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Old 23rd July 2019
A couple of quick comments from out here in the cheap seats...
Originally Posted by househoppin09 View Post
I suppose I could track down dozens upon dozens of different documentaries and sets of pictures and suss out the trend shifts from a comprehensive survey of them all, but that doesn't seem very practical...
I'm sorry, but if you don't have even a cursory understanding of the basics, you have no idea what question you are even asking. Do the research first. There are reams already written about the topic. Once you do this basic research, then make a list and contact the people that can answer your questions. Nobody can do the work for you.

Originally Posted by Eric D View Post
Well,very simple: a lot of great Decca recordings were done with only 3 microphones, same for RCA Living stereo . I don't refer to a specific vidéo .
Having remastered Living Stereo for SACD, I can virtually guarantee that with the exception of a couple of chamber music records, virtually none of the Living Stereo recordings were done with 2 or 3 mics. If you listen carefully, you will hear obvious fader moves all over the place and significant balance jumps at edits. A typical production for Living Stereo was between 12 and 20 inputs depending on the time(Fewer before 1960, more after) and the musical forces. The mythology surrounding these recordings is mind boggling. These were pragmatic engineers trying to make good recordings, not not purists adhering to dogma.

Several very good Erato recordings were done with a single ORTF pair, and the intergral Mahler symphonies recordings were done in the eighties with mostly a single pair of Bruel and Kjaer omni microphones for the Denon label (Eliahu Inbal and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony orchestra) . These are remarkable, and just a few examples of what can be done with 2 or 3 (or very few microphones) .
More humbly, my personal experience has showed it is perfectly possible to record a full orchestra, even with soloists, with only a pair of microphones, and obtain great results .
Sorry for my poor English, but when I was speaking about "tons of microphones and tracks ", I was referring to the "hundred tracks" evoked by Plush .
And of course, my point of view applies only for classical music recordings, jazz, pop or rock music are an other story !
Again, in the world of reality, making commercial recordings is a business and if one sticks to dogma rather than applying good engineering practice, you will not be long for the business. My 30 years of working experience have taught me that the pragmatic approach is the best. I put out the microphones that will allow me to do the things I will be asked to do in post production. The quickest way to not get the call back is to not give the client what they want. Since there are so few people out there making commercial recordings of orchestras, there is really very little information that is accurate about how the process is done. As I say to people all the time, WRT classical recording, nobody wants to know how the sausage is made, they just want a tasty sausage.
Also,This idea that I'll stop an orchestral session and tell the conductor that he as to do another take because the oboe is a little under-balanced is not reality when session time costs $400/min. Orchestral sessions are amongst the most high pressure work in the business. Chamber music, yea, we'll discuss balance and performance issues, but orchestras are a different thing altogether.
As always, YMMV.
All the best,