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How Different Will It Be?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
How Different Will It Be?

I am looking at my calendar and I have at least seven days of work on it for July. Except for one day in January of 2021, I have not made a recording since October of 2019.

My boss has continued to do work of some sort during the strange last 18 months and I will certainly take my cues from him in how he wants these performances recorded. Washington State "fully opened" July 1 and audiences are no longer restricted in size. But most of these dates will still be performed with no audiences and with some sort of video component. One camera? Three cameras? I don't know.

This has effected how my boss records nowadays as it will effect me. We have always, mostly, relied one main pair(s) and judicious spots as needed but are now looking at more lo-profile multi mic'ing to less impact the camera shot.

Not really looking for any answers here necessarily but just pondering how different the work product will be and how different it will sound. Strange days indeed.

Color me curious.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
There's a difference between aesthetically low profile miking....which still gets the right number of mics in the right places, in a 'Schoeps/Sennheiser thin stalk active tube' kinda way....and a visual field completely devoid of necessary miking (perhaps replaced with PZM's completely ?)...because the "video Marie Kondo types" have been given full rein for too long !

As always, with reasonable consultation, there is a middle ground where both parties concede creatively, with the net result of an uncompromised final edit. We audio folk tend to think of our stereo/surround mix as the 'final product'....whereas for the video folks it's their moving picture stream, with our audio supporting it.

The two can coexist...but you'd be decidedly shortchanged watching a sumptuous concert video without a similarly detailed soundtrack !

This crowd show that it's possible to get the blend right, week after week...year after year: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC2kF6qdHRTM_hDYfEmzkS9w
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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tourtelot's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I lived in the motion picture world for a long time. I will never surrender to the "we don't want to see the mics" group EVER AGAIN!

I always laughed with friends that when I started recording performances on the preforming groups' nickels, what a joy it was to say "my mic's in your shot? Better change your shot." Bliss!

I am willing to be a team player, even now, if the quality of my final recording is not compromised. I am willing to work harder and carry more gear to make it happen. But when it starts sounding bad, I'll bow out gracefully and return to my desired profession, retirement.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
springer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
compromise for vid

Hi D.,
I have now retired too and it's a fine club to be in....
Everytime I have made any compromise for video, my work has suffered. Since most of my previous gigs have been total prep setup time of 60 minutes before performance, there wasn't really time for too much quibbling so I guess it is my own fault for not being more forceful, but I had hoped that working with people was more important - it isn't. All that matters in the end is the final product and if the sound isn't great, your reputation suffers.
Now that I am retired and this next year will simply be for fun, I will start demanding more.
Best,
P.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A couple more observations and a wildcard suggestion/invention....

You must be talking about classical...because every televised and amplified rock concert has mic stands as the accepted 'stage decor' ...even back to the era when acts mimed their songs for TV, and the lead guitarist's instrument wasn't even plugged in to his amp !

You must be talking about the main pair stand (and possibly outrigger/flankers stands) along the front ....between cameras and performers...because the majority of section and spot mic stands tend to be lower and thinner, and arguably of less visibility even than most musicians' music stands...from any sort of distance ?

In my experience it's the main pair stand...typically an overbuilt-for-purpose (ie supporting only a lightweight SD mic pair) thick and highly visible Manfrotto....directly in view at all times behind the conductor's back, which irritates the video people the most. Especially when the conductor turns and bows to the audience at concert end and clinks their forehead on said stand's main pole...

I'm kinda with the video people on this one...it's industrial-scale ugly and visually intrusive...and yet, from an audio POV, it needs to be "just there, without negotiation" So....what's to be done ?

A wild-ass hypothetical solution. Since hanging mics from the ceiling is dangerous, takes too long to complete and is invariably in the wrong place anyway (except for tweaking with fishing line or guide wires), how about a long, thin industrial grade rubber or plastic walled helium balloon...the same width as the stage.. which is little thicker than the typical horizontal lighting bars which adorn most theatres and halls....above stages or above the audiences, for spotlighting purposes.

The lower edge of the balloon would have either Velcro or fabric loop ties attached, which would allow the main pair to be suspended from....
and the mic cables would also serve as the securing guy ropes at either end. You'd simply attach your mics and cables to the uninflated balloon with appropriate leeway for mic drop length, secure the cables at each side of the stage, and inflate with helium.

Tweaking of heights and angles could be done comparatively easily, and the balloon would float above the height which would aggravate the video camera crew. My estimate is you'd be able to price it at less than the cost of a Manfrotto stand...and many venues would find it to be so visually inoffensive that it could reside there semi-permanently ?

Apart from the need for helium top-ups (how long do these things typically remain inflated ?), the main requirement is to keep it tethered to the stage at all times via the mic cable....and the possible swaying that in-house aircon breezes might induce ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
A battle I have fought more than once. I worked with a client who did not want to have "any microphones on stage because it will upset the performers" to video people who wanted an audio feed but wanted me to take down my stand mics as they were "ruining" his shots. Not a easy battle to win. Good luck!!! (you will need it)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
The first choice from my kit goes to the tiny Schoeps CMC 1 L amps - but I do think that people are intrigued by [and enjoy] seeing the big shinny AEA A440 and/or the pair of Heiserman H47Tube mics, or even that rectangular Sennheiser 441. Geometries of mics and mic arrays can add interest to a video recording of a performance for the viewer.

However, modern rotoscoping and paint tools [e.g. Boris FX Mocha Pro & Silhouette] can make appropriate mic placement in the scene a non-issue - if it is important that a recording sound great and video look squeaky clean [mic-less]. And the costs for this kind of polish are greatly reduced over previous years. . .and the results are far more effective. But you do benefit from planning in preproduction.

If someone is about quality and a given project [or producer] can't support quality. . .decline the project. Not easy to do, unless you are your own boss first. Someone [I forgot who] said: When you work for someone else, they rent your behavior.


Life is full of little tradeoffs,

Ray H.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
0VU
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
The helium balloon idea doesn't work. Been there, tried that! Though, not on a music job and not because of any problems with complaints from vidiots.

It was some indoor acoustic measurement work where we had to get mics to a height not easily achievable with stands (45-60m). Dropping them in from above wasn't, at the time, an option so someone came up with the bright idea of using a bunch of large helium balloons to raise them.

To our surprise, the balloons did raise a pair of mics to the heights we needed (we did have to keep adding balloons as the increasing weight of cable as they rose caused problems) but, no matter how many control lines we attached, it was impossible to keep everything still enough to be useful. There was constant swinging and rotation of the balloons which was amplified by the lines suspending the mics so they gently swung and spun about. Also, the balloons rose and fell noticably with temperature changes in the room and gradually descended over time as the helium escaped. Had there been video on the job, they'd have gone nuts about the number of cables and control lines flying everywhere!

Nice idea though. I'm still trying to perfect the last few details of my to be patented designs for the hover mic. Just having a little trouble with the special helium impregnated paint, silent propulsion system, and AI that lets them look at the score and work out where they need to be for the piece they're recording!

Generally, on video work, I try to be as helpful as I can; hanging mics where possible (I try to do that anyway on live recordings just out of consideration for the audience who have paid to be there and don't want a forest of mic stands in their sight lines, and because often it lets me get mics where stands won't easily reach), using extension tubes, capsule extension cables, negotiating over stand positions, cable runs, colours of on-stage kit, etc.. However, if it comes down to a 'discussion' impasse over 'that can't go there, it's in my shot' then it gets thrown to whoever is paying the bill to decide whether the video or sound has priority and how big a compromise they're prepared to accept.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Good points on the balloon idea...I can see I've massively underestimated the duck and dive, bob and weave factor ! OK...what's the current state of magnetic levitation practise !
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
You need to wait a few years until Star Trek is real and then you can use one of their anti gravity devices. <GRIN> See https://www.startrek.com/database_article/antigrav for more info.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
You need to wait a few years until Star Trek is real and then you can use one of their anti gravity devices. <GRIN> See https://www.startrek.com/database_article/antigrav for more info.
Selective (targetable) anti-grav …definitely the way to go !
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0VU ➡️
The helium balloon idea doesn't work.
In France there was one famous organ recording made with an helium balloon : recorded by Pierre Vérany, Pierre Bardon 1978 in Saint Maximin en Provence - disque vinyle PV 3791.
https://www.discogs.com/fr/Pierre-Ba...U6NDIwNDU5NjA=
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➡️
A battle I have fought more than once. I worked with a client who did not want to have "any microphones on stage because it will upset the performers" to video people who wanted an audio feed but wanted me to take down my stand mics as they were "ruining" his shots. Not a easy battle to win. Good luck!!! (you will need it)
I had the same problem (only once) with video people who did not want to see mic stands. I realised that if I kept them talking long enough about it, it would be too late to take down. This was one mic stand containing an AKG 422 mic.
As sure as eggs are eggs, they found they had to rush off to their cameras as the programme was about to start, and the main stereo mic remained in situ. I was not popular with the video person, but the recording was able to go through to disc uncompromised.
Old 6 days ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Don't underestimate the perspective factor here. Imagine you've set up your typical array of main pair (perhaps plus outrigger/flanks) and spot mics....and you're standing onstage or perhaps at the first row audience seating, the hall and stage is devoid of people....awaiting dress rehearsal.

The video director walks up to you and says "we simply can't work with this forest of stands...it's all too visually intrusive". You look around, and from where you're both standing, you're inclined to agree with him, and see his point. Let's say though, that you refuse to concede to stand reduction ....and he sets up his cameras in their usual positions, grumbling audibly.

Then you both go to each camera, and check the visual damage of your 'stands forest' in the camera LCD or monitor. Suddenly, in the context of increased distance from stage, multiple music stands, each seat populated by a player....your visually-intrusive stands now significantly recede into the background...it looks just like every YouTube video of a professionally recorded and filmed event, and the previously problematic setup falls into a context of 'barely perceivable'

The individual camera operators might complain about the height or angle/orientation of a spot mic or two, and generally you'd accomodate that request... and tweak position, while minimising impact on your capture/mix.

I've experienced this 'pre-rehearsal context-distortion' effect on the part of video directors often....and similarly seen it allayed when they literally "take a deep breath and several steps back", and viewed your visual damage through the eyes of their camera lenses, in the actual concert context.

I don't know how to short circuit this (almost inevitable) initial confrontation .....but one thought I had was to come armed to a rehearsal with a photo album of A4 sized colour prints of screenshots (both wide and close) taken from individual cameras in these typical locations, as a preview of a typical concert capture.

The video director, after viewing such a working, real-world portfolio, might go a long way to nipping these confrontations in the bud...before they escalate and become territorial stand-offs, pre-concert ?
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
.... a working, real-world portfolio...
But is such a thing ever going to be a match for someone's inherently impulsive sense of "I know best, and if you disagree with me, you must be difficult and unbearably rude"?

My sense is that these battles are rarely fought on the playing fields of rational reason... which is a crime, if it could ever be prosecuted.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➡️
But is such a thing ever going to be a match for someone's inherently impulsive sense of "I know best, and if you disagree with me, you must be difficult and unbearably rude"?

My sense is that these battles are rarely fought on the playing fields of rational reason... which is a crime, if it could ever be prosecuted.
To a degree you’re right…it typically devolves down to a pre-tantrumic (is that a word ?) turf war, of apparently competing and irreconcilable differences. So it comes down to an alchemy of tact, diplomacy and resolution (in both parties) to see it resolved

I guess my suggestion embraces a notion of ‘taking the trouble to walk in another’s shoes’….or is it simply a cunning and pre-emptive tactic, to show them the error of their initial instincts ?
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
.... cunning ...
(I want to think that the true psychological secret is to create a scenario where they'll feel utterly superior and magnanimous? Like... I might try this next time it comes up... start to talk, and then, break down in tears and dissolve into a little heap on the floor, babbling incoherently about my supposed failings and quirks and quandaries, and hopefully get them to say, "Oh, now, it's alright little fella, say, do what you wanna do, we can work around it...") ?
Old 5 days ago
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
People are people and they do or say what the want. The "trick" is to have them think it is "their" idea.

When faced with an undo-able situation I always try to put myself in the person's position and try to see things from their perspective and figure out ways around their objections. Sometimes this approach works sometimes it does not.

I remember my father's famous saying. " If in doubt put yourself in their shoes and simply walk away. You will have new shoes and they will not be able to pursue you." <GRIN>

FWIW
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➡️
(I want to think that the true psychological secret is to create a scenario where they'll feel utterly superior and magnanimous? Like... I might try this next time it comes up... start to talk, and then, break down in tears and dissolve into a little heap on the floor, babbling incoherently about my supposed failings and quirks and quandaries, and hopefully get them to say, "Oh, now, it's alright little fella, say, do what you wanna do, we can work around it...") ?
A mind like yours is wasted in audio Joel….you should be working for the FBI, CIA, foreign intelligence and counter espionage !
Old 22 hours ago | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
there is no doubt that the past few months have brought many changes, some of which have come to stay - at least for a while.

one of the effects that seems to be manifesting itself here is that the concert halls cannot or may not be used to capacity, which means that the balcony usually remains closed - which is beneficial for the positioning of the main microphone system as it is not so much in the field of vision when viewed from the parquet than from the balcony.

the orchestras also have much more time for rehearsals and recordings in the underused concert halls...

(...although i have no idea who is supposed to listen to all this, especially the umpteenth recording of a complete work, which will never recoup the production costs and are ultimately sold ridiculously cheaply compared to concert tickets.)

in short: i have hope for live concerts (and live broadcasts including their documentation in the sense of a complete offer), but less for traditional studio recordings.

oh, and the market for recording smaller concerts/productions has completely disappeared (not only for me), because they are realised with equipment that really any amateur can afford!
therefore i am glad that i already upgraded a bit before the pandemic, with the aim of being able to cover the big events/to be able to keep up with the competition from the big state broadcasters and to be able to cover different areas for which the dinosaurs are too immobile - so far this seems to work quite well.
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