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Glenn Gould & How to mix and conduct a piano Mixers (Analog)
Old 4th October 2017
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apotheosis's Avatar

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Glenn Gould & How to mix and conduct a piano

Old 4th October 2017
Gear Addict

Very fascinating ideas in these videos, the musical result is very orchestral and ethereal. Gives one a lot to think about, thanks for posting.
Old 5th October 2017
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A nightmare
Changing the mix as the piece progresses is like changing the lighting on a masterpiece
Very confusing
Old 5th October 2017
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Before the days of convolution reverbs and digital editing.

I'm not sure that a digital edit is necessarily any faster that a tape cut/splice...look at Gould and engineer in the final 2 minutes of this:

Here's a different (3) mic array of Gould's:

I'm guessing these videos date from after his 'retirement from concert stage and retreat into the recording studio' era ?
Old 5th October 2017
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Bruce Watson's Avatar

Originally Posted by apotheosis View Post
Sorry if this has been posted before, but anyone who did not see this yet, should definitively see this now!
Ah... no.

Gould had many interesting qualities, and came up with some really interesting interpretations. I still listen to some of his Bach.

But Gould turned into a control freak's control freak. He got good enough with a razor blade that he did is own editing. He was known for having thousands of edits -- on tape. So many splices it didn't even look like mag tape when he was done. This resulted in what he wanted however -- a completely sterile and perfect recording.

This stuff with the microphones, changing the mix of near, middle, far, and room mics to "enhance" the playing... not for me. That ranks up there for me with "colorizing" a B&W picture. Not something I'm interested in.
Old 5th October 2017
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
This stuff with the microphones, changing the mix of near, middle, far, and room mics to "enhance" the playing... not for me. That ranks up there for me with "colorizing" a B&W picture. Not something I'm interested in.
It can be argued that good initial mic placement, and a pianist who has good technique, can exploit the dynamics of the instrument and its interaction with the acoustic room/space as effectively as multiple pairs of mixer faders.

However, multiple pairs of mics for piano recording is hardly new....but as has been noted here, the fader-jockeying is likely to result in a sensation of the walls closing-in and expanding ! Only an A-grade hangover should be able to do that !

In fairness to the pianist, the documentary showed that it was a new, experimental approach to that particular (Scriabin) project, and the 'flying faders' were simply Gould trying out whether it might achieve the desired effect....hardly a bona-fide mixdown session at all....and for all we know he may have scrapped the method afterward ?

Last edited by studer58; 5th October 2017 at 03:43 PM..
Old 5th October 2017
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Gould was a genius - a super-Mensa type - who knew exactly what he was doing. He was a brilliant interpreter, a gifted pianist, very tech-savvy, and incredibly eccentric. In his description of what he was trying to accomplish with the Scriabin he is succinct: he is trying to emulate a film maker's approach to the recording, with close-up, mid and long shots of the acoustic sound stage. Does it work? Even he admits it might not, but the approach seems well suited to a modern composer like Scriabin. I don't have this recording in my library...yet, but I can say that I have never listened to any Gould recording without being in awe of his talent and genius. He also made some rather interesting television broadcasts on a wide range of topics that are full of fascinating insights. He was a Canadian treasure and we lost him far too soon. IMHO
Old 5th October 2017
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Plush's Avatar
The video is a great watch. Seems like he's training his recordist to know his taste of this particular piece. That is a Studer 089 console there and it had a beautiful and rich tone due to its special circuitry. (Germanium). I used to have and use one here. ( It came equipped with a Mercedes style ash tray on the RT.) Among the best available at the time. Added a very appealing thick quality to the sound.

But changing balance so much within the piece is only an experiment. It would be a no good distraction to release a final product with these moves. Indeed, some tonmeisters would have slapped his hands away if he touched the faders like that.

Still, a fantastic glimpse into a curious and experimental mind.
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