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Questions about Setting Preamps for a classical recording
Old 19th September 2021 | Show parent
  #151
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
You do that if you want that sound. I've never been able to get anything approaching a natural sound doing that... it is possible to keep everything from being in your face but it still has a very "close attack" kind of sound no matter what you do.

Sometimes people do that because the acoustics are just so bad it's the only way they can deal with them. Sometimes people do that because they specifically want that Enoch Light kind of sound. Sometimes people do that because the audience noise is very high. But sometimes they do it for no good reason at all.

Often I'll have the customer tell me they want sectional mikes and they want spots on specific instruments (which may or may not be soloists). "We'll need at least three mikes on the choir." I always put those mikes up. I very seldom put them into the final mix.
--scott
i don't bother much whether the sound is considered to be 'natural' vs 'supernatural' or realistic vs 'hyper realistic' etc - in fact, i doubt any recording/playback can be natural/realistic - but rather whether it's convincing, engaging, pleasing...

...and whether the technique being used allows to steer the mix in various directions.

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 19th September 2021 at 09:19 PM..
Old 19th September 2021 | Show parent
  #152
Old 19th September 2021 | Show parent
  #153
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot ➡️
Regarding the "more or less" mic question, I think it is human nature to justify one's hard work. I think that those folks who record a lot of mics thinking they will only use a few are deluding themselves. "I have these three cello mics. Let's see how they all sound together. There you go! I actually mixed the cellos. Doesn't it sound great!."

It's the music recording equal to putting wireless lavs on all the actors in a movie scene. It's my opinion that the dialog from those recording have no "air" around them, no perspective and no soul. And those movies sound like s**t to me. I know why current-day sound mixers do it. No argument there. But it doesn't sound as good as a couple of overheads, mixed by competent PSM and Post Sound pros. At least to my ears.

Let's not talk about a film scoring session which most of us seem to think is another kind of bird from a classical live recording.

I believe in my heart that my two or four mic recordings will sound better than someone's 28 mic recordings in the end. Why? For the same reasons that booms sound better than lavs. Perspective, width, depth, "air", natural reverb, soul.

So I will continue, as much as possible (cameras at these events WILL change things) to record with minimal mics, let the musos take care of the balance as they always have, and make a recording that closely reflects the experience of those lucky enough to attend the live event.

Just my $.02. That $.02 and five bucks will buy you a Starbucks.

D.
Spot on, and perfectly described.
If you hadn't experienced it, you wouldn't have been able to describe it !

There are some recordings made this way that you feel as though you are there, just like those photographs where you feel you could walk into the picture.

I have in mind a recording of Britten's Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge made by Tony Faulkner, played by the English Chamber Orchestra under Sir Alexander Gibson.
If you cut it, it would bleed.
Old 19th September 2021 | Show parent
  #154
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
You do that if you want that sound. I've never been able to get anything approaching a natural sound doing that... it is possible to keep everything from being in your face but it still has a very "close attack" kind of sound no matter what you do.
Related to that is the fact that the instruments of the orchestra, and even more so classical/operatic voices need distance to 'develop' properly and attain the expected/intended sound. When ONLY spots are used to 'build the sound' you're building it from a distorted sound picture of the instruments/sections. 'Distorted' in an acoustic sense, not a technical one. Only when these closer mics are mixed at a level far below the main pickup do they not sound 'distorted' but only add a bit detail and texture to the 'fully developed' sound from the mains.
Old 19th September 2021 | Show parent
  #155
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
There are some recordings made this way that you feel as though you are there, just like those photographs where you feel you could walk into the picture.
It was just this very thing that got me started recording classical music in the first place. A friend was listening to some binaural nature recordings I'd made, and she took off the 'phones and innocently asked: "Do you have any music recorded this way?" - In the blink of an eye the course of my life was changed forever. Decades of experimentation and study to find a way to record classical music that has that kind of 'you are there' quality.
Old 20th September 2021 | Show parent
  #156
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Just an aside..........

Does anyone know how to remove a thumbs up on the site please?

If you accidentally place a thumbsup on the wrong comment in error, there doesn't appear to be a way of deleting it.
Old 20th September 2021 | Show parent
  #157
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
Just an aside..........

Does anyone know how to remove a thumbs up on the site please?

If you accidentally place a thumbsup on the wrong comment in error, there doesn't appear to be a way of deleting it.
I don't believe there is - no negativity on Gearspace, if you please! (Moral is: "Be careful where you place you thumb...")
Old 20th September 2021 | Show parent
  #158
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🎧 10 years
Drat, double drat !
Old 20th September 2021 | Show parent
  #159
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
Related to that is the fact that the instruments of the orchestra, and even more so classical/operatic voices need distance to 'develop' properly and attain the expected/intended sound. When ONLY spots are used to 'build the sound' you're building it from a distorted sound picture of the instruments/sections. 'Distorted' in an acoustic sense, not a technical one. Only when these closer mics are mixed at a level far below the main pickup do they not sound 'distorted' but only add a bit detail and texture to the 'fully developed' sound from the mains.
Exactly. It's not a natural sound. But it's a sound that some people have come to expect and if you do crossover stuff it's usually what the customer wants.
--scott
Old 20th September 2021 | Show parent
  #160
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by k brown ➡️
Related to that is the fact that the instruments of the orchestra, and even more so classical/operatic voices need distance to 'develop' properly and attain the expected/intended sound. When ONLY spots are used to 'build the sound' you're building it from a distorted sound picture of the instruments/sections. 'Distorted' in an acoustic sense, not a technical one. Only when these closer mics are mixed at a level far below the main pickup do they not sound 'distorted' but only add a bit detail and texture to the 'fully developed' sound from the mains.
it's mostly spots and section mics - and their signals get twisted as if there would have been some more air between the instrument and the mic.

also, quite a few folks are laughing at the 'cloud' many sound techs in classical music are 'achieving'...
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #161
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
it's mostly spots and section mics - and their signals get twisted as if there would have been some more air between the instrument and the mic.

also, quite a few folks are laughing at the 'cloud' many sound techs in classical music are 'achieving'...
Sorry deedeeyeah, I'm not getting your meaning (no insult intended; I know English is not your mother-tongue but you write it very well) - what are 'twisted signals' and the 'cloud' that a 'few folks are laughing at'?
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #162
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
Sorry deedeeyeah, I'm not getting your meaning (no insult intended; I know English is not your mother-tongue but you write it very well) - what are 'twisted signals' and the 'cloud' that a 'few folks are laughing at'?
if you want to make signals stemming from close mics to sound like signals stemming from mics positioned further apart, level balancing alone won't do: you need to twist/tweak/modify them (by applying filters, dynamic processing/delay/efx).

and as far as the 'could' is concerned, this is indeed the (somewhat generic) term that's been used around here for decades to critique mixes (of mostly classical music and in contrast to pretty much any other genre) which are nor robust/solid/focused enough and lack clarity/definition/impact.
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #163
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🎧 10 years
Or record at a distance, without the need for processing?

I recorded a CD album not long ago where the Irish folk song, "She moved through the fair" was featured as one of the pieces.
There were two soloists, one a forlorn boy who watches a girl at a discreet distance, and the girl (the object of his affection), as she slowly moves through the fair.

The conductor said that he wanted the soloists to have a microphone each, left and right, and one mic had to sound close and the other distant.
I did not give each soloist a microphone but placed the girl closer relative to the main pair, and sent the other (the boy) a quarter of the way down the auditorium to achieve the distant sound. The conductor looked puzzled, but it achieved the purpose without processing, and the effect was accomplished immediately so that he could hear it.

If I'd used processing (which I would not have dreamt of doing) I would only have been trying to accomplish what distance and placement achieved, taking advantage of the cues from the hall and its reverberation etc.

This is an obvious example, but relates to the technique of placing microphones to accomplish the desired capture of a performance. Making the balance given by the musicians in the venue the centre of your recording attention.

Everyone works whichever way they wish, but that's the way I approach the job. Although I'm open minded, it would feel strange now, and counter productive, to change to another way.

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 21st September 2021 at 06:10 PM.. Reason: Forlorn doesn't have and "e"
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #164
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➡️
Or record at a distance, without the need for processing?
if you can and this yields the results you (or the composer, conductor, producer etc) are looking for, of course!

but if you have a hot backline including guitar combos, a bass stack, leslie and/or a dozen of wedges from a band playing along with the orchestra, you better opt for a different approach; same if you prefer a much more detailed, a more dry soundstage or need to provide multipe, much different mixes.
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #165
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🎧 10 years
I guess I'm referring to classical ensembles of various sizes. Although I do record big bands straight to stereo too. That first came about when I was booked to record a wind band which broke off to form into different ensembles from within the band. Wind band, big band, jazz band and various smaller ensembles.....and a pop group.

The Producer had chosen the studio, but when I arrived I found that the multitrack gear was not working properly. The job was something of a pain as the control room was not in the same building as the studio, which was down the street in a converted Methodist church. The cables passed beneath the road in ducts. The control room was situated in an upstairs room, and whenever the ensembles changed over, or mics needed repositioning, I had run down the stair and along the street to the studio! The Producer was an early riser and all the sessions were booked to start from very early morning, so that everyone involved, had to negotiate rush hour traffic in a large city first thing in the morning............................it was nice when it all stopped!!
Old 21st September 2021 | Show parent
  #166
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1 Review written
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i was mentioning a rather obvious example (jazz/rock band playing along an orchestra).

nevertheless, if i get the chance (and the client has the funds) to use a multi-mic approach, i don't hesitate even a second with any classical ensemble/orchestra.

that said, i much prefer using a coincident main mic system and two concentrically positioned semi circles of directional section mics rather than (more or less) randomly positioned close mics only on selected instruments which makes level setting and time alignment very fast (besides my desk's unique temporary ganging feature of every parameter).

a bit of gain shading, hf attenuation, pan and delay towards the rear mics and the mix is almost ready for monitoring purposes.

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 22nd September 2021 at 06:43 PM.. Reason: info added
Old 2 weeks ago
  #167
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fred2bern's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
There is also a real fact and no one talked about it. It's the quality of the orchestra and/or the conductor. Back on the Decca's good years (I must say that what I hear today is not always so good, but that is another story and finally a matter of taste), all the "reference" recordings that are their legacy are made with top quality orchestras with top quality conductors, and time.
When they self balance themselves, when all the acoustic plans are almost perfect you just have to switch on the Talkback and ask for few corrections you'll get in the following take: ideal situation.

Somtimes it's not the case, even with "well-known" orchestras.
After a take, when you have to ask for more 2d flute, less first oboe, etc. spots are really welcome. When you wonder if you have to spend time to explain that the second pizz should be musically played louder that the first one because the first one is an open string etc.
I need spots... or 2 more days.

Great orchestras and conductors know that. Less quality musicians sometimes don't or think they know, but it doesn't work.
If you spot, you can adjust some few things to correct the final result. Without spots you need more takes, which means more time so at the end more money.

I am convinced that the higher the quality, the less technique is needed.

Correct me if I'm wrong but in scoring sessions, most of the time, they discover the music in the studio...
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