Project/equipment advice

Discussion in 'Live Sound' started by snyderman, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Cleveland/Ann Arbor
    Home Page:
    I have a series of concerts coming up that I would love some advice/opinions on recording setup. It is a concert of Tango music (All Astor Piazzolla). I have a budget of $1500-1800 to work with. I could use it to hire someone but I would rather use the budget to build my equipment collection and record the concerts using my stuff (I’m the cellist in the ensemble).

    If the sets were recorded using my equipment I would need to add mics, pre’s and more tracts. The group has 8 players. I was planning on a single mic for each instrument & two on the piano as well as 1-2 audience mics. A simple stereo mic set up won’t work in the space because of crazy acoustics.

    Here’s a link to a show from last year. [url] We hired out and had 414’s on violin, flute & bandoneon. One omni Earthwork on drums, one omni Earthworks on piano. Some Rode on my cello (I don’t care for the cello sound). Don’t know what was on the bass. Guitar was recorded direct.

    Should I hire out, augment & use my stuff, or both? What should I look at adding?
    Here’s what I got & the list of instruments:

    ProTools on laptop w/ Digi 002 (8 inputs, 4 fairly clean pre’s)
    Millennia Media HV3 2 channel mic pre

    Earthworks QTC30 matched pair
    AKG c414 B-XLS
    Royer R121
    Rode NT5 matched pair
    Studio Projects T3
    Shure SM57

    Acoustic Bass
    Electric Guitar

    Thanks for your time & thoughts! -Derek
  2. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    The dilemma-- whether to get more stuff or get really good recordings!

    Frankly, with your budget you can barely buy one or two good mics, so my advice is hire someone with great gear and good ears. In Cleveland call Alan Bise at Cleveland Institute of Music. You could not really do better anywhere at any price. Contact me offlist for his email.

  3. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Cleveland/Ann Arbor
    Home Page:
    I know Alan. He has recorded some concerts that I've done in the past. He is great. The concert series is in Ann Arbor Michigan however.
    Sounds like my question comes off sounding rather stupid. My thought was to hire an engineer and use some of their equipment and some of mine/our ensembles. The people that recorded our event last year did a very nice job but frankly didn't have a large enough mic closet. A few of the instruments suffered in the mix. I have some fairly nice equipment and could suppliment. I am talking with a studio in Michigan to see how they would record us and maybe I'll call Alan as well. The budget is smaller if we hire out because it wouldn't involve my personal money, just the ensemble's recording budget.
  4. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    You will most likely get what you pay for. Ask Alan if he knows his counterpart at UM. Going to a studio may not be what you want unless you want it sound kicke you did it in a noisy studio with an audience present.

    Even if you do put a mic on each instrument (which then means you must pay for post production) you should run a stereo pair in fairly close so the instrurments will have a natural width and depth.

    This will likely end up being more like a live jazz gig, so don't forget to run a pair of audience mics.

  5. Good advice, especially the stereo pair. I personally would never record in this style/situation without one. My inclination would be to stay away from most studios as they probably aren't sensitive to classical music. Go through UM, they've got an excellent music program and SURELY have some engineer that can handle this.

    But anyway, if you want to do it yourself, and your budget is not suitable for purchasing the equipment you are interested in, you could just rent the nice mics for a day.

  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Heck, for $1500, I would drive out and do the recording and give you the individual .wav's when I'm done so you could use your own system for post.

    You have a decent equipment list; you should be able to make a fine recording with what you have.

    Personally, I would overhead mic the ensemble with a pair of omni's, then spot mic the instruments that need it - for example,
    -414 on the cello
    -Royer on the violin
    -SM57 on accordian
    -414 on flute
    -nt5s on percussion
    -T3 on Guitar

    Of course, I wouldn't mic all the instruments, just those that weren't adequately being picked up by the overheads. (So I might lose the drum mics, the flute and possibly the guitar and then blend them delicately in with the overhead pair.)

    Good luck...
  7. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    The issues you may run into, though, if you don't mic them all (even with the stereo pair) is that of perspective... Obviously with track delays and such you can do a lot, but I find that when certain instruments are mic'd and others aren't in a chamber-sized group, the sound of a mic'd instrument and the sound of an un-mic'd are different and it just doesn't quite fit. I find this often with jazz ensembles where the drum set is loud, but to keep the perspective around the group, I bring the mics in enough to give articulation, but not necessarily a boost in level.

    On the subject of gear- I'd suggest renting what you need and hiring an engineer to run it. $1500 will buy you a pair of mid-level mics, but not much else... On the other hand, $1500 can buy a great recording with top-flite gear including post production in most markets (even in LA where everything seems to be expensive).


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