1. Hi Guest, if you haven't already... enter to WIN ACID Pro Give-away
    Dismiss Notice

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:
    Big welcome to Javier & Exultavit; Thanks for the kind words, too! That rant/essay of mine was born almost entirely as a counter-argument against someone (no one worth mentioning here) who's a "purist" and had been touting his "2- mic" approach to many people I knew, and not doing a very good job of it anyway. (Said person doesn't edit, either, and has something of a reputation as "difficult". (Again, best to leave out any names...)

    I grew tired of trying to explain it over and over again to skeptics or people who just don't know enough about the process in general, and would occasionally be swayed by the whole "2 mics are the only TRUE way to record. Ever." I've done plenty of 2mic recordings, but as we all know, there is often a lot more to the story.

    There are lots of times when it's a great approach (Philadelphia Orchestra did one of those recordings with only 2 mics a few years back, but it was late at night, multiple takes, and NO ONE ELSE in the building to make a sound), but IMHO the lengths one must go through to pull it off are just as off-putting and complicated as doing it the way we do now.

    Just this past week, I had to prepare a 1 hr broadcast of a baroque ensemble compiled from some recordings that we've done, plus a few tracks from a hobbyist fellow who means well, but only uses two mics wayyyy back in the audience for that "Natural" sound (whatever THAT may be....) To my horror, this other guy's recording had audience noises (esp sneezing!) in some places louder than the music itself. It was a pain getting levels sorted out to make it usuable, using some VERY clever multiband limiting here and there, some selective noise reduction and a few other goodies that Samplitude/Sequoia offers. These are NOT things I'd normally have to do with my own stuff, but again, a little knowledge (like 2 mic recording - in the wrong hands) can be a dangerous thing.

    But it's good to see so many new folks, and I'm happy to see topics that Exultavit already being posted. Some GREAT ideas there. I'll respond over there as well....
     
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Javier wrote: <<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.>>

    This is an excellent point, Javier, and it's something that's slowly evolved with me in the last 5-10 years. Originally, it was almost always 2-track stereo recordings, with or without ambience & reverb. In the days of just analog 2-track recording, (and later DAT) we were often simply "stuck" with what we got (and the mindset was always "Get it right NOW; no "fix it in the mix" stuff.) In these instances, we got what we got, and aside from a reference copy (Usually on cassette at the time), they worked with it.

    Since DA-x8's and ADATs, multitracking for even classical live recordings has gotten easier and more affordable, with more critical mixing done later. (with DAWs and laptops, even moreso!)

    I handle the "who's making the mixing decisions?" question several ways.

    For basic services and things that I know ahead of time dont have the budget for extensive edits/revisions, I have a line on our production agreement that states: "Mixing is at our discrection".

    But whenever possible, I try to have a one-on-one with the conductor ahead of time and discuss their goals prior to any recording. Sometimes it's a guest conductor, or a hall that's new to both of us. We'll talk about the soloists, if any, and the blend he/she is hearing, what they want to avoid, and what they hope the audience will hear. I make it clear to them that I am there to interpret THEIR artistic vision and recreate what THEY are hearing. There are still some older conductors who are new to the whole DAW/editing thing, but more and more the folks coming up from the music schools and colleges are pretty hip to what can be done nowadays. It's a fine line between meddling and a good 'bedside manner", but the good ones appreciate your attention to their details.

    Believe me, it goes a long way to gaining your clients trust and loyalty. One of the WORST things you can do to a classical/serious musician or conductor is to attempt to divorce the two: recording accurately vs. re-creating a concert in an arbitrary way like a rock or pop recording, where remixing can go on forever. You cannot make it appear you're taking control out of THEIR hands.

    My clients do know that I make every effort to REALLY LISTEN to the ensemble in the hall, during the rehearsals/sound checks, etc. and I always strive for a good mix of realism first. (The really sparklie & enhancement stuff like Reverb, Room Sims, etc. comes later - only after it's been approved or suggested.)

    In many cases, my clients simply trust me, and I am fortunate to have some great long term clients. (For the most part! ;-) Once in a while if something is really far off the mark, I'll do a remix (unfortunately on my OWN time), but it's usually rare, esp if it's an archival recording.

    For more complex things with larger budgets, I will get the Conductor a copy before we get too far into the process. (Sometimes even via FEDex if one of us is going out of town, or whatever.) My most "Educated" clients get temp CDrs of a work in progress, where I let THEM make all the edit decisions, based on time marking on the CDs, and we then edit together, in person, quickly and smoothly after that. (Very few have the time & $ to sit and do something with me a that they can do with headphones in their own space.) Usually by then, most issues related to the "Mix" are taken care of.

    So yes, the "who's in charge of the mix" can be tricky, but with many busy working conductors, the really talented ones won't beat you up terribly about "the mix". (Assuming you're doing a good job, of course!) Most of them will trust you if you're giving them a sense of confidence, and as long as you're clear with your objectives and pricing (and what it would cost them to do a huge, time-consuming remix), things will hopefully fall into a smooth working relationship.

    My own semi-provable theory is that the more truly talented they are, the less BS occurs around them, likewise with the mixes & edits.

    One of the "upsides" to this biz! ;-)
     
  3. Sonarerec

    Sonarerec Guest

    If that combination of ensembles was what the poll was about, then I misunderstood.

    Perhaps what you are suggesting is a CLASSICAL-ONLY community, as the only folks left out from the group you suggest are pianists, organists, accordianists, violinists and cellists playing Bach suites, etc.

    This really touches on the entire aesthetic that Ben has mentioned before-- capturing sound vs creating sound. Closely connected is the desire to present a recording that has all the neccesary info to place the listener into an acoustic (real or convolved), rather than inside a guitar pickup. Of course, there is always an "editorial slant"-- do I choose Schoeps omnis or DPAs?

    Well, enough hot air-- count me in.

    Rich
     
  4. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Home Page:
    Nice to see you here Rich... :D


    --Ben
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice