Piano recording under less than ideal circumstances

Thomas W. Bethel

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2001
Oberlin, OH
JoeH said:
Congratulations, Tom. You are what I call a "Closer" - people who step in and get it done right, alllll the way to the end, and actually end up winning over the client with your ability to keep your head down and bring it to the finish line. Sometimes it's tough, esp when things aren't ideal circumstances, or near the end, when things seem to be impossible to ever finish up.

I was laughing out loud at Jeremy's story of the guy who didn't know Schoeps from Shinola, and i've had a similar experience at a high school commencement excercise a few years ago. The live PA guy was a total idiot, and attempted to deliberately sabatoge everything we did on the musical side (we were doing video support and recording the orchestra, etc.) I unloaded a similar string of expletives to my assistant about their methods- well within earshot of the PA guy's assistant, unknown to me at the time.

Suddenly they got very stand-offish, wouldn't talk to us, and generally left us alone for the rest of the gig - which actually worked out well in the end. I've never seen the company since; hopefully they've gone out of business.

I too try to be polite but brief with people who want to yak with me while I've got 20 minutes to set up. One guy said: "What the heck are you using for mics?" and wanted to know how I thought I was going to get "Good" sound out of such tiny, thin devices. He had never heard of B&K/DPA, either....

Thanks for your nice reply.

It was a good gig.

I can't even start to tell you all the problems we have had with younger audio "engineers" who think that because they worked for GC or read a book or are active on line they know EVERYTHING about audio. We did a gig once with our Decca Tree. We were using three Neumann M-49 microphones. The resident "audio engineer" was amused because we had to have three power supplies for the microphones. He even went as far as to tell us " gee I guess you can't afford newer equipment - you know they do make microphones that don't require a power supply" he then when on to state" We use nothing but dynamic microphones here because they sound better" OH REALLY!

Or the "audio engineer" in a church venue that was probably older than I am and kept telling us that he did not have any way to hook up our microphones to his microphone snake because our microphones required phantom voltage and would probably destroy his lines by us putting a VOLTAGE though them.

Or the time we setup in a church and the resident "audio engineer" came up and started asking all kinds of questions. When I told him that after I got set up I would be happy to answer all his questions but I had to set up first he got offended and stomped off. A couple of minutes later he came back and said that we could not setup in the church until he had permission from the minister. I told him that we had already had a meeting with the minister and that everything was AOK with him. He said "I need that in writing or you cannot setup" I went to the people that hired us and told them. About two minutes later the guy comes up and says "OK I guess you do have permission but you can't run any microphone cords across the floor" So I again went to the people that hired us and told them what was happening and that we were about 45 minutes from door opening. Fifteen minutes passed and the minister shows up. He walks up to the resident "audio engineer" and they have a very heated discussion and then the resident "audio engineer" leaves and the minister comes up to us and apologizes for the young man's rudeness. We got set up and did a perfect recording of the concert. After the concert we were tearing down and the resident "audio engineer" comes up to me and says "make sure you don't steal anything I will be checking everything you take with you" I see the minister standing in the back of the church I turn and point to the resident "audio engineer" and shrug my shoulders. The minister comes up, talks to us turns around and fires the kid on the spot. He then tells us that the resident "audio engineer" usually did all the recording in the church and was very upset that he was not going to do this one and just decided to make it as difficult as he could so maybe the group would get frustrated and would say "well you do it".

Hope the kid learned his lesson.

Ah remote recording.......<GRIN> with teeth clenched