Success Stories-

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Cucco, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    At the request of the members, here is a sticky so that you can all post recent "Success Stories."

    Hopefully, the information contained within will help to inspire or even assist in others' future projects.

    Here are the guidelines:
    *Keep it positive - afterall, these are success stories
    *Give as much detail as possible
    *When available, give us pictures
    *Keep it on topic - this is afterall the acoustic music forum
    *Try to keep replies to the necessary - don't bog down the sticky with posts such as "Thanks Dude!" or "Nice Story." True, the stories will all likely be nice, but if it doesn't provide substance, it will likely be deleted after about a week or so, so that the sticky doesn't get out of control.

    Enjoy - More "Sticky"s coming.

  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    I won't repost the entire message, but here is my big post where this thread was requested... It was a pretty successful music festival recording.


  3. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    I posted this earlier in the wrong place, so here it is in the right place.

    I have been recording The Southern Cross Soloists for the past 8 years and do nearly all their CD's and concerts. They now have a website and some of our recordings up. They are fantastic musicians and a dream to work with. Its a wind quartet, plus piano, plus soprano.

    The standout examples are:

    1. Songs for the Shadowland, Tree Grave, by Paul Stanhope Songs FOR THE Shadowland - Tree Grave.mp3

    Beautiful new Aussie classical music.

    2. Copland, I bought me a Cat (for a bit of a laugh) I Bought Me A Cat.mp3

    The woodwind players are using their mouthpieces to make the animal sounds, the piano page turner was the "pig"

    3. Myaskowsky Song, The Sun The Sun Op.40 No.5.mp3

    These were all recorded and mastered WITHOUT added reverb, and most of the samples are live recordings in this wonderful Conservatorium Theatre here in Brisbane.

    The main mic is our beloved AKG 426B in pure Blumlein. There are some KM130's as outriggers for the Myaskowsky as well as a tiny bit of an M149 on the voice. All were recorded in glorious 44/16 to the OTARI DX5050 MO recorder, mastered with Wavelab. The distortion in the MP3 conversion was done by someone else. :shock:
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Great stuff David!!!

    I particularly love the Copland! For those who don't know, the Copland piece is a part of a Suite of short folk tunes and is available for both piano and chamber orchestra as the backing to the voice.

    This particular piece is far harder than it lets on. I know personally, in the end of the "I Bought Me a Cat" there is a passage in the horn line where you play one note muted, one note stopped and the next open and this repeats a few times. That kind of hand-jockeying is tough at best (impossible to a lot of people). It shows though that Copland, while a bit nuts, definitely knew his stuff. Many feel that the sound of the horn muted vs. stopped is similar, when in fact it's quite different.

    Copland, loving to infuse color into his pieces, opted to drive the first horn nuts and made him (or her) do all 3 within 1 measure.

    Sorry to digress, it's just a fun bit of insight into Copland.

    Again - great work David. The acoustics are obviously great in this space and your recording did a fantastic job highlighting that.

  5. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Finally, the first three projects I recorded for Straight Ahead Records are released. These are all acoustic jazz records using minimalist techniques and electronics designed and built by Beno May and myself. Reviews are now starting to surface and they have been encouraging...

    The records are available on Dual-Disc (audio cd on one side, DVD-A on the other), and 200g Vinyl LPs. Each session was recorded in a single weekend, direct to two track. We simultaneously record to three formats: 1/4" Analog Tape for Vinyl cutting, AudioCube DAW at 1644 for RedBook, and another AudioCube DAW at 2496 for DVD-A. In this way, we can make masters using captures native to each release format. That is, without any audio conversions.

    The artists currently in release are Hugh Masekela, John Heard & Co., and Zane Musa. We are scheduled to record Robben Ford in December.
  6. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    Nice one Scott, I will buy this as soon as I can and give it a listen. I will buy the CD of course, and was slightly annoyed by this comment in the review ...
    But I suppose its what one would expect from the reviewer.
  7. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I suppose its all a matter of personal preference . But speaking for myself, the vinyl is indeed superior to either of the two digital formats. So far everyone we have played our recordings for have, in direct comparison, prefered the vinyl as well. If you have a good LP playback system, I would recommend the 200g pressings over the dual-disc. Thanks for the support!
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Nice Scott!!

    I see it's available publicly now, but it looks like there's a back-order. I'm patiently awaiting mine now from

    I'm curious - what do you feel is better re: the vinyl? (If possible, try to avoid terms like "warm" and "full")

    BTW - nice choice on the weight - 200g! I had a company come by recently and try to sell me on their vinyl pressings with a 160g weight. I nearly laughed so hard as to wet myself! Who did you get to do the 200? (180 seems fairly normal nowadays...)

  9. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    I also dislike the word "warm". It became such a buzz word and is so misused. Everyone has their own perception of what "warm" means. So much so that it communicates no relevant description at all.

    So how to describe the LP?

    First let me say that there is nothing sub-standard about the digital releases. We spent much R&D to optimize the audio for each format. The dual-disc release, we feel, represents a very high level of achievable fidelity for a digital recording.

    But, in comparison, the best in digital recording has still to reach the music reproduction capabilities of quality analog. Rather than getting into descriptions of stereo imaging, freq response, noise, etc... I think an anecdotal story may provide good illustration:

    During the recording sessions, we had the opportunity to hear final mix playbacks of the recorded performance from each format immediately after the last note was played. Because of this, we could easily compare the reproduced sound to what had just happened in the studio, fresh. There was no doubt or hesitation; the analog was the closest to capturing the event. While the digital recordings sounded fantastic, the energy and vitality of the performance was on the tape. It was as if some of the sentiment had slipped between the samples. Maybe this sounds too artsy-fartsy, but that is what we are supposed to be recording: ART. So I hope this little story provides some illumination. I don't expect anyone will be disappointed with the quality of the dual-disc release. The LPs just take the reproduction experience further.

    As far as the 200g explanation, check out the link below. Classic Records also happens to be our main distributer, so if you have any problems getting product you can order directly from them.
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Good info.


    Okay, so now I have like 42 more questions.

    First - the fact that you went to each format in its native form is commendable. It completely assures the integrity of each medium. So, that being said - I see that Bernie mastered the project (I'm sure you got to sit in and assist or even drive every once in a while), did he approach each project as a seperate task or did he use similar settings (keep a log from one primary session and replicate over the other sessions) throughout?

    Second - for the digital formats, did you stay digital the entire time? For the analog, did you stay analog the whole time? (By "whole time" I mean, recording, post-production, pre-master, master all the way to the cutter/stamper)

    Third - if you did stay in the native formats (question 2) and you did approach each project as its own body of work (question 1) how were the settings cross-communicated between each session.

    For example - say for the digital stuff, you used a Weiss EQ-1 Mk II and for the analog you used a GML 9500 - did you notate settings on one to try to copy or use as a basis for settings on the other?

    Fourth - if none of the above applies and you truly approached each project as its own seperate body of work, how do you feel the end result came out as far as consistancy and translation?

    Fifth - is all of the above some of the reasoning behind why you feel the LP may be better?

    Sixth - did you have to alter your levels between master types so as not to damage cutter heads? (I would assume not considering the genre - generally not "slammed" - but I'm not as familiar with mastering for vinyl...)

    I'm sure I'll think of more.

    Sorry to bombard you, but I'm genuinely interested in this project and the work that you and your shop did on it.

    J. :D
  11. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Yes, Bernie did master the project. But his mastering involvement was only in cutting the master LP lacquers for pressing. I prepared the digital audio for redbook release and dvd authoring. So yes, we kept everything native. The only audio processing applied to making the production masters involved editing and assembling the audio together (tops/tails/fade outs). No level changes, eq, limiting, etc. was applied. Of course, in the flat transfer from analog tape to lacquer, there was a technical level change for appropriate groove cutting. But essentially, what is on the dual-disc and LP is exactly what was captured at the session. This means that final product levels and frequency balance had to be decided upon by myself, Bernie, and Stewart at the recording session itself. I then had to maintain this during the real time mixing of each song throughout the entire two day session (BTW, I get about 2 hours of sound check for these projects).

    So does any of this reveal why the LP seems to be better than the digital. I don't think so. As you can see, all formats are treated flat and direct, a very level playing field. I think that this is just the inherent differences between excellent analog and top notch digital.
  12. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

  13. Duckman

    Duckman Active Member

    Dave, was Songs for the Shadowland recorded with the 426B alone? The sound is stunning.
  14. DavidSpearritt

    DavidSpearritt Well-Known Member

    No. The 426 is the main mic for the front winds, and soprano, it has a Schoeps MS Pair on the piano with some B&K 4003 outriggers also on the piano and back winds, and a lone M149 was also setup for the voice, but I think hardly any was used.

    All recorded to stereo in real time and recorded at 44/16 on an Otari DX5050. I love it, such great music.

    Incidentally, the Copland was recorded with the single 426 in pure Blumlein.

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