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Close vs. Distant Miking a Big Band
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #61
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Hello,
In my opinion it comes down to taste - on the close-mic'd side of sounding good you have Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, and on the room-mic'd side of sounding good you have Post Modern Jukebox. Both sound great with stellar players and arrangements, and sound very different.
There's no best way as long as it sounds REALLY good.

Hugh
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #62
Lives for gear
 
kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
I remember when GRP came out with the Digital Duke album, which was heralded as some sort of great technological achievement. It didn't sound like a big band at all; it sounded like fifty individual musicians in isolation booths. It was so incredibly unnatural, but it was one of the most popular jazz records of the eighties and sold an awful lot of units.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #63
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➡️
I remember when GRP came out with the Digital Duke album, which was heralded as some sort of great technological achievement. It didn't sound like a big band at all; it sounded like fifty individual musicians in isolation booths. It was so incredibly unnatural, but it was one of the most popular jazz records of the eighties and sold an awful lot of units.
--scott
Same thing with the Glenn Miller one -- definitely not how you're used to hearing that music. Eight mics on the drums was especially weird. I knew several of the players on it at the time and they were thrilled to be called for the sessions, but pretty disappointed by the record.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #64
Gear Head
 
Wavefront's Avatar
 
Has perhaps more in common with the Taxi Driver palette than that of a traditional big band, but I always found this album to be tastefully handled, especially given the very large array/diversity of forces and somewhat orchestral degree of layering etc.

Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
Lives for gear
 
Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've really enjoyed reading the perspectives from all the experienced engineers over the past few years in this thread! Thank you for sharing your expertise.

I've had the pleasure of playing and recording with many excellent large jazz ensembles in the United States, and my preferences echo the philosophy of using spot mics to enhance the room mics, but using the room mics as the foundation of everything. It's also completely true that the level of musicianship in the group -- individual musicianship as well as the ability to truly play as an ensemble -- determines the floor of how good the recording can be.

As a saxophonist, I've had good experiences with the old workhorse dynamics as spot mics within the section: 421 or RE20, usually. On one enjoyable session years back (at Elm Street Studios outside of Philly, lovely place) they had a locker full of Gefell, and they had me on a either a UM70 or UMT70s (I'm not sure whether it was transformerless or, uh, transformerful). It worked brilliantly as a spot mic as well as a solo mic, no need to move to something more glamorous between section playing and solos. I think they had a Gefell LDC on just about every single horn, for that session... Not a bad way to go, if the budget's there!

On trumpets and trombones, TLM170s work brilliantly for spots. Those seem to be what end up on most of my Los Angeles trumpet friends when doing big band session work (for folks like Paul Anka, Gordon Goodwin, etc).

But I've never done the engineering for a big band myself, nor do I plan to, I'm gonna leave that for the real engineers. I look forward to reading more wonderful information from you fine folks!
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