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Tracking English and French Horn

Discussion in 'Recording' started by noteFarm, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. noteFarm

    noteFarm Member

    Hi there.
    I am tracking these two instruments, and am hopeing for some sugestions, as to mic choice and placement. Should I place them on a wooden floor?
    They wont be tracked at the same time.
    THanks in advance
  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member


    > Should I place them on a wooden floor? <

    Yes, absolutely. And don't put the mikes too close. If the room is small you won't be able to pull the mikes back too far before the sound becomes hollow. But in a larger room or a room that's sufficiently treated, having the mikes several feet back will give a very realistic sound.

  3. noteFarm

    noteFarm Member

    Thanks Ethan,
    Once again RO and it's wealth of wounderfull moderators saves the day.
    Thanks again
  4. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    You DO realise these two instruments have almost nothing in common?

    i love the story of the name for the English horn.
    It was originally called the Angled Horn (for the decription of the reed holder, which angles back).. the French somehow misread angled as Anglais and so it became the Cor (horn) Anglais which translates BACK as English Horn.
    a brilliant case of double miscommunication.
    but anyway the English Horn is a woodwind.. you mic it like you would a clarinet or oboe.
    about mid-body and pointing down at it with the mic parallel to the body from about a foot away works well.

    French Horns on the other hand are brass and take a different approach.
    You CAN mic them from behind (facing their bells) but that tends to yield a sound more Trombone-like than what one expects from them.
    a better approach is to have them sit with their backs to a wooden wall (about 6 feet behind them) and position a mic in FRONT of them just where a listener might stand... so it picks up both the direct sound and the bounce off the wall.
    a compromise is to put the mic mid-way between them and the back wall (figure of eight works well here) and try to get a bit of both the reflected sound and the out of the bell sound.
    but unless there are other noisy neighbours, i would suggest that mic'ing them from in front is a better approach to get the true nature of the things... they are not MEANT to be heard at the bell... that's why they sit in a orchestra with the bells pointing away from the audience.

    [ September 13, 2003, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: wwittman ]
  5. noteFarm

    noteFarm Member

    Thank you for your kind reply, and yes I did know they have very little in common. But having never tracked them beffore I thought I would seek some advice first.
    Thanks for taking the time out to reply, and the help on mic placement., it will help for sure.
    Thanks again
  6. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member


    > You DO realise these two instruments have almost nothing in common? <

    Good point. :tu:

    I write music for full orchestra, and play the cello in several orchestras, so I'm well aware.


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