Recording for Comment

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by mdemeyer, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Hi Folks,

    Sunday night I recorded a beautiful handbell concert, and I'd like to share some of it with you. I can't bring myself to massacre this by making an MP3 file out of it, so the download is a little large. (All good things to those who wait... and it's a broadband world anyway.)

    Two samples. For the faint of heart, here's a 1 minute sample (10 meg):

    (Dead Link Removed)

    And for those who want to really enjoy the holidays, here's almost an entire track (I cut the first intro section because 50 meg was my self-imposed limit):

    (Dead Link Removed)

    PLEASE don't play it too loud. These are handbells... respect them!

    Of course, it's a live concert, so you will treated to the usual audience effects. :cry: But I wanted the ambience of the space, so accepted the concert sounds. If you don't get the sound of the baby crying coming from behind you with a 2-speaker setup, please adjust your speakers!

    This is completely unprocessed, as recorded. Comments and suggestions welcome.

  2. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nice job! Sounds beautiful. What I love about it is how rich the sounds are despite how simple it is, i.e. that elusive dimension that synths just can't capture yet... :cool:

    Thanks for posting, I really enjoyed hearing this one. I wonder what that would sound like played through the water tower? (!!!)


    FWIW OGG is a bit better than MP3 and can render quite decent results if done properly. Plus OGG is free and that way you get to avoid supporting the evil Thomson machine and their patent tyranny.

    Thomson -> :twisted:
  3. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    OGG? Pray tell...
  4. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Ogg Vorbis, it's been around for a while. At the company I work for we create software and OGG has been our native audio format for a couple years now. Superior to MP3 at the same file size, relatively ubiquitous, and no licensing issues with Thomson, the owner of the MP3 patent. (not for individuals to worry about in any case)

    Ogg is great, it's free and there are plug-ins for all popular editors. OGG can be played back in any popular media player, even iTunes, PC or Mac.


    Anyhow that angrycoffee link is a great primer. Ogg rules, I use it daily. Can't say enough good stuff about it. Listen for yourself and see what you think. Notice that OGG is one of the 3 formats supported by the Water Tower Reverb:

    I bet you those bells sound outrageously sweet through the water tower, you should upload a 60 second clip and check it out. The reverb from the water tower is really nice and rich. :cool:
  5. ptr

    ptr Active Member


    just the right ammount of ambience.. don't think that any processing would help at all!

    --funny is, that You've already been booth legged ~ my goddaughter, who happened to be at my place when I played the partial sample of the computer, immediately said, what’s that record, I want IT! The Girl is quite in to ambient music so I had to make her a CDR with variations over hand bells, 79 minutes in total.. (I hope You don’t mind! :D )

  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Sounds very good. What mics and technique did you use in the end.
  7. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member


    Turned out that the setup was less of a problem than I feared it might me. (What a pleasant change!) Anyone want to speculate on mics and setup before I spill the beans. :wink:

  8. felixcat

    felixcat Guest

    Such a beautiful recording -- it put a big smile on my face to hear those wonderful tones. Great work!
  9. sdemott

    sdemott Guest

    very nice indeed! Waiting with baited breath for you to tell us about the setup.
  10. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    Glad that people enjoyed this one.

    The arrangement was bell choir playing on the altar of a church I estimate to be 70" wide by 250" deep overall. Modern structure, and quite nice sounding.

    Mics were MS (Schoeps CMC54/CMC58) about 30 feet back from the performers (third pew, center aisle) and 13 feet up. I like this setup both for the 'single point' pickup (as Dave suggested for this kind of source) but also because the Fig 8 gives a very natural ambient sound (unlike the back of a cardiod) which is important in a live document recording. Also, since this was a little 'run and gun' (seems you never really get that warm up time to tweak setup), having the ability to tweak after the fact and on a good monitor setup is nice.

    The rest of the chain was 100 ft of Canare L4E6S, John Hardy M1 pre (w/ transformers), Apogee Rosetta @ 24/88.2K, S/PDIF to an Echo AudioFire8 interface and 1394 into the notebook. r8brain for the sample rate and bit depth conversion.

    The MS mix is about equal parts M and S, and both channels were recorded at equal gain (and pretty close to the same level). On my monitor system and in my car, it seems like a good balance. From the comments of others, it seems OK. That is one of the things I was curious about.

    I'd like to go back there and record this group sometime in a non-live setting.

  11. sdemott

    sdemott Guest

    Wow - I would never have guess M/S. I was betting on a Blumlein pair :)

    I just never get those results with an M/S setup. I think I need to experiment with that a bit more.

    Nice work.
  12. mdemeyer

    mdemeyer Active Member

    I think M/S is really under-appreciated. At least with the Schoeps rig, the two capsules are about as coincident as you can get, and the primary sound sources are all in the sweet spot for the M-cardiod. Since the MK8 is very linear (except the slight top-end roll-off and the light Fig8 bottom) from most any angle, the combination can sound really natural in a setting where you have a lot of ambient contribution.

  13. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I am not sure it is underrated. Many people use it, love it and swear by it, and some of our most spectacularly successful recordings have been done with a Schoeps MS pair. Greg Simmons is carting one around Nepal again right now, recording more "ombionce", for a "you are there" CD release. His write up of his last journey to this part of the world is on the Schoeps website. If you want to get into MS, the Schoeps people have it sorted.

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