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how to get ECM's sound?
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simkim
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#1
30th September 2011
Old 30th September 2011
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how to get ECM's sound?

hello.
i really like ECM's sounds and also fan of Arvo part.
so i tried to record arvo part's piano pieces, but sound is so scanty...
however arvo part's album that released by ECM, has full of harmony.
hmm...
would you give me some tips for recording solo classical/minimalism piano works?
i have a mbox3 mini, pair of sm57, mackie 402-vlz3 and using protools 8 le and ni's komplete 7's effect.
i know... sm57 is not suitable for classical music...
but i have no afford to buy condenser mic, and room acoustic is also bad...
nevertheless, i wanna make best output though current equips...
help me pls!
#2
30th September 2011
Old 30th September 2011
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I just wrote a review of the new DVD documentary Sounds And Silence. It's a good movie, following Manfred Eicher to various gigs and recordings. It starts with footage of Eicher recording an Arvo Part session in a church in Finland. You should watch it.

To be honest, it doesn't look like he's doing anything particularly special: just your standard mic'ing that is routinely discussed in the Remote Possibilities thread. If anything, he probably uses a lot more mics than the classical/jazz location purists would.

It looks like 1 main stereo spaced pair (couldn't tell, but would imagine Schoeps or DPAs) and then various spot mics. I spotted a few C414s in there.

In other footage you see Eicher recording various other ECM artists in different studios across the world. Eicher comes across as very hands on, in terms of editing and mix and production, but I was surprised to see there didn't appear to be any "big secret" type recording tricks. I suspect the Arvo Part recordings have a lot to do with the space they're recorded in.

If I were you I would buy two omni condenser mics. I know you say you can't afford it, but could you not afford 2 of these, say:
Red12 - 12 Gauge Microphones

(Where do you live? Can you not find a church hall with a piano or something? Or a conservatoire rehearsal space you could use?)

If not, and you are really stuck with your room and two SM57s, there's not a lot you can do other than just move those two mics until they sound good. But make sure your piano lid is as open as possible.

PM me your address if you'd like the DVD: I doubt I'll watch it again. I was going to give it to the charity shop.
#3
30th September 2011
Old 30th September 2011
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Uhh you are very far from ECM quality with what you got!

What is safe to say is: If you want the best possible sound from any equipment, you need the best acoustics you can possibly get!

After this, best microphones your budget allows [don't need to be that expensive to be good] and finally pre-amp/recorder.

But again - good acoustics is the most important link for good sounding recordings [if you know how to place your microphones of course]. You need to go out with your equipment and make remote recordings...

::
Mads


Quote:
Originally Posted by simkim View Post
hello.
i really like ECM's sounds and also fan of Arvo part.
so i tried to record arvo part's piano pieces, but sound is so scanty...
however arvo part's album that released by ECM, has full of harmony.
hmm...
would you give me some tips for recording solo classical/minimalism piano works?
i have a mbox3 mini, pair of sm57, mackie 402-vlz3 and using protools 8 le and ni's komplete 7's effect.
i know... sm57 is not suitable for classical music...
but i have no afford to buy condenser mic, and room acoustic is also bad...
nevertheless, i wanna make best output though current equips...
help me pls!
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#4
30th September 2011
Old 30th September 2011
  #4
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ECM on a budget = lotsa f*ckin' reverb.

I've taken some of my free jazz/improvised chamber recordings that I usually mix pretty dry (HatArt/Hathut : the other side of the ECM coin) and for fun put a lot of reverb on it and it becomes instant fake ECM. If I play my tenor sax through a lot of reverb I become an instant Jan Gabarek minus his monster chops. Until you can actually record in in a church etc, that is your only option.

You really should pick up some of the Hatart/Hathut classical and jazz recordings to hear the stark contrast in recording styles of somewhat similar music. It's quite an eye opener.

Arvo Part recording = lotsa f*ckin' reverb. I love those Arvo ecm recordings but they are not natural sounding to me. With all the acoustic reverb they almost seem like ambient classical music. If they close mic'd all that in a dry as sh*t room it would sound nothing like you think it should. That reverb to me is the Arvo Part "sound", allbeit an awesome one.
simkim
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#5
3rd October 2011
Old 3rd October 2011
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thx everybody!
#6
3rd October 2011
Old 3rd October 2011
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S4410 is offline
ECM sound is all about aesthetics.
Space,so yes reverb (but not huge-enoesque) and form.I would say form comes first.
If your music is not suitable,Manfred Eicher can't do anything about it, neither can you.
I don't agree that expensive tools are essential.They are always welcomed of course but creativity is the ticket to great art.
#7
4th October 2011
Old 4th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capnreverb View Post
I've taken some of my free jazz/improvised chamber recordings that I usually mix pretty dry (HatArt/Hathut : the other side of the ECM coin) and for fun put a lot of reverb on it and it becomes instant fake ECM.
Another big difference between ECM and the HatArt/Hathut aesthetic is their tolerance for musical chaos. HatArt et al embraces the moment regardless of what the artist was doing in it; ECM (read: Eicher) seems to make post-performance judgements about the appropriateness (sic) of certain moments, and tries to take a bit of the chaotic edge off those moments deemed less "ECM-ish".

iow, Werner Uehlinger has a higher personal threshold for cacaphony than Manfred Eicher, and that manifests itself in the way their respective records get mixed.
#8
4th October 2011
Old 4th October 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
Another big difference between ECM and the HatArt/Hathut aesthetic is their tolerance for musical chaos. HatArt et al embraces the moment regardless of what the artist was doing in it; ECM (read: Eicher) seems to make post-performance judgements about the appropriateness (sic) of certain moments, and tries to take a bit of the chaotic edge off those moments deemed less "ECM-ish".

iow, Werner Uehlinger has a higher personal threshold for cacaphony than Manfred Eicher, and that manifests itself in the way their respective records get mixed.

That's some good stuff. Yes, Yes, Yes. So true.
At one time (early 70's) that was not the case. That Derek Bailey/Dave Holland record and the Music Improvisation Company lp are probably the exception. And the classical recordings on hatart are certainly more "avant-garde" than ecm's. I like the classical on both labels, but most of the jazz on ecm bores me.
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