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Help! First small orchestra recording. Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
well, i've been switching mics and positions 'cause musicians felt irritated by the sheer presence of a mic already! - regarding bars ("i'm having mixed drinks about feelings"), i've seen rigs that i wouldn't wanna sit just anywhere close to either, certainly not below them! also the op is intending to use a mic bar for visiting orchestras/on other occasions but maybe does not want to become famous for the worst looking gear...

my point is that if you're going to use any mic bar (not much love for sonic reasons in my case) you better make it look okay!
So, all of a sudden, aesthetics become a factor...from someone who would happily fill a stage with spot mic stands

I suspect you have not the slightest idea of the mic bar being discussed, so to save you the trouble and embarrassment of a search... I've posted a few implementation example pictures, harvested from this forum.

They are not necessarily the most elegant solutions, but hardly look like safety hazards for those sitting below them (which ideally is nobody, if situated a few feet above and behind the conductor !) As already mentioned by the OP this is a recording session, not a concert..although some of the photos here clearly show use in concerts also

Unlike your multiplicity of spot mics (which you admit above can irritate musicians by their sheer presence), these arrays look quite benign. At least now you are on the same page as everybody else here...in knowing what is referred to as a 4 mic array. Several of these pictured are owned by Tony Faulkner himself, if that name means anything to you ?
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Old 1 week ago
  #32
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why the aggressive tone?

i have been in this business for 35 years as well, assisted jürg jecklin for roughly 15 years, got to work from stockhausen and boulez to the fraunhofer-gesellschaft and stewart copeland, mccoy tyner to elton john etc. (i assume you are aware of some of these names?), got to experiment with pretty much any array technique there is (including faulkner's) and have my favourites and less liked techniques - as you do.

in this thread, one of the discussions was how to get an improvised bar up in the air and my point was that if you do so, you better make it look nice or you risk that some musicias might get intimidated (possibly even more than by a spot mic). i did not say every bar looks crap (thx for posting pics of some of the nicer ones), i was just referring to your post as you were suggesting to use a bar/array and finally i'm pretty much aware of mr. faulkners work.

i'm having no problems with different opinions, even if outspoken as long as there are some good arguments to support any claim, whether the majority of posters may applause or not, but i'm disappointed and turned off by insults and insinuations...
Old 1 week ago
  #33
Lives for gear
I'm sorry if you feel insulted by my reply or tone..I was simply responding to your stated remark that musicians might not want to sit below a 4 mic bar. As the pictures show (and indeed some look more home-made and unwieldy than others) they are clearly not a Decca Tree...and indeed most are not much different in width than a typical AB omni bar.

Using counterweights, sandbags, gaffa tape and similar measures are important for all stand rigs to ensure maximum safety, especially at public concerts...whether a single bar array or multiple spot mics are being used within a foot traffic area.

The video linked above (and here) : YouTube at 34:45secs cites a real example of a famous conductor (Previn) refusing to allow multiple spot mics onstage, as he feared tripping over them on his way to the podium. The 4 mic array was a practical solution to this problem....

Last edited by studer58; 1 week ago at 03:36 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
So. My big question is,

What should I use for my main array? I’ve never tried Blumlein, or Decca Tree. Don’t have a tree, so I guess you would have to call it a spaced pair with something in the center. I was actually leaning towards that until I started reading something on one of these threads and that made me a bit skittish.

Anyway.... since I don’t have any time to play around and experiment, I would greatly appreciate any ideas on the best way to approach this so I can set up as much as possible before the meter starts.

Thanks in advance!
a suitable answer is in this video, especially the final minutes: Anima Eterna: Interview with Tony Faulkner on Vimeo
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Sorry—I was under the mistaken impression it was a youth orchestra.
Please. No problem. I'm grateful for all the help you've offered. I'm going to take your advice on the main pair and keep a half dozen or so mics ready to fill in any holes that moving things around doesn't balance.

The only thing that's really bugging me right now is the keyboardist. If it was playing a specific part that was written for it, I would try to incorporate it into the live sound. I've got lots of nice speakers I could have put up to make it fit better.

From what I hear, it's mainly to supplement strings, so I would rather keep it out of the live mix. Ideally I would like to skip it all together and add the phony strings in post. I've got LASS and VSL, and do mockups all the time, so I think it would work better than the motif knock off they're planning on using.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
[The Motif is] mainly to supplement strings, so I would rather keep it out of the live mix. Ideally I would like to skip it all together and add the phony strings in post.
Whatever you do, don't let the string players hear the sampled strings during the recording. It'll mess with their intonation.

You can add the keyboard later, but if it's playing divisi it's going to rub with the real strings. The way to get them to really mesh is to have the keyboardist play one part at a time with the left hand riding the pitch wheel. Lots of trial and error and punching in, and it may or may not turn out to be worth the trouble.

The other way is to track the keyboard strings first and let the real players overdub and adjust, but then the overall intonation ends up being that of the keyboard, not of the humans. And in this case it's not going to happen anyway.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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tourtelot's Avatar
Just cut the cord to the speaker, bury him under a nice set of headphones and tell him it sounds great.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I'm sorry if you feel insulted by my reply or tone..I was simply responding to your stated remark that musicians might not want to sit below a 4 mic bar...
this is hypocritical: you were clearly aiming at me... - please adjust your posts!
Old 6 days ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
this is hypocritical: you were clearly aiming at me... - please adjust your posts!
Why would I revise, edit or alter my previous posts...I'll leave them to stand, so all readers may draw conclusions about your claims. The visual evidence I presented simply illustrates that the 4 mic bar is not as intimidating to players underneath (or looking up at it) as you infer....so I disagree with your assertions, but that is no reason for me to edit my posts.
Old 6 days ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
Why would I revise, edit or alter my previous posts...I'll leave them to stand, so all readers may draw conclusions about your claims. The visual evidence I presented simply illustrates that the 4 mic bar is not as intimidating to players underneath (or looking up at it) as you infer....so I disagree with your assertions, but that is no reason for me to edit my posts.
i'm not asking you to delete picks or change your opinion on the use of mic bars/arrays but the offensive insinuations regarding my knowledge and experience!
Old 6 days ago
  #41
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Whatever you do, don't let the string players hear the sampled strings during the recording. It'll mess with their intonation.

You can add the keyboard later, but if it's playing divisi it's going to rub with the real strings. The way to get them to really mesh is to have the keyboardist play one part at a time with the left hand riding the pitch wheel. Lots of trial and error and punching in, and it may or may not turn out to be worth the trouble.

The other way is to track the keyboard strings first and let the real players overdub and adjust, but then the overall intonation ends up being that of the keyboard, not of the humans. And in this case it's not going to happen anyway.
I agree. The reason they are keen on using a keyboard is that's how they handle not having enough strings in the pit for musicals. But everything is close miked in those cases and you don't really have to worry about it screwing up your sound-field. I'm trying to convince them that it's the worst choice for this scenario.

They want to use the motif as a controller for Apple's Mainstage. I cringe at the thought. I've got LASS and VSL as well as extensive wind/horn libraries from Chris Hein and East/west. I've been doing convincing mock-ups for years and know how to play the parts individually so they match up. I'm in the process of trying to convince the composer that recording the parts after the fact is a lot safer bet. Even if we keep the keyboard isolated, the parts aren't going to sound good and they aren't going to mesh. I think they even spoke about using Mainstage for piano sounds. We've got 27 Steinways in excellent condition from model As to Ds.

Oh well... Hopefully I can prevail in this.
Old 6 days ago
  #42
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
I agree. The reason they are keen on using a keyboard is that's how they handle not having enough strings in the pit for musicals. But everything is close miked in those cases and you don't really have to worry about it screwing up your sound-field.
Not sound-field. Intonation. It would take more typing than I have time for to really dive into the explanation, but... Intonation.

But to put it all in perspective, if they've got access to that many Steinways and they use a rompler piano...
Old 6 days ago
  #43
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
if they've got access to that many Steinways and they use a rompler piano...
Right?

D.
Old 6 days ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
...The reason they are keen on using a keyboard is that's how they handle not having enough strings in the pit for musicals. But everything is close miked in those cases and you don't really have to worry about it screwing up your sound-field. I'm trying to convince them that it's the worst choice for this scenario.

They want to use the motif as a controller for Apple's Mainstage. I cringe at the thought. I've got LASS and VSL as well as extensive wind/horn libraries from Chris Hein and East/west. I've been doing convincing mock-ups for years and know how to play the parts individually so they match up. I'm in the process of trying to convince the composer that recording the parts after the fact is a lot safer bet. Even if we keep the keyboard isolated, the parts aren't going to sound good and they aren't going to mesh. I think they even spoke about using Mainstage for piano sounds. We've got 27 Steinways in excellent condition from model As to Ds.

Oh well... Hopefully I can prevail in this.

if they insist they'll need something to create the illusion of a somewhat larger string section, if you get some time to try this during rehearsals, if you have access to the cl/ql consoles, depending on your experience in live mixing and since you intend using close mics anyhow...

(lots of contingencies!)

...i suggest you send signals from the close mics (of the string instruments) to a mixer, process as needed, add some efx as needed and feed the mix/es to small front fill speakers positioned in front of the orchestra (and provide a mix for the conductor if needed): make sure the frontfills get delayed back to the position of the string section! positions of the speakers may need to get adjusted to control the amount of spill going into the main mics (wanted) and spot mics (unwanted).

intonation is no longer an issue as with a keyboard, levels/balance will be under your control so things will sound as good as you make them sound good!

you'll end up with a somewhat louder string sound going into the hall, the main and room mics (if any). only downside is that some of the spots might also pick up a little spill from the frontfills - imo this minor problem can get solved/mostly neglected since all parameters can get adjusted for optimum results.

--

please note that i'm not suggesting this for the sake of promoting the use of live sound gear while recording classical music in general (i don't), but having done this countless times, i suggest you might give it a try: use the technology to everyone's advantage!
Old 6 days ago
  #45
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not sound-field. Intonation. It would take more typing than I have time for to really dive into the explanation, but... Intonation.

But to put it all in perspective, if they've got access to that many Steinways and they use a rompler piano...
I understand about intonation, that's why I offered to personally play the string parts in one at a time with all the proper articulations, instead of having someone play chords on a crappy motif.

What I was trying to get at is, that in a live situation like a pit, you don't have to worry so much about the sound blending with the real instruments. There's not a lot of location information coming out of the pit. That's why they (meaning the composer and artistic director) think that's a viable solution. They also use motifs for piano in the pit, so that's where that came from.

They just don't know any better. I'm always dealing with this stuff where I work. It's part of the job. I came in the other day to record a radio interview and two of the video numbskulls had used my Steinway A in a most disrespectful way. I found it sitting in the sun with the lid off.

Anyway... Not trying to bore everyone with the many crosses I bear.
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