleasure of recording this virtuoso horn sonata in the hall for which it was actually conceived. Posting this because the technical side might be of use, since the positioning is rather difficult.
The horn player absolutely wanted to play into the wing of the piano, a rather common setup for this instrumentation since the wing acts as reflector of the horn sound, which projects mainly to the rear. Only, this Steinway is overly, extremely, even harshly bright, thus mostly overpowering the horn. Beautiful sound in the main omnis, but horn sounding distant and never detailed. And to make things worse: there is absolutely no working position to place a spot mic to the horn where the piano bleed is not dominant.

Then I remembered something TonyF wrote about the parallel 8 setup: it can work like a zoom lens. I had my NTR ribbons with me, which was my natural reaction hearing the bright piano anyway, and thought to give it a quick try as 'main horn pair': low at eye-level, at the place where I got most the most defined horn sound when walking on stage. Bingo. A nice blend of front-up horn and dark piano. I mixed that with a lower omni signal. The Decca tail piano spots were set up for safety in post, but I kept it simple with only the ribbon and omni mains, time-aligned. I pushed the omnis off stage for some better piano blend, and done.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=l7kViaIQ9-Y

Great learning experience for me, hope this can help anyone out there!
Attached Thumbnails
Horn and piano-img_20210422_174208.jpg  
Old 15th June 2021
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jnorman's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Very nice.
Old 15th June 2021
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Great job! Wonderful recording, the piano and horn sound very balanced and you captured an excellent sound from both. The players are excellent too.
Old 15th June 2021
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds good, a fine blend of horn and piano. Did you happen to try the Rode NTR pair in the Decca tail location...as a direct substitution for those mics ? I wonder if that might have achieved a similar result....but perhaps at the cost of giving a too-dark horn sound ?
Old 16th June 2021
  #5
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis ➡️
Dear all

A while ago I had the pleasure of recording this virtuoso horn sonata in the hall for which it was actually conceived. Posting this because the technical side might be of use, since the positioning is rather difficult.
The horn player absolutely wanted to play into the wing of the piano, a rather common setup for this instrumentation since the wing acts as reflector of the horn sound, which projects mainly to the rear. Only, this Steinway is overly, extremely, even harshly bright, thus mostly overpowering the horn. Beautiful sound in the main omnis, but horn sounding distant and never detailed. And to make things worse: there is absolutely no working position to place a spot mic to the horn where the piano bleed is not dominant.

Then I remembered something TonyF wrote about the parallel 8 setup: it can work like a zoom lens. I had my NTR ribbons with me, which was my natural reaction hearing the bright piano anyway, and thought to give it a quick try as 'main horn pair': low at eye-level, at the place where I got most the most defined horn sound when walking on stage. Bingo. A nice blend of front-up horn and dark piano. I mixed that with a lower omni signal. The Decca tail piano spots were set up for safety in post, but I kept it simple with only the ribbon and omni mains, time-aligned. I pushed the omnis off stage for some better piano blend, and done.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=l7kViaIQ9-Y

Great learning experience for me, hope this can help anyone out there!
Very nice recording and, of course the playing is tops..thanks for sharing...

Ray
Old 16th June 2021
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Good thinking !
Next time you could also stick a mic in the horn pavillion

Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick ➡️
Good thinking !
Next time you could also stick a mic in the horn pavilion

Corrected that! pavilion with one L....

On that! I've never liked the "horn pavilion mic" and always wondered why people would do that... no one in the audience nor conductor ever hears what it sounds like behind there.!! Granted if there were reflexions from rear walls but in this case it's the piano lid...Yannnick you really think it would have been better ???

This recording is gorgeous as is and the horn sounds really nice!

Ray
Old 17th June 2021
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Lovely recording!

Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis ➡️
I remembered something TonyF wrote about the parallel 8 setup: it can work like a zoom lens.
Could you explain more here -- what is "parallel 8", are the ribbons at a 90 degree angle to each other ? And, how/why does this work as a zoom lens ?
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayS ➡️
Corrected that! pavilion with one L....

On that! I've never liked the "horn pavilion mic" and always wondered why people would do that... no one in the audience nor conductor ever hears what it sounds like behind there.!! Granted if there were reflexions from rear walls but in this case it's the piano lid...Yannnick you really think it would have been better ???

This recording is gorgeous as is and the horn sounds really nice!

Ray
I’m sorry, but you really need a new sarcasm filter...
The OP knows i’d rather get hit by a bus than stick a mic in a pavilion !

It’s a bit like sticking mics inside a piano.
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann ➡️
Lovely recording!



Could you explain more here -- what is "parallel 8", are the ribbons at a 90 degree angle to each other ? And, how/why does this work as a zoom lens ?
A moving picture is worth a million words, so here's the man himself explaining his parallel fig 8 phased array....watch from about 29 mins in, for about 5 or 6 mins (but hell, why stop there...?)

https://youtu.be/8uCcFIyJJ-w
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yannick ➡️
I’m sorry, but you really need a new sarcasm filter...
The OP knows i’d rather get hit by a bus than stick a mic in a pavilion !

It’s a bit like sticking mics inside a piano.
Ahhh, sarcasm, I've heard of that......



RayS
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
A moving picture is worth a million words, so here's the man himself explaining his parallel fig 8 phased array....watch from about 29 mins in, for about 5 or 6 mins (but hell, why stop there...?)

https://youtu.be/8uCcFIyJJ-w
Really excellent. Thanks !
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honkermann ➡️
Really excellent. Thanks !
Here's another earlier interview with Faulkner, talking about how he got into the UK location recording scene in the late 60's:

https://youtu.be/v8qkjoWJwSI
Old 17th June 2021 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
apotheosis's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
A moving picture is worth a million words, so here's the man himself explaining his parallel fig 8 phased array....watch from about 29 mins in, for about 5 or 6 mins (but hell, why stop there...?)

https://youtu.be/8uCcFIyJJ-w
Yes, this was the illuminating interview where he mentions both the parallel fig8 and the 4mic phased arrays. He calls it 'forward gain', very true indeed.

Yannick: even outside covid seasons I would never want my microphones to be wetted or fisted by a horn player

Thanks all for the feedback!
Old 17th June 2021
  #15
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Interesting in that a very renown scoring mixer I work with mics horns both front and back. I will ask him the next time we work together (2035?) how he uses those mics in the mix.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Don S's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm a pro horn player/ recording engineer, and would say you nailed it! The horn is a blend of reflected and direct sound (e.g. front and back). In an orchestral situation, it's meant to be heard from the front. But many engineers will spot it depending on repertoire and when recording solo or in smaller ensembles, it requires a spot (or two) to capture both to achieve a natural sound. Great job!
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