Actually I think the responses you received, Andy, were from people saying it was possible
to record with just a pair. I don't think you heard from people who use only a main pair as their every day way of working.
Movie score recording, at least in Hollywood, relies on a forest of mics and a close pick-up perspective aesthetic that attempts to create sound textures as well as recorded music sound. It would not be unusual to see 60-70 or more mics on the orchestra.
I'm puzzled by your notion that these film scores are not a compressed sound. Often they are exactly that with a flat perspective made from pan-potted stereo. The dynamic range of a film score is strictly controlled so that it does not cover dialog or distract from a product placement!!
As an orchestra recording pro, I am often disappointed by what is offered up in Hollywood.
We ourselves are using old M-50 mics as our main pick-up here. I think the reason
more vintage mics were not mentioned above is that they are fiddly and can be buzzy and ARE expensive.
If you are aiming towards attracting film score work in Poland, I recommend heading over to Katowice to the radio studio. Mic up that beautiful room with a ton of mics and rely on Tonmeister Beatta to get you the sound. Record to their Pyramix there and call it a day.
Originally Posted by andy_simpson
Thanks for the responses guys, it's nice to know there are plenty of people running a single pair and for good reasons.
I wonder how many scoring stages do the same - I don't often hear a film score I like the sound of but at least they don't necessarily need to compress for theatre playback (plenty of headroom in the cinema theatre).
So, we have some nominations for cardioids & omnis - some schoeps, some dpa/b&k, some akg - no (vintage) neumanns? (I'm not surprised) and no ribbons?