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Solo cello in good medium hall
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
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desotoslo's Avatar
 

Talking Solo cello in good medium hall

Hello knowledgeable friends,

I am slated to record a solo cello in a nice sounding, medium sized hall.

My plan is to use an ORTF main pair about 12 feet back, a few feet over the player's head (pointing toward the source), and to use a spot omni on stage, about 2 feet away, pointing roughly toward the neck of the cello. I will likely use 90% main pair, with a slight focus from the omni.

My other option is to use a spaced pair of omnis (about the same distance, perhaps spaced 2 feet apart or so) as the main pair.

I am recording with either beyer mc930s ORTF and a 414 in omni closer to the source into DAV and Jim Williams amps... or, spaced pair of AT 4022 omnis, and a 414 omni closer to the source.

I do not plan on adding any reverb or compression. The hall has a nice effect already.

How does this sound? Hope to post a clip after the job, per my client's approval.

one last note: I am also to videotape this and sync it with the audio. I am a tad worried about all the syncing that needs to be done (I don't have timecode), but I believe this will be fine (albeit extra work (and money in my pocket)).

Thanks for any and all input.
David
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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Video cam and audio will drift a bit, you'll propably have to adjust sync every 10 minutes or so, which is quite ok. If possible, get two (identical) cameras to get different viewpoints, wide and close-up, even if they are fixed cams.

Remember to take a slate at the beginning, something like the player just tapping the cello with the bow or something exact like that. Makes it easy to line up the takes in the editor. Also the camera audio can be used to sync the takes. Or take a flash photo at the begining of the take and align sound and flash(es).
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
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jnorman's Avatar
i have owned 930s and the at4022s, and i would probably go with the 4022s, but i dont think i would put them quite that far out. i would try maybe 6-8 feet for spaced omnis, and no spot. if you use the 930s in ORTF, i'd try about 8-10 feet out, again, no spot - you wont need it.

i have also done some video audio sync work, and unless you are doing a 2 hour single session, you shouldnt have any real problem with drift. clocks seem pretty consistent to me these days across most types of digital gear, and i have not had any problems syncing up audio and video, even from some very consumer video gear. i even did one where my video cam blew out and i had to use my panasonic fx100 P&S for the video, and it still worked great.
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
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Sounds like a good plan. If possible, try to use a pair of room mic's as well.


/Peter
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
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desotoslo's Avatar
 

@Petrus

Thanks for the advice. These are short selections, so I don't think drift will be much of a problem... but honestly, I had no idea that may even enter into the equation.


@Jnorman

Thanks a lot! I think I will try the spot mic "just in case", and probably not use it at all. I will follow your suggestions of coming closer to the cello (6-8 ft) and see how that sounds. I really like the sound I get from the AT 4022. I can't believe these mics cost under 500 for a pair...

I will probably go with the omni pair... it really is a nice sounding hall.


@Peter

Room mics you say? I imagine I'd have to use omnis for that... so if I did use room mics as well, I suppose I'd put them closer to the back of the hall, eh? That may be a total of five mics... overkill for a solo cello?
Thanks for the suggestion, I'm curious to hear more!
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
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for manually syncing here's a good trick to use:

record some percussive sounds/hits at the beginning of the audio and video recording. later when you video edit you can import the good audio and line up the hits visually (the miced audio with the video cam audio), then just replace the audio file and everyone should be synced up pretty well. recently did this with a 45 min music video and had no noticeable drift/alignment issues.
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desotoslo View Post
@Petrus

Thanks for the advice. These are short selections, so I don't think drift will be much of a problem... but honestly, I had no idea that may even enter into the equation.
I suppose that the clocks in videocams have gotten better, as a matter of fact with some cameras some years back the audio and video would drift several seconds within an hour, even when the audio was recorded with the camera in question. Separate clocks for video and audio. Different editors would handle this different ways, those which made a separate audio file had problems, those which kept audio wrapped within the AVI file had no problems. Now this is less a problem, but still something you need to be aware of. With short clips this will not happen.
Old 20th November 2009
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desotoslo View Post
@Peter

Room mics you say? I imagine I'd have to use omnis for that... so if I did use room mics as well, I suppose I'd put them closer to the back of the hall, eh?
Yes "roomies" but not necessarily omnis, sometimes directional mic's give better results depending on the hall, the distance and the sound you'r after. And yes, I was thinking back of the hall.

Quote:
That may be a total of five mics... overkill for a solo cello?
Thanks for the suggestion, I'm curious to hear more!
I don't think I would say overkill. Options are always nice no matter the source. :-)


/Peter
Old 20th November 2009
  #9
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2 mics is all that is needed for this job. Spots/room mics are basically overkill. As you suggest, ORTF or a pair of spaced omnis will nail this job. 12 ft back is way too far - 3-4 ft is more like it.

This Steven Isserlis disc of the Bach cello suites: Bach - Cello Suites / Steven Isserlis: Steven Isserlis, Johann Sebastian Bach, Catalan Traditional: Amazon.co.uk: Music

was recorded with just a pair of TLM170 (card), 9in apart and about 3 ft from the cello. It's a superb sounding recording.
Old 21st November 2009
  #10
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Matti's Avatar
Its not a bad idea to have an end slate also. I sometimes edit pix with Vegas and its easy to adjust the lenght of the picture to the audio, I prefer not to mess with the audio.

Matti
Old 21st November 2009
  #11
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Recording David View Post
2 mics is all that is needed for this job. Spots/room mics are basically overkill. As you suggest, ORTF or a pair of spaced omnis will nail this job. 12 ft back is way too far - 3-4 ft is more like it.

This Steven Isserlis disc of the Bach cello suites: Bach - Cello Suites / Steven Isserlis: Steven Isserlis, Johann Sebastian Bach, Catalan Traditional: Amazon.co.uk: Music

was recorded with just a pair of TLM170 (card), 9in apart and about 3 ft from the cello. It's a superb sounding recording.
Since you know this much David, do you also know if it was an A-B arrangement or if the mics were angled..?

Any mp3 samples somewhere?

Best,
Mads
Old 21st November 2009
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Small sample

Straight from the CD.
Attached Files

isserlis_bach.wav (5.16 MB, 446 views)

Old 21st November 2009
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
Since you know this much David, do you also know if it was an A-B arrangement or if the mics were angled..?

Any mp3 samples somewhere?

Best,
Mads
Yeah - A-B. It was recorded at Henry Wood Hall in London. I did some jobs with the guy who recorded it last year, and he showed me the session photos.
Old 21st November 2009
  #14
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mljung's Avatar
23 cm A-B TLM170 cardioid approx 1 meter from a solo cello in the Henry Wood Hall sounds very, very nice!

Thanks both of you..!

Old 21st November 2009
  #15
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didier.brest's Avatar
I don't like so much this take. I prefer much this one:
Attached Files

Truls Mork - Vigin Classics.mp3 (987.8 KB, 372 views)

Old 21st November 2009
  #16
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mljung's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
I don't like so much this take. I prefer much this one:
Brighter and more room - but not better. First of all different.
The room sound had a somewhat artificial edge.

The Isserlis recording is more intimate, more to the bone. A little more of that warm Henry Wood Hall sound wouldn't hurt, but it's fine as it is!
Old 21st November 2009
  #17
krs
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I have not listened to that Isserlis Bach in a while. Maybe I'm the only one who finds the finger/bow noise disproportionately loud. Maybe it's an homage to the Casals recording. Very raw, cool recording.

To say this is a normal/ideal distance for the main pair ..
Old 21st November 2009
  #18
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didier.brest's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post
Maybe I'm the only one who finds the finger/bow noise disproportionately loud. ..
I too, but did not find the right words for saying it in English.
Old 21st November 2009
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Shureman

It sounds like the posts here are by some top flight pros, so this suggestion may be a bit presumptious. But here goes:

A month ago I had the great privelidge to record Yo Yo Ma in concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic. Because of aesthetic concerns by the orchestra's artistic director concerning the visual appearence of this special concert, I was asked to keep miking almost invisible. Necessity is the mother of invention. Since your project involves video, you may also want to have your mics out of the picture too.

I placed a single midside mic on the floor on a six inch stand about three feet from the base of the cello, offset to the performers right to be head on with the front of the cello when being played. The performer was on a 10 inch podium.

Here's a picture of the set up. See the mic? From the audience it was all but invisible against the black podium backdrop.
CIMG0074.JPG - DivShare

The recording, in my humble opinion, sounds superb, especially on his solo Bach encore. I'd submit a sample, but I'm afraid Yo Yo's people might not appreciate it!

If you have good acoustics to work with, why not use them to your advantage and keep the miking simple? This will enhance the visual greatly and simplify that aspect as well.

post script (a bit off topic):
I am often faced with the tedium of syncing audio to video. What program do you use? Are you satisfied? (I'm dealing with HD video files, and a not too powerful computer, so work is slow and often unsatisfactory, especially the video quality when converted down to standard def. DVDs). Any suggestions?

respectfully,
Shureman
Old 21st November 2009
  #20
krs
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Shureman - congrats on the gig - and you're in good company:

YouTube - Beethoven - Cello Sonata - Glenn Gould & Leonard Rose -PART1

Yeah I know it's a studio but same idea

There is a good shot of the mic at 2:21. The CBC engineer tried to hide it behind GG but he moves too much (anyone know what that mic is btw?)

This recording is not well known and is one of my personal favorites. Original and riveting performances. Check out Gould playing the whole thing from memory.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Great Video!

I'd venture a guess it's an old EV, but that's about as far as I'd go.
Great balance, great performance, Great video!.
Thanks for showing it to me, especially the mic placement part.

Th mic near the floor doesn't work so well with a cello/piano combo on a stage though. The piano gets lost in the ether. They must have had another mic for the piano as well in the GG video.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #22
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elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uosdwis View Post
Straight from the CD.
At 4 foot away, I'm really surprised there is this much ambience captured by the mics...
Old 22nd November 2009
  #23
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Truls Mork's recording is too bright for my taste. There is too much reverb there, almost unnatural. Though there is a noise from a performer on the first sample, I like this one much more.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #24
I'm surprised no one has mentioned a ribbon for the spot! Add that to your ORTF pair for some really nice warmth, and still an open back end to capture more room sound.
Old 27th November 2009
  #25
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jrbr85's Avatar
 

A bit off topic, but my former cello teacher studied with Rose and Channing Robbins at Juilliard for his masters in cello performance... he told me stories about how Rose thought Gould was crazy during recordings. If one note wasn't perfect a few measures into the sonatas, Gould would immediately stop and want to keep going back to restart. Rose was a perfectionist as well, however both Rose and Gould had two very different personalities

Quote:
Originally Posted by krs View Post
Shureman - congrats on the gig - and you're in good company:

YouTube - Beethoven - Cello Sonata - Glenn Gould & Leonard Rose -PART1

Yeah I know it's a studio but same idea

There is a good shot of the mic at 2:21. The CBC engineer tried to hide it behind GG but he moves too much (anyone know what that mic is btw?)

This recording is not well known and is one of my personal favorites. Original and riveting performances. Check out Gould playing the whole thing from memory.
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