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Calling all Orchestral/Choral Recordist out there...

Discussion in 'Orchestra' started by Cucco, Nov 22, 2004.

?

How much of your work is Orchestral/Choral/Symphonic in nature

  1. Less than 25%

    100.0%
  2. 25-50%

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 50-75%

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 75-99%

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 100%

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. What's an orchestra?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Good ideas Joe... Have plenty of stories about good and bad gigs. Some even have pictures.

    Jeremy- if you want a liquid sound, all you need are good mics, pres, and converters... There are some golden converters that don't do 96K. Listen to the old Prism and dB Technologies stuff (ie AD122, or AD-2). I cut my high-end chops on a lot of that stuff and it will hold up to anything out there today.

    --Ben
     
  2. jdsdj98

    jdsdj98 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Great, great stuff here. As someone who majored in music (classical guitar) but saw the entire recording industry collapsing as I was graduating, I have long said that recording classical music would be my dream job. However, long ago I abandoned my ambitions of working in recording music as a career and have since found my niche working in pro sports TV broadcasting, and I'm in a great sports town for doing that over the long haul. If you've watched any pro sports broadcast on TV, you know that we use compressors for far more than airing up flat tires........

    Back to recording - I have invested in a modest recording setup here at home that I typically use to record friends and the occasional referral that I get to haul it out to someone's garage for a few days of recording, all for a small amount of money and food/malted beverage. I do it because I love it. And doing this has made me toy with the idea of recording student recitals and the occasional solo musician (I'm speaking "classical"ly here) and the like in my spare time. So my immediate question(s) comes more from the business end of this than the technical end.

    As I stated, I abandoned any notion of eeking out a career in pop recording long ago. This was because of the changes that have happened in the project and mid-level studio markets in the past 10 years. There's just no opportunity there anymore with the DAW/Guitar Center revolution. Being that classical recording is such a niche, have you guys faced the same struggles in dealing with this paradigm shift? Is the classical client base less inclined to go buy a few mic's and some software in order to save the money spent on a good recording? Are you able to independently market your services in university settings for recital recording, or do you find that most universities, as mine did, have their own modest, mobile recording setups and a staff-half-engineer that records recitals at students' requests? I'm curious about a comparison/contrast of the pop and classical recording environments at the project/mid-level. Basically, are the struggles the same?

    This is a great idea for a new branch of RO. While I don't do this day in and day out, I will definitely be a lurker, and will contribute when possible. The constructive approach is great, a rare thing. Let's keep it that way.
     
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Ben,
    Well, I'll definitely agree with you there. I've used the older db tech stuff and I did like it, but I never liked it near as much as good old analog. And now that I'm hearing such wonderful stuff from Meitner, Euphonix, and the new Prism stuff, I just can't justify going with lower sample rates - they just don't sound the same.

    JoeH,
    All good topics you bring up here. I'd like to expand on one of yours - how not to bump the violinist carrying the $2.5mil Strad... - I'd like to teach some of those yahoos not to set their violins and their drinks on my work surface, or to watch where they walk so they don't knock over a mic stand holding 3 Schoeps microphones, or for that matter to stop talking during takes - not talking within 5-7 seconds of the completion of a take,etc. (I don't sound frustrated, do I?)

    jdsdj98,
    Really, at no point have I felt all that threatened by clients going out and buying their own gear to record themselves. There are those that do it - as a matter of fact, some of the larger orchestras in my area have full set-ups which they use all the time to record their concerts. However, the vast majority of them realize that, to get the best sound possible, they are going to have to bring someone in to do the job.

    Personally, I don't do the recital recording for most college students around here, for a few reasons.
    1. Most of the kids can't pay even modest rates for this
    2. The colleges typically have a few microphones and a DAT that they do the job with (and some poor music student does work study to record all the recitals - that was how I got my start in the biz...)
    3. I go after the bigger fish - I try to get contracts with the college itself to record all of the ensembles. Yeah, they could still hire the college kid to do it, but usually this stuff is used in recruitment etc. They want the highest quality possible.

    J...
     
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Jeremy; I know what you mean about space to put your stuff. I try to get there as early as possible to "stake my claim" in terms of where I'll set up. For regular clients, there's usually a set place and no one's surprised. But I've had my share of last minute violinists running in and dumping their stuff on me, or under my table, next to me, etc., while they dash out to tune up at the last minute. (Busy professional players seem to do this a lot! ;-)

    I've made it clear to my helpers, though, that if they do touch anything onstage: all mic stands' joints and screws get checked and double-checked (esp if the gear has been in a cold van overnight, with temp changes, etc.) so that there's no falling stands or dropping booms in the middle of a performance, etc. Gaffer-tape anything that could trip someone, too. I've also told them that in a test of wills or potential collision, the violin or cello player WINS every time. GET OUT OF THE WAY and let 'em pass. The price of a mic vs. a player's damaged 6-figure instrument is not worth hassling over. (I wonder how many people realize that the price of just the BOW (not to mention the instrument itself) can be well over $10-15K? I'm not kidding.....some of them are astronomical, due to the cost of the rare woods involved.)

    I was chatting with a clarinettist last week about how her "new" instrument sounded, and she gratefully admitted she didn't need a mortgage to buy it. She went on to say it cost less than most string players' bows. Be it a violin, viola, cello or bass, NEVER put anything near 'em, or do anything dangerous. (No cowboy stuff; NO sudden movements onstage during setup with musicians present, and move gently, slowly. ) I've seen cellists that leave their instruments out onstage on breaks, with the floor peg dug in the stage, and the neck resting on a chair, the body suspended in midair. Scares me to death just being NEAR 'em! (Snap!!!!!)

    As for clients and how to get 'em, that's a complicated feat in and of itself, something we could talk about in a dedicated thread. It's a fact of life that people will try to go "on the cheap" and do some things themselves. It happens in every business: It might be a kitchen-sink haircut, or a home-made dress, or cookies for a bake sale, or a little minidisc at their feet with a built in stereo mic. ;-) That's all well and good. Some people can do this stuff fine on their own, some are complete luddites.

    I have found though, that at least in Classical music, there is SUCH a heavy burdon on the serious musician to get it right onstage, there is often very little time for anything else. (I'm talking about the really GOOD players, not the jack of all trades wanna-be's.) There's a lot of folks in between, and that's fine if they wanna make their own DATs', or live CDr's of rehearsals, even a DV tape of themselves conducting or soloing. But as Jeremy points out, they WILL pay for a professional to do it right, eventually. (Sometimes you have to painfully sit-out a production or two, watch them trip and fall [losing a terrific moment to incompetance] and then let them come running back to YOU to do it right. Not always, but it does happen, and we must NOT be smug when they bring in a sh*tty recording with a desperate plea to "fix it up as best as you can!!!" heheh.. ;-)

    The better-run organizations know how to compartmentalize, and have specific people to do specific tasks, including contracting the players, stage managers, librarian duties, etc. Most people have far too much to do than try to record it all as well. Many are teaching and performing elsewhere, and the rehearsals barely cover the prep time for a concert. (Most are sight-reading the charts at these things, too! It's a lot to process.)

    I've found those that try to accomplish too much (running a recorder while running a rehearsal) tend to be not very good at either one. It just looks shabby, and the pro groups don't embarass themselves that way. (It's often a union issue in the larger halls, too.)

    Living near or in a larger urban environment helps a lot, simply because that's where the schools, ensembles and concert venues are. Older cities are good too, for the same reasons. I should also point out that nothing happens overnight in the classical business. Most of your clients' organizations may be older than YOU are, and chances are they'll be around long after we're gone. You ALWAYS have to be aware of the big picture in any deal you create.

    There's no one sure-fire way to get business, but from my own experience, I'd say the personal approach is best. Cold-calling & slick sales people do not work well in this business. It takes a long time to get established, and it has to come from referrals, proven track records, and making the client comfortable with what you do. Remember, they've been working literally their whole lives on their craft, in a genre within a genre....they are VERY hesitant to try something new, but they'll be loyal as pit bulls if you take good care of them, and let them shine for their peers and overall reputation with a killer CD.

    Again, this is probably a whole 'nother thread, but it helps to be a good business person as well as a good eningeer. You will often deal with different levels of people in a bigger organization, from the music director/conductor to the stage manager, to the business manager, to the Advisory board, to the accountant, etc. etc. Gotta learn to speak all the different lingo, of course. You can be hidden away in a broom closet somewhere, but it wont help you line up the next concert or meet a new potential client (a guest soloist, perhaps?) backstage. It never hurts to take some time to schmooze just a little too. Know your clientele, and know what they find necessary for a comfortable working relationship with you. (I'll give you a hint: It's NOT about the sample rate on your DAW. ;-)


    Sorry to run on again, the coffee has obviously kicked in. Time to go edit.....there's lots to discuss on this topic, obviously.



    :cool:
     
  5. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
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    Almost forgot, good reading here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/30/arts/music/30gold.html?pagewanted=2&adxnnl=1&oref=login&adxnnlx=1101831041-jknKtxjGGuTPb7kD1zcxvg

    (You may have to register to gain access, but it's quick and painless, and it IS the NY Times. They won't spam you. ;-)
     
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    JoeH:

    Excellent points here -

    Everyone, you would do well to listen to his advice. Knowing classical musicians and how they work will help get the gigs. Getting to know gigging musicians will help you get the gigs. One way that I get a few of the "Farm Team" orchestras is by having my musician friends give me referrals. If they get me a gig with an orchestra or ensemble that they are playing with, I give them a finders fee (usually $100). Also, being that I am a classical musician, it's easy to rub elbows with these fellows.

    As JoeH points out, these guys are VERY busy. Most instrumental professional players have multiple jobs. (For example, I play professionally, teach horn 3 days a week, run a studio AND work for the government in a forensics/biometrics field - and I know plenty of people that do this AND MORE!)

    If you can show good communication skills and stay on top of things, you will get called back.

    And as to the last statement JoeH made, it's not the equipment that makes the difference. Though it may give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Last year, I got spread REALLY thin one day. I record all of the high school honor bands/choruses/orchestras and due to reschedulings I had 7 to record in one day - all at different venues and all pretty much at the same time. On two of the gigs, I had to resort to subpar equipment:
    1 - a Mackie 1202 vlz pro, two GT AM51 mics, and a Minidisc recorder.
    2 - a Mackie 1202, 2 AT 3528s, and a Technics tape deck

    Despite the caliber of the equipment, I turned out decent recordings and had 0 complaints (which band parents and band directors are quick to do if they don't like it!)

    Thanks JoeH!

    J...
     
  7. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Re: Budgets... I've felt a huge pinch by the "home recordist" In the end, most will agree that my services are worth the money, but here in LA, if it isn't film, there ain't no money. I have orchestras that bitch about $350 to record their concert, and then when they do hire, it takes 6 months to get paid.

    Heck, I make more money off of student performances at USC than I do off of groups like that. Students are fickle, though... If they can borrow their friend's minidisc and place it in the front row (or even worse, the back row), they'll do that in an instant. I haven't purchased a major piece of gear in about 3 years because of the softness of the market. They, unfortunately, don't realize when they are applying for jobs that those recordings will benefit them.

    The other issue I run into (and I have a client coming over in a couple hours to wrestle with this) is rescuing the minidisc recording. The mic isn't in the right place, the MD's compressors kick in whenever it gets too loud or too soft, etc... They end up spending more rescuing the recording than they'd spend doing it right in the first place.

    Now, on to Joe's points- instruments.... The things you mention (especially the cello) happen at the highest levels. A couple years back when Yo Yo Ma came to town, I was working the concert. In the rehearsals, he would place his instrument like that. It almost fell on its own once. :eek: !!!! I'm generally pretty cool about players that need to stash their junk- perhaps it is from too many years of being one of those players myself. BTW, your clarinetist was absolutely correct- I feel quite fortunate only having to own an instrument that costs $4K, although a clarinetist needs 4 or 5 instruments to really be able to work professionally so that investment even adds up.

    I've found that here in LA, people are loyal until they find somebody that will do the job for less. Obviously, at the highest levels, there is a certain amount of loyalty as there are contracts that have been in existance for years. Everything below that seems negotiable. Also, Joe's comment about word of mouth is absolutely correct, too... I get 80% of my work because of word of mouth referrals. I've pretty much stopped advertising because all it got me was LA Recording Workshop and Full Sail students looking for internships.

    In the end, the one thing I have going for me above just about every engineer in town is the fact that I spent years working and playing along side the people that hire me. I have intimate knowlege about what it is like to be sitting in the ensemble during the performance/session and as a producer or engineer, I try to work with that same attitude/work ethic. Of course, the fact that when the conductor shows me some really complicated score, I can follow what is going on also helps.

    --Ben
     
  8. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
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    Jeremy, sure sounds like you're one BUSY guy. It's amazing what you can do when you have to. (My busiest day last year was THREE remotes; I was stretched pretty thin, indeed. When I buy anything new, it's always with an eye towards how I can use it as part of my live remote rigs. )

    Getting paid is always the part of the equation that people find painful. (Whether you're writing the checks, or waiting for them.) For years and years, I found the whole process demeaning and embarassing, I just HATED talking tough with people, so I just sat and fumed. Finally I got fed up with being nice and patient, so I simply drew up a clear concise agreement form for new clients to read, sign and keep a copy. They know our terms, and they really do try to get me paid within a reasonable amount of time. (That still doesn't stop some clients from crying poor-mouth. One of them recently took 10 months to pay off a $1600 balance, $400 at a time.) I also have a rate sheet with several options that I now give out, instead of explaining the same thing over and over again on the phone to people who are just kicking the tires. Helps to be clear and concise up front, so there's no hard feelings later.

    I know what Ben means about students - a lot of them, anyway. Many are just simply oblivious, have no working $$ (unless it's from their parents) and are simply just in a hurry to step over everyone on their way up. (The exuberance of youth!). For a while, I was really overdoing it with a few prodigy's out of Curtis Institute and a few others locally, "giving away the store," figuring they'd be clients for a long time to come. (Not necessarily so!) One of them was the hottest 14 yr old flutist to hit the scene at the time, and her parents were all over me to cut her a break on a demo, give out pointers, tips, etc. Once she got recognized and drew some major venue (and label) attention, they forgot all about those who helped on the way up. GONE GONE GONE. For one of her last local recitals, they cancelled a recording on me, saying the record label didn't feel it was necessary; they'd take it from there. No problem, I saw it coming & expected it at that point. It happens. (Heaven forbid they go to bat for you with the record label and INSIST on using the person who knows them best! ) I"m not bitter, it's typical sometimes, of how people view their hometown roots.

    But that's a bit rare; most clients - at least 50% - are loyal and come back whenever they have the funds to record.

    Nowadays, I take a professional, polite approach to all, and see who's in it for the long haul. They're free to do what they want, of course. My helper and I were just discussing this the other day: Seems like there's two kinds of musicial people out there: Those who really don't care (or will do the recordings themselves) or those who are wise enough to make your aquiantance, get to know how you work and what you can do for them long-term. (Dream clients, I guess you'd call 'em. ;-) You can usually tell within 5-10 minutes of meeting them which type they are.

    I'm always clear with new and growing clients that our goal is long-term growth...TOGETHER. I cut deals and throw in extras when I can, but I also (nicely) let them know I'm doing it. (It's one of those little things to keep 'em choosing YOU and coming back for more.) As Jeremy mentioned, the parents of a lot of these groups are just WAITING to do it themselves and cut you out (with a camcorder mic or minidisc in the front row or worse). Always gotta be one step ahead, if you can.

    We don't have much film work here (and of course all the serious scoring gets done in LA or NYC), but we do have a flourishing arts community (in spite of NEA cuts and the Bush admin in general). The major source of funding (regardless of ticket sales) is Grants. Most of my clients are registered as non-profits, so their bottom line is always a moving target. (When they run out of $$, they go begging, stage fund-raisers, write grant proposals, etc.)

    It may sound cold-blooded, but the smart approach is to avoid the starving artists, the time-wasters, the users, etc. and seek out those with good funding and visions for the future. Grants are a self-regenerating cycle: They need a good recording to get a grant, and then they need to record the next event to justify that same grant, and apply anew for the next. In many cases, they also use the CDs for local broadcasts or fundraiser sales. (Often getting around the liscensing fees by "giving" them as premiums to donors and contributors.) Composers in residence work the same way, too; very often they work in the cost of the recording into their grant proposals; a good recording has become as vital as the printed score.

    Safety in numbers works well, too.... 50-100 member choral groups will pony up a minimum number of copies to self-fund a CD recording for their events. These are smarter-than-average people who sing one or two nights a week for the JOY and enrichement of it, and have a little disposable income to buy a $15 CD after their concerts. (More dream clients!)

    As you might have guessed, none of us are doing this for huge finanical rewards (or god-forbid: FAME), it's just a great way to make a living doing what we love to do, with some pretty cool toys.
     
  9. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hey All,

    Some great stuff that I haven't seen discussed here at RO in any detail. (At least not since I've been around) I would go into detail on my stuff and background, but I'm in the middle of Holiday season as a choral director and also trying to get our annual Cd out into the public's hands by next week. (can you say NO- Doz)

    I'll drop a note in the mod's forum about your request to see if there's an interest.
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Wow! much interest here. hmm... should we create a forum for you folks and see what happens? What would it be called? Who would moderate it? Is it sort of like our Live Sound forum. http://recording.org/forum-32.html
    Maybe merge the two?
    Thoughts? (y)
     
  11. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Classical techniques? Acoustic music recording? Umm... How wide or narrow of a net do you want to cast? If it is limited to classical, it will be pretty low-traffic, I think, but nice to have.

    What do the folks here think if it were to cover acoustic music in general- covering classical, jazz, world/folk, etc? A number of us that work in classical also cover some of the peripheral musical forms that are related...

    --Ben
     
  12. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    << Wow! much interest here. hmm... should we create a forum for you folks and see what happens? What would it be called? Who would moderate it? Is it sort of like our Live Sound forum. http://recording.org/forum-32.html
    Maybe merge the two?>>

    I don't see all that much of a connection, at least not in technical terms. (Believe me, I've done both, and while I don't hold any grudges or take any negative views of the profession of "live sound", it's a completely different animal.) From what I've seen of it, the "live sound" forum is all about speakers, cables, amps, mics, processors, and the art of sound reinforcement itself: big and small venues, amplified and generally LOUD - Just about the complete antithesis of recording classical, acoustic jazz, choral, chamber music, etc.

    I don't think we'd have too much in common except where we'd meet on a stage with a splitter, one capturing it live for a recording and one amplifying it for the house.

    Just curious, but what does being a moderator involve?

    As for how wide or narrow a net we should cast, I guess that will take on a life of its own should we start a separate forum area. Who and what gets posted may indeed vary wildly. (It would be nice to also see some response from folks who do bluegrass, folk-based stuff, and other non-electrified music. There's theater too, as well as opera, choral music, recitals and chamber groups as others have mentioned.)

    Right now, it's just a small handful of us posting on one thread, so maybe we need to wait and see. Frankly, though, I find it very refreshing to meet and chat with other folks into the same thing, going through the same issues and situations as I am. Nice to find some comraderie, for sure!

    Perhps the toughest part would be what to call it...."Classical, Jazz and Acoustic Music Recording" ? "Serious Music Recording" ? Natural Recording? (That sounds too much like a nudist resort, I guess! ;-)

    Well regardless, , it's surely an idea who's time is due, IMHO.
     
  13. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    This is a great idea!

    I'm currently getting my new setup together, but my immediate interest is in recording the choir, so they'll sing my stuff (that's the plan anyhow!). The paid gigs don't bring in that much money, but I'm not really bothered about that yet. Once I get those Schoeps (or Audix 1290o -thanks for the recommendation Jeremy!), there not coming out of the box unless the money is decent!

    What amazes me is the diversity in the equipment people use. I once sang on a choral recording session where a Neumann Dummy head was plugged into a tiny cheap Mackie desk and out to DAT. An unusual distribtuion of resources?

    Really looking forward to this new forum!

    Great idea Jeremy!

    John Stafford
     
  14. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
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    <<a Neumann Dummy head was plugged into a tiny cheap Mackie desk and out to DAT. An unusual distribtuion of resources? >>

    And your problem with that IS? (Hehehe.....) Seriously, that doesn't sound all that bad a rig in a pinch, depending on the application.

    The mic elements could actually BE Neumann, and assuming the Mackie was at least a VLZ Pro series, you've got great mics and good quiet preamps right there. And as any DAT enthusiast will tell you (Jeremy is STILL a big proponent, I believe), it's quite a fine way to go.

    Crown makes a similar device (I forget the model #; it's 2 spaced PZM's on a big chunk of plastic that you stick on a pole....unfortunately, it's ugly visually and sounds harsh, brittle and edgy, IMHO. It's a good example of a client bringing me a "bad" digital (cold) recording, and asking me to clean (warm) it up. (Our solution, (hey Jeremy!) was to send it out to 1/2" analog tape and reroute it back in. Hehehe.)

    There are still a lot of guys out there doing the "Best seat in the house" 2-mic recording, with no other touches, straight to DAT, touting it as the ONLY way to go. (One of my local competitors is still working - and selling his services - that way.)

    Shameless plug dept: I've written a long rant/essay about it, (Mic'ing classical music - 2 vs. Multiple) and if you have the time you can visit my site and read it. (Westonsound.com - click on "Articles", and follow the link, etc.)

    But you make a great point; it's pretty amazing how many ways people can find to make classical recordings. Not all of them work as well, of course! ;-)
     
  15. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
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    That would be the dreaded SASS-P. What a nasty mic- sounds as bad as it looks. Boundary micing can be good, but just not Crown (rather Schoeps instead... :) ). Speaking of such things, I made an interesting discovery by accident one day- a B&K 4006 on the ground of a reflective stage makes a great boundary mic. I was switching mics on a stand comparing which I liked more as a cello spot. I put the B&K on the ground but forgot to change the patch at the console. Sounded stunning.

    No need for that analog "stuff" In version 8 of Samp or Sequoia, just use the new analog suite of plugins... :p :roll: :lol:

    --Ben
     
  16. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
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    yeah, it's hideous, isn't it? (I was just being kind! Haha) We a/b 'd it against some other things once in a Mic shoot-out with AT's & DPAs. it was really sad. My client dumped it as soon as he heard the proof. (He was on a limited budget and bought some AT-3035's instead, which sounded much better right out of the gate.) Oh yeah, this was/is another example of clients trying to "do it themselves" and coming back to me with the mess to clean up. It's a college choir on a limited budget, but the director is usually overworked anyway, and aside from taping his own rehearsals, he always makes sure we're hired to record the important stuff.


    I've done some dumb things by accident with those B&Ks, too....they NEVER sound bad. Hehehe. One time, a stand holding a pair "drooped" almost to floor (In slow motion, they tell me) and we recorded the entire work with a pair of omni's, on stage, 1' from the floor, in front of the reeds. Damn things didn't sound bad a all! ;-)

    Yes, well, I'm WAITING! And waiting! and waiting!!!! :roll:
     
  17. bap

    bap Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Can't wait for v8 [ Samplitude]. I got v7.23 installed just for something to do while we wait.

    I am a piano player/composer/arranger by profession but am learning more about recording all the time. I work mostly with chamber music and other acoustic genres.

    I think a forum including onsite as well as studio recording of acoustic instruments would be of huge benefit and interest.

    Thanks for bringing it up, guys!

    Bruce P.
     
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Damn, this thread gets more interesting every day!

    As for the new Forum - it might be a good idea. I originally posted the question just to see if there was interest. Based on the number of views, I'm guessing that there is. However, there have only been a few vocal participants - JoeH, John Stafford, Ben Maas, Phil and myself. Not to discount others who have posted, but these just seem to be the most vocal. That either means that these guys would be the only ones actively posting in this forum OR they would be the pool from which you would pick your moderator(s). Personally, I would think that it would be more of the second one than the first.

    Of course, I would firmly agree with JoeH that if a forum were created for this niche, it shouldn't be combined with live sound. Perhaps it could be called "Symphonic and Acoustic..."

    Now, on to my thoughts on the previous posts: Yeah, the crown dummy is awful - but personally, I think most binaural stuff is awful. Sure, it has it's place in some situations, but I'm opinionated and that's my opinion. Also, I hate crown's boundary layer mics. I know a lot of people who use these in pianos, but truthfully, I just don't dig the sound. The Schoeps BL mic is far better, but even still, I just prefer a good spaced pair or XY for piano. I've never tried laying an omni on the stage to get a suedo-BL mic. I'll have to give that a try!

    JoeH - yep, I am a proponent of DAT, but truthfully, I much prefer it as a back up device. From time to time, I will call them into primary service, but more and more lately, I find myself going to a multi mic setup. I'd hate to say it, but I'm finding that the DATs are going more and more to my budget mobile rigs - especially now that HD recording is so much cheaper. Also, yeah I dig going into analog for a lot of things. I find it to be the best SRC process available. What I usually do is come out of the pc in analog to a parametric EQ and then back into the box via 24 bit/44.1 as the final stage. (I do all internal processing at the higher rates when possible) Then, of course, I dither to 16 bit and keep both files for master records. Truthfully, it's been a long time since I went back to tape, but I wouldn't hesitate to do it if I thought it would benefit the recording.

    Ben:
    I'm anxious to work with you and your guys at SD. The more I hear about Sequoia versus Pyramix, the more excited I get. I don't think it would be considered sales if you go into a little more detail about the analog plug-ins. Please, do tell... (especially share if they are included for FREEEEEEEEE)

    All:

    I'm going to start another thread later today concerning a recent horror that I've had with one of my regular clients. I'm sure you will all get a kick out of it and have your own horror stories to boot.

    Thanks!

    Jeremy
     
  19. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I keep a pair of crown PZM mics in each of my rigs 'just in case" and fortunately I rarely have to use them anymore. I usually forget I've got them. Every once in a while, though, I'll get a situation where they've GOT to close the lid or something, or the piano is just in the wrong spot to put a mic under the lid (or 1/4 stick, what-have-you). About 20 years ago (in my wild youth! ) I thought they were good for getting good hot piano levels through a PA and a loud band. I still feel that way (in a pinch) but I really hate 'em for serious classical piano recording. (NEVER NEVER NEVER, please don't make me do it!) The last time I used 'em for a serious piano recording, I was fortunate that the piano was centerstage under my main omni's and so all I really needed was a little sparkle/touchup from the PZM's. Otherwise, fuggetaboutit!!!! Too pingy, thin and poppy-sounding for me. (I want the DPA 3521 stereo mic kit! Waaaa!)

    (Here's a thread topic all on its own, sure to invite many responses: How do YOU mic a piano, and under what circumstances/ensembles? Choise of mic's? Location? Pickup pattern? That's one we could talk to death, too. ;-)

    You mentioned Pyramix, Jeremy, and that's got me curious. The folks at Algorithmix make their sonic Laundry package, and they say it works with BOTH Samplitude/Sequoia and Pyramix. I'm waiting to add "reNOVAtor" to my upgrade to Sequoia, if and when it ever comes out. (Sigh) Algorithmix says they make a stand-alone version of the whole suite of noise reduction tools, but (gad) the prices is almost the same (if not more?) than the upgrade to Sequoia, so it's hardly worth it. (And it's still vaporware, from what I've heard - or not heard - so far.)

    reNOVAtor seems like a very exciting and kick-ass tool for restoration and noise removal work. I had Jeff (at Sequoia Digital) perform some emergency "noise-removal" surgery for me a few weeks ago. (We FTP'd the before & after files back and forth, and the results were nothing short of amazing. Client was blown away with what we removed from the first 2 measures of a critical piece that had no alternate takes.)

    Ben might be able to explain it better than I can, but it's not the traditional cute & Paste "Slight of hand" editing that we all use for noise reduction. It's something like "Photoshop for Audio" as someone (Ben?) explained to me at AES. You really have to see (hear) it in action. It's nothing short of amazing. I can't explain (yet) how it works, but it's stunning.

    It's SO good, I plan to launch a bit of an advertising campaign here once I DO get it, and sell the idea to clients that finally, YES, we CAN remove most coughs, sneezes, squeeks and other contaminants that were impossible to remove before. There are a LOT of heartbroken clients out there with semi-perfect takes that would love to remove a chair-squeek here, or a cough there. Up until now, my questions were always: "Is there a repeated phrase somewhere, or an alternate take?" As anyone who edits digitally, if you don't have something to copy/paste in, you're S.O.L. in most cases. reNOVAtor is now taking us beyond that with some pretty jaw-dropping tricks.

    (looking forward to your horror story, Jeremy. I've got a few, too...."the names have been changed to protect the GUILTY, " however.... )
     
  20. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Whoa... A number of things to reply to here...

    The Analog Suite of plugins is free with Version 8 of Samplitude and Sequoia. It includes 2 plugins- a transient modulator, and a compressor/tape sat plugin. The comp runs in a "VCA" and "Opto" mode.

    If you aren't familliar with it, one of the main cool things about Samp and Sequoia is the ability to work at the "object" level. Means that you can non-destructively work with an entire channel strip anywhere on any piece of audio. Actually it is more than a channel strip because there is also pitch shifting and time stretching as well. The new pitch shifting is done through a new process they call "Elastic Audio" which is basically pitch automation- either manual or automatic. This is a wonderful thing when you are editing music where pitch tends to slide over time.

    Getting into some of Joes comments- the object editor is a miracle for audio restoration. What it means is that you can plugin automate restoration processes and have them come in very slightly or hard over a specified period of time. It really opens up a whole new set of power. The new plugins by Algorithmix are indeed amazing. ReNOVAtor is just one of the amazing plugs, but it is pretty stunning.

    The best way to describe it is that it is like photoshop for sound. You see a spectral view of the audio, you draw a box around the part of the sound that is undesirable, tell it how to interpolate and hit process. The sound then disappears and the surrounding material is untouched. Pedal noise, coughs, squeaky chairs, guitar finger squeaks all become a thing of the past with this plugin.

    Algorithmix Sound Laundry is definitely a different product than the stuff available for Sequoia these days. They have also licensed some of their stuff to Pyramix as well. The stand alone plugs are still quite a ways out (considering it took a year to get these plugs out from when they were released, I don't see it happening any time soon). The Linear Phase EQ of theirs is one of the clearest, sweetest digital EQ's I've ever heard. I haven't shot it out against Weiss, but everything else I've shot against, the Algorithmix has won...

    re: piano micing- definitely a new thread- I could go on at great length here as well... Those DPA piano mics did look pretty cool. I think we could do threads on all sorts of instruments/ensembles if a forum actually happens.

    On a different note, just found out last night I'm recording the Britten War Requiem in a couple months... Woo Hoo. Chorus, children's choir, 3 soloists, organ and LARGE orchestra. Should be a blast. :)

    --Ben
     
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