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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. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Yep; we have a variety of topics I've not seen addresses anywhere else:

    1. Piano & soloists mic'ing - what mics, under what circumstances.
    2. Gear choices - for remotes vs. in-studio (I think most of us do remotes vs. in-studio, but I'm sure it varies for each of us.)
    3. Ensembles & venues. Got a favorite group or hall, or both?
    4. Upcoming gigs....advice or bragging....what's on your schedules and how do you intend to tackle some of the odd and unusual things we all run into? (bad venues, instruments like pipe organs, choral shells, antiphonal choirs, etc. etc.)
    5. Hardware - cases, cables, roll-carts, and other "must have" items for the gigs. (What's in YOUR roadcase?)
    6. Favorite music to record. Least favorite music, etc.
    7. Client management. We've touched on this a bit already, but it's as deep as it is wide. There are all kinds...how do YOU interface with people? Got any tips?
    8. Horror stories. (yeah, I love this stuff. Heheh....Jeremy mentioned something coming soon...I"m all ears.) Want to dish the dirt on a few diva's or prima donnas? Difficult soloists? Equipment failures at the worst moments? Train wrecks can be fun...if they happen to someone ELSE, that is. Hate to see good people suffer (esp onstage) but sometimes there IS poetic justice and sooner or later everyone gets their due. (Even US!)

    Getting back to Samlitude/Sequoia for a moment. We could possibly have a thread on this (and other) software away from the Magix site, if only to discuss how it works within our own niche. (There are also things we should and should NOT discuss over there, I've found the MAGIX/Samplitude forum tends to be more nuts and bolts anyway....why doesn't it do THIS, when are they going to change THAT, etc. etc. Lots of classical music recordists use Samp/Seq for sure, but I think they're too busy or just not interested in posting there among the deadly serious tweakers.)

    Well, the holidays are fast approaching, and I'm sure we're all hearing Christmas music ad infinitum on the radio, tv, in stores, etc. I've had a few client Christmas CDs just come out, and fortunately they were a bit more than just the same old slop we hear over and over again. One isn't Christmas music at all, it's just timed to be a good gift idea, while the other is some good choral Christmastide stuff. "Silent Night" being the only old chestnut on it. So, while it can drive ya crazy if you let it, Christmas music tends to start seeping in from August onward in this biz, esp if the client wants to make it in time for a Thanksgiving release date.

    That said, I'm sure everyone here is about to embark on a lot of seasonal performances - you may be IN them or recording them. I've got three weekends of some-good, some-odd stuff happening...how bout you? What's ahead for you over the next three weeks? Anyone?
     
  2. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    'tis the season for choir work... Had 4 choirs on Wednesday night. Got 2 more choral concerts on Sunday... So far, had to turn down 2 messiah's... (darn my friend for getting married on a Saturday in December....)

    Lots of fun with omnis...

    --Ben
     
  3. John Stafford

    John Stafford Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2004
    There are so many things to discuss! So many things that I'm interested in have come up already. Glad Samplitude has come up. I have Sonar and a demo of Samplitude, and the sound quality of Samplitude is wonderful. Not knocking Sonar though.

    Just ordered a Mini-Me for a knockdown price (Lunatec too expensive) but I can add a DAV BG1 with the price difference. It would be great to discuss stuff like this with orchestral/choral recording people.

    I'm looking forward to hearing all about unusual venues and ensembles, and solutions to the problems that come with them.

    You could probably have a whole forum on piano micing!

    John Stafford
     
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Four DIFFERENT Choirs (remotes) in one night, Ben, or was it a cattle-call? This is indeed a crazy time of year. Literally every choir or singing organization seems to come out of hiding this time of year. :)
    If it's not another "Messiah" Performance, it's a collection of holiday songs, both Christmas and Hannuka. (I"m not complaining, of course..it's good to be busy.)

    We go into a dizzy of holiday stuff starting next week, but this weekend has us recording an unusual work; a chorale & orchestral performance of Michael Tippet's: "A Child of Our Time." (Definitely NOT something to cozy up with around a warm yuletide fire, but a good work to delve into and it's musical food for thought. This is one of those works that has an almost mandatory panel discussion afterwards.) It's got a 120 voice choir, med sized orchestra (bigger than chamber, smaller than full symphonic) and four soloists out in front. We recorded two nights of rehearsals and will do the concert on Sunday, editing the whole thing together after the music director makes his picks.

    It's also grant-writing season for a few clients, and we've have to jump through a few deadline-based hoops to get some compilation CDs out the door this week. Sometimes it's scary to know you're a critical part of a clients 5-figure grant proposal, but nice to know they want to include you should the grant actually HAPPEN.

    Oh btw., I watched a DVD of Tan Dun's "THE MAP" last night. (Deutsche Grammophone release.) Absolutely fantastic stuff.....has anyone see or hear about this work yet? GET IT and check it out, esp the multimedia recording done in China itself. Lots of DPA and Schoeps mics all over the stage; looks like they mic'd it for live PA and multitrack mixing. (The DVD sounds GREAT, esp in surround.)
    I want to find out more about the team that did the audio. I'm sure they had a helluva time putting THIS one together.
     
  5. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    No... Not 4 remotes, 4 choirs on one concert- all different groups, though with different accompanying groups. The 4 ensembles from the Univ. So. Calif.

    Sunday, though, is 2 gigs out at once. Have a colleague covering one and I'll do the other and cover the post prod on both. Then it is 2 editing projects next week and a couple recitals and another choral concert.

    Then nothing on the books until February... :? Gotta love the freelance life.

    --Ben
     
  6. pjbower

    pjbower Guest

    Just wanted to register my interest, though I am only an amateur. I'm mainly interested in recording high quality sound for video. This is a logistic nightmare, as I have all the video equipment, and lighting, as well as sound stuff, to set up.
    I use a single Schoeps MK4 and MK8 MS stereo pair. I generally set this up about 10 feet away from the front of the orchestra, and about 10 feet up, and hope for the best! I know it would be better if I could experiment more with the exact location, but I am generally pretty pressed for time. Also I find it difficult to judge the quality of the sound using headphones ( Audio Technica ATH-M40fs).
    Are other people using MS stereo techniques, and how do you set this up optimally?
    Patrick
     
  7. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    I use mid-side a lot. Usually, I use stereo mics so I can vary the middle pattern depending on the situation (usually an AKG 426). I also use a Royer stereo mic a lot for this kind of work.

    Only thing you need to be aware of is that your sides are out of phase to make it work as a pattern. Because of this, if the level of the sides gets too high, it can sound like you have phase problems (with only 1 mic!).

    For orchestral work, M-S is great because you can "focus" the middle towards your woodwinds and get a good pickup without the use of spot mics in a multi-mic system.

    --Ben
     
  8. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    If anybody is interested, I have a yahoo photo page up that has some photos of various gigs that I've done. Among them are an acapella vocal group I did at the Chapel on the Hill in central Calif, the large choir/orchestra thing that Joe mentioned earlier in this threat that I recorded at the Sydney Opera House last summer, a gig I did recording spatial music at the Getty Center Auditorium here in LA, and some other random shots...

    the page is: http://photos.yahoo.com/fifthcircle2004

    --Ben
     
  9. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Location:
    Central Copenhagen
    Fantastic! They made a forum for this. That's just awesome and much needed! I'm looking very much forward to reading the posts and finally having a place where I can get competent help and criticism on what I'm doing most of - classical music. Great initiative guys!
     
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Welcome, Ellegard; you can thank Ben for taking the initiative and getting this forum up and running. I hope we see a lot of new posts, and are able to pool our info and talents.

    Hope to see more of your posts, opinions, and hear lots of stories from all (good AND bad!)
     
  11. Ellegaard

    Ellegaard Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Location:
    Central Copenhagen
    Thanks, JoeH. My perspective on this forum will rather be from the musician's, since my experience with recording is limited. I'm still new in this particular business, learning and aquiring gear, but I hope I can contribute with my own experiences, mostly those I have as a violinist in front of the microphones, but also behind all those knobs and faders.
     
  12. Crane

    Crane Guest

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, finally a forum that has what I want.

    I am mainly interested in recording choirs and classical pipe organ on more of a amateur level. As far as the children's choir is concerned it is one that my son sings in and my wife plays for.

    My main equipment is

    Song Hi-MD 800
    2 Earthworks SRO
    ART DPS II
    I like the new Hi-MD as it lets me record without any compression and then I can go straight into my computer and then burn a cd. I just used this set-up for the first time a few weeks ago and was very happy with the results. I know many of you are rolling over because of minidisc, but it works for me. I'm ready to learn more here and look forward to reading all post.

    Peace to all,
    Van
     
  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Nope, not rolling over here. MD is a perfectly viable format for recording in the field. True, it's not as open and clear as even DAT or HD, but it sure is cheaper and is generally fairly bullet proof. I got a couple MD recorders around for back up on gigs.

    J...
     
  14. Crane

    Crane Guest

    Thanks for the reply. Glad to see some other people use minidisc. Have you or anyone else had a chance to compare the new Hi-MD to dat? I may be looking to buying a good used dat after the first of the year. Thanks again, Van
     
  15. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    I haven't tried the HD-MD, but it looks promising. (Just dont' have the time & resources to check out ALL the new formats....sometimes, for good or bad, I just have to stick with what works for me at the moment.)

    I DO have a 2nd gen MD recorder, with a lot of features (including the ability to turn off the auto level and stuff, and with various other good options. I use it for interviews and such, it's really a fine device. (And I would probably use it in a pinch on other stuff if I had to...) I keep it in a briefcase with everything in it: 2 mics, table stands, power supply, batteries, blank discs and adapters. It's a perfect "all in one" kit for interviews and SFX recording in the field.

    I think you may find that while many of us have our favorites (and things we really DO dislike intensely), this seems to be a good, polite and informed crowd that isn't interested in mocking or picking on anyone for their choices. These choices are often based on budgets and available resources, and none of us have a big bag of cash to buy anything we feel like.

    Whether it's a profession or hobby, it's a labor of love for anyone attempting to get into this part of the sound rec biz.
     
  16. mathieujm

    mathieujm Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Location:
    Toulouse - France
    Hi from France.

    I am happy to join your (little !) community.

    I record classical stuffs for 25 years now.

    I'll introduce myself later when I'll have more time.

    Happy Christmas

    Jean-Marie Mathieu
     
  17. Javier

    Javier Guest

    Hi everyone. Please count me in among those in the 75-99% range. In fact , that is what I actually do for a living. I use a Beyerdynamic MC 833 N (C/7) Set, which is a 3 capsule microphone for MS operation and XY operation. I am most concerned about compression since we air our program every week on TV.I complement the stereo mike with an AKG414-EB in omni pattern to get some very low end. Best regards to all!!
     
  18. Javier

    Javier Guest

    JoeH wrote:

    "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.)"

    JoeH, I´ve read your essay and I couldn`t agree more with your approach based on multitracking or closer micing in order to avoid all those unwanted noises generated by the audience, A/C systems, street traffic, etc.
    The only drawback would be that you must have the conductor at the mix session, and that is not always possible. Otherwise the recording engineer would be in charge of the musical balance and I think that would be a very objectionable situation. However I promote this approach at the Orchestra in which I work with. Since we do have a principal conductor who performs about 80% of the venues and lives in town so we can work very closely. I found other information on your essay very valuable like time aligning tracks and the considerations about program material going through 2 ambiences. Very useful info!!!. Thanks. Javier
    BTW. It comes to my mind that another thread could be."Symphony Orchestras;¿how loud should they sound?".
     
  19. Exsultavit

    Exsultavit Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Hi, everyone!

    I am very happy to have found this forum, as there are few places that I know of on the WWW to discuss classical recording.

    Joe H- I read your essay on 2 mic VS multimic recording and enjoyed it. A good explanation of how when when we have no visual and enviornmental cues to help us, the audio balances must be much more exact to provide a good musical experience. I noted, though, that you mostly used enviornmental noises as examples of this. I find that many musical balances need correction as well- especially when choirs and vocal soloists are involved with modern orchestras. So-- I'd love to see more in-depth discussion on when and how to spot-mic.

    I'd also love to see discussions on (for instance):

    Streamlining setup time. (many of the shows I record are at venues that are too busy to allow much of this).

    Assistants I would love to know how to care for and feed these creatures. Budgets seldom allow me to pay them more than token fees. Mostly I do all the work myself as I need it done with great care, but I also feel a desire to pass knowledge on to the next generation...

    Dynamic levels Many clients say they want 'full dynamic' but also do not want to constantly adjust their car volume controls. I employ various tricks to help with this. Unlike pop, in classical, dynamics are still allowed and encouraged (thank god). But many find 'untreated, full range' modern orchestral recordings unlistenable except under 'full attention, headphones on' conditions. I'd love to know what you folks do with this issue.

    Anyway- that's my first post! Looking forward to checking back here soon!

    sincerely

    Exultavit
     
  20. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Some great ideas on discussions- There are a number of things that I have some particularly strong feelings about.

    Why don't you start a couple threads to cue the discussion in one way or another...

    --Ben
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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