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Сello with a piano Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Сello with a piano

Hello!
Recently recorded a duet. It would be interesting to hear the opinion of the masters. This is my first experience of recording a cello with a piano, but I tried. Any comments are welcome.
Thank you!
Attached Files

Duet_1.mp3 (4.79 MB, 1271 views)

Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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very sensible recording, well done
Perhaps needs more sense of the room , this a trifle more difficult to balance, or even fabricate
Old 4 weeks ago
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Rolo 46, Thanks for the comments, they are very valuable to me, especially from you (when I go to the forum, first of all I listen to your song Mahler, magic record). The cello is somewhat close, but it was the main wish of the musicians before the recording - to make close sound (performers often want to hear the sound that comes to the ear). It's also music of the 20th century and in general I think there can be a closer sound compared to Baroque music.
WeTransfer
Here's the link option, where close microphones (cello) -1.5 dB from the first version and it's wav, so as mp3 dries reverberation strongly. So softer, and I like it more, I'll try to convince musicians)).
If it does not complicate you, please comment on the updated version.
Thank you!

Ilya
Old 4 weeks ago
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Yes Ilya I prefer it
Its easy to convince musicians, give them no choices...
Roger
Old 4 weeks ago
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Roger, Thank you!
Old 4 weeks ago
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Dodger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook of View Post
Roger, Thank you!
Rodger, dodger. The piece itself is beautiful. The piano should be a bit wider and I would apply some parallel compression to it. Not too much, just to emphasise its presence in the mix. Also I would use dynamic EQ to cut some of the low end from the cello. I understand you are going for a nice, warm character of the sound, but it can't resonate so much. I agree with Rolo 46 it needs a sense of space. It feels like the instruments have no air to breathe. Gentle convolution reverb can be the solution. There is really a lot to do, if you want it to be perfect. It's only my opinion, though. You can PM me for more advice, because I like giving it to people. I am not always able to reply. I eventually will, but it may take some time.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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It's a nice recording. I have a couple reactions.

I realize the musicians wanted close micing, but I personally like to hear the cello and piano interact more with the natural ambiance of the hall.

Also, out of curiosity, how did you mic the cello? My guess would be more from above? Generally lower mic placement gives a richer sound. IMO, if the micing is going to be close, you might as well get a bigger than life sound.
Old 4 weeks ago
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Hi Shosty. Thank you for your comment. On the cello there were 4 spot microphones (the upper case pair and the lower pair), so this is editable. Also the closer position was partly dictated by the 3rd part of the sonata, which is very fast with fine technique, and is lost in a more reverberant space.
Thank you.
Old 4 weeks ago
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Where is the main pair in this recording? I am really only hearing the spot mics - nothing to glue the cello and piano together in the same room. Just one guy's opinion...
Old 4 weeks ago
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Hi, Jim. Thank you for the comments! The main pair AB was installed at a height of 3.5 meters, between musicians. I propose to listen to the updated version of wav.
WeTransfer


The piano is constantly on the pedal, which is probably why it is perceived as having a different acoustics.

Ilya
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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I'm going to be truthful here. I've been recording classical/natural acoustic recordings for quite a few years and the quality of your recording is high (and frankly the mp3 vs wav differences are not really as important as many believe) - but the thing that has happened is that it does not sound like you'd hear if you were there. If you listen carefully - you can hear left/right shifts in both the piano and the cello as the pianist goes up and down the keyboard and the cellist moves. The performers are often the clients, yet they have never, ever heard what they sound like to others. The worst case is that of a person playing the trumpet or trombone. They are precluded from hearing what their instrument sounds like - they physically cannot do it, so when they hear a close perspective recording it sounds to them, right. To me, it sounds wrong. In this recording, the cello is HUGE - it is as wide as my speakers are apart, as is the piano, but shifted a little from centre. Pianos have width, even from a distance, but a cello has much less width. Indeed, from more than around 12 feet away, cellos are a mono sound source. A violin even closer - almost mono by 9 feet or so. If you record them with an X/Y, M/S or any of the subtle variants - ORTF etc, then your cello is virtually mono, and the space is stereo - having a really clear width and depth. It's a brain thing - delay, shift, reflections etc - they all set the scale. If you have a pianist on stage, then the extra distance means it too will have hardly any real width. If you mic it in stereo, how do you blend the two channels to fit in with what a distant stereo pair capture? It's hard, sometimes impossible. Spot mics in an orchestra are the same trickiness - setting left to right and front to back to make the fader just do volume rather than spacial shifts is really hard. I still have trouble time aligning them.

In this recording I hear oodles of instrument quality and player ability, but the soundstage is mega confused, and checking on headphones with eyes closed produces many sudden soundscape shifts in the cello, and the pianist sounds like he is playing a 20ft wide piano sometimes. If you look on Spotify for Camille Saint Saen's carnival of the animals - the swan, you will find a huge collection of recording of the same piece - many are very old and his like the devil, some feature the performers breathing and some are close, others distant. The cellos all sound vastly different in perspective. I used these on my old students as they were VERY obvious differences. Much is preference, but out of all of them, yours is at one end. It's lovely and clean, precise and tight. I'm just not sure it should be? With the mp3 thing - my pianist colleague hears every little detail of mistakes he made - things I cannot hear, but he cannot tell the difference between an mp3 and a wav?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Hi, Paulears. Thanks for the comments. I agree with you that the recording is close, but this sound was deliberate, taking into account the music (it's not Saint-Saens, whose program music certainly requires air), it's Myaskovsky, the sonata is dedicated to Rastrapovich and edited by him. The general idea, a little to add a magnifying glass to a cello, is an artistic design. As I wrote earlier, part 3 of the sonata is very fast, with subtle virtuosic technique, and requires increased attention to the cello. Part 3 dictates to remain in a single acoustics and on other parts.
A small offset of the instruments, depending on the height of the range, has a place to be, but this is the cost of broad AB. But I think they are not significant and the advantages of this installation exceed its disadvantages. Also, the width of the tools will depend on how far you are from them.
Here is the latest mix (the material is still in the works), Mixing made for speakers. This mp3 /


For me, mp3 is still a significant loss of quality, Stringed, air is lost, the recording becomes lifeless.
Thanks again for your comments, they are very helpful.
Ilya
Attached Files

Duet_new2 .mp3 (4.30 MB, 748 views)

Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
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I understand your feelings towards mp3 - but I cannot substantiate the music descriptions to what I hear. I can hear the loss of resolution as a general 'thing' = but I struggle with terms such as 'lifeless' and other things. Reverb I find might get what I can only describe as 'grainy'??? I don't always hear these as bad. Sometimes I can reconcile myself with saying different, but sometimes the difference does not mean better or worse than the other?

Some of those recordings I linked to are pretty horrible in quality, yet are popular and much worse than a good mp3. I like your performance capture and I could listen to it - but it is so open, I hear those shifts and that to me becomes an accidental focus point?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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I will try to minimize the shifts, this effect also comes from different takes. This piece consists of several fragments from different takes. Thanks!
Old 3 weeks ago
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Hi! Here I reduced the shifts of the cello and placed it further. Acoustics natural, I do not want to add artificial reverberation. What do you think?
Attached Files

Duet_new3.mp3 (4.13 MB, 646 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #16
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Sorry - but I cannot hear any difference between the original and latest version - the balance between the two instruments remains the same. How did you process it? It still sounds big, and the piano more distant. It's a nice recording, but still v very close miked, which isn't a problem, just less realistic than it could have been. You can't really cure this apart from a little 'cheating' - which I understand you not wishing to do, but it's a choice we all face at some point. As a showpiece of the players ability it does the job very well. If you can live with the realism a little compromised because it's so well focussed on the cellist - that's fine. I had a little fiddle and by careful tweaking I'm able to reduce the mix of the piano as it responds well to flipping polarity and blending, but this doesn't work on the cello due to the width of the stereo field. It really doesn't matter for this attempt. It's a very good recording.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulears View Post
Sorry - but I cannot hear any difference between the original and latest version - the balance between the two instruments remains the same. How did you process it? It still sounds big, and the piano more distant. It's a nice recording, but still v very close miked, which isn't a problem, just less realistic than it could have been. You can't really cure this apart from a little 'cheating' - which I understand you not wishing to do, but it's a choice we all face at some point. As a showpiece of the players ability it does the job very well. If you can live with the realism a little compromised because it's so well focussed on the cellist - that's fine. I had a little fiddle and by careful tweaking I'm able to reduce the mix of the piano as it responds well to flipping polarity and blending, but this doesn't work on the cello due to the width of the stereo field. It really doesn't matter for this attempt. It's a very good recording.
Hi, Paulears!

Yes, you are right, with the help of a phase shift you can sometimes correct the balance, and yes, with a cello it does not work. The classical balance is given by the main pair without spot microphones and without any processing, AB microphones - Beyer mc 910 (file in the appendix), but I have a client who said his wishes in advance..
Thank you for your comments!

Ilya
Attached Files

Duet_new6.mp3 (4.17 MB, 347 views)

Old 1 week ago
  #18
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using phase shift to rebalance?! well, if someone does carefully analyze and use allpass filters to get better phase coherence in multiple frequency areas, then i might agree; however, this is very tricky to do... - otherwise, random trials to shift phase is probably the least thing i'd ever want to try on my tracks!

record hits/claps right by your main mics for precise time alignment of spots to mains.

and i wouldn't put my main mics at 3.5m height to record a duo!
Old 1 week ago
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Multiple close mics on traditional classical instruments are often (at best) a mixed blessing.
(But sometimes you're just forced into it, for one reason or another.)
If there are separate tracks for each instrument upon mixdown, here's something I've found that can often (surprisingly) considerably help matters with multi-tracked projects of this kind:
Tokyo Dawn | Proximity
...Don't let the fact that this is a 'free plugin' fool you:

Judicious use of an instance of this thing on each track (and then carefully listening and tweezing them for the relativity between them) can often surprise you as to how well it really can work!
.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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...while i'm using smaart and dk meter to analyse and either lake processors (for their capapility of using almost endless amounts of filters) or yamaha dme processors (for their immediate visual feedback on phase behaviour when applying filters).
obviously old school hardware tweaking here - would appreciate though someone could recommend a plugin allowing the use of a multiple of 1st and 2nd order allpass filters!
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Multiple close mics on traditional classical instruments are often (at best) a mixed blessing.
(But sometimes you're just forced into it, for one reason or another.)
If there are separate tracks for each instrument upon mixdown, here's something I've found that can often (surprisingly) considerably help matters with multi-tracked projects of this kind:
Tokyo Dawn | Proximity
...Don't let the fact that this is a 'free plugin' fool you:

Judicious use of an instance of this thing on each track (and then carefully listening and tweezing them for the relativity between them) can often surprise you as to how well it really can work!
.


Thank you! Very interesting plugin, I'll definitely try.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
using phase shift to rebalance?! well, if someone does carefully analyze and use allpass filters to get better phase coherence in multiple frequency areas, then i might agree; however, this is very tricky to do... - otherwise, random trials to shift phase is probably the least thing i'd ever want to try on my tracks!

record hits/claps right by your main mics for precise time alignment of spots to mains.

and i wouldn't put my main mics at 3.5m height to record a duo!
The room and the musical material dictate the height and distance to the main pair. I wanted to use natural acoustics, and the hall was dry enough, I went to 3.5 meters. So, the farther AB from the source, the less the phase shift of the panorama (although it takes place to be).
In another room, the height will be different, respectively. And what would be your utanovka for the duet, with the desire to preserve the natural reverberation? Perhaps in this situation it would be better to work MS, but I do not have good tapes at the moment. Thank you!
Old 1 week ago
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i don't like capturing direct, reflected and diffuse sound with a single pair of mics. i much prefer to get mostly direct sound with some early reflections from a (close to) coincident main pair (for precise localisation) and from a lower mic position. i then blend with sound from a distant pair of uncorrelated mics in wide a/b (to get mostly diffuse sound).
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i don't like capturing direct, reflected and diffuse sound with a single pair of mics. i much prefer to get mostly direct sound with some early reflections from a (close to) coincident main pair (for precise localisation) and from a lower mic position. i then blend with sound from a distant pair of uncorrelated mics in wide a/b (to get mostly diffuse sound).

I also sometimes record in this way, NOS + wide AB further, but the cardioids do not cover the bottom (I have neumann km184), and the sound I like less than the main pair AB (though very dependent on the room, in the church for example it's fine). I really want to try schoeps mk 21, it looks better than the cardioid. Or another option is an installation in the likeness of Tony Faulkner to add to the sound of the cardioids the lower end. Thank you.
Old 1 week ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook of View Post
I also sometimes record in this way, NOS + wide AB further, but the cardioids do not cover the bottom (I have neumann km184), and the sound I like less than the main pair AB (though very dependent on the room, in the church for example it's fine). I really want to try schoeps mk 21, it looks better than the cardioid. Or another option is an installation in the likeness of Tony Faulkner to add to the sound of the cardioids the lower end. Thank you.
if not using m/s, x/y or a soundfield, i go for ortf much more often than for nos - but brave man!

many people seem to care about the somewhat weaker lf pickup of directional mics; to me, this ain't no bug but a feature! in my experience, many larger rooms/halls become somewhat boomy and i therefore use low cuts and a multitude of mics anyhow (if not already 'built-in') - for any potential lack of definition in the lf area, i'm using close mics (and sometimes make profit of cardioid mic's proximity effect).

if there's anything bad about the km184, it's not the lack of lf but the pronounced hf boost (which plagues so many modern condenser mics) - can highly recommend the mk21 on most anything but got absolutely no love for 4-mic arrays ('phase heaven' imo)...
Old 1 week ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hook of View Post
Thank you! Very interesting plugin, I'll definitely try.
My recommendations:

Use the best monitors you have, take your time, make small changes, change the levels, listen closely, make more small changes, rinse, repeat.

I usually do all this before even adding compression or EQ (and find that I need less of each if I've got the settings right).
.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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Just as a listener (Not an expert on these things) i really like this recording. Really intimate feel to it. Enjoyed very much. good work.
Old 6 days ago
  #28
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I like the reference to it being a 'duo', but realistically it's a battle between two instruments different distances from the listener. With multitrack, you spend ages getting the absolute best sounds from each instrument with placement and mic choice, and with an ambient stereo approach you try to do the same thing with two mics, or a cluster of mics working together to create an accurate, or perhaps enhanced stereo field. Two mics, or perhaps 3, then perhaps with outriggers - but all designed to blend together the sound sources, and the room. A big battle, and much harder than a multitrack where decisions are often after the event, with ambient recording needing them made before! Blending in that single spot mic needed to hear one quiet instrument in a huge sound is extremely difficult to do. 3.5m is not an out of the way height for a stereo cluster - those Cathedral mic stands designed to get that high above maybe the conductors head, or maybe on the catenary wire you slung between two pillars that HAD to be that high to not ruin sightlines.

Ambient recording is always a compromise between so many factors.
Old 6 days ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAnthony View Post
Just as a listener (Not an expert on these things) i really like this recording. Really intimate feel to it. Enjoyed very much. good work.
Thank you. Good musicians!
Old 6 days ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulears View Post
I like the reference to it being a 'duo', but realistically it's a battle between two instruments different distances from the listener. With multitrack, you spend ages getting the absolute best sounds from each instrument with placement and mic choice, and with an ambient stereo approach you try to do the same thing with two mics, or a cluster of mics working together to create an accurate, or perhaps enhanced stereo field. Two mics, or perhaps 3, then perhaps with outriggers - but all designed to blend together the sound sources, and the room. A big battle, and much harder than a multitrack where decisions are often after the event, with ambient recording needing them made before! Blending in that single spot mic needed to hear one quiet instrument in a huge sound is extremely difficult to do. 3.5m is not an out of the way height for a stereo cluster - those Cathedral mic stands designed to get that high above maybe the conductors head, or maybe on the catenary wire you slung between two pillars that HAD to be that high to not ruin sightlines.

Ambient recording is always a compromise between so many factors.
i appreciate your concise yet elegant despription of what we are experiencing while recording classical/acoustic music in medium to large rooms/halls.

however, i got the impression that the technique you are illustrating refers more to the analog days than to current days: with the affordability (and quality) of digital gear (from digital mics to hard disk recorders/daws/desks to efx devices), one can pretty much choose whatever gear one thinks is up for the job: modern technology allows for different mic patterns and positions to be used, to delay spot mics, to use dynamics and add artificial efx while still having the option to get a more traditional sound stage we've come to know and like (more or less).

also, you were using the terms battle, difficulties, compromise etc - i can't see anything alike in our work, i just call it mixing (or engineering if you prefer).



p.s. 3.5m height for main mics is not outrageous for an orchestra recording but i wouldn't go that high for any duo
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