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Classical Ensemble with Boy Soprano Recording
Old 19th July 2005
  #1
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jpupo74's Avatar
Classical Ensemble with Boy Soprano Recording

Hi sluts,

I´ll be recording a Classical Ensemble with Boy Soprano next week. I´ve been recording classical music for a while but it´s the first time I´ll have the chance to record this type of soloist. He is 10 years old and currently a student at the American Boychoir School. The recording will be held at a theater wich acoustics will not favor the soloist nor the ensemble for this type of music (really dry), but maybe it´ll give me a chance to work better on studio. I think I´ll be mixing down on DP4 where I can use TC Power Core Verbs. The ensemble is composed of Piano and Strings.

This is the gear available:

API 3124´s
One Neumann U87
AT 4050´s
Oktava MK 012´s

Well, I´ve planned to hang up the Oktavas over the ensemble, XY the AT´s near the conductor stand and place the U87 2 feet away from the boy soprano.

What do you think? What with the piano, do you think I´ll also have to mic it? Do you think it´ll be enough with the 2 pairs plus the boy´s mic? The cotavas Omni or Cardioid capsule (the ceiling is a rounded type of drywall)?

I´ll be waiting for your posts and opinions.
Good luck!

PUPO
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Old 19th July 2005
  #2
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jpupo74's Avatar
Common sluts!

Old 20th July 2005
  #3
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Less is more with music like this... I'd try to stick with just the stereo pair. Position your boy soprano inside the strings and place the piano behind. If you spot the vocalist, don't place your mic any closer than about 3 feet and I'd also have it below the mouth aiming up from off axis.

--Ben
Old 20th July 2005
  #4
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I'd venture a lot rides on the acoustics of the space and the arrangement or piano, choir, and soloist. I prefer widely spaced omni pairs for this kind of thing with the 87 two to six feet from the soprano (listen FIRST with just the stereo pair, get the right balance and tone, then see if you NEED anything else? I'd mic the piano from a more center position with a 4050 about six feet up in the air towards the open lid (tif it IS open!) to get it to image properly if you need to boost at all, but again, only use it f you HAVE to.

This is the kind of job that I would do a 2-track only mix of the stereo mics and do a multitrack of six to eight mics for later. Less is often more (hmm, where have we heard THAT before) for anything classical! And make sure it folds to mono PERFECTlY!!!

What medium are you recording to, and do you have a less colored option for mic preamps? Not that API is bad, (they are wonderful preamps!) but very COLORED, and not neutral at all IMHO.

Hope this helps.

Jim vB
Old 20th July 2005
  #5
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Roland's Avatar
I would pretty much agree with what Ben said, however I would spot the boy with the U87, come final editing, mixing time it might just save your bacon!

Regards


Roland
Old 20th July 2005
  #6
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
What medium are you recording to, and do you have a less colored option for mic preamps? Not that API is bad, (they are wonderful preamps!) but very COLORED, and not neutral at all IMHO.

Hope this helps.

Jim vB
Hi,

Yes, I know that API´S will color the recording but this is the gear they rented. I sell all my stuff a couple months ago cause I´m planning to travel to Canada to continue my studies in sound recording.

Hope to see more posts here soon!

PUPO
Old 20th July 2005
  #7


I'd be tempted to use the Octavias as an XY, the u87 as a spot mic (because you only have one), and set up the 4050s in a spaced pair further back in the hall.

If the ensemble has played together before, I'd let them set themselves up. If the conductor is good, he will set them up appropriately.

The siganal from the 4050s might be used as a send to a reverb, mixed in as reverb (using a slight delay), or may work with the spot mic for a simple 3-mic recording. You can audition these options in the studio later.

Too bad you can't use clean pre-amps.



-tINY

Old 1st August 2005
  #8
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SSL PREAMPS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpupo74
Hi,

Yes, I know that API´S will color the recording but this is the gear they rented. I sell all my stuff a couple months ago cause I´m planning to travel to Canada to continue my studies in sound recording.

Hope to see more posts here soon!

PUPO

Hi,

Once again need help about the pres. It seems now I´m going to record but in studio. Lot´s of tubes gear and an SSL 400 G+ going to a Sony 3348. Maybe the less colored preamp in the room is a four channel Focusrite Red so I wanna know if someone uses the SSL pre´s for classical recordings. Are the SSL pres gonna give a better sound than the API's?

Regards,
PUPO
Old 1st August 2005
  #9
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

I would still bring the API pre's since you know them quite well, and I would try and take the time to listen to a U87 thru an API, a Red, and the SSL's preamp. Don't mult them as the impedance will skyrocket, but see if you have three similar sounding mics.

The recording path (SSL to 3348) is pristine and will be great for classical. My only caveat is don't compress to tape unless it is gentle levelling for the soprano spot mic.

I have done jazz and classical on SSLs and had great experiences with the onboard preamps. Not a lot of color- not as neutral, but fine. I would consider using the APIs anywhere you don't feel that the SSL or RED is giving you what you want.

Hope this helps.

Jim heh
Old 1st August 2005
  #10
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jpupo74's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim vanBergen
I would still bring the API pre's since you know them quite well, and I would try and take the time to listen to a U87 thru an API, a Red, and the SSL's preamp. Don't mult them as the impedance will skyrocket, but see if you have three similar sounding mics.

The recording path (SSL to 3348) is pristine and will be great for classical. My only caveat is don't compress to tape unless it is gentle levelling for the soprano spot mic.

I have done jazz and classical on SSLs and had great experiences with the onboard preamps. Not a lot of color- not as neutral, but fine. I would consider using the APIs anywhere you don't feel that the SSL or RED is giving you what you want.

Hope this helps.

Jim heh
Hi Jim,

Thanx for your help. For the soprano spot mic I´m still wondering if using the ssl board compressor in a very subtle manner. Is the RED less colored than the API´s?

Regards,
PUPO
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Old 1st August 2005
  #11
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

The Red IS less colored than the APIs, but it also may be less focused or intense. You also have to remember that you will be BLENDING the vocal spot mic together with room or area mics, so I would not hesistate to put a nice outboard pre and limiter/leveller on the spot mic.

A Neve-esque preamp on a boy soprano is not a bad thing- it's not very 'classical' but if it sounds good, why not? I have used similar preamps on four-part opera vocals with great results.

Anyway this is why I like splitting signals and tracking options (multiple mics, different EQs and comps) and its worth discussing with the session producer and the room engineer when you get in. I find all commercial and private studios have some gear in much better shape than others, and so mic, preamp, and dynamic processors might change based on what is available and in pristine quality. Other than the mix buss, I'm not a fan of the SSL comps. (Sorry!) They WORK, and are workhorses, but are very much a Toyota when I want a BMW.

The buss comp onboard can sound really good- take the vocal both direct to tape as well as out to the buss via buss comp to tape and track everything else direct outs to tape.

Jim
Old 2nd August 2005
  #12
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jpupo74's Avatar
I think I´ll go with the GML parametric and the ssl board compressor on the buss. I´ll always keep a flat track on everything. Everytime I hear someone talking about LEVELING AMPLIFIERS the La2a´s comes to my head....hmmmmmmm....I´ll try it, the repertoire will have lot´s of classics such as Volare, Ave Maria, so...it´s commercial kinda music being classical genre. They have lot´s of tubetech stuff also. By the way, I´ve planned a U87 for the vocal spot mic, they also have the Sony g800, some ribbons, no NEW mic´s...

Well, the most interestiong part of the recording is that I´ll love to go from the ssl to the 3348 and have a lexicon 480, the GML EQ and the ssl comp for the bus!

Regards,

PUPO
Old 2nd August 2005
  #13
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If this is a classical recording you are making, I would make sure to stay AWAY from any comps while you are recording. Classical music is all about dynamics and removing them is not a good thing.

--Ben
Old 2nd August 2005
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
If this is a classical recording you are making, I would make sure to stay AWAY from any comps while you are recording. Classical music is all about dynamics and removing them is not a good thing.

--Ben

Hi Ben,

This is exactly what I´m gonna do, everything flat to tape. What Jim and I have been talking about is the possibility to TRY different stuff on the vocal spot mic. The spot mic is a must due to the boy´s capabilities...he´s 9 years old and his voice is sometimes needs help on the lower register. This is normal for this kind of soloist.

Regards,
PUPO
Old 2nd August 2005
  #15
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I understand where you are coming from... I will still say that I would stay away from comps. It is exceedingly rare that I use compression in classical work. It is like trying to hammer a nail with a sledgehammer even under the best of circumstances. Rather than using comps, ride levels a bit over sections where the singer goes low. I think you'll find it will be a phrase here or there that need a touchup by a couple dB rather than something that a comp will fix. Even under subtle settings, a compressor will operate on material that you don't want compressed.

--Ben
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