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Old 19th August 2019
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Stradivariusz View Post
I was actually thinking of recording just a sound from the speakers and mix it with the mixer mix since this should be ok in such a big space (I mean, that in a small club there are sometimes instruments like drums which don't need much if any amplification so they are appearing in the mixer sum much less than softer instruments which need amplification to compete with drums in the venue)

I don't have that much equipment which you mention it's needed for the best result, so probably this time I will need to stick to minimal approach.
Would it be any way to do it with the way I described above? Or something similar? Never had an opportunity to do this kind of recording so have absolutely no idea...

I can see huge PA behind the string section on your photo, what about the spill from the speakers??? It really need a very careful mic placement, taking a lot of time to prepare...

frankly, i was never in this position (as i was lucky enough that i always had enough gear since working professionally for 35 years now) so i cannot comment much other than i wouldn't wanna try it in a highly amplified situation - but then again, it might be a challenge to do exactly this!

the thing with picking up the pa with mics at foh is though that your 'mains' then are only as good as the mix (and how the system got aligned/fits the room; crowd noise can also become an issue); if picking up the house mix, i'd pick up the master output at line level (before eq's/processing being applied) and use other/remaining tracks to pick up the most important sources. i'd still go as close as possible with all mics to get as much direct sound as possible/the least amount of reflected sound/spill) - so maybe two for strings, two for horns, two for singers (in addition to the 2mix feed from the desk) but how about piano, harp, ambi etc?

is there absolutely no chance of renting any additional gear to record more tracks? stacking/syncing two recorders, use another interface for your laptop, a combination of all sorts of gear? - this must be still much less expensive than having the orchestra play twice, once unamplified for recording purposes (and maybe without an audience) and once amplified without recording... - or is this in the cards? then go for it!
even if you're not making much money in the end (or loose some), i'm convinced you can learn a lot so i think money would be very wisely invested: gear up! after all, we're on gearslutz here... :-)

seriously now: i'm neither taking pride in using minimal gear (i don't, but at times i only use very few tracks out of the whole bunch i recorded) nor in using a multi-mic approach even with small ensembles (i often do so, up to the point of using more mics for spots than there are musicians on stage) - the main reason for doing the latter is to have multiple options and not getting stuck with a single faceted approach (or risk to 'loose' a recording due to unwise mic choice/positioning/lack of signals and tracks to work with) - imo it's way easier to kick out tracks rather than not have them at all! plus i think positioning becomes less critical and hence saves time during recording: i hate wearing out musicians due to technical reasons and rather deal with minor issues during post! - sorry for going off topic...

[the huge boxes stacked on the floor are subwoofers and musicians (horn players on each side) almost got blown off their chairs :-) there is no way of stopping sound being picked up by the mics in front of them except for using steep lowcut filters set high enough on the way in.
the line array for mids/highs can be seen above the musicians and got heavily tweaked in order not to cause feedback (allpass filters, very steep notch filters and splitting up the array into sections, applyfing multiple feeds from differently processed matrices) but essentially, i was just trying to shoot above the orchestra as there was no time to reangle or fly the hangs any higher.
dunno about others but i mostly do not get much time to prepare things: working with orchestras can become ridiculously expensive so you better bring enough gear, spill mics all over the stage without upsetting the musicians, tweak signals on a desk which allows for tweaking of multiple channels/groups at once till you get reasonable results and make sure you can achieve all of this very fast!
(setup time in this case was two hours before the orchestra coming in. i got help from one assistant/stage hand on stage and an assistant engineer at foh. setting levels/trims/filters was during afternoon rehearsals, another half an hour before doors and then things went on and onair - tough but the most fun i can think of!)]

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 19th August 2019 at 12:47 PM.. Reason: edited for clarification