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Author Topic: Acoustic Recording Techniques  (Read 42446 times)

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Offline voltronic

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Acoustic Recording Techniques
« on: December 06, 2023, 03:45:52 PM »
This thread is for discussion of configurations, techniques, and theory specific to recording acoustic music.

Discussion of all genres of music are welcome, so long as they are limited to instruments or voices performing without PA reinforcement. Instruments that are part of an ensemble and are played through an amplifier as part of the instrument itself (ex. electrified strings and synths) can certainly be part of this discussion, so long as the recording aspect is generally recording an acoustic ensemble rather than recording a PA system.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2023, 05:22:38 PM by voltronic »
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2023, 03:46:30 PM »
J├╝rgen Meyer - Acoustics and the Performance of Music (PDF book)

Michael Williams Website - Developer of Stereophonic Zoom and surround techniques

Visualization of all stereo microphone systems with two microphones - interactive SRA tool

Hauptmikrofon - Website of Helmut Wittek of Schoeps including IMA visualizer and many other useful things

Correlation analysis of various microphone arrays

How to determine Critical Distance

Comparison of different microphone positions for orchestra instruments

Mid-Side Recording Basics

The Gerzon Array

Stereo Masterclass - Interview with Tony Faulkner

The Use of B&K Omnidirectional Microphones for Modern Recording - old document with very interesting techniques

The Research On Classical Music Recording - AMAZING interactive site. Just go there now. Some comparison examples use over $100,000 worth of mics!

Microphone Arrangement in Grand Piano Recording - Similar to above, but incredibly in-depth and piano specific. The most epic recording session ever.

SOS: Piano Recording - much smaller-scale than the above, but still excellent
« Last Edit: December 06, 2023, 08:26:30 PM by voltronic »
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2023, 03:46:52 PM »
Here are printed resources:

Classical Recording: A Practical Guide in the Decca Tradition - This is the most amazing book on solo or ensemble acoustic recording out there. Buy it!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2023, 12:35:27 PM by voltronic »
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2023, 03:47:11 PM »
- reserved for resource links -
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Online aaronji

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2023, 04:17:14 PM »
Great idea!

Discussion of all genres of music are welcome, so long as they are limited to instruments or voices performing without PA reinforcement.

Just to clarify, does this allow for performances where an instrumentalist plays through an on-stage amp (a jazz electric guitar player, for example), but without an actual PA system?

Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2023, 05:18:45 PM »
Great idea!

Discussion of all genres of music are welcome, so long as they are limited to instruments or voices performing without PA reinforcement.

Just to clarify, does this allow for performances where an instrumentalist plays through an on-stage amp (a jazz electric guitar player, for example), but without an actual PA system?

Yes, that qualifies. I will update the OP accordingly. I just wanted to carve out a place here where we could exclusively discuss recording non-PA concerts.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2023, 05:23:03 PM by voltronic »
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Offline opsopcopolis

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2023, 01:02:17 AM »
Been a long time since I did any recording of this style, and I think we've discussed it before, but a decca tree (or even pair of omnis at the conductor) in a nice big room... :chefskiss:

My personal favorite recording in that style that I've ever made was a youth orchestra at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD. Pair of Telefunken M60s with the TK61 caps either side of the conductor, and then a pair of LDCs in cardioid essentially in the wings pointing in. The main body of the recording was the omnis, but the cards helped to provide some really nice space to the whole thing. I think I've got it on dropbox somewhere, might could dig up a sample...

But in general, in a nice lively room with reasonable performance volume omnis are really beautiful

Offline Ronmac

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2023, 10:15:33 AM »
This thread is for discussion of configurations, techniques, and theory specific to recording acoustic music.

 Thanks Voltronic. The links you have provided are an excellent reference! I am not an "arena live show taper". My focus is on live acoustic music recording and my self-funded doc and sound design work.

Looking forward to participating more here.

Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2023, 03:36:15 PM »
Here are a few samples of my choir's dress rehearsal last night to demonstrate the Gerzon array. 4011A's into my F6, with shuffling EQ (see Gerzon article above) and some very slight RX Spectral Denoise in post.

The choir is about 90 singers. Sopranos left, Basses right, Altos center, Tenors behind Altos. Chamber choir is 24 singers.

Lux Arumque
Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (chamber choir)
Happy Holiday
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (with alternate ending take)



I also recorded an omni pair, but there was a problem there that I would rather discuss in the F6 thread.
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Offline morst

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2023, 11:23:02 PM »
OK, I'm in on this thread.

I recorded a duo with no PA once.
There was a guitar amplifier involved, but no vocal reinforcement via mics or PA- just people singing into mostly the air, but also my mics.

https://archive.org/details/VictorKrummenacher2018-12-13/

I've recorded singalongs with voices and acoustic guitars, but not to any great results, due to my ersatz stereo pair placement, and the general event style....




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Offline checht

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2023, 01:52:27 PM »
Thought I'd post a recording made a few years back, Baroque cello and piano pieces. Cellos are period instruments.

Link to dropbox folder with aiffs:
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/jpt6jv6o8dlvkut716zeb/h?rlkey=pxig8ogydc0uly18tg3vncqu0&dl=0

Textfile attached.

I'm still waiting on artist ok to post recent Schubert sonatas recording...
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2023, 12:32:08 PM »

Been contacted again about recording a choir that has minimal instrumental accompaniment - an acoustic guitar on a song or two, some hand held doo dads like sleigh bells for a Christmas song not sure they are being kinda vague. Small ensemble of a dozen. A lot of them are in higher education and have access to spaces in the music department so I've been pushing them to find a larger more lively sounding space than a treated rehearsal room.

They are accustomed to their physical arrangement (five in front seven on a riser behind straight line no curve) but I'm curious about what y'all think about where the instruments should be located? I'll put a spot mic on the guitar so it can be panned in the mix later but with the split omnis and wide ORTF subcards I plan to use as the main pairs to choose from later - in addition to two LDC cardioid vocal spots - there's going to be location cues in the main mix already especially if it's all the way to one side. I'm guessing I can just mix the spot mic for instruments and find where the panning works best but curious how any of you have approached this. Also guessing that whoever is jangling the bells and whatnot will just be doing that from their set location in the ensemble so I don't have much to do on those tunes except hope for the best. The guitar is a whole different thing though.

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2023, 06:10:09 PM »

Been contacted again about recording a choir that has minimal instrumental accompaniment - an acoustic guitar on a song or two, some hand held doo dads like sleigh bells for a Christmas song not sure they are being kinda vague. Small ensemble of a dozen. A lot of them are in higher education and have access to spaces in the music department so I've been pushing them to find a larger more lively sounding space than a treated rehearsal room.

They are accustomed to their physical arrangement (five in front seven on a riser behind straight line no curve) but I'm curious about what y'all think about where the instruments should be located? I'll put a spot mic on the guitar so it can be panned in the mix later but with the split omnis and wide ORTF subcards I plan to use as the main pairs to choose from later - in addition to two LDC cardioid vocal spots - there's going to be location cues in the main mix already especially if it's all the way to one side. I'm guessing I can just mix the spot mic for instruments and find where the panning works best but curious how any of you have approached this. Also guessing that whoever is jangling the bells and whatnot will just be doing that from their set location in the ensemble so I don't have much to do on those tunes except hope for the best. The guitar is a whole different thing though.
Sounds like you have a good plan already. Definitely push them to perform in the best hall available; a dead rehearsal room will sound like what it is.

A lot depends on the rep they are performing. If you get a good hall, you may not need any spot mics at all and your CM3s might cover everything. Or, your omni's alone. 50 cm is usually my starting point depending on the SRA. You might even try the Tony Faulkner 47/67 phased array of subcards and omnis here, but again a lot depends on the room and the repertoire.

I've done choir with acoustic guitar (in a beautiful sounding church) and didn't need a spot for the guitar. I would also be surprised if you need choir spots for an ensemble this small, unless you wind up in the dead room.



I would locate the guitar in the center. Put aux percussion to either side, but not wider than the side boundaries of the choir. I find it really distracting in a recording when percussion is hard L or R with choir - it keeps pulling my focus off-center, making the whole recording seem off-center.

Any piano involved?
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
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Acoustic Recording Techniques
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Offline goodcooker

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2023, 09:55:10 PM »

^ No piano. They mentioned that when discussing the choice of rooms since they don't need one.

I heard back from the person who reached out to me in the beginning. They definitely want a vocal spot for soloists to "step up to" - guess I'll use an ADK LD for that.
Neumann KM140 || Line Audio CM3/OM1 || MBHO KA500 hyper>PFA|| ADK A51 type IV || AKG C522XY
Oade Warm Mod and Presence+ Mod UA5s || Aerco MP2(needs help) || Neve Portico 5012 || Apogee MMP
SD Mixpre6 || Oade Concert Mod DR100mkii

pocket sized - CA11 cards > SP SB10 > Sony PCM A10

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/goodcooker

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Offline voltronic

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Re: Acoustic Recording Techniques
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2023, 10:16:40 PM »
I heard back from the person who reached out to me in the beginning. They definitely want a vocal spot for soloists to "step up to" - guess I'll use an ADK LD for that.

This kind of statement makes me think soloists are going to sing to the mic instead of to the hall, as they should. But if that's what makes them comfortable, put up your ADK.

Of course, if your main array captures the soloist well you might not actually use that solo spot at any significant level in the final mix. But don't tell them if they are happy with the sound...

What kind of music is being performed? I'm getting a very pop vibe here.
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler

Acoustic Recording Techniques
Team Classical
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Team DPA

 

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