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Read music?
Old 1 week ago
  #31
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
and then there are folks who can read a score as i read the newspaper... -
Ideally, when you read a score, you should hear the music in your head just from parsing the information. But there's a lot to keep track of.

Score reading is one of the hardest things to do musically. You have to keep track of multiple clefs (including alto and tenor clefs) as well as transposing instruments. Align the vertical components to discern the harmony. It's a mind F, as they say. It takes a significant study and practice to be even remotely competent at it.

OTOH, it's probably the best tool to gain skill at transposition in general.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
If you just press record with a couple of mics and hand the results to the client, then no.

In any more collaborative situation, you should not only read music, but know the repertoire, know orchestration, and have a good grasp on music theory and history. Musicians want to work with those they can communicate with, and who are accomplished musicians in their own right.
Knowing the repertoire is great, but won't help you much with new music or an orchestral movie score.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Ideally, when you read a score, you should hear the music in your head just from parsing the information. But there's a lot to keep track of.

Score reading is one of the hardest things to do musically. You have to keep track of multiple clefs (including alto and tenor clefs) as well as transposing instruments. Align the vertical components to discern the harmony. It's a mind F, as they say. It takes a significant study and practice to be even remotely competent at it.
By this standard, I'm not a very competent score reader. But I can easily read a lead sheet, follow a quartet score, and keep my place in a piano score. When it comes to full orchestra and band scores, I can't even turn that many pages and still do my audio engineering chores! Sometimes it really does require more than one person to keep track of everything.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
If you just press record with a couple of mics and hand the results to the client, then no.

In any more collaborative situation, you should not only read music, but know the repertoire, know orchestration, and have a good grasp on music theory and history. Musicians want to work with those they can communicate with, and who are accomplished musicians in their own right.
Not sure that is always the case. If you start to make comments about how the music is played, or tempi or blend, classical musicians can get up tight very quickly. IMHO, it is our job to do the recording and let the musicians worry about the music. Some knowledge of music is essential but I worked with a producer who was telling the musicians to use first or third fingering on certain passages which went over like a lead balloon. FWIW.
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
If you just press record with a couple of mics and hand the results to the client, then no.

In any more collaborative situation, you should not only read music, but know the repertoire, know orchestration, and have a good grasp on music theory and history. Musicians want to work with those they can communicate with, and who are accomplished musicians in their own right.
Sometimes it doesn't work that way though. You have to tread on eggshells with some folk, pointing out errors can come over as being critical. Others have no problem with it and then everything goes swimmingly.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
It is not advisable to tell musicians how to do their job, that is not the point of the "Tonmeister" profession. It is about communication, collaboration, and competence.

If a musician asks you face-to-face to pick the best section of the "Sarabande". You can either ask blankly "which one was the Sarabande?", or you can know that yes, of course, the Sarabande was the third section of the baroque suite in slow 3/4 time with the emphasis on the second beat. That would be the most basic knowledge that anyone who attended music school should have.

If you know your stuff, the musicians will rely on you more, ask your opinion more, and most importantly, trust your judgement. I hear some A/V folks lament about losing jobs to students at a school or conservatory, however, the student usually has the requisite training to work with the music effectively, and the A/V guy probably does not. That is sometimes more important to the client than the basic knowledge of how to set up a few mics and press record.
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
It is not advisable to tell musicians how to do their job, that is not the point of the "Tonmeister" profession. It is about communication, collaboration, and competence.

If a musician asks you face-to-face to pick the best section of the "Sarabande". You can either ask blankly "which one was the Sarabande?", or you can know that yes, of course, the Sarabande was the third section of the baroque suite in slow 3/4 time with the emphasis on the second beat. That would be the most basic knowledge that anyone who attended music school should have.

If you know your stuff, the musicians will rely on you more, ask your opinion more, and most importantly, trust your judgement. I hear some A/V folks lament about losing jobs to students at a school or conservatory, however, the student usually has the requisite training to work with the music effectively, and the A/V guy probably does not. That is sometimes more important to the client than the basic knowledge of how to set up a few mics and press record.
Well summarised Daniel....indeed it's making a good case for the role of a '3rd wheel' ie a producer. This person would ideally have comprehensive knowledge of at least the period/genre of music to be recorded, the competence to mark the score appropriately, call for covering retakes without redundant repetition of material, and above all have the authority, camaraderie (perhaps even the charisma and lightness of touch) to work with and bring out the best in the musicians.

The role of a/the producer has been well and truly thrashed out and debated in a thread devoted to the subject in recent months, and I don't want to revive it here...suffice to say that there are occasions when that person is indispensable to the recording project.

What may often fall to us is suggesting or appointing an appropriate producer when we're unequipped (for any variety of reasons) to fill those shoes....if the musicians haven't nominated one themselves. The important chemistry of respect, authority, time-management and numerous associated characteristics of symbiosis between producer and artists were also elaborated in that related 'producer' thread.....and is not to be underestimated
Old 1 week ago
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Basic question here: How many location AE's here know how to read a chart and follow along with the conductor?

Do you find it's helpful/necessary or not required?
This is the language that these people talk in, it's the common ground for everybody in the room. You surely DON'T want to be the one who can't understand what they're saying!!!
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
This is the language that these people talk in, it's the common ground for everybody in the room. You surely DON'T want to be the one who can't understand what they're saying!!!
If I want that, I can just go to Yorkshire.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Don S's Avatar
 

I can't imagine recording something without a decent knowledge of the score before walking into the session or concert. Reading scores and knowing a DAW (PT at the very least) are essential skills needed in the business.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumleymusic View Post
It is not advisable to tell musicians how to do their job, that is not the point of the "Tonmeister" profession. It is about communication, collaboration, and competence.

If a musician asks you face-to-face to pick the best section of the "Sarabande". You can either ask blankly "which one was the Sarabande?", or you can know that yes, of course, the Sarabande was the third section of the baroque suite in slow 3/4 time with the emphasis on the second beat. That would be the most basic knowledge that anyone who attended music school should have.

If you know your stuff, the musicians will rely on you more, ask your opinion more, and most importantly, trust your judgement. I hear some A/V folks lament about losing jobs to students at a school or conservatory, however, the student usually has the requisite training to work with the music effectively, and the A/V guy probably does not. That is sometimes more important to the client than the basic knowledge of how to set up a few mics and press record.
I've been a professional musician for fifty years, but you can still fall foul if you don't use 100% diplomacy in dealing with some musicians' egos. Even with 100% diplomacy you can still come unstuck.

I've seen it both as a player sitting in studios and watching "some" musicians' unecessary responses to engineers, and as a recordist making recordings.

I did one live broadcast in Germany where the bandleader of the outfit I was playing in decided (without having heard any of the balance and within minutes of broadcast time) that he wanted all of the mics pulling close in to the players, which he proceeded to do himself. The engineers were tearing their hair out. They had done their balance and level checks and had left distance because they were picking up whole sections rather than individual players, that was until the ego of this bandleader (band owner to be precise) kicked into action. This says nothing of the fact that the mics were not his to move.

The broadcast will have sounded dreadful, the only one blissfully unaware of this would have been the bandleader (band owner).

Ego is such a pain in the butt, I've never understood why some folk have so much of it whilst others have just enough to get by.

When Chandos used to record the LSO in the 70s, "some" members of the brass section at the time insisted they have microphones set up in front of them. Chandos obliged, but the cables were left lying on the control room floor and not connected to the mixing desk. Everyone was happy - diplomacy in action!!

Who amongst us would talk the surgeon through our own operation? I'm sure anaesthetic is used for reasons other than just the relief of pain!

Ego, what can you do with it? No good to man nor beast.

There are too many such incidents to relate, but it's nearly Christmas - good will to all men etc!

Last edited by Geoff Poulton; 1 week ago at 06:24 PM.. Reason: bandleader, instead of band leader
Old 1 week ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If I want that, I can just go to Yorkshire.
Eee bi gum aye!!
Old 1 week ago
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
Eee bi gum aye!!
Or go to Darset ...

The trick with the mics not plugged in I've heard before, with a very famous pianist who wanted a certain mic. He got it, but it was not plugged in ...

We have played a trick on the studio manager ... held up a loose lead when the red light was on and pointed to our mic during a few bars rest ... Quite a bit of fun, but the numbers were short so a retake didn't matter if he stopped the recording.

But moving the mics is a NO. I got very annoyed to find a small group had moved a mic "out of the way" as one of them said. I won't record them again, even though my wife is the pianist in the quartet/quintet.
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Do NOT touch the mics!

I do dis-agree with the poster who claimed that a working knowledge of Pro Tools was of importance to the recording of classical music. Why would that be? I have a pretty good idea on how to run a Pro Tools session (although I would never call myself a Pro Tools editor) but I can't think about how that would have been any help in the literally, hundreds of (very) successful recordings I have engineered. Good ears and years of listening to other pieces of recorded works, yes. I believe my two-track mixes on the day (live) are pretty well received, but like any on-the-fly work, not perfect. That is what tracks, editors and score reading are for if the group in question is looking for something more than a good-sounding archive of the day.

D.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Payment, rightly so, is linked to the abstract art, and not the concrete operation of software or plugging mics in.
Old 1 week ago
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurcher_lover View Post
Or go to Darset ...

The trick with the mics not plugged in I've heard before, with a very famous pianist who wanted a certain mic. He got it, but it was not plugged in ...

We have played a trick on the studio manager ... held up a loose lead when the red light was on and pointed to our mic during a few bars rest ... Quite a bit of fun, but the numbers were short so a retake didn't matter if he stopped the recording.

But moving the mics is a NO. I got very annoyed to find a small group had moved a mic "out of the way" as one of them said. I won't record them again, even though my wife is the pianist in the quartet/quintet.
I was doing a recording of a live concert. Just before the concert started an older lady grabbed my soloist microphone and moved it 10 feet away. At intermission I moved the microphone back and asked the lady why she moved it and her response was "I did not come to see a microphone I came to hear the soloist" I asked her nicely not to move it again and told her that if she did I would have to have the house manager remove her. She complied. I also had a similar experience with a nice older lady when she moved my overall pickup pair 6 feet away from where I had set it up. When confronted she said "Sonny I have been coming to concerts here for 35 years and always sit in this seat and your whatever was blocking my line of sight so I moved it to where I could enjoy the concert. I told her the same thing and she was not happy and called my boss and told him in no uncertain language she would continue to move what she said was blocking her enjoyment of the concert. My boss said he "would look into it" which he never did but told me about the conversation and suggested I find some heavier mic stands. FWIW
Old 1 day ago
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Not sure that is always the case. If you start to make comments about how the music is played, or tempi or blend, classical musicians can get up tight very quickly. IMHO, it is our job to do the recording and let the musicians worry about the music. Some knowledge of music is essential but I worked with a producer who was telling the musicians to use first or third fingering on certain passages which went over like a lead balloon. FWIW.
You have to "stay in your lane" and know what your expected role is.

If I am the engineer, and there is a designated producer on the session, I will not be sharing my comments with the musicians. I will on occasion raise a concern to the producer, if I feel something may have been missed or overlooked before moving on.

That said, I am often hired BECAUSE the client wants my input on these matters. At the very least, they would want me to pick up on small bits that will require editing to fix, and to give them clear direction as to where we need to take from, what bar/notes/section need fixing, and also why we need to make the fix.

It may be an actual flub, it may be that a 16th note in that passage did not speak as evenly (or at all) as it should have, an issue with intonation, a noise, perhaps something in the phrasing needs to be tweaked - this is often my expected role.

As one conductor once said to me, "I am hiring you because I need someone who can have an opinion." I am honoured and humbled that some of the very talented musicians that I have the chance to work with feel this way.

Would not be so without my score reading capabilities.
Old 1 day ago
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton View Post
Who amongst us would talk the surgeon through our own operation? I'm sure anaesthetic is used for reasons other than just the relief of pain!
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