when recording young orchestras....

Discussion in 'Orchestra' started by TheJackAttack, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    So when you all record a high school orchestra or hs aged festival group(s), do you make any attempt at scrubbing/minimizing noise from knocked music stands or jack ass percussionists screwing around in the back? Or do you just leave it go?

    As a professional horn player this $*^t perturbs me as I treat every performance like it is going on tape-and most of the time it is. Obviously there isn't anything I can do as the recording engineer to enlighten the little f$%^&s.

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Wire your music stands to a car battery. Either you kill them or give them a shock.
    Win all around?
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I like how you think......definitely Old Testament.....
  4. iamfrobs

    iamfrobs Guest

    My god. That is one of the funniest things I have read here on a while.

    Thanks for brightening my day. :lol:
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Think of it as ambiance and that it would not be the same with out it. I personally don't worry about it since the playing is usually bad and the intonation stinks so the rest is just ear candy. FWIW and YMMV
  6. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    This is a record of the activities of a bunch of kids. For almost every one, it is not terribly serious. Often, the flubs and noises are the parts of the performance that they will remember most fondly. It's fine to enhance tone and reverb and get rid of things like HVAC noise, but I leave in the noises of the kids themselves.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Thanks guys. I know I know. I just had to blow off some steam. Still, I liked the Old Testament bits....
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I don't recall any mention of music stands or car batteries in the OT but, I've often considered doing the same with mic stands.
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    They had lyres marching around Jericho I'm sure....
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    If you can't use car batteries, you're probably better off leaving them in, as the guys have already suggested.

    I treat it case by case. If it's really just archival, down & dirty, then yes, leave it in, and just do the best you can, esp if there are other (Paying) projects waiting.

    If it's something that may end up hanging around showing off your work as well as theirs, there might be an opportunity to clean it up a bit, depending on your time & budget. It might be in your better interest to clean it up at least a little. I sometimes go the extra mile in a situation like this and clean up something that needs it. If the client comes back in to do some editing & mastering - even for a private, members-only release and is paying you, sometimes it's good to show them some options and take a stab at it. Recording rehearsals help this way, in that you may have an alternate take for a measure here, or a beat there, esp if the guy in the percussion section dropped a mallet, or the conductor wacked the podium with his/her baton.

    I either find a clean section to replace it, or use renNOVAtor or Spectral cleaner to remove what I can. But only if it's worth fixing in the first place, and that's always a subjective call.

    I once had to remove the sound of a large section of bass trombone tubing clunking over and falling. The guy was empyting it out in the middle of an orchestral recording for broadcast. Funny as hell, unless you're the trombonist. :twisted:
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This is basically what I do. Audition 3 has some decent spectral tools built in. I tend to remove/reduce obvious stuff if possible by default. There was just more than what I would consider normal. No dress rehearsals to work with but as you all say, it is a record of a live event. It isn't as if Mason Jones knocks over a stand in the middle of a session or shouts "F&*k" to stop a take...or maybe he was just yelling at Ormandy.
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Just had a chance to check out the reNOVAtor and the Spectral cleaner websites. Those look very interesting.
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Very interesting and VERY expensive.

    I'm with the rest of the lot on the whole - leave in the noises. Even major orchestras that I've worked with - I typically leave it in.

    For that matter, the SACD recordings by SFSO of the Mahler cycle, there are all sorts of extraneous noises and a few of these are Grammy award winners. Sound Mirror's recording of The KC Chorale and the Phoenix Bach Choir has a Grammy nomination and some extraneous noises. And that was a highly produced CD. (Fantastic too - everyone should own a copy of that!)

  14. ampexguy

    ampexguy Active Member

    Leave the noises in. It's a document of the event. Also, in this case, the "market" is the students' parents, who are going to be ecstatic hearing all the extraneous noises that their darling little Joey and Maggie are making.

    The conductor might also hear it and explain proper concert deportment at the next rehearsal. And any day now I'm gonna wake up a virgin. :D
  15. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    The noises are subjective; some guys (with a budget for it) want the really bad ones removed. Little things (distant coughs, chair scrapes) can help "prove" to the listener it's really live. I've actually had some clients prefer them left in, to prove it's live for grants, endowments, commemorative CDs, etc.

    But a really bad cough or sneeze in the middle of a brilliant cadenza or vocal solo can be heartbreaking and downright distracting.

    It just comes down to budget/time available, alternate takes, and how far you and the client desire to take the fixes.

    Follow your inner moose. :wink:

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