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Author Topic: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?  (Read 888 times)

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Offline vegeta_ban

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Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« on: June 16, 2016, 07:36:13 PM »
Thinking about going to a symphony later and was wondering who I should ask, the conductor/the symphony? Any tips?
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Offline flipp

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 07:58:59 PM »
If it is a large professional orchestra just plan on stealthing as most orchestra's I know of are all unionized and I haven't met a union that was taper friendly - unless you are willing to pay multi-thousands in fees.

If a smaller non-union group, ask Moke for advice on who to contact.

Offline Moke

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 08:26:01 PM »
The artistic director, generally also the conductor, has the most time involved in the production.  Thats my starting point, if I can find that persons contact info.  They always appreciate hearing what is heard in the hall. They get locked into the moment, go musically mechanical, and don't hear the concert the way that the audience does. So they appreciate a recording that lets them hear what they've produced, and missed.
Most orchestras will have a website.  Contact the info@xyz email address; get ready for no answer. If no answer, try again.  Try to establish contact, and/or ask to be redirected to the conductor. I've had more than one occasion where permission is not granted until the day of, or days before the performance. Start early.
If permission is granted, *be there a couple of hours before the concert, to meet, greet, and talk to the hall staffers, stage manager, the conductor, the concert master, and anyone that you can.
Be kind to the stage manager. He has as much say in your success as anyone.
Also get ready for plenty of rejections.

* I've yet to meet an orchestra that doesn't have a final rehearsal in/for the last couple of hours before a show. This is a prime time to be already set up and ready, and get a soundcheck.  Your dynamic swings will be massive, far beyond PA recording. So, having a solid soundcheck behind you will be a huge benefit. In that time, you can speak to the conductor, and have him give you a large crescendo to set levels to.

Cable dressing,... being a tight profile makes you look like a professional. Tape everything down, velcro cables to the stand. Make yourself look like a pro.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 09:22:30 PM by m0k3 »
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Offline vegeta_ban

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 08:39:50 PM »
thanks for the tips, I'll let you know the response. I'm spoiled and so used to taping friendly bands with an already set policy.
Mics: Telefunken ELA M 260 Field Kit; Nakamichi cm 100/CP4 shotgun (CP 1&2); Nakamichi Cm 300 (CP 1, 2, & 3) x3  JB phantom power mod; Nakamichi Cm 1000s; Superlux CMH8K
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2016, 09:31:43 PM »
A couple thoughts on this.  I'm a conductor and pro classical musician, not a member of that union but have many colleagues who are.  (I'm a music teacher and part of that union; freelance performing gigs are not to common for me, at least paid ones.)

I agree that the conductor / artistic director is likely to be the most sympathetic, but also the person who would have the least time to respond to you so don't be offended if you send several emails that are ignored.  During heavy concert season, I know I get pretty stressed and non-essential stuff gets pushed off.

Regarding musicians unions: in my area (Philly vicinity) the union rules specify a higher rate of pay when a concert is being professionally recorded.  So it may not be that the musicians don't want to cooperate, but your recording could potentially cause an issue for the orchestra management.  Then again, if you clear it with them well ahead of time and assure them it won't be a commercial release, you could be fine.

I ran into this with a benefit concert I was performing in (gratis) and was also recording.  I had cleared this with the conductor well in advance but she forgot to tell the organist and brass players, all of whom were hired at union scale for the concert.  Because of the union pay scale issue, I had to record from the balcony, as 4 mics on a big tall stand directly behind the conductor would appear to be a "professional" recording and the musicians could rightly question if they were being compensated at the proper rate.  No big deal in this case as the recording was just for me and the performers to have for archival purposes, and I was doing that for free also.  But this is an example of a conductor being so busy managing so many other things that something like this gets lost in the sauce as they're preparing a concert.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 09:33:23 PM by voltronic »
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Offline splumer

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2016, 09:57:50 AM »
I guess it depends on the orchestra, but I know the Cleveland Orchestra records all of their performances, and a lot are available as podcasts. If your orchestra doesn't allow you to record, it might be worth asking if they record and if they'll release the recording.
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Offline ilduclo

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Re: Any tips on asking an orchestra to tape?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 10:27:44 AM »
find all their email addy's and get started. Don't forget the guy who plays the triangle

 

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