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Time taken to edit classical CD?
Old 1 week ago
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
depends on the deal: i haven't been working with the clock ticking for years and i'd never wanna go back there - i much prefer (and practice) working on global budgets.
That is shocking, to be honest. For me, package prices are the death of creativity and one of the serious problems our industry is facing today.

Whenever you have no time restraints, the artists will use all the time they can get. You will always be on the losing end.

This, also, leads to the destruction of spontaneity and the creative process. I have found that only the limitation of budget will make artists understand to work efficiently and set clear objectives/goals for the recording.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
besides, i'd never pay anyone $100/1h for just using a pc and a mouse...
That's really a sad statement, especially when coming from a colleague.

All the best,

Dirk
Old 1 week ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
Experience.

Approximately 20 years of experience tells me that for every hour I spend in a recording session, there will be 3 hours of post production.

Of course, all of the artists I work with play everything perfectly in one take;

but, to cover my a$$ in the budgeting process, I inform them that for the most complex projects, tjere is an outside chance that we could go as high as 5 hours of post production per hour spent recording.

YMMV of course.
thx - it's certainly smart to to cover one 's a$$! and the potential financial consequences may even be prohibitive in nature, preventing customers from asking too much of useless things... :-)
Old 1 week ago
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
That is shocking, to be honest. For me, package prices are the death of creativity and one of the serious problems our industry is facing today.

Whenever you have no time restraints, the artists will use all the time they can get. You will always be on the losing end.

This, also, leads to the destruction of spontaneity and the creative process. I have found that only the limitation of budget will make artists understand to work efficiently and set clear objectives/goals for the recording.



That's really a sad statement, especially when coming from a colleague.

All the best,

Dirk
?!?

i dunno the musicians you get to work with or what their attitude is but it has not been my experience that global budgets are affecting creativity negatively or push musicians to making silly request, on the contrary:

imo it's exactly this policy which enables a lot of freedom for everyone involved!

and mind you, i don't come cheap!

___

i stand pretty firm in that the house keeping side of things should get charged way less than the creative work or when lots of gear is involved!

i know some folks who take a lot of pride in editing - that's fine; i don't.

besides, there are tons of eager (mostly younger) techs available who are not only very fast but also very good in editing, possibly better than i'll ever become so i'm gladly getting them some work - doesn't seem to be a bad arrangement for my assistants either: one of them has been working for me for close to 25 years!

and there are clients who do it on their own anyway so why fighting for market which is already heavily crowded and especially with people who can undercut pretty much any price? i rather go walking, read a book, whatever...

___


speaking of competition: same principals also apply to gear - i do have some rather serious gear i use but there is always someone who either has even more impressive gear, more gear/personel available, lower rates etc. so my rental prices are exactly as high as the international competitor's prices!
'global' budgets (in a double sense) then prevent me from engaging in a silly race to the bottom when the lowest bidder gets the job:

if someone want me, s/he know what to expect and for what i stand - if it's about dumping prices, i'm out (and again, i rather enjoy some time off)!

___


nothing wrong if you're following another approach and hopefully get happy with it - my approach has been working pretty well for me for more than 35 years and has led to participating in some projects which i otherwise would never been offered!

bottom line: i do not necessarily recommend following the money - at least it has NOT been my motivation...
Old 1 week ago
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
?!?

i dunno the musicians you get to work with or what their attitude us but it has not been my experience that global budgets are affecting creativity negatively or push musicians to making silly request, on the contrary:

imo it's exactly this policy which enables a lot of freedom for everyone involved!

and mind you, i don't come cheap!
Hi,

I might have misunderstood what you mean. What is a global budget, in your definition?

Thanks,
Dirk
Old 1 week ago
  #35
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
depends on the deal: i haven't been working with the clock ticking for years and i'd never wanna go back there - i much prefer (and practice) working on global budgets.

besides, i'd never pay anyone $100/1h for just using a pc and a mouse...
I add my voice to others who say NO to a flat rate--what you call a "global" rate to do an edit, mix, and mastering.

This is such a big mistake and one usually made by an unsure beginner who is afraid to ask for a commercial rate.

Now I know that deedeeyeah is no where near a beginner, so I assume that competition in his region has driven him to specify a flat rate. One that is lower than others doing the work. He is cheating himself.

It is certainly always a bad idea.

By the way, you would certainly pay me much more than $100 per hour to make your record.
Old 1 week ago
  #36
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at first/if i dunno the orchestra/ensemble/band yet, the budget is a rough estimation including all gear, work and services plus the timeframe within which things shall get completed.

as mentioned previously, it mostly doesn't take me long once the production rehearsals, recording or even a meeting has started to envision the scope of a project: based on the estimation/rough budget and my gut feeling, i finalize the deal by the time of the first break -

about a third of the total sum is due before i start moving any gear/before soundcheck, another third upon completition of the recording and the rest when handing over the master tape (or files these days); of course things may vary, depending on the project and its specific aspects...

rates are calculated on the basis of min. €800 for me per day, another €800 for two assistants, 3% of the value of the gear* i need (or want or consider to me needed) per day with the usual calculation for additional days, plus a truck/van, food/drinks, hotel/travel costs for assistants etc. (plus occasionally an "ärgernispauschale"). oh, and almost none of my projects last for less than 5 days.

* i'm using a studer vista digital desk as the centerpiece of (most of) my productions; i'm up to ca. 60 mics from the usual manufacturers, i have tons of outboard, a pa for a crowd the size of ca. 3000 people etc. - this should give you an idea about the prices my gear comes with...



p.s. did i mention that i don't sign any contracts?
Old 1 week ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I add my voice to others who say NO to a flat rate--what you call a "global" rate to do an edit, mix, and mastering.

This is such a big mistake and one usually made by an unsure beginner who is afraid to ask for a commercial rate.

Now I know that deedeeyeah is no where near a beginner, so I assume that competition in his region has driven him to specify a flat rate. One that is lower than others doing the work. He is cheating himself.

It is certainly always a bad idea.

By the way, you would certainly pay me much more than $100 per hour to make your record.
maestro plush

once more, you're very generous with other people's property! - maybe you wanna check into the rates i just posted?

i don't know about your rates, competitors or market;
i can tell you about mine that if i compete with anyone, it's mostly national broadcasters:

of course i cannot compete with them if they offer everything for free on condition that they obtain the right of first broadcast - which admittely happens more often than i like (and which p... me off).

with pretty much anyone else within a fairly large radius, i guess can compete and have been pretty much successful in doing so for quite some time.

___


it certainly helps though that i have long specisialized in doing projects which other techs coming from the classical side don't necessarily want to get involved in (modern music with electronics, orchestras playing along jazz ensembles, large outdoor concerts of orchestras needing amplification), folks coming from the r'n'r side can't (due to various reasons) or then almost no one else seems to be operating in anyway such as working in areas of conflict, war zones (for obvious reasons i assume while this overlaps with my training and professional activity outside the music industry).

so no, it simply ain't true that i'm cheating myself or undercut usual rates; on the contrary, i'm not getting quite many jobs as i refuse to participate in a suicidal race to the bottom. and yet i'm successful enough to earn me and bunch of other folks enough money for a living and to buy some nice toys every now and then: right now, i'm in the process of evaluating yet another digital desk to expand my first strike capacity!

cheers,

dd
Old 1 week ago
  #38
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There are customers I'll give a package rate to, because I know them, I know the band, and I know the room they are playing in and the pieces they are doing. Most customers get charged time and materials because I can't predict when they are going to have a soloist who wants to do a million takes of something or they turn out to be recording in an abandoned shopping mall.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #39
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The fancier the clients I work with the more time we ended up spending in the editing room. The reason is very simple. To fix accidental mistakes take very little time with today’s tools. However, when you have multiple beautifully yet differently played takes, you start to mull over higher levels musical things, such as phrasing, timing, voicing, instrumental balancing, relative intonation, tempo layout, dynamic layout, etc.. The list of things you want to work around could be long. Interestingly, the list often grows as you edit. You do some editing and spend a couple of days listening to the edits, you realize you fixed certain things and other things didn’t use to bother you now they do just because everything else sounds so good now. So, you make some notes and go back to edit some more, slowly polishing things. Basically, you prepare to spend whatever it takes to get the “best” result, or until you run out of options and solutions. Soon, you will know the end of the process has come. At a time, the process can be heartbreaking, you look at all those good stuffs left on the cutting room floor and start to wonder if you had made the best decision to use the materials you picked. From time to time, we would abandon an entire edit and start anew because we realize it was not heading towards the right direction.

On the contrary, if the musicians you work with are not at high level, you sit in the editing room banging away on the keyboard only to get the recording to be “academically” correct, not much more than spelling check and grammar correction. This kind of editing session does not take long at all, 100 splices an hour, easily. Those things you edit simply do not take much of thinking and listening.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
The fancier the clients I work with the more time we ended up spending in the editing room. The reason is very simple. To fix accidental mistakes take very little time with today’s tools. However, when you have multiple beautifully yet differently played takes, you start to mull over higher levels musical things, such as phrasing, timing, voicing, instrumental balancing, relative intonation, tempo layout, dynamic layout, etc.. The list of things you want to work around could be long. Interestingly, the list often grows as you edit. You do some editing and spend a couple of days listening to the edits, you realize you fixed certain things and other things didn’t use to bother you now they do just because everything else sounds so good now. So, you make some notes and go back to edit some more, slowly polishing things. Basically, you prepare to spend whatever it takes to get the “best” result, or until you run out of options and solutions. Soon, you will know the end of the process has come. At a time, the process can be heartbreaking, you look at all those good stuffs left on the cutting room floor and start to wonder if you had made the best decision to use the materials you picked. From time to time, we would abandon an entire edit and start anew because we realize it was not heading towards the right direction.
I very much recognise this from the musicians I work with most of the time. They are extremely highly skilled, yet poor, simply because they have chosen a life in music for the love of music. They dig up obscure scores from old archives, write articles about it and want to record such music to bring it alive. We know roughly how much work it is to collect all the takes for a full CD, but we also know that editing can take months, simply because of all the artistic ponderings of how they would want the recording to sound. So for the recording I make them a fixed price deal, fit for the number of days they have reserved for the recording, and when there is not enough time they will have to drop a sonata from the plan. But for the editing process it is impossible to charge them by the hour, or even to charge them for the whole thing because it is so unpredictable, so I make them do their own editing. This way they can ponder to their heart's desire, trying every road to Rome. After about half a year I get the edited multitracks back and I can start making the final mixes/masters. This is great because for me the music will be all new and it is much easier to give them a fixed price for just the finalisation process. When the CD is out they start saving up for the next project, to be recorded usually one or two years later. For many small ensembles this is the reality of making classical music nowadays.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
at first/if i dunno the orchestra/ensemble/band yet, the budget is a rough estimation including all gear, work and services plus the timeframe within which things shall get completed.

rates are calculated on the basis of min. €800 for me per day, another €800 for two assistants, 3% of the value of the gear* i need (or want or consider to me needed) per day with the usual calculation for additional days, plus a truck/van, food/drinks, hotel/travel costs for assistants etc. (plus occasionally an "ärgernispauschale"). oh, and almost none of my projects last for less than 5 days.
Thanks for the explanation but now I am confused. Basically, you are saying that you have fixed prices per day for recording and you simply put these together in an offer of a total price without the specification of how you arrive there. That is really not different than what others here advocate when saying one should charge for the work that is done.

For editing, I would nowadays offer a good price for the first and perhaps second edit and after start charging by the hour. Reason is exactly what Earcatcher described, but I would characterise it differently: Artists often do not have a concept at all of what they want and are either not properly prepared or cheap on the recording time. So, in order to create some sort of reasonable structure in the process, you simply have to charge by the hour. Anything else just does not make sense.

Unless, of course, you are already charging so much that the extra time you put in is, in relationship, marginally. It looks like you achieved that, so good for you.

To be honest, I just feel that you are in a different kind of business than what I would describe "core classical music production". Post-production does get a different meaning there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
p.s. did i mention that i don't sign any contracts?
This is, actually, an interesting point and I would agree that often, it is better not to have a contract than to have one. However, after the first time a label screws up the production master and blames you, charging you for a repress, you have to get some legal backup in writing. Just to give an example...

Best,
Dirk
Old 1 week ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
However, after the first time a label screws up the production master and blames you, charging you for a repress, you have to get some legal backup in writing. Just to give an example...

Best,
Dirk

It wouldn't have happened if you only give the client and the label same DDP files at the submission. Don't give them the ability to make any changes.
Old 1 week ago
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
It wouldn't have happened if you only give the client and the label same DDP files at the submission. Don't give them the ability to make any changes.
You would be surprised at what people are able to do...
Old 1 week ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
You would be surprised at what people are able to do...

You are right, never under estimate people's stupidity.
Old 1 week ago
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtf View Post
I just feel that you are in a different kind of business than what I would describe "core classical music production". Post-production does get a different meaning there...
well yes, most of my business is not necessarily classical mainstream... - which doesn't stop me from occasionally doing what we all consider to be more typical work with its often strict protocol - i'm then nothing but the engineer, the producer calling the shots.

and of course i'm not operating outside the frame of some serious financial calculations! - the thing i wanted to point out is that once i set a price, i'm sticking to it,

giving the artists the security and freedom to develop their vision without worrying about any extras which could be breaking their neck or jeopardize their entire project!

the reason i can offer/afford to do this is that my gear is making me the larger amount of money (as you could probably tell from some of the gear i mentioned). considering the total amount, it then doesn't matter much whether my assistant needs another two to three days to solve the puzzle (or whether i set up a couple of ambi mics instead of just a pair) etc.

___

and regarding contracts: some of my work requires a lot of confidence... - it's the confidence in each others sincerity, reliability, conscientiousness and professionalism which gives me a certain 'guarantee' to get out of a difficult situation while a contract is just a piece of paper!

besides, it's sometimes difficult to explain to people who grew up in the anglo-saxon area (or elsewhere) how different the continental understanding and interpretation of law is - but we're way off-topic now i guess...
Old 1 week ago
  #46
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dseetoo View Post
The fancier the clients I work with the more time we ended up spending in the editing room. The reason is very simple. To fix accidental mistakes take very little time with today’s tools. However, when you have multiple beautifully yet differently played takes, you start to mull over higher levels musical things, such as phrasing, timing, voicing, instrumental balancing, relative intonation, tempo layout, dynamic layout, etc.. The list of things you want to work around could be long. Interestingly, the list often grows as you edit. You do some editing and spend a couple of days listening to the edits, you realize you fixed certain things and other things didn’t use to bother you now they do just because everything else sounds so good now. So, you make some notes and go back to edit some more, slowly polishing things. Basically, you prepare to spend whatever it takes to get the “best” result, or until you run out of options and solutions. Soon, you will know the end of the process has come. At a time, the process can be heartbreaking, you look at all those good stuffs left on the cutting room floor and start to wonder if you had made the best decision to use the materials you picked. From time to time, we would abandon an entire edit and start anew because we realize it was not heading towards the right direction.
Yes, but this way lies madness. And it's why I try to stop before too many alternate takes are laid down too.
--scott
Old 1 week ago
  #47
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Plush's Avatar
The Tonmeister must take control of the recording and the edit and the mix.
The Tonmeister must know when the mix is finished.

A complete re-edit? Nope
Starting over because the edit is not proceeding in the best direction? NO, because I would never have allowed that to start happening.

Clients need guidance and boundaries. That is not to say that it is not a good collaboration. It always should be. But some clients are delusional about what is possible (I won't do any pitch correction on the trumpet or on the violin-or on anything else!)

The Tonmeister must be skilled enough and must have worked with the best people in the world enough to tell a super musician that his idea is not a good one.

The Tonmeister's motto is, "we call the tune."
Old 1 week ago
  #48
Man, I wish I was a Tonmeister....
I tend to agree with Dirk and Da-Hong...
I guess we're fortunate to have collaborative relationships with most of our clients. We work with them to get the best outcome and very rarely is there a situation where the clients observations are not without merit. I have a number of clients ( Many of them living composers and the occasional music director/conductor...) who want to hear specific details in the music that may not be clearly realized in the original performance. This is where the skill and expertise of the editor and balance engineer can realize the original intent. Unfortunately, there is a direct relationship with this level of detail and the hours/cost of a production. We bill virtually everything on an hourly basis, but have become pretty adept at estimating the hours involved in a project based on historical data.
For us, the project is split in 2, recording and post.
Recording we charge daily and expenses. it is pretty cut and dried.
Post is a different animal. Different types of projects ( chamber, orchestral, Opera, TV) all have the same fundamental steps in post, however, they get distributed differently. Editing is but one of the steps and is the lions share of the budget in chamber music and the smallest part in TV productions. For a post budget, the following items need to be considered.
  1. Editing
  2. Mixing
  3. Denoising (coughs, stage noise, ambient noise)
  4. mastering/conforming
We typically make estimates based on the finished length of the music and the difficulty of the production.
Chamber music is a roll of the dice. We typically estimate 1 hour per finished minute, however this varies widely due the the editing. Some goes together easily and some requires heroic measures.
Orchestral in sessions is typically 1/2 hour per finished minute because there is very little denoising and typically limited numbers of takes from whixh to chose
Live orchestral is typically 1 hour per finished minute. Lots of denoising to remove audience noise and stage noise. This is how 99% of all orchestral recordings are made today. Our budget for post is a rounding error compared to the cost of orchestral forces. Much cheaper to pay to fix post. Also, for live recordings we listen to all the rehearsals which gives us a good idea about the conductors interpretation ideas so we can give feedback after each performance about specifics that need to be addressed.
Opera is a wildcard but typical productions are widely spaced and vary from 24 to 124 inputs. A typical 2 disc opera takes 120 hours of post, ( 1 hour per finished minute, but this varies plus or minus 25% depending on other factors.)
As always, YMMV.
-mark
Old 1 week ago
  #49
Lives for gear
 

When asked to give guideline on how to schedule a recording project, I often start with;

1 minute of music

10 minutes of recorded material. That translates to 3 to 4 full days of recording session for a CD length project. If doing something complicated such as Beethoven, or Bartok String Quartets, it can take a lot more time to record, potentially doubling that amount. I can safely assure you that every time I did it, it took more than a day to record the 15-minute-long Beethoven Gross Fugue.

1 hour editing time.

The post cycle takes at least a month from going back and forth between the musicians and me.

Basically, very similar to what Mark is saying.



Best regards,

Da-Hong
Old 1 week ago
  #50
In the days of tape editing one possibly two days were "normal" for editing an entire record. Today it seems there is no limit to making it perfect. I worked with a producer who also use to do the editing on his sessions. We did a recording session with 23 takes of one small section of a piece and he spent hours piecing together that same section out of the 23 takes just to get it perfect. I think we are all striving for perfection but sometimes I think we take it to extremes. FWIW
Old 6 days ago
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
In the days of tape editing one possibly two days were "normal" for editing an entire record. Today it seems there is no limit to making it perfect.
<snip>
I think we are all striving for perfection but sometimes I think we take it to extremes. FWIW
Tom,
Unfortunately, time has marched on and the people have been recording multitrack in classical for almost 50 years.
I remastered the entire living stereo catalog for BMG/Sony. Those holy relics are held up by the masses as the greatest thing that has ever been. I can tell you that if I submitted anything like those recordings today, they would be immediately returned. The discontinuities in tempo, pitch and ambience shifts at edits are horrendous and the shifts in balance from happy hands on the faders go without saying.
For large forces classical, the switch to multitrack capture started over 50 years ago with the advent of 8 and 16 track Dolby A multitracks. Originally these were used to fix balance issues in the 2 track by remixing bits needed to complete the project. However, not long after this, producers and artists realized that they could go back and re-mix the material to suit their vision of the piece. They created special splicing blocks based on the "Gibson Girl" of film style of splicing block. It made zig-zag edits across the 1" or 2" tape so there was no time smear like an angled edit or the bump of a butt splice. This allowed them to assemble an edited multitrack mix master that could be mixed in a single pass, so the master was only a single generation from the session.

Digital brought the live to stereo back, but it also came with editing systems that allowed for crossfades, so you could make edits that with a razor blade were impossible. Once the Sony 3324 and Mitsubishi X800 machines hit the market, all the majors started recording in multitrack. This had a huge impact on the time it took to produce a record as you had 2 choices in production. Patch the stereo mix with the needed bits from the multitrack or remix the entire thing and edit. it was very expensive either way, because the time to get the producer and engineer into the mixing suite added massive amounts of time to the production. If you needed to take a second look at a spot or mix another couple of bits, time in the mixing suite was booked and on and on.... In the mid 80s we could start editing from machine to machine on the 3324, which allowed us to start creating edited mix masters again. It was time consuming, but by inserting one of the early digital mixers between the machines, we could do level adjustments at the splice points. Now, multitrack edits started to get cost effective for large productions. Soon, it became a wash as to which style of production was most cost effective. You could spend lots of time mixing bits and editing, or more time editing multitracks and doing a single mix. In 1986, the Lexicon Opus allowed for realtime nondestructive hard disc editing, but only 8 tracks at a time. We figured out that we could load the material in sample accurately and do the identical edits on each batch of tracks. Again tirme wise, it took about the same amount of time as machine to machine editing, but unlike tape, we could go back and revise edits without having to redo the entire master. 1991 brings us to the first 24 track Sonic solutions hard disc system.... and the rest is history.
All this to say, that there has always been a time consuming level of production that has been demanded at the highest levels. The time to do these productions has not changed radically in the past 50 years. I can bang out a radio edit in way less time today than I could with tape, however the detailed level of production required today is making some of the best recordings ever made.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark

Last edited by mpdonahue; 6 days ago at 06:20 PM..
Old 6 days ago
  #52
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Thanks, Mark. Well remembered, well told, and well done!

HB
Old 6 days ago
  #53
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...and yet we keep losing our audience with every year - and this with a growing population and far more well-educated people (and way better gear) than 50-years ago!

(i'm not blaming exhaustive editing for that but it led me to the point that i much prefer mixing live to 2trk/6trk)
Old 6 days ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
...and yet we keep losing our audience with every year - and this with a growing population and far more well-educated people (and way better gear) than 50-years ago!

(i'm not blaming exhaustive editing for that but it led me to the point that i much prefer mixing live to 2trk/6trk)
No, but I think as we have fewer and fewer people who have actually grown up listening to live orchestras and more whose entire notion of what orchestras sound like comes from listening to recordings, there is a consequent shift away from naturalist production and more demand for editing to make everything artificially perfect for people who are not used to the imperfections inherent in real humans performing real music.
--scott
Old 6 days ago
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
No, but I think as we have fewer and fewer people who have actually grown up listening to live orchestras and more whose entire notion of what orchestras sound like comes from listening to recordings, there is a consequent shift away from naturalist production and more demand for editing to make everything artificially perfect for people who are not used to the imperfections inherent in real humans performing real music.
--scott
well, it's just that i don't enjoy recording multiple takes and editing on end very much...

...nor do the musicians profit from the situation: imo technology should help them to achieve their goals more easily but the (producer's) desire for perfection turned against them and raised the pressure on musicians as they now are expected not only to play very well but (close to) perfect, trying to reproduce results from heavily edited recordings/mixes!

as ''perfect' as results can be, something is wrong with heavy editing!

[...so it feels kinda strange that i actually benefit from the situation which i decry: my focus has shifted to broadcasting and mixing live/amplifying things in the case of 'classic openairs', the latter of which i enjoy very much as it combines various aspects/techniques of our business.]
Old 6 days ago
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
No, but I think as we have fewer and fewer people who have actually grown up listening to live orchestras and more whose entire notion of what orchestras sound like comes from listening to recordings, there is a consequent shift away from naturalist production and more demand for editing to make everything artificially perfect for people who are not used to the imperfections inherent in real humans performing real music.
--scott
This logic doesn't stand up to the realities. Mistakes in live concerts and radio broadcasts go by and the listener may register the problem or not. However, with each subsequent playback, the listener notices more and more of the errors and the error is more obvious. Live, broadcast and recordings are different animals and have different standards.
Also, the issues of live performance are muted by the impact of visual as well as aural processing happening concurrently. Your brain processes the balance based on what you see as opposed to what is actually heard. This is where the magic two mic concept falls flat.
As always, YMMV.
-mark
Old 5 days ago
  #57
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Plush's Avatar
No, two mic recordings don't really fall flat at all. Example is Tony Faulkner's stereo recordings of piano for example.

Orchestra is a different case. There more mics are de rigeur. Decca technique is quite effective with minimal spots.

However, the large channel count orchestra recordings mentioned are too akin and too influenced by movie score recordings these days. In fact some movie score recordists are sought out to be in charge of the recordings.

Extra detail fished out of the texture (could never be heard in the hall) is Hollywood style--influenced by players who want THEIR instrument to be louder. Or for a composer who seeks "extra excitement" (where the particular arrangement does not show off the details they hear in their head. It's an arrangement that is not good enough.)

Overly detailed recordings are ear candy at first and impressive to provincial NAIR-ASS voters but later are adjudged to be synthetic, with little staying power. They will not be listed as an all time great recording as judged by "Gramophone" magazine 25 years hence.

Last edited by Plush; 3 days ago at 09:04 PM..
Old 5 days ago
  #58
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Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
This logic doesn't stand up to the realities. Mistakes in live concerts and radio broadcasts go by and the listener may register the problem or not. However, with each subsequent playback, the listener notices more and more of the errors and the error is more obvious. Live, broadcast and recordings are different animals and have different standards.
I don't know... as a kid I used to listen to that Mitropoulos recording of the Pathetique and wait for the part in the second movement when the door slams in the background. To me it became part of the piece. I don't think people are willing to tolerate that today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
Also, the issues of live performance are muted by the impact of visual as well as aural processing happening concurrently. Your brain processes the balance based on what you see as opposed to what is actually heard. This is where the magic two mic concept falls flat.
Wait, I thought we were talking about editing, not about recording technique? If you want to talk about recording technique, that is a totally different thing.
--scott
Old 5 days ago
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio View Post
I don't know... as a kid I used to listen to that Mitropoulos recording of the Pathetique and wait for the part in the second movement when the door slams in the background. To me it became part of the piece. I don't think people are willing to tolerate that today.
I don't know what people tolerate, but I know that I prefer vividness over perfection, and I have many albums that I love listening to that aren't perfect. How about Tchaikovsky's 4th by Mravinsky and his Leningrad forces back from around 1960 with its wild intensity. Or that grand (and popular) full-bodied and emotional shaky version of Mahlers Fifth by Barbirolli and New Philharmonia from 69. In my view they have a musical liveliness that makes them a wonderful listening experience. I'm not aware of how many edits they did in those recordings, but I'm pretty certain they would become much more polished and boring albums if they were produced by today's 'standards'. It's interesting and understandable that old recordings are still so loved by many.

::
Mads
Old 5 days ago
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mljung View Post
In my view they have a musical liveliness that makes them a wonderful listening experience. I'm not aware of how many edits they did in those recordings, but I'm pretty certain they would become much more polished and boring albums if they were produced by today's 'standards'. It's interesting and understandable that old recordings are still so loved by many.

::
Mads
Hi Mads,

That is a very good point and I think that you are addressing the key issue here: standards.

In my (limited) experience, even in tape times there were a lot of edits. As an intern, I was able to look at some old Polygram scores and was astonished at the amount of cuts they did with analogue tape. When I digitised old Master tapes, there were plenty of edits passing by. However, as you mentioned, those performances had a different quality and a certain excitement. Interestingly, these are often the recordings that musicians like the most.

Nowadays, there are much more edits and some of the reasons for this are of a practical nature - session time is expensive, the dates do not always coincide with the soloist's/ensemble's/orchestra's schedule (not enough rehearsals) or - my favourite - the release is supposed to be ready for the tour, after which the music would be in perfect shape! Still, though, everyone works hard and is dedicated to a quality product. The performances, however, are often not of the spontaneous and exciting quality as older ones.

So, where lies the difference?

IMHO, in the old days, the recording producer and engineering team had more decision authority, being part of a label or production company, which led to a more naturally shaped edited performance.

In the present time, more and more the musicians are the investors and the recording team is hired by them directly for the job. Therefore, it is your obligation to make your customer happy and you will make as many edit revisions or crazy requests as being asked - and we all know that this often is the case, especially with young and inexperienced musicians which most labels focus on. The only way to control this, and therewith shaping the musical quality of the edit, is by charging a rate that is being increased by the amount of work done.

Dirk
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