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Classical music recording....
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #31
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm ➑️
...
As for a compressor, I don't feel it is a tool that should be used on classical material except in very special cases.
True. One exception: vocal soloist mics in live broadcast, soft compression of the top levels for the unprepared outburst as a precautionary measure.

many creative things can be done with dynamic processing, compressors, expanders, decompressors and deexpanders, if used sensibly and with caution. Aux sends, returns, room mics, spot mics, etc. many situations where these tools can be used creatively, but ultimately often there are other ways to achieve better results without them.

The educated human brain is unmatched in its ability to set "autogain" and "auto release time".
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #32
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🎧 10 years
I am more a listener than sound engineer, and I want the classical records I buy to have the original dynamics. I do not want the mastering engineer to deside or guess what kind of dynamics I want, if the performance has huge dynamic range, it is my problem to be able to reproduce it. And I can.

I think most, if not all, classical buyers know this. "Easy listening" genre exepted.

And yes, to the OP: it is the dynamic range of the whole system which sets the headroom levels, not only the mic. If your "24-bit" converter has actually only 17 bit resolution, you have just 6dB extra headroom compared to 16 bit system to play with.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #33
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
First word: good. Second word: luck.
Anyone in the classical music recording profession who needs luck or a compressor to raise the level of a ppp flute passage should look elsewhere or go back to school.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #34
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🎧 15 years
Well as far as this comment...

Quote:
But with the spec of the AD you only have some 10dB or so up on 16bit media which would be like 17-18bit and you can't be all that sloppy with levels.
I would have thought that the dynamic range limits would be put in place from the A/D buffer opamps hiss, not the converter. So If I have 100dB + of dynamic range to play with I believe that practically I can safely say I will be ok.

Not to mention that countless classical recordings were made with 16bit machines (probably truly 10bit or less) by the time you have left some headroom, the improvements are great.

I will be running at 24/96kHz.

And considering some of the "master" recordings are hissing like frying eggs in quiet points I'll take my chances.

Noise from the mic preamp = non issue
Noise from the Microphone 5dB SPL self noise = non issue
Noise from recorder = non issue

Noise from crowd and aircon, outdoors, boilers, fans, this is the limitation.

I will aim for any peaks to be hitting -15dBFS during rehearsal.

(I tell you those NS LM4562 opamps are something else, I have never heard such nice sounds from a DIP8
chip before, beautifully smooth high end) I am going to run a whole SM Pro AUDIO PR8E with them in
well at least 4 channels per unit.)
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #35
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🎧 15 years
I also have a set of Naiant omni mics which I will put up which can double as audience mics.

The only issue with these is they have 20dBA SPL self noise which is not great.

Even if they only serve as audience mics I can run a denoiser over them and fade them in
as appropriate.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR ➑️
I would have thought that the dynamic range limits would be put in place from the A/D buffer opamps hiss, not the converter. So If I have 100dB + of dynamic range to play with I believe that practically I can safely say I will be ok.
If we say "your 24 bit ADC has only 17 bit resolution" it means signal going into the box compared to the one coming out. It really does not matter what component in there is degrading the signal as we can not do much about it.

It is true that 100+ dB dynamic range is plenty enough for a good CD, and hardly anybody has stereo systems loud enough and listening rooms quiet enough to even fully utilize the dynamic range provided by CDs. Great recording were made with analog recorders with S/N ratios in the 60 dB range (10+ bits in digital)...

When I set levels I first ask the artis(s) to play as loud as possible, or the loudest part. I record that at a safe level, load it into Audition and do statistical analysis. That tells me exactly how far I am from 0 dBFS and I can then raise the levels accordingly. My SD722's pots are calibrated to 0.1 dB so it is easy to aim for something like -5 to -3 dBFS absolute peaks. With live concert I have to be more carefull, with normal recording I can ask for a retake if the playing gets louder than is is supposed to. With this method the last 5 live organ recordings I have made the absolute peaks have been between -4.7 and -2.6dBFS. Organ is easy, though. After playing a thick tutti passage it is impossible to make the thing any louder, maybe only 1-2 dB so. All the 4 organs were within 3 dB in their max SPL.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #37
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
lol, I'd love to see a recording engineer frantically flipping pages and trying to follow some of the stuff I've recorded. And before you ask, yes I can read a score and am in fact about to graduate as a music educator, just conducted a piece last night.

Oh, and yeah let's ask the conductor, "hey I need a copy of that Beethoven 9 score. What? No I'm not going to pay to print it, why?"

The whole point of 24-bit recording is you can set your levels safely, record a concert with lots of dynamic range and then do what you need to later.

I don't bring comps with me to the recording but I do add a few db of compression on some chamber music just to bring up the signal in the quietest parts of the night.

Joel gives some excellent insight, you would do well to listen to what he says. Take it with a grain of salt, as every post on these forums though.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #38
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2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Here's an orchestral piece from last summer: a swooning, ethereal work by Debussy centered around a solo harpist.

http://www.4shared.com/file/82734648...y_Debussy.html

(This comes from my yearly promotional CD, a collection of highlights from all the concerts I've had the pleasure of recording. If anyone wants a hard copy, PM me with a mailing addy.)
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #39
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🎧 15 years
Yeeeeeeaahh files always beat words !
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #40
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR ➑️
Yeeeeeeaahh files always beat words !
Do you own any classical CDs? Have you attended concerts? Do you have any sound "image" in your head of what you'd want this to sound like? Is it instrumental only or is there a choir?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #41
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu ➑️
Do you own any classical CDs? Have you attended concerts? Do you have any sound "image" in your head of what you'd want this to sound like? Is it instrumental only or is there a choir?
I don't think that my concept of sound would qualify for most average folks. Being a back row Trombonist. Where's the Vibes, where's the Timpani, where's the Tuba, Where's ME. Hey guys I got a hold of last nights recordings, and we all need to play much louder tonight because the balance of the group was really whacked last night (back row pep talk).

Part of the reason for getting into this recording thing was to better understand my role relative to others perceptions.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #42
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
Here's an orchestral piece from last summer: a swooning, ethereal work by Debussy centered around a solo harpist.

4shared.com - online file sharing and storage - download 14 Dances by Debussy.mp3

(This comes from my yearly promotional CD, a collection of highlights from all the concerts I've had the pleasure of recording. If anyone wants a hard copy, PM me with a mailing addy.)
Very nice Joel. I've always appreciated your clips. They envelop you and invite you to sit down and enjoy. It's great when good artists get good treatment!

RE dynamics in these kind of recordings:
I think it's quite fair to pull focus a bit in the mix toward solo instruments that would otherwise be lost -- just by riding gain, for example, on spot mics. Technically, I suppose, it's just a selective parallel technique of sorts. Professional tonmeisters have done that kind of "balancing" for years, along with gain-riding the main buss.

With automatic buss or program compression the trade off sacrifices some transients for a richer, fuller soundscape because weaker passages come up instead of dropping out. But it is automatic compression, not a musical instrument, and you can damage the material just as easily as help it. IMO you do this as tastefully as anyone and come out with a win.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #43
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
Oh, and yeah let's ask the conductor, "hey I need a copy of that Beethoven 9 score. What? No I'm not going to pay to print it, why?"
I am not sure I know what you are saying, but I feel pretty strongly about the score issue. I can't imagine an orchestra, or the label would not provide you with a copy of the score. Besides what are you doing recording classical without 2-3 copies of the 9 score already in your livingroom bookshelf?
Never do a classical gig without a score. With a piece like Beethoven 9, you should neither conduct nor produce it unless you can name the edition used when you hear the piece played. Always use the same edition as the orchestra, always be prepared for controversies like a barenreiterized Kalmus et. al. If possible get ahold of the original manuscripts and discuss them with the conductor ahead of time. In the classical business you are most often expected to be both a producer and a engineer at the same time.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #44
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR ➑️
Yeeeeeeaahh files always beat words !
You guys can take your pants back up. Thanks for showing but mine is MUCH bigger than yours.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 15 years
It seems to me this thread has some dueling schools. One has an American "just get it done" style and the other cares to study how to do it right. That's a more German or European approach to classical music. Neither is all right and the other all wrong.

I have to stop and listen to the tonmeisters every time. They are pros with a long tradition that's rooted in the music. They know what they're doing and it would be arrogant for me to think I can't learn from them.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #46
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by XLR2XLR ➑️
...
The only issue with these is they have 20dBA SPL self noise which is not great.

Even if they only serve as audience mics I can run a denoiser over them and fade them in
as appropriate.
I think I'm dreaming this. Non one can make stuff like that up, amazing.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audio ergo sum ➑️
Bla, bla, bla
No compressor needed, you need to be able to read a score and have a fader...
Hell yeah! I believe the Plush-coined term is "mix it like a man". I'll take score reading and fader adjustments over a comp any day!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #48
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelPatrick ➑️
It seems to me this thread has some dueling schools. One has an American "just get it done" style and the other cares to study how to do it right. That's a more German or European approach to classical music. Neither is all right and the other all wrong.

I have to stop and listen to the tonmeisters every time. They are pros with a long tradition that's rooted in the music. They know what they're doing and it would be arrogant for me to think I can't learn from them.
I trained in the US and the thing I found while at Rice was an intense focus on scholarly thinking. Always know the etymology of the words you use, know not just the Anna Magdalena, but all of the surviving manuscripts, know and understand your Quantz and all other relevant treatises in context of the relevant periods. Know your theory and history, including the history of the different schools of perfomance. Understand and laugh at the mudslinging between the great composers and performers of the various periods.

I have never thought of the american philosophy as being getting it done. I have always seen my US influences as very methodical and goal oriented. But then again the US is a very large country which contain all flavours.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #49
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaukholm ➑️
I trained in the US and the thing I found while at Rice was an intense focus on scholarly thinking. Always know the etymology of the words you use, know not just the Anna Magdalena, but all of the surviving manuscripts, know and understand your Quantz and all other relevant treatises in context of the relevant periods. Know your theory and history, including the history of the different schools of perfomance. Understand and laugh at the mudslinging between the great composers and performers of the various periods.

I have never thought of the american philosophy as being getting it done. I have always seen my US influences as very methodical and goal oriented. But then again the US is a very large country which contain all flavours.
klaukholm,

As an American my last thought is to denigrate our ability to get things done, or our scholarship. My point is that it is an American pride to get things done. And this, without studying the history of a craft or exploring its treasury of wisdom. It's not a formal philosophy, it's a frontier spirit that doesn't look back. Many of us can produce results without feeling any desire to strap into a historic craft or observe its structured traditions.

Scholarship of the kind you mention is rooted in the classical tradition we Americans inherited from Europe, which long soaked in the Greco-Roman trivium or liberal arts of logic, grammar and rhetoric, and the quadrivium of discrete quantities both resting and moving.

Rice, it seems, was chartered to produce leaders with excellent academics. But mentally disciplined approaches are a waning influence in our craft even though remnants of it remain in some European trade groups, unions, and guilds. If people in forums like this can learn from people like you, it'll help keep the flame alive. I, for one, think that would benefit us and our craft.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #50
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🎧 15 years
I guess my view of the states is highly coloured by my time at university, and the people I was lucky enough to associate with. My inlaws are E.E.'s and my wife is a Doctor of musical arts. Most of the players I worked with were university educated.
With the exception of "W"s arrival on the scene when I left in 2001 I have always felt the US was a place of reason while my native EU is at times an uneducated mess.

How about a compromise, - from now on I will consider all of my american colleagues educated people, who always aim to get the job done

With the exception of "W" (who proved you can buy yourself an ivy league degree or two) I think y'all are a scholarly bunch!
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #51
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🎧 10 years
Let's not forget our prospective clients, guys.

I don't think XLR here is recording a major orchestra for a major CD release. It will be just fine if he doesn't have a score. I don't pretend to know what your business is, but in my neck of the woods archival recordings are done simply and easily. There is no time or money for rehearsal recordings, intense discussions about aesthetics, and a pre-recording score reading!

If the Atlanta Symphony called me tomorrow to do their next CD, then yeah, I would probably be familiarizing myself with the music being played. My college bud paying me $50 to record his senior recital - no sorry don't think so. Slap a comp on there with a long attack and soft knee and it's going to press.

klaukholm, I find it very elitist to say that I can't record orchestral music without this or that score, or knowing the edition and publisher of said performance. Don't forget that there are all kinds of recordings and needs across the world. I've only been in the game about 4 years and I do a damn fine job, if I do say so myself (and you and everyone here is invited to go to my website linked below and check out any of my 50 demo recordings. As stated, files speak louder than words).

I hope I do not offend anyone but I hate these threads with posters new to classical music, and the "old timers" come in and say the solution is to hire a real classical engineer or don't bother screwing it up. They've gotta learn! If we all followed that advice, there would be no new people and no one would record classical music after the old guys are gone...!

Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #52
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Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #53
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
If we all followed that advice, there would be no new people and no one would record classical music after the old guys are gone...!

I'm 33 so I still have a few years left in me.

I guess where we differ is clear. I would not show up unprepared for any professional work in any field regardless of the client. If Tower of Power called me to record their next album I would surely turn them down and ask politely if I could maybe sit in the back of the studio and observe, make coffee and brew some tea. I guess you are right, I am elitist.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #54
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just out of curiosity, how did you start recording classical music?
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #55
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse ➑️
great smiley!

Seriously, the opportunity to learn is greatest when there are different perspectives. Let me play the old man's part and suggest we learn from each other with the same passion we have for recording, and without weapons. After all, we're in the same craft. We love recording.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #56
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
Just out of curiosity, how did you start recording classical music?
I started out writing take sheets on orchestral sessions while getting my performance degree. Later I advanced to start and stop the ADATs. From there I got to start and stop recitals with a permanent archival mic setup. This setup included the aforementioned mackies and two km184s here I got to hear a great room with great players through a mediocre setup and got used to how thinks sound with a fixed setup and a large variety of players of different levels including faculty recitals by such players as Lynn Harrel . I did a million of those and played in a good number of sessions where I got to see a lot of different approaches to producing and engineering.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #57
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
...
klaukholm, I find it very elitist to say that I can't record orchestral music without this or that score, or knowing the edition and publisher of said performance. ...
It is elitist, in a good sense. You can't record classical music without a scholarly and musical approach. You still can record musical performances in venues, BUT NO MUSIC. I will leave it with that metaphore...

Quote:
I hope I do not offend anyone but I hate these threads with posters new to classical music, and the "old timers" come in and say the solution is to hire a real classical engineer or don't bother screwing it up. They've gotta learn! If we all followed that advice, there would be no new people and no one would record classical music after the old guys are gone...!

You just should understand that if a medical doctor is approached by a guy saying: "Hey Doc, I need to do some surgery on my wife, mind to let me in on some tricks of yours." That he gets annoyed and advices to see a real doctor.

There are several of us that went through the challenges and hardship of many years of academic training and decades of musical education that have no problem humbly sharing their knowledge with others who also dedicate themself to the lifelong never ending search for knowledge but are offended by the ignorance of the many who are in it for the fast food.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #58
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Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
That's interesting, because it's actually really similar to me.

I was playing in ensembles, getting an education degree but really being a "performance" major. I also heard and starting running the archival system, where I noticed the problems with how it was setup. Finally I started just recording everything myself and buying more and more equipment.

Let's not do the doctor analogy. It's not the same and you know it. I approach recording from the players perspective too. I will have two degrees in May, one in Music Ed and one in Music Composition. I know music and all that. I can understand shooing away the laymen with a mismatched pair of MXL LDCs and an MBox1, but I just think you guys are going a little too far.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #59
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NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think we are on the same page for the most part. The point is you have a solid background in the genre and know how it can sound and how bad it can sound.
Pressing record and doing takesheets is a good way to get started as it allows you to learn one new aspect at a time.
Old 27th January 2009 | Show parent
  #60
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
I hope I do not offend anyone but I hate these threads with posters new to classical music, and the "old timers" come in and say the solution is to hire a real classical engineer or don't bother screwing it up. They've gotta learn! If we all followed that advice, there would be no new people and no one would record classical music after the old guys are gone...!
And we shouldn't forget that without BAD music, there is no GOOD music. Or bad recordings versus good recordings. The more BAD that's out there, the more you get paid to do GOOD. If all things were created equal, you probably wouldn't be eating very regularly. As the closest / cheapest option would always gets the gig.
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