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Old 12th November 2022
Lives for gear
Recording a Marimba Concerto

Hey, gang! Ah, never a shortage of new challenges to master, right? The symphony I work with will be doing the Abe marimba concerto, and while I've recorded lots of mallet instruments in solo and other configs, and many concertos with more "traditional' instruments, never marimba with orchestra. The two videos I found with clear views of the mics were radically different. One had a pair of Schoeps about seven feet up and splitting the instrument in thirds, while the other had a single mic I couldn't identify dead center and inches from the bars. (Possibly an XY or Blumlein capsule?) My first inclination would be to go with a pair of wide cardioids from above, in intentional stereo rather than the usual closely spaced parallel config. But that could be weird against the orchestra imaging, and obviously wouldn't isolate the marimba well. And close miking, while the isolation might be useful, doesn't make a lot of sense to me on such a beast of an instrument.

Of course, in my experience, too much soloist from my main array is usually a bigger problem than not enough, but one never knows...

Anyway, as usual, I welcome any and all experiences and opinions from all y'all.