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Don't like the Decca Tree orchestra sound?
Old 6th August 2020
Lives for gear
@ loujudson , et al. - This sound check:

Originally Posted by Plush View Post
How about those trying to figure out their preferences for micing orchestras getting a 1 year sound check??

Yes, a whole year to get the sound right!!

YOU the engineer, will get a whole year to get the sound right if you consistently get orchestra recording jobs and maintain your curiosity to experiment.

Each month you record several orchestras and each time you vary your set up some to make an experiment towards seeking very good sound. You take into account the ambience of the hall, the repertoire, the stage size and on and on.

Then, after 1 year of recording orchestra each week, you have had a 1 year sound check.

Your recordings will sound much better.

Record rehearsals.

Go find those (community) orchestras to record and begin your year.
Old 6th August 2020
Lives for gear
loujudson's Avatar
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
@ loujudson , et al. - This sound check:
Oh. Not going to happen THIS year!

Old 6th August 2020
Lives for gear

decca for stereo?

my view on the use of different mic systems consisting of multiple capsules/mics (such as decca) and my view on the positioning of instruments within the soundfield has changed the moment i got to experiment with a calrec/soundfield for the first time in the early 80's:

since then, i'm having a hard time going back to techniques used for dec(c)ades and the way the huge majority of recordings is (still) getting produced...

...but in order not to get frustrated (and not to compromise my chances to keep working in this business/to lose work), i've long adopted the habit of using two radically different main mic systems whenever i can (which is almost always).

with the advent of digital (as a recording medium), it became much easier to record additional tracks; with the advent of (multiple) surround formats (after quad...), it became a necessity to record additional tracks - even if the production is supposed to be stereo-only, i record additional tracks so i can bump up to wider formats should that ever be wanted.

occasionally, upmixing will do (and it certainly can yield very pleasing results); i never downmix from surround to stereo though (for the same reasons i don't like using decca if the release format is stereo).

since my idea of surround is not 'stereo on steroids', i do not necessarily position my surround mic system (soundfield or double m/s) at exactly the same place as i have my main (ab/oss/ortf/ms) stereo mic system: i found the position of where the center of a decca tree usually goes to be much more interesting even though the distance doesn't seem to be this large.

if i can't use this position, i'm quite happy using a single bar for both the stereo and the surround mic system; or i scale down to l/c/r, the center mic being m/s though (or then i mis-use the outer positions for ambis pointing towards the rear of the hall, with the center mic being m/s again which together with the 'rear' ambis still allows getting a 'fake' surround).

but 'normal' decca for music-only stereo releases? imo as unnecessary as immersive formats for static 'orchestra' (meaning the german term 'klangkörper', not limited to orchestras)...


p.s. besides ambisonic mic systems, another game changer for me has been the digital mixing desks i've been using for about fifteen years now which have a unique 'virtual surround panning' option:
the vsp algorithm allows signals to be positioned in the surround field based on a virtual main mic array system (which can get chosen in whatever way) and leads to very convincing results without using multiple efx devices.
equally useful, it can get used to (up)mix old mono/stereo tracks to surround (or hypothetically, if using spot mics on all instruments, to omit the main mic system altogether) - gotta love 'the ghost in the machine'!
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