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reinforced crossover recordings
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
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🎧 15 years
reinforced crossover recordings

Hey guys,
just wanted to ask who you think is the person in the industry with the most experience recording concerts with live band + symphonic orchestra with full blasting PA for a live audience?

Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, I have done these types of projects over the decades. Sometimes, it's just a string or horn section, sometimes it's both, or a full orchestra.

Back in the day, it was not an easy task. These days, it's much better. You have many possible and doable solutions to make it work and sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
Hey guys,
just wanted to ask who you think is the person in the industry with the most experience recording concerts with live band + symphonic orchestra with full blasting PA for a live audience?

Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
Hey guys,
just wanted to ask who you think is the person in the industry with the most experience recording concerts with live band + symphonic orchestra with full blasting PA for a live audience?

Thanks!
around here: me (no kidding!)...

...but as steve correctly mentioned, (with the advent of digital desks and if you're willing to adapt your approach in terms of mic selection, positioning, spectral, dynamic and efx processing to the situation) this isn't that much of a challenge anymore, provided that you have the appropriate gear, experience how to use it and few capable helping hands.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Thanks guys. We were working with a very professional and experienced crew on the last production.

I'm looking into tips how to deal with specific issues, in this case how to further reduce spill.
For a multitude of reasons on these productions all instruments are close-mic'ed. Which meant recording of 150+ tracks.

Most of the orchestra worked quite well, but I had spill issues on some instruments - basically the ones that weren't miked with DPA 4099.
SDCs on woodwinds, harp, horns, trombones picked up a too much stage (drums) and PA noise to my liking, even with full plexi gobos around the orchestra.
Double basses also picked up quite a bit of noise (DPA 4099 on these) , which I suspect was due to the bodies resonating.

So basically I'm looking for ways to reduce spill to the absolute minimum.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #5
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common misconception: plexis are reflectors and highly ineffective (other than bringing direct sound a few db down) in terms of preventing bleed.

use absorbers if you can; plus carpets rather than a reflective wooden stage floor and hang curtains if possible,

...or then embrace bleed!

oh, and expanders (no gates!) on (almost) everything are mandatory!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
common misconception: plexis are reflectors and highly ineffective (other than bringing direct sound a few db down) in terms of preventing bleed.

use absorbers if you can; plus carpets rather than a reflective wooden stage floor and hang curtains if possible,

...or then embrace bleed!

oh, and expanders (no gates!) on (almost) everything are mandatory!
Well, carpets and absorbers are an absolute no-go on those productions, as are hanging mics.
The brand I work for demands extremely clean visuals.
These concerts are also multi-cam UHD/HDR productions.

Manual muting and fader rides (and everything else that you can do in post) were of course used in legion.

Maybe the only thing to improve on is replacing the Schoeps/Neumann SDCs with even more 4099s..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
Well, carpets and absorbers are an absolute no-go on those productions, as are hanging mics.
The brand I work for demands extremely clean visuals.
These concerts are also multi-cam UHD/HDR productions.

Manual muting and fader rides (and everything else that you can do in post) were of course used in legion.

Maybe the only thing to improve on is replacing the Schoeps/Neumann SDCs with even more 4099s..
guess we're all suffering (in terms of audio) from the primacy of visuals...

in terms of processing, i try to avoid muting and limit fader rides to artistic/musical level changes as much as i can and let expanders (and even automixers) attenuate noise but once the mic/channel/track count goes high and the spl on stage goes up, there's only so much you can do before having to revert to more drastic means...

what are you using for live mixing if i may ask?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
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🎧 15 years
All of the above + more 4099s.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
guess we're all suffering (in terms of audio) from the primacy of visuals...

in terms of processing, i try to avoid muting and limit fader rides to artistic/musical level changes as much as i can and let expanders (and even automixers) attenuate noise but once the mic/channel/track count goes high and the spl on stage goes up, there's only so much you can do before having to revert to more drastic means...

what are you using for live mixing if i may ask?
for me expanders and automixers don't work for orchestral sources. They tend to chop off crescendos on settings that get rid of enough spill.
For live use of course, but in post IMO you need to be more surgical (which often means fader rides)

For live mixing what the FOH engineers spec / use.
This is separated from the recording crew.
On that show it was Avid S6L for the artist+band and a Soundcraft Vi (I think a Vi7k) for the orchestra, and another Vi for monitors IIRC.

The recording crew was using PT HDX as primary recorder, Nuendo as backup and Reaper as secondary backup recorder.

Post mixing was done on PT HDX / Avid S6 to Dolby Atmos.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
for me expanders and automixers don't work for orchestral sources. They tend to chop off crescendos on settings that get rid of enough spill.
For live use of course, but in post IMO you need to be more surgical (which often means fader rides)

For live mixing what the FOH engineers spec / use.
This is separated from the recording crew.
On that show it was Avid S6L for the artist+band and a Soundcraft Vi (I think a Vi7k) for the orchestra, and another Vi for monitors IIRC.

The recording crew was using PT HDX as primary recorder, Nuendo as backup and Reaper as secondary backup recorder.

Post mixing was done on PT HDX / Avid S6 to Dolby Atmos.
thx - interesting/strange: for me, the expander is the single most important dynamic processor and i wouldn't do any show with more than a dozen condenser mics without a desk that hasn't got any...

.. and i definitely cannot see how they would
'chop of crescendos' but then, my studer desks that i'm using for location recording, live and studio mixing plus broadcasting have indeed a bit a different approach to the entire dynamic section than other desks - in any case, they work extremely well for my needs and i can't see myself switching platform in the near future.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
[. . .] Most of the orchestra worked quite well, but I had spill issues on some instruments - basically the ones that weren't miked with DPA 4099. [. . .]

So basically I'm looking for ways to reduce spill to the absolute minimum.
I don’t have the expertise to advise. But - in my small world - if I’m talking bleed, it seems more pleasant coming in via a Schoeps MK 41 than from a DPA 4099? And might sometimes a Schoeps MK 8 with one side pointed at the atmosphere be useful?


Apologies if these questions just show my ignorance.

Ray H.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
Hey guys,
just wanted to ask who you think is the person in the industry with the most experience recording concerts with live band + symphonic orchestra with full blasting PA for a live audience?
I don't know, but whoever they are, I feel for them.

My experience in doing this is that the key is to not to try to make it sound like a real orchestra, and to get the PA system designed for as little stage wash as possible. If you're really lucky you can build the PA mix entirely from spots but rely on an overall pair for much of the record mix. If you're not lucky, you've got two guys making two mixes from spots and stepping on one another.
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
I don’t have the expertise to advise. But - in my small world - if I’m talking bleed, it seems more pleasant coming in via a Schoeps MK 41 than from a DPA 4099? And might sometimes a Schoeps MK 8 with one side pointed at the atmosphere be useful?
My problem is always bleed from the PA speakers getting into the record microphones, and even if the mikes sound great off-axis, the PA speakers won't. (Although I will say that modern sound reinforcement technology has made this situation better than it used to be).

Because those speakers are discrete sources, the MK 8 is a lifesaver and I wish I had a truckload of them.
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah ➡️
thx - interesting/strange: for me, the expander is the single most important dynamic processor and i wouldn't do any show with more than a dozen condenser mics without a desk that hasn't got any...

.. and i definitely cannot see how they would
'chop of crescendos' but then, my studer desks that i'm using for location recording, live and studio mixing plus broadcasting have indeed a bit a different approach to the entire dynamic section than other desks - in any case, they work extremely well for my needs and i can't see myself switching platform in the near future.
I’m with you, deedeeyeah. I don’t know how they’re implemented on your marvelous Studer, but I use them every time I’m mixing a “hybrid” ensemble live to broadcast within Sequoia. Specifically, the “advanced dynamics” plugin which functions as a combination gate/expander/compressor/limiter. I rarely have to grab a fader once I’ve dialed them in.

As far as bleed is concerned… it all bleeds together eventually, right?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #15
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by avillalta ➡️
I’m with you, deedeeyeah. I don’t know how they’re implemented on your marvelous Studer, but I use them every time I’m mixing a “hybrid” ensemble live to broadcast within Sequoia. Specifically, the “advanced dynamics” plugin which functions as a combination gate/expander/compressor/limiter. I rarely have to grab a fader once I’ve dialed them in.

As far as bleed is concerned… it all bleeds together eventually, right?
cannot comment (much) on the sequoia as i stopped mixing itb ca. 15 years ago: i'm almost exclusively using my studers (which cannot really get compared to any other desk) for all of my work.

regarding bleed, of course it can become an issue but then, modern line arrays, arrayed subs, dsp control, more in-ears/less wedges, preferably no side fills, sometimes not even combos/stacks have made things way more easy than it used to be! and yes, in the end we're getting paid for mixing things together, not for splitting things apart...

that said, i mostly deploy section mics in addition to clips and spots: drives up mic/channel/track count but gives the producer more options - quite often, they opt for section mics, at least for the more quite passages or for the live broadcast.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #16
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If I had a big show in Germany that needed an audio engineer, I'd hire Deedee in a heartbeat.

D.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
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Or Switzerland even!
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #18
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lol - thx gentlemen but be warned: although based in the german-speaking area, my radius of action extends far beyond (europe incl. scandinavia plus large parts of africa) - and besides that, as in the service of politics, i am picky about my projects and clients... :-)

___

i don't want to dominate or distract from this thread but allow me to refer to this thread (and specifically to my latest post from today):

not all digital desks are equal...

i would love to read in detail how the op and other folks are approaching their projects!

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 03:37 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
45 years ago the McClain family Bluegrass Band did a bunch of concerts with full orchestras. They lived in Berea, KY and were well trained in music theory from Berea College. Their American Heritage format was very successful with several well known large scale orchestra concert seasons.
Hugh
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
I don't know, but whoever they are, I feel for them.

My experience in doing this is that the key is to not to try to make it sound like a real orchestra, and to get the PA system designed for as little stage wash as possible. If you're really lucky you can build the PA mix entirely from spots but rely on an overall pair for much of the record mix. If you're not lucky, you've got two guys making two mixes from spots and stepping on one another.
--scott

Thanks Scott.
As mentioned before, no main pair on these shows. Visuals have to be as clean as possible, and it wouldn't work anyways with stage and PA bleed.

Custom-designed PA for minimizing stage wash is certainly the best that can be done, and also telling the FOH guys not to go overboard with SPL.
As for 'good spill', that's not really an option if the musical directors want everything really dry.

Thanks everyone for chiming in.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
As mentioned before, no main pair on these shows. Visuals have to be as clean as possible, and it wouldn't work anyways with stage and PA bleed.
Hang a pair of hypercardioids off the lighting bar, as low as you dare go before worrying about sightlines. Just listen to it. Maybe it will have too much PA leakage. Maybe the rear lobes of the mikes will pick up all the annoying sounds of the wiggle lights. Maybe it'll be too close in to get any useful room sound, maybe it'll be too far back to get good orchestra sound. Maybe you'll want to add a tiny little bit into a mix made up most of sectionals, likely you won't want to use it at all. But it can't hurt to have it.

I like to split that off to a safety recorder also, so that if everything else goes horribly wrong there's always that....
--scott
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #22
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
Hang a pair of hypercardioids off the lighting bar, as low as you dare go before worrying about sightlines. Just listen to it. Maybe it will have too much PA leakage. Maybe the rear lobes of the mikes will pick up all the annoying sounds of the wiggle lights. Maybe it'll be too close in to get any useful room sound, maybe it'll be too far back to get good orchestra sound. Maybe you'll want to add a tiny little bit into a mix made up most of sectionals, likely you won't want to use it at all. But it can't hurt to have it.

I like to split that off to a safety recorder also, so that if everything else goes horribly wrong there's always that....
--scott
Actually I had the recording crew do exactly that in a LCR configuration with 3 mics directly over the orchestra.
Could mix it in a little, worked well. Too high in the mix they would wash out the drums mix too much.
I’d preferred those mics lower, but was overruled for visual reasons.
They were really high up in the ceiling.
That venue was pretty high (KKL Lucerne).

As for safety, the recording crew had triple redundant full recorders running all 150+ tracks.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
As for 'good spill', that's not really an option if the musical directors want everything really dry.
Quote:
That venue was pretty high (KKL Lucerne).
i guess that explains pretty much everthing...

demands and possibilities are at odds: as much as i love the kkl for unamplified music, it is unsuitable for amplified music, regardless of how the variable acoustic elements of the large hall are used...

if you are forced to work in the adjoining hall, the catastrophe is perfect: russel's assistant (and the client, who is responsible for the building) have failed all along the line!

Quote:
As for safety, the recording crew had triple redundant full recorders running all 150+ tracks.
all digitally split?

___

anyway, gimme a shout if you ever get to realize a show in the kkl again...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 12:07 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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This one sounds kinda plexiglassy? This that going to be a thing going forward?




Ray H.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #25
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
This one sounds kinda plexiglassy? This that going to be a thing going forward?




Ray H.
Looks like one of those situations where the soloist has stood somewhere other than the place she stood in the rehearsal; there is a stereo spot on a mic stand but looks (and sounds) too far away to me.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveyJones ➡️
Looks like one of those situations where the soloist has stood somewhere other than the place she stood in the rehearsal; there is a stereo spot on a mic stand but looks (and sounds) too far away to me.
Thanks, Davey -

Beyond Hilary Hahn's solo is a tracking / mix of the orchestra I wasn't expecting. I'm looking at mics wrapped in plexiglass and it is sounding very very plexiglassy [wrong] to me.

Maybe more so because of this thread?


They say we hear what we see.

Ray H.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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This looks like PZMs on plexiglass baffles again to me. I remember back when I was starting out in the seventies everyone thought that was the greatest technique ever! It's not.
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
This one sounds kinda plexiglassy? This that going to be a thing going forward?




Ray H.
For grocery store, yes. But destined to fail because there is still so much interchange of air around the plex over the duration of a concert, impo.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #29
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Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I don't know, to me, it looks like the Plexiglas is there to help reduce the spill from other sections. From what I can tell by viewing this video, the mics are not wrapped in Plexiglas, they are set up behind the musicians nowhere near the microphones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath ➡️
Thanks, Davey -

Beyond Hilary Hahn's solo is a tracking / mix of the orchestra I wasn't expecting. I'm looking at mics wrapped in plexiglass and it is sounding very very plexiglassy [wrong] to me.

Maybe more so because of this thread?


They say we hear what we see.

Ray H.
Attached Thumbnails
reinforced crossover recordings-dvorak-violin-concerto-minor-op.-53-rafael-payare-mso.jpeg  
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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🎧 10 years
Those plexiglass screens pictured in Steve's post protect the musicians' hearing. If you are sitting in front of the the percussionist, or the trumpets, (or, in this case, some really rockin' bassoonists?) the dB level can be quite high.

Scott: I didn't notice any BLMs/PZMs on plexiglass baffles?
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