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Solo Violin
Old 28th January 2020
  #61
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
what you decribe imo is so far off the track that i'm reluctant to reply, sorry.
I've found that there are lots of people in this business with way more tech knowledge and hearing acuity than mixing talent. The art part of it is very subjective, and some folks don't get it simply because they can't.
Old 29th January 2020
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I've found that there are lots of people in this business with way more tech knowledge and hearing acuity than mixing talent. The art part of it is very subjective, and some folks don't get it simply because they can't.
Right on Brent....surely, as audio pros, we'd read the miking specs (mono, distances), select the right hall/space, bring along a handful of contender mics, do the recording.... and leave the client with a truthful, satisfying, accurate yet flattering (hint: this is the art part) recording ?

How you achieve that is your business, your philosophy, experience and preferences in action. The other guy or gal may achieve a similar result via an alternate method. Vive la difference
Old 29th January 2020
  #63
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Progger View Post
Well, @ Crazy4Jazz -- you're absolutely dead-on about the financially unsustainable situation with New York and artists. That's ultimately what drove my wife and me out. We both do well in our fields, but we're both creative types, and we could have made things work ten or fifteen years ago, but no longer. I used to live across the street from St. Nick's Pub. I love Harlem and I still enjoy visiting, but so many of my close friends and favorite musicians have left the city. And these are people who tour with Taylor Swift, Kanye, Gwen Stefani... they have A-list gigs but still find NYC unaffordable.

But I found this thread and your experiences recording this audition really interesting! I'm glad you shared it, and it seems like you're making extremely good use of your space, it's inspiring to see and hear. I hope it continues to go well!
I understand completely. My wife and I were very lucky to get a nice sized, brand new, rent controlled apartment, with a terrace that is also a short walk to every subway line. This is the holy grail of New York City Apartments if your not wealthy and can't afford a multimillion dollar loft or apartment. I recognize our good fortune but I also know what has been lost and how much the creative community that once thrived in NYC has been decimated by rising rents.

The collapse of the record industry along with rising rents hasn't been easy on musicians in NYC. But my wife and I are making it work and we are determined to keep going not matter what it takes.
Old 29th January 2020
  #64
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
How you achieve that is your business, your philosophy, experience and preferences in action.
I tried everything, SDCs, LDCs and Ribbons. The fact is, the room is well damped and in this particular situation, it may not have been the best possible room. On the other hand, it most certainly did not prevent the performer from showing what she could do. Remember, they are not evaluating the recording, they are evaluating the playing. The instructions, as pointed out, are more for consistency then a specific sound. If they had wanted to hear what the candidates sounded like in a concert hall, they would have said so. They didn't. Also, if the candidate makes it past this stage there is still another live audition that will likely take place in a concert hall or large lecture/performance space.

I ultimately used the mono ribbon mic. It was no better or worse than any other choice and it was a touch smoother. And, once I started the session with the ribbon I was committed anyway. I was able to take a short listen just to see if it was completely wrong. I wasn't. But I did not want to interrupt the concentration and flow of the performer which was much more important than which microphone I choose to use. She needed to stay in the zone the whole time and my job was to facilitate that and accurately capture what she did.

As for room size, yeah, it matters. When I have multiple players in this room, it takes a good deal of creative use of space, gobos, musicians and mike placement to get good clarity and separation and even then it is never as good as it would be with another 20 square feet. Nevertheless, I used no processing on the recording except a touch of HPF and LPF to take a little noise out of the recording.

Trying to artificially make a concert environment was neither a good sound or a good idea. That didn't happen and never was a serious consideration. It might be interesting for some to note that the player and her companion were surprised at the dampened room and commented that it took at little getting used to because they are used to hearing her in either a small, untreated room or in a concert hall. They didn't think it was a bad thing, just another environment with its own characteristics that facilitated a recorded result that was very accurate. In that regard I think we achieved our goal.
Old 29th January 2020
  #65
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
The art part
was the point. I agree. Nothing I did interfered with the transmission of what the artists did. As I said, my real job was to help the player get comfortable, get in the zone and stay there until all the necessary excerpts were recorded while not messing up the sound quality. Which mic I used and what would be the absolute best choice for this player on this or that piece of music was not the ultimate focus. The only caveat was that I use a high quality microphone that didn't color the sound too much. And that is exactly what I did.

I understand our obsession as recordists, after all note the name of the website on which we are communicating. But sometimes our job is to be as transparent in the process as possible and simply capture, accurately of course, what the musician is doing.
Old 29th January 2020
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
was the point. I agree. Nothing I did interfered with the transmission of what the artists did. As I said, my real job was to help the player get comfortable, get in the zone and stay there until all the necessary excerpts were recorded while not messing up the sound quality. Which mic I used and what would be the absolute best choice for this player on this or that piece of music was not the ultimate focus. The only caveat was that I use a high quality microphone that didn't color the sound too much. And that is exactly what I did.

I understand our obsession as recordists, after all note the name of the website on which we are communicating. But sometimes our job is to be as transparent in the process as possible and simply capture, accurately of course, what the musician is doing.
...and both not upsetting (with technical distractive minutiae) and actively putting the musician at ease with nods, encouragement and a calm, relaxed approach are really what the end result is all about, as you've outlined here
Old 29th January 2020
  #67
Old 29th January 2020
  #68
Gear Nut
 

RCA 44 !! I believe Shawn Murphy used a 44 for Itzhak Perlman in Schindler's List with Boston Symphony...check it out.
Old 29th January 2020
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
But sometimes our job is to be as transparent in the process as possible and simply capture, accurately of course, what the musician is doing.
I've experienced this once. I recorded a violinist for an audition using some great gear and made a beautiful track, with the violin sounding lush and somewhat bigger than life.
That was not exactly what the orchestra wanted. They wanted a plain mono recording that simply captured what the violinist is doing. They know what a violin sounds like, and they didn't really care about the sound quality of the recording. A $30 IC recorder with a built-in mike would have done the job, and many contestants actually submitted their recording in low bitrate MP3.

Of course, this is just my case. Other orchestras may have other requirements, and I don't mean to recommend to intentionally lower the quality of your recording.
Old 29th January 2020
  #70
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leadplayer View Post
RCA 44 !! I believe Shawn Murphy used a 44 for Itzhak Perlman in Schindler's List with Boston Symphony...check it out.
Interesting... Perhaps the learned Plush would be able to comment on use of the 44 (most likely an AEA 44) for recording classical violin, and whether he prefers this to the 4038. I believe the AEA N8 uses the same ribbon motor as their R44 only with less [mechanical] shielding/protection (suggesting perhaps superior transients) and with active electronics to produce the ideal impedance matching and an SDC type output level. A pair of N8s cost about half of one R44. They (the AEA N8) have been on my radar for while as potential spots on strings and some woodwind. Anyone with experience care to comment?
Old 30th January 2020
  #71
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The AEA and RCA 44 are virtually indistinguishable from one another in sound and construction. The R84 (both passive and active) use the same length ribbon and ribbon material but a different magnetic motor. The N motor is, I believe, another variation on the R84 theme and is lovely but not the same sound as the 44 or 84. It does add an active preamp for increased gain.
All excellent mics but different from one another.
Old 30th January 2020
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadplayer View Post
RCA 44 !! I believe Shawn Murphy used a 44 for Itzhak Perlman in Schindler's List with Boston Symphony...check it out.
In looking for the ultimate ribbon - for my needs and likes - I wound up with an AEA A440. . .which was released some 15 years after the movie [Schindler's List]. The manual they sent contains several historical references including the following. . .

'Scoring engineer Shawn Murphy typically records his string solos with a Blumlien pair of ribbons forward, and a pair Schoeps MK2H omnis further back.. Itzhak Perlman’s solos in “Memoirs of a Geshia” (2005) were recorded using AEA R44Cs as the Blumlein pair.'

For reference, I love my AEA A440; but a Schoeps fan can't look at 44 FR curves without feeling a bit uneasy? Just don't look at that page of the manual.


@ Crazy4Jazz - I never meant any of my comments to be critical of your calls. You were the guy in the saddle. It was useful to me to hear all of the other ideas an opinions, though.


Best regards,

Ray H.
Old 30th January 2020
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
(...)For reference, I love my AEA A440; but a Schoeps fan can't look at 44 FR curves without feeling a bit uneasy? Just don't look at that page of the manual (...)
lol - the same goes for a multitude of other favoured microphones: look at some of the specs of tube ldc's and you instantly get sick...

...until you you start listening to them in real-world use!

[which is the reason why i was not interested in further digging into theoretical reasoning about the use of specific mics in specific situations: it helps to know a few figures and have a some technical knowledge but it's never about painting by numbers!]
Old 30th January 2020
  #74
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Just want to add that the idea of a (top notch) ribbon not being fantastic with transients is bogus.
Old 31st January 2020
  #75
in fact transient response off a ribbon is worse than of a condenser (which is not necessary audible ...
(I know every body hates me again... did I mention that I like ribbons)
Here is a graph of a measurement
Old 31st January 2020
  #76
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Not sure I agree with your findings. One of the nastiest tests for complex transient response is really easy to do.

Take a key ring with plenty of keys on it but enough room to jingle pretty loudly when jangled. Set up a good LDC, SDC and ribbon. (This can obviously be done sequentially as opposed to simultaneously. Just perform the jingling the same for all.) Get a level that's consistent on each mic. A tuner or other tone generator makes this easy. Then, moving across the mic face at a distance of 3"-6", jingle the keys. Doesn't seem like much but it's hideously complex. Listen to the results. You'll generally find that the ribbon is a less smeared sound, likely because the mass of the moving diaphragm is extremely low. I think a classic ribbon (R44, R84, etc) as opposed to a ribbon optimized for very loud sources might show a superior result due to ribbon thickness and suspension design, but a test will help tell that story, too. Make sure you have plenty of headroom on your pre. You'll need it to get the proper results, even at modest levels. As I said, this is a nasty little test.

Try it and see what you find.
As always, YMMV.
Old 1st February 2020
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruby06 View Post
[. . .] I know every body hates me again [. . .]
I definitely don't hate you. . .

However, the link to the graph seems to be broken in my browser?


@ ruby06 , @ soundbarnfool , @ burp182 , and anyone else who cares. . .

With respect to transient response, I'm wondering if everyone here has the same mathematically precise definition of what exactly that term means in context of microphone performance and audible limits of perception?. . .I'm guessing not. Maybe there is a different [existing?] thread to hash those definitions and out on? I would enjoy to see it. If you create or pick one, let me know.


Love and kisses,

Ray H.
Old 1st February 2020
  #78
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Mine is more of a practical definition than a theoretical one. You can hear smearing in the condensers after recording this test but the ribbon will sound more distinct.
Old 1st February 2020
  #79
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

I found differences between LDC, SDC and Ribbon in this context but less than I expected. I thought it was in part due to the 8ft high 6ft away instruction which I followed. For what it’s worth I picked the mono Ribbon without room mics because I liked its smooth sound. Good balance of transient detail, room sound and frequency spectrum. I don’t particularly know if the distance was part of the reason or if so, to what extent, but the end result was nice. I’ll post some clips of the different mics and setups I tried later today.
Old 1st February 2020
  #80
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I'm surprised they didn't specify the exact mic or at least type of mic since they specified the distance and height. Kind of odd.
Old 1st February 2020
  #81
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
I'm surprised they didn't specify the exact mic or at least type of mic since they specified the distance and height. Kind of odd.
They didn't specify the type or size of the room either.

They are simply trying to up the likelihood that the recording presents a clear picture of the player, and to some degree the violin they are playing. When everyone's playing is well up to snuff, the decision can come down to the violin being played and whether it will be the best fit in the violin section, as played by the player. So, all other things being equal the violin is auditioning as well.

Pretty much anyone can put a mic just so. Having further requirements begins to put some at a possible disadvantage and could conceivably narrow the field unnecessarily.

I thought it was a good audition tape. Her spiccato scruffed out a bit at one point. Whether that will be her downfall I don't know, but the required micing certainly exposed it. Those are the mechanics that they absolutely do want to hear.

I'm no recording engineer by any means. I did play for orchestras for about 25 years and have been on both sides of the curtain as far as auditions go, (though I never had to audition via a recording or hear recorded submissions).

With little to go on but "wrong" I've given this and my previous post some fair amount of thought. Not seeing it. Wrong I may be though, and if anyone thinks so perhaps they could be so kind as to tell me how.
Old 1st February 2020
  #82
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Certainly not from me. I thought you did a good job, given the constraints.
Old 5th February 2020
  #83
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
I definitely don't hate you. . .

However, the link to the graph seems to be broken in my browser?


@ ruby06 , @ soundbarnfool , @ burp182 , and anyone else who cares. . .

With respect to transient response, I'm wondering if everyone here has the same mathematically precise definition of what exactly that term means in context of microphone performance and audible limits of perception?. . .I'm guessing not. Maybe there is a different [existing?] thread to hash those definitions and out on? I would enjoy to see it. If you create or pick one, let me know.


Love and kisses,

Ray H.
A transient is a great big burst of energy that comes and goes VERY quickly. VERY VERY quickly.
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