Lets have fun....

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by hp1xbg, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. hp1xbg

    hp1xbg Active Member

    Feb 11, 2011
    This might be in the wrong forum, but I thought I'd give it go here.....sorry to the moderators if I post it in the wrong place.......

    I have a session I am engineering in about a week for a wind band recording of the 1812 Overture. The wind band is a very professional 65 piece ensemble laid out in a not so traditional manner...a large majority of the brass is all on the stage left with a scattering of trumpets and tons of clarinets on stage right, skewing the image sonically. (sure would be nice if I could convince them to move the horns to stage right)

    The band currently is 4 flutes, 1 pic (on the second row center), 14 clarinets, 1 Eb clarinet, 1 bass/contra clarinet, 3 bassoons, 1 contra, 6 horns, 6 trumpets, 5 bones, 2 euphs, 3 tubas, one acoustic bass. There is the typical compliment of percussion, with tympani on stage left, bass drum center, and mallets, bells, toys, and harp on stage right.

    The room is controlled (not a mobile recording) and is 68 feet deep and 50 feet wide, completely isolated from outside noise, and has a ceiling full of diffusers I'm guessing at 35-40 feet tall. The band is situated width-wise along the back wall with 35 feet of unused space at the front. I have recorded in here extensively and always fought with the room. While the walls are covered with heavy draperies and more diffusers, the material is dry wall with wood laminate on the floor. It is not an incredibly live room, but is just live enough that the room sounds more like a room than a concert hall, especially when these guys get cranking.

    Here's what I have at my disposal for toys:

    (3) Schoeps MK4
    (1) Schoeps MK 8
    (2) DPA 4011A
    (2) DPA 4006A
    (1) Sennheiser MKH30
    (2) Sennheiser MKH20
    (2) Sennheiser MKH40
    (2) Royer 121
    (4) Royer 122
    (2) KM 184
    (8) KM 84
    (5) U87
    (1) U89
    (4) TLM 170
    (5) AT 4050
    (4) Earthworks QTC 40
    (4) Earthworks TC 20
    (2) Earthworks SR 30
    (6) Earthworks SR 71/77
    (2) Gefell UMT 70
    (3) Beyer 122
    (6) AKG 460/480 Cardioid
    (6) AKG 480 Omni
    (2) AKG 414

    I have available a smattering of dynamic mics of all shapes and sizes, and maybe a few SDC that I have forgotten.

    The signal chain will be generally through Grace pres to a Soundtracs DPCII and tracked on PT HD. (sigh). Conversion currently is at the DPC. Sample rate (due to the DPC) is at 48 and clocking is either with a Big Ben or a Rosendahl. Monitoring on DynAudios with various outboard verbs, primarily the 480L and TC 3000.

    So, now that I’ve given you my laundry list, how would you handle the recording? I have experimented several different ways, but you never know when someone else might have some suggestions. My inclination is to try and keep the room out of the recording as much as possible, but I don’t want to put a mic on every desk and get ridiculous (although it would be fun just to see the looks on their faces). The only setup that I haven’t tried with the ensemble is a Decca. Channel count isn’t important.

    So….what would you do? Sim City for band. :redface:
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Welcome, you are in the the right forum but I almost missed your title.

    Sounds like fun to me!

    I'm very interested in the results and hearing from others. We share some similar gear but I am just beginning mobile recording so no solid help at the moment. I know John (TheJackAttack) and I would enjoying being with you :).

    Are those the DPA 4006A Caps (MMC2006) or the complete 4006 mic's? I just received a matched pair 4011A's and am waiting for the matched omni caps.
    Wow, I love them.
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    I would use a combination of two main stereo pairs and then spot mic a few sections. Since this is not a concert situation then it doesn't matter as much that the band is arranged in a lop sided fashion. Walk around to a point you feel the band sounds best. (If the conductor is a micro manager then you have to convince him/her of the position or demonstrate why a good recording image can't be had with all the brass in the left third of the sonic stage) Stick you main stereo pairs there. I recommend using a pair of your ribbons in Blumlein and a supporting pair of the DPA cards in ORTF. Aim into the front third of the band. Do NOT AIM AT TRUMPETS!!!! Place one spot ribbon on the tubas. Place a spot ribbon behind the horns angled 30 degrees from the bell blast area. Use a U87 to spot the flutes. Use another U87 to spot the clarinets/sax's.

    Press record. Realize that when you mix you are going to pick the stereo pair that gets most of the sound. Bring up a stitch of the other stereo pair for body and you might not use any of the spot mic's at all. If you do it should only be minimal. The idea of a good well balanced ensemble is that you don't have to spot mic except for a little definition of articulation just not for volume.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Yup... that's what I was going to say :)

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