MASTERING a small Camerata Orchestra. Any tips?

Alécio Costa - Brazil

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2002
hi friends!!I have just finished the recording, editing and mixing of the fourth CD of a local Camerata orchestra.

It was a budget project, entirely done on a bad acoustical place, but with efforts to make it sound really good. Three days with an 8 hour recording period on each.

As there were too many musicians, we had to do inside an empty house. There were around 25 musicians playing violins, violas, cellos, bass and a stereo miked piano.

besides, in one song we had a trumpet and a sax playing a fox trot and in another a flute with a soprano sax. Also, in one song, for a very short period, a 25 piece choir.

The thing did not become a nightmare because we tried to plan things a lot.

We used "budget" gear:
PT 5.1.1
G4 800 512MB 80GB OS 9.2.2
Mics: 2 AT4050, 3 C3000b, 1 C3000, 1 BETA 57, 2 C2000, 1 Q5
Consoles: 02R and 01V ( for additional mic pres with phantom power)

Due to very bad position and deadlines it was not possible to make spaced omnis or deca tree techniques.

I have showed some samples to a very experienced Recording engineer from Florida, and he said that is quite good.

If possible I would like to listen from my friends on this forum some tips for mastering this job . I have some samples, made 2 files with pieces of each song around 4MB each.

For mastering, I will be using Q10, power dither level 3 and MAster X 5 band mode inside my PT mix.

I am trying to get close as possible to PEARLMAN´s album, although it might sound insane.

P.s: the album was entirely done at 44k/24 bits so as to avoid any drawabacks from SRC.

Thanks for any info!
Nice weekend!
Eng. alécio Costa :w:

joe lambert

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2001
321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
Sounds like a fun project. As always I have to hear the music before I can comment on what would help. I will tell you that we master a lot of the top orchestral records here. And for the most part there is minimal eq. Sometimes no EQ. It depends how well the recording is. Are the clients happy with the room sound you have. If not you may need to add some reverb to create a better sence of space. As for compression some producers want to use it now more than before but be careful. You don't want it to sound like a rock record! Some like to use multi band compression on orchestras because it can be used like an eq to bring out the low end or mids.

If you want to send me a sample I will listen to it and be happy to give you my opinion.

Alécio Costa - Brazil

Well-Known Member
Mar 19, 2002
Hi Joe!!!!!
Thanks a lot for your email. I will send it to you now!!!!!.
Hope I am not disturbing you very much.

ps: I will also send you an mp3 of my own POP CD, where I sang, played , recorded, mixed and made a sketch fast mstering.
Brad blackwood and John Stephan listened to my pop Cd and liked it.
The orchestra stuff washeard only by Mr. Stephan and he enjoyed it too.

Well, I tried to do the best I could with acoustic limitations so..
Nice monday my friend!!