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Non Stero pair Classical?

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Anonymous
December 27, 2004 10:56:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
orchestras?

More about : stero pair classical

Anonymous
December 28, 2004 7:17:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

inkexit@yahoo.com wrote:
> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
> so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
> weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without
the
> standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
> perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms
ala
> pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of
stuff,
> using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
> type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
> traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
> orchestras?


I started recording medium-sized orchestral groups (approx 25-30
pieces) for film scores right around the time CDs hit the market
(1983-ish. 84? How the memory fails!). Seeking some quality reference
recordings, I picked up an armload of classical CD's (along with a
brand new Yamaha CD-1 player) at the local hi-fi store. The discs were
almost all on either the Telarc label (minimally miked in great
sounding halls) or the Deutsche-Gramaphone label (maximally multi-miked
in...well, who could tell, really?)

A week later I returned all the D-G discs for credit, and I've NEVER
entertained the idea of close-miking an orchestra since!
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:18:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
pop music recording.>>

Just about all film score orchestral recording is multi close miked currently.

I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
orchestras?
>>



I've been multi-miking a 40 piece orchestra for some projects lately, but
that's mainly to overcome an overly dry studio & some performance weaknesses.

Scott Fraser
Related resources
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:23:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"ScotFraser" <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20041228001852.12459.00002615@mb-m28.aol.com...

> I've been multi-miking a 40 piece orchestra for some projects lately, but
> that's mainly to overcome an overly dry studio & some performance
> weaknesses.

Scott, in this instance (overly dry studio), where are you getting your
ambience from, then? Altiverb/some other impulse reverb? Outboard? Or are
you blending in some room mics along with the spot micing? Just wondering.

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:33:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

something you might be interested in is the holophone ....a microphone
capable of doing 5.1 and 7.1 surround, and very convincingly so I've read

--

Jonny Durango

"Patrick was a saint. I ain't."

http://www.jdurango.com



<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1104206199.240279.130090@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
> so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
> weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
> standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
> perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
> pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
> using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
> type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
> traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
> orchestras?
>
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 9:28:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments that make
> a symphony so impressive in person always seem to come
> across as washed out and weak on record.

You unintentionally raise an interesting point. One of the major defects of
reproduced sound is that it lacks the "vividness" of live sound, regardless of
the recording technique. By "vividness" I mean that instrumental sounds sound
somewhat soft, rounded-off and blurred -- the sense that their attack sounds
have an "instantaneous" rise time is missing. This greatly diminishes the sense
of realism.

My listening experience is that multi-miking does not seem to give much, if any,
improvement (with respect to single-point miking) in this matter.

Another point... Someone remarked that soundtracks are often heavily
multi-miked. I've noticed that soundtracks often sound much cleaner than
conventional orchestral recordings. Agree/disagree? Opinions?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 10:36:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

William Sommerwerck wrote:
>
> You unintentionally raise an interesting point. One of the major
defects of
> reproduced sound is that it lacks the "vividness" of live sound,
regardless of
> the recording technique. By "vividness" I mean that instrumental
sounds sound
> somewhat soft, rounded-off and blurred -- the sense that their attack
sounds
> have an "instantaneous" rise time is missing.

I strongly disagree. This may be the impression of recorded sound as
reproduced by *some* playback systems, but it is most certainly not a
characteristic of *all* playback systems. I've heard plenty of audio
systems where the reproduction of instrumental transients is alarmingly
fast; sometimes disproportionately so, but often enough just right,
such that individual instruments are as palpably present as if they
were in the room with you. And moreover, one thing I find
characteristic of a live performance (of an orchestra at least) is that
the instrument attacks *are* homogenized to some extent, not
necessarily "softened" or "blurred" but made less distinct by virtue of
the distance and hall ambience. (Obviously if you are standing where
the conductor stands this is not the case.)

What I contend is the major difference between recorded sound & a live
performance is the sense of Envelopment...something which even high-end
surround systems seem years away from being able to reproduce
convincingly. The phenomenon of, rather than transporting the ensemble
to the listener's living room but instead transports the listener to
the performance venue; until that is mastered, repro will always be a
simulacrum.

Which is what it's supposed to be anyway.
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 10:43:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Scott, in this instance (overly dry studio), where are you getting your
ambience from, then? Altiverb/some other impulse reverb? Outboard? >>

An EMT 140 plate & a RealVerb plugin.

<<Or are
you blending in some room mics along with the spot micing? Just wondering.
>>



The mix is mostly the room mics, a Decca tree variant, but still way too dry.
It's a 1980's rock room with an RT60 of less than a second, packed wall to wall
to fit the 40 musicians. Too small for the band & too darn dry.



Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 2:40:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Just pick up ANY crossover stuff.
>
> Or pick up some of the post-1980 DG releases, which are done usually
with
> an overall pair and then lots of godawful spotmiking. Check out the
> Von Karajan set of Beethoven symphonies. It's as close-in as you'd
ever
> like it to be. You can even hear the faders going up and down if you
> listen carefully. Yecch.
>
> The vast majority of classical recordings today are done with some
degree
> of spotmiking. I think this is a bad thing, personally, but you
might not.
> --scott
>
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

I like it smacking me right in the face. I might even be interested in
some compression too (the horror! I know...) To be honest I'm usually
not even that impressed with a full orchestra in person either. Just
not loud enough. I'd imagine however, if I was allowed to move my seat
right up next to the conducter this might change my opinions, but
really most times I leave the concert hall wishing there was some sort
of "perfect" amplification system so the music could be, say, 90 db all
the way to the back of the hall and still sound "natural." Guess
that's what I get for growing up with headphones glued to my skull.
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 3:33:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
>Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
>so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
>weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
>standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
>perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
>pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
>using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
>type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
>traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
>orchestras?

Just pick up ANY crossover stuff.

Or pick up some of the post-1980 DG releases, which are done usually with
an overall pair and then lots of godawful spotmiking. Check out the
Von Karajan set of Beethoven symphonies. It's as close-in as you'd ever
like it to be. You can even hear the faders going up and down if you
listen carefully. Yecch.

The vast majority of classical recordings today are done with some degree
of spotmiking. I think this is a bad thing, personally, but you might not.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 3:41:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bob Ross <bross@berklee.net> wrote:
>
>I started recording medium-sized orchestral groups (approx 25-30
>pieces) for film scores right around the time CDs hit the market
>(1983-ish. 84? How the memory fails!). Seeking some quality reference
>recordings, I picked up an armload of classical CD's (along with a
>brand new Yamaha CD-1 player) at the local hi-fi store. The discs were
>almost all on either the Telarc label (minimally miked in great
>sounding halls) or the Deutsche-Gramaphone label (maximally multi-miked
>in...well, who could tell, really?)

Note that Telarc is now relying more and more on multimiking these days.
It's really kind of sad to compare their newer recordings with some of
the stuff they did in the eighties.

On the other hand, D-G is starting to get away from it a little bit. Not
a whole lot, but the degree of total excess of their eighties recordings
has been toned down a bit.

>A week later I returned all the D-G discs for credit, and I've NEVER
>entertained the idea of close-miking an orchestra since!

Some of the film soundtrack stuff is done this way, and it actually works
out pretty well. The sound is artificial, but it works well with dialogue
over top.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 4:33:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Collect up just about anything done by
Columbia/Philadelphia/Ormandy in the 60s. Fine music, fine
conductor, fine performances. Many mics. Just not really the
way an orchestra sounds in real life.

Most any "symphonic" film score done in the last 40 or 50
years. Probably the best examples of the technique that you
can find.

Unless things have changed at the big labels, what you refer
to as "standard ORTF or Decca tree" may be less standard
than you might imagine. That a number of correspondents in
this NG might be proponents or users of those techniques
doesn't mean that major labels use them exclusively. It
continues to be my impression that the majority of classical
releases for the greater commercial market (as distinguished
from the niche markets) are done with as many mics and
tracks as the produceer(s) think are necessary.

And bear in mind that a great part of what makes "a symphony
so impressive in person" is the fact that your person is
present, usually operating with both ears and eyes. And that
a recording is only a feeble reminder of a real event.



TM



inkexit@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
> so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
> weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
> standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
> perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
> pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
> using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
> type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
> traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
> orchestras?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 6:20:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Multi-miking an orchestra is not difficult. I've done it with my local
symphony, and the mults are fascinating to work with. My ear prefers the closer
sound (shades of Glenn Gould!)

The problem is in mixing. How do you get it to sound like it would sound to
someone in the audience?
Or if you're going for a Gould effect, how do you blend the sections?

And even the ORTF mehod has limitations, BTW. The mics you chose will favor one
section over another. The positioning will ALWAYS favor one section over
another. Well, you argue, that's the way it sounds in the room, that's the way
they played it. yeah, but that doesn't mean it's the way it is supposed to
sound. Did it sound that way in Beethoven's head? Did it sound that way in the
chambers of olde?
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 6:27:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

>Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
>so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
>weak on record.
> ...
> I'm looking for... Something with lots of mics, or
>perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
>pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
>using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
>type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
>traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
>orchestras?

You might try to re-calibrate your ears by attending a few orchestra
performances in good rooms, and doing a few binaural recordings while
you're there. Play them back at home/studio over good headphones and
perhaps use that as your studio sonic reference.

You might decide that you prefer that more real sound instead of the
larger-than-life stuff you'd get with the techniques you mentioned.




--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 6:45:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Dec 2004 06:28:17 -0800, "William Sommerwerck"
<williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

>> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments that make
>> a symphony so impressive in person always seem to come
>> across as washed out and weak on record.
>
>You unintentionally raise an interesting point. One of the major defects of
>reproduced sound is that it lacks the "vividness" of live sound, regardless of
>the recording technique. By "vividness" I mean that instrumental sounds sound
>somewhat soft, rounded-off and blurred -- the sense that their attack sounds
>have an "instantaneous" rise time is missing. This greatly diminishes the sense
>of realism.
>
>My listening experience is that multi-miking does not seem to give much, if any,
>improvement (with respect to single-point miking) in this matter.
>
>Another point... Someone remarked that soundtracks are often heavily
>multi-miked. I've noticed that soundtracks often sound much cleaner than
>conventional orchestral recordings. Agree/disagree? Opinions?


WS,

Film scores often sound much bigger than the orchestra itself. That's
probably a good thing for movies. Unlike remote guys like me,
Hollywood balance engineers often have the best rooms, best equipment,
first-call players, lots of assistants, strong budgets, and world
class post-production. More than one scoring engineer I know sends
their vintage M50 trios to a well-regarded mic tech for thorough
evaluation before -every- new movie project. Movie budgets allow this
luxury.

IME, it always comes back to the room. Combine the right size and type
of orchestra with the right room and signal path and our job is made
easier. Instruments are better-defined. Timbres are more accurate.
Ensemble is full with proper spatial placement. Ambience is sweet and
natural.

I agree with your experience -- multi-miking can actually cause more
problems than it seeks to solve, though in some cases it's required to
reinforce choir or soloists, concerto instrument, or maybe a harp
section that needs help, etc.. I was recently hired to fill-in for a
classical ensemble's regular engineer who couldn't do a recording
session. They specified all kinds of microphones ("like our regular
engineer uses"). Besides the fact that it was the most technically
disastrous remote I've ever done (disk crash, mic failure, tube
failure, gremlins, etc..), we captured an absolutely gorgeous
recording, and frankly most of the great program is on main pair +
choir quad. Personally, I think most of the other mics can be
abandoned, but I'm not mixing the project.

Another thought. Many film guys are now adding sampled orchestra
patches (Vienna, Garritan, etc.) to the live mix -- which makes the
score appear even bigger. A good example is the new "National
Treasure" movie. I saw the film and was very impressed with the 5.1
orchestral sound. I bought the CD (stereo) and then realized how much
of the orchestra had been fortified with samples. Don't get me wrong -
Steve Kempster's recording of Trevor Rabin's score is remarkable,
truly stunning. It's just way bigger than life, and justifiably so.
It's a movie.

After seeing the film, I spoke with Kempster about his signal path.
For the record, he used 34 microphones and 34 outboard micamps,
including 24 ch Millennia, 8 ch GML, and Soundfield. Mics included
VM1-KHE (sec's), M50 (tree), CMC6xt, AEA44, MKH40, and SF422. Tracked
Pro Tools 24/96 with RADAR backup, mixed analog (Neve 88) on 5.1 ATCs.

JL
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 7:48:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

inkexit@yahoo.com writes:

>Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments tht make a symphony
>so impressive in person always seem to come across as washed out and
>weak on record. I'm looking for some classical music done without the
>standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc. Something with lots of mics, or
>perhaps even stuff with all the sections placed in different rooms ala
>pop music recording. I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,

Some interesting and enlightening responses to this post.

I would add: if you do multi mic with a main pair don't forget in the mix
to experiment with time alignment (even without a main pair, for that
matter) -- that is, it's an easy matter these days to time slip/advance
tracks to bring them into acoustical time alignment, whether in a DAW or
off an HD recorder. Take room/mic distance measurements or fire off some
sort of impuluse that all mics can hear to make this a little easier.

You can also go the other way and experiment with taking some tracks out
of time sync for effect (use sparingly, and with enough slip so that comb
filtering is lessened, typically >40 mS, but not so much that you've
created a "boingy" or "pingy" sounding room -- unless you really want that
effect).

Good luck,
Frank
Mobile Audio

--
.
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:17:46 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< What I contend is the major difference between recorded sound & a live
performance is the sense of Envelopment...something which even high-end
surround systems seem years away from being able to reproduce
convincingly. The phenomenon of, rather than transporting the ensemble
to the listener's living room but instead transports the listener to
the performance venue; until that is mastered, repro will always be a
simulacrum.>>

The difference between live performance & recorded sound is that they are two
distinctly unique & different art forms, as different as live theater & cinema,
& as such one will never be interchangeable nor confuseable with the other.

<<Which is what it's supposed to be anyway.>>

And which it can't by definition be anything but.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:17:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:
><< What I contend is the major difference between recorded sound & a live
>performance is the sense of Envelopment...something which even high-end
>surround systems seem years away from being able to reproduce
>convincingly. The phenomenon of, rather than transporting the ensemble
>to the listener's living room but instead transports the listener to
>the performance venue; until that is mastered, repro will always be a
>simulacrum.>>
>
>The difference between live performance & recorded sound is that they are two
>distinctly unique & different art forms, as different as live theater & cinema,
>& as such one will never be interchangeable nor confuseable with the other.

I think this is a shame. And while I might agree that about the last
statement, I still think it is worth our effort to fight that and to
make recordings that duplicate the original experience as well as
possible. It gets better all the time.

><<Which is what it's supposed to be anyway.>>
>
>And which it can't by definition be anything but.

That doesn't mean I'm going down without a fight, though.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:20:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< I would add: if you do multi mic with a main pair don't forget in the mix
to experiment with time alignment >>



When I have done this it takes all the spaciousness out of the soundstage. I
leave them the way they existed in the recording & keep the depth cues.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:36:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Someone remarked that soundtracks are often heavily
multi-miked. I've noticed that soundtracks often sound much cleaner than
conventional orchestral recordings. Agree/disagree? Opinions? >>



Agree. Cleaner, in the sense that there is generally less ambience & more
presence. The listener position is basically the conductor's podium instead of
the back of an unoccupied concert hall. There is generally less ambient noise
as well, recording studios being better isolated from their environments &
using more intelligently designed & implemented HVAC systems. Also session
players are more cognizant of the need for silence than their concertizing
brethren.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:41:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 28 Dec 2004 17:20:38 GMT, scotfraser@aol.com (ScotFraser) wrote:

><< I would add: if you do multi mic with a main pair don't forget in the mix
>to experiment with time alignment >>


>
>When I have done this it takes all the spaciousness out of the soundstage. I
>leave them the way they existed in the recording & keep the depth cues.


In general, this is my experience as well. Not always, but almost.

JL
Anonymous
December 28, 2004 8:53:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< The problem is in mixing.>>

Well, that's just knowing how the sections & the writing work. The thing with
mixing is that you can't sort of multimic an orchestra. You either do
everything or not at all, because the somewhat artificial presence brought
about by multiple mics needs to be equally visited upon all parts of the band.

<< How do you get it to sound like it would sound to
someone in the audience?>>

I don't bother because I don't feel that a recorded performance is in any way
equatable with attending a live performance.

<<Or if you're going for a Gould effect, how do you blend the sections?>>

Start with the main pair (or trio) & gradually bring each section up under the
main image to insure that all soloistic parts in the woodwinds & brass are
clearly heard. Modern tastes tend toward somewhat more forward strings than in
the past.

<<And even the ORTF mehod has limitations, BTW. The mics you chose will favor
one
section over another. The positioning will ALWAYS favor one section over
another.>>

Not in an acoustic space that properly matches the orchestra. In a dry studio
this will be the case.

<< Well, you argue, that's the way it sounds in the room, that's the way
they played it. yeah, but that doesn't mean it's the way it is supposed to
sound.>>

One has to do what is needed for the music to work. If that means altering the
balance of the original performance to improve upon poor acoustics or a weak
performance, then that's what you have to do. Purism should only be a starting
point, for ideal situations. After that, punt, which is why we have big mic
collections & mixers.

<< Did it sound that way in Beethoven's head? Did it sound that way in the
chambers of olde?>>

Yes, & no. 18th & 19th century music chambers & salons sound wonderful, & are
smaller, drier & much more intimate than late Romantic era concert halls. The
audience & the orchestra were all in the same space back then.






>>



Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 1:49:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Just not loud enough.

Hmmm... Loud? Why should it be loud? Some times it should be so soft
that you have to ask yourself:- "are they still playing/singing?" all
the way from lotsof-p to lotsof-f. Dynamics/contrast is important, not
absolute level (imho).

L


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 3:02:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

John La Grou <jl@jps.net> writes:

>On 28 Dec 2004 17:20:38 GMT, scotfraser@aol.com (ScotFraser) wrote:

>><< I would add: if you do multi mic with a main pair don't forget in the mix
>>to experiment with time alignment >>


>>
>>When I have done this it takes all the spaciousness out of the soundstage. I
>>leave them the way they existed in the recording & keep the depth cues.

>In general, this is my experience as well. Not always, but almost.

Er, something perhaps got lost here; probably my fault. My intent was that
one can experiment with time alignment so as to mimic sound propogation in
the hall, rather than near speed-of-light down the mic cables.

So rather than a stage spot mic being electrically timed the same as the
main pair/trio, it is appropriately retimed to match the travel times of
wave fronts (hall and enhanced direct sound from the spots).

Additional spatial cues could come from a rear-hall pair, perhaps also
delayed to mimic the speed-of-sound distance traveled to the listener, or
perhaps delayed even "bigger than life" to enhance a less than ideal hall.

Were you guys doing this and found it lacking, or had you taken a
different approach?

I've found track delays extremely useful to mitigate comb filtering in
closer-micing but where leakage was an issue; and have used it as
described above a few times to good effect (things snapped into focus;
sound stage still there), but have not yet had extensive experience in
that particular setting.

Very interested in hearing more about your experiences.

Thanks,

Frank

--
.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 2:53:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lars Farm wrote:
> <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Just not loud enough.
>
> Hmmm... Loud? Why should it be loud? Some times it should be so soft
> that you have to ask yourself:- "are they still playing/singing?" all
> the way from lotsof-p to lotsof-f. Dynamics/contrast is important,
not
> absolute level (imho).

Beethoven's ninth should be loud, and his fifth. Carmin should be loud,
Shostakovich's symphonys should be loud, Brahms should be loud, even
the piano sonatas. Phillip glass wants all his stuff loud, in fact
most symphonys are ment to be loud. George Crumb writes for amplified
piano, that should be loud. Why shouldn't it be loud?

There was one modern piece written that called for the musicians to
mimic playing and not make any sound at all, that should be quiet.
Cage's 4'33" calls for no noise to be made by the musician, but the
real point was that there is no such thing as silence. Loud =
powerfull = more moving. Don't you turn up the radio when a song comes
on that you like? I've never known anyone to turn it down. Loud is
good.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 5:38:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>>The difference between live performance & recorded sound is that they are
>two
>>distinctly unique & different art forms, as different as live theater &
>cinema,
>>& as such one will never be interchangeable nor confuseable with the other.

>I think this is a shame. And while I might agree that about the last
>statement, I still think it is worth our effort to fight that and to
>make recordings that duplicate the original experience as well as
>possible.

Point noted. But there is something to be said for pushing the envelope, for
innovation. Using a Beatles example, Norman Smith did it. geoff Emerick was
among the leaders in finding new ways to record bass and vocals, for example.
Classical is not so holy that it is immune from new ways to record. But I speak
as a recordist. I just LOVE new ways to record old stuff.
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 9:29:11 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< >The difference between live performance & recorded sound is that they are
two
>distinctly unique & different art forms, as different as live theater &
cinema,
>& as such one will never be interchangeable nor confuseable with the other.>>

<<I think this is a shame. >>

I don't know. Is it a shame that Humphrey Bogart's performance in Casablanca
wasn't available on stage as a live event? Isn't it valid just for exactly what
it is, a filmed non-realtime production, & not a lesser version of a stage
performance?

<< And while I might agree that about the last
statement, I still think it is worth our effort to fight that and to
make recordings that duplicate the original experience as well as
possible.>>

Why not see recorded playback in one's living room as non-equatable with the
experience in a concert hall, i.e. a different sort of experience altogether?
When you watch a Horowitz video, do you want to have one fixed camera position
from the middle of the hall, encompassing the boxes on either side of the
proscenium & a lot of audience members, or do you want to see his hands, his
expressions, his body movement? Do you want to hear audience coughs & shuffling
or do we feel that, upon playback, certain "enhancements" may make playback
more pleasant than a slavish devotion to a notion of purity?

<< It gets better all the time.>>

At least the technology does.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 9:29:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ScotFraser <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote:
><< >The difference between live performance & recorded sound is that they are
>two
>>distinctly unique & different art forms, as different as live theater &
>cinema,
>>& as such one will never be interchangeable nor confuseable with the other.>>
>
><<I think this is a shame. >>
>
>I don't know. Is it a shame that Humphrey Bogart's performance in Casablanca
>wasn't available on stage as a live event? Isn't it valid just for exactly what
>it is, a filmed non-realtime production, & not a lesser version of a stage
>performance?

Well, you know, I guess it _is_ a shame that live stage plays are not available
to watch decades later. Film is a good thing, but it's a different thing, and
it doesn't attempt to recreate the same experience (although early attempts of
course did). I would actually like to be able to play back stage plays of
a few decades ago with as close to the original experience as possible.

><< And while I might agree that about the last
>statement, I still think it is worth our effort to fight that and to
>make recordings that duplicate the original experience as well as
>possible.>>
>
>Why not see recorded playback in one's living room as non-equatable with the
>experience in a concert hall, i.e. a different sort of experience altogether?
>When you watch a Horowitz video, do you want to have one fixed camera position
>from the middle of the hall, encompassing the boxes on either side of the
>proscenium & a lot of audience members, or do you want to see his hands, his
>expressions, his body movement? Do you want to hear audience coughs & shuffling
>or do we feel that, upon playback, certain "enhancements" may make playback
>more pleasant than a slavish devotion to a notion of purity?

If I had a screen large enough and resolution good enough that I _could_
actually see details with a single fixed camera, I think I would actually
prefer that. Check out the Vitaphone short of Mischa Elman, which just
has Elman playing in front of a black background with a fixed camera. I
think that does the most to present the music without the technology detracting
from the music and the performance.

I agree that reproduction does not do justice to the original performance,
but I disagree that trying to preserve the original performance as accurately
as possible is not a good goal.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 9:57:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Er, something perhaps got lost here; probably my fault. My intent was that
one can experiment with time alignment so as to mimic sound propogation in
the hall, rather than near speed-of-light down the mic cables.
So rather than a stage spot mic being electrically timed the same as the
main pair/trio, it is appropriately retimed to match the travel times of
wave fronts (hall and enhanced direct sound from the spots).>>

You've described the same thing twice & called it two different things. When
moving the time line of a source relative to others you can go forward or back.
What are you doing that is different than that?

<<Additional spatial cues could come from a rear-hall pair, perhaps also
delayed to mimic the speed-of-sound distance traveled to the listener,>>

A pair in the back of a hall is already, by definition, delayed from the main
or spot mics. No additional delay is necessary to impart the spaciousness
contained in the hall ambience, although sometimes it is helpful to reduce the
delay in order to provide a more coherent image, i.e. diffuse field without the
time offset.

<< or
perhaps delayed even "bigger than life" to enhance a less than ideal hall.>>

I find adding back-of-hall mics can easily unfocus the main pair. A less than
ideal hall probably won't provide a pleasant ambience anyway, so you might be
better off doing it with a hardware or software reverb unit.

<<Were you guys doing this and found it lacking, or had you taken a
different approach?>>

I'm not getting what you're referring to that is different than aligning
arrival times of mics located at differing distances from a source.

<<I've found track delays extremely useful to mitigate comb filtering in
closer-micing but where leakage was an issue; and have used it as
described above a few times to good effect (things snapped into focus;
sound stage still there), but have not yet had extensive experience in
that particular setting.>>

If you're getting comb filtering, but not a discernable delay, your offset is
most likely 2 to 20 milleseconds. You can go for tight alignment or move it
back for more space. When comb filtering is taking out useful low end I'll
slide the spots back & forth until I get the response that I want back.
Oftentimes that means the room mics move a bit further back. Like I say, I
prefer the sense of depth when multiple mics are not aligned, as have the
various artists to whom I've presented the choice.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
December 29, 2004 11:43:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lars Farm wrote:
> <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > Lars Farm wrote:
> > > <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Just not loud enough.
> > >
> > > Hmmm... Loud? Why should it be loud? Some times it should be so
soft
> > > that you have to ask yourself:- "are they still playing/singing?"
all
> > > the way from lotsof-p to lotsof-f. Dynamics/contrast is
important,
> > > not absolute level (imho).
> >
> > Beethoven's ninth should be loud, and his fifth. Carmin should be
loud,
> > Shostakovich's symphonys should be loud, Brahms should be loud,
even
> > the piano sonatas. Phillip glass wants all his stuff loud, in fact
> > most symphonys are ment to be loud. George Crumb writes for
amplified
> > piano, that should be loud. Why shouldn't it be loud?
>
> They should all be loud. They should all be soft, too...

What parts of Beethoven's ninth should be soft? I don't recall
anything lower than mf in the score.

>
> > [...] Don't you turn up the radio when a song comes on that you
like?
>
> My reply was in the context of a live performance. I wouldn't walk up
to
> the conductor and ask him to "turn it up please"... Instead I'd
listen
> harder. Maybe that's even the intention sometimes... You said:
>
> >>> To be honest I'm usually not even that impressed with a full
> >>> orchestra in person either. Just not loud enough.
>
> > [...] Loud is good.
>
> Yes, as one dynamic level among others. Just as pp is good, and mf is
> good...

All ppp would be frustrating and many concert-goers would complain
about it.

> I perceive loud as only dynamic level throughout as somewhere
> between boring, lacking in talent and annoying. Also, loud throughout
is
> contra-productive. Loud becomes louder if it is in contrast to soft.
So,
> loud requires soft to be perceived as loud. It's not about absolute
> power. It's about relative power and life in music.

Ahhh, so if the first sound you ever heard was a jet turbine you would
take it as soft? Or if the first weight you ever lifted was 200 pounds
you would think it was light? Sorry, but this logic dosen't pan out.
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 1:51:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Lars Farm wrote:
> > <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Just not loud enough.
> >
> > Hmmm... Loud? Why should it be loud? Some times it should be so soft
> > that you have to ask yourself:- "are they still playing/singing?" all
> > the way from lotsof-p to lotsof-f. Dynamics/contrast is important,
> > not absolute level (imho).
>
> Beethoven's ninth should be loud, and his fifth. Carmin should be loud,
> Shostakovich's symphonys should be loud, Brahms should be loud, even
> the piano sonatas. Phillip glass wants all his stuff loud, in fact
> most symphonys are ment to be loud. George Crumb writes for amplified
> piano, that should be loud. Why shouldn't it be loud?

They should all be loud. They should all be soft, too...

> [...] Don't you turn up the radio when a song comes on that you like?

My reply was in the context of a live performance. I wouldn't walk up to
the conductor and ask him to "turn it up please"... Instead I'd listen
harder. Maybe that's even the intention sometimes... You said:

>>> To be honest I'm usually not even that impressed with a full
>>> orchestra in person either. Just not loud enough.

> [...] Loud is good.

Yes, as one dynamic level among others. Just as pp is good, and mf is
good... I perceive loud as only dynamic level throughout as somewhere
between boring, lacking in talent and annoying. Also, loud throughout is
contra-productive. Loud becomes louder if it is in contrast to soft. So,
loud requires soft to be perceived as loud. It's not about absolute
power. It's about relative power and life in music.

Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 2:32:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Loud is good.

An apt mantra for the soon-to-become deaf.

--
ha
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 2:32:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 23:32:58 GMT, walkinay@thegrid.net (hank alrich)
wrote:

><inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> Loud is good.
>
>An apt mantra for the soon-to-become deaf. <snip>

....like Gene Cerwinski, who was so deaf he couldn't tell a good
speaker from a bad speaker.

dB
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 4:44:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

inkexit@yahoo.com wrote:

> Don't know why, but the great mass of instruments that make
> a symphony so impressive in person always seem to come across
> as washed out and weak on record.

Some recordings are better than others, by the simple definition that I
like them better than I like others.

> I'm looking for some classical music done without the
> standard ORTF or Decca tree, etc.

CBS in the 1960-ties were into that.

> Something with lots of mics, or perhaps even stuff with
> all the sections placed in different rooms a la
> pop music recording.

Doing that with a classical ensemble generally will break it, because it
hinders the required communication and syncronisation between the
musicians. The microtiming will not get correct.

> I've heard Zappa did some of this type of stuff,
> using, among other things, PZMs with custom made plexiglass for each
> type of instrument. Any engineers out there that are pushing the
> traditional miking startegies for symphonies or larger chamber
> orchestras?

Just listen to the recordings you dislike due to a lack of punch, those
are probably the ones with a multimic approach to classical recording.


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
Anonymous
December 30, 2004 12:58:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Lars Farm wrote:
> > <inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >
> > They should all be loud. They should all be soft, too...
>
> What parts of Beethoven's ninth should be soft? I don't recall
> anything lower than mf in the score.

It's all relative. mf is soft compared to f. They're not absolute
directions directly transated to SPL. They're directions for
interpretation.

> > > [...] Loud is good.
> >
> > Yes, as one dynamic level among others. Just as pp is good, and mf is
> > good...
>
> All ppp would be frustrating and many concert-goers would complain
> about it.

Nonsense. There can be everybit as much tension in a barely audible ppp
as in a defening fff. Just open your senses and let it in...

....or are you saying that ppp throughout a piece as only dynamic level
is frustrating? Perhaps, that's why music has dynamics as one part of
its expression. ppp only is equivalent to fff only - boring. If this is
what you're saying then you've made my point!

> > loud requires soft to be perceived as loud. It's not about absolute
> > power. It's about relative power and life in music.
>
> Ahhh, so if the first sound you ever heard was a jet turbine you would
> take it as soft? Or if the first weight you ever lifted was 200 pounds
> you would think it was light? Sorry, but this logic dosen't pan out.

Then I'd have no reference for or concept of soft... or loud as relative
to soft. All would be flat at one single, dead, boring "dynamic" level.
It could be perceived as loud or not. Who knows..., if that's the only
SPL you know... Before long I'd never have to worry about sound at all.
I'd have become deaf without ever figuring out what dynamics in music is
all about.

Lars

--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 11:14:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> > All ppp would be frustrating and many concert-goers would complain
> > about it.

> Nonsense. There can be everybit as much tension in a barely audible
ppp
> as in a defening fff. Just open your senses and let it in...
>
> ...or are you saying that ppp throughout a piece as only dynamic
level
> is frustrating? Perhaps, that's why music has dynamics as one part of
> its expression. ppp only is equivalent to fff only - boring. If this
is
> what you're saying then you've made my point!

I meant the latter.

> > > loud requires soft to be perceived as loud. It's not about
absolute
> > > power. It's about relative power and life in music.

> > Ahhh, so if the first sound you ever heard was a jet turbine you
would
> > take it as soft? Or if the first weight you ever lifted was 200
pounds
> > you would think it was light? Sorry, but this logic dosen't pan
out.

> Then I'd have no reference for or concept of soft... or loud as
relative
> to soft. All would be flat at one single, dead, boring "dynamic"
level.
> It could be perceived as loud or not. Who knows..., if that's the
only
> SPL you know... Before long I'd never have to worry about sound at
all.
> I'd have become deaf without ever figuring out what dynamics in music
is
> all about.

This is true. I agree that music should have variance in dynamic
range. But the main
problem with the argument is that most everyone over age 10 has heard
and can both
reliably perceive and label high SPL levels and low ones, whether or
not they even know
what a dB is. Semantics aside, we know when sound is present at a
literally "loud" or a
literally "soft" level. To say that if we walked into a club where the
high volume music
was compressed to a pancake that we would consider it "soft" would be
ridiculous.
Those aren't your words but I feel this is the point your trying to
make. We might call it
"soft" in a figurative manner, but not in a literal one. Because it
would be smacking us in
the chest unlike any whisper ever could.

> > What parts of Beethoven's ninth should be soft? I don't recall
> > anything lower than mf in the score.

> It's all relative. mf is soft compared to f. They're not absolute
> directions directly transated to SPL. They're directions for
> interpretation.

Yes, so why not play it from 70 to 90 dB instead of 50 to 70? That's
roughly the same
amount of dynamic range. (Sorry I don't know how to figure the actual
proportional
equivalents.)
Anonymous
January 2, 2005 1:53:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Yes, so why not play it from 70 to 90 dB instead of 50 to 70?

Which brings us back full circle to...

>>> you: Just not loud enough.

>> me: Why should it be loud?

Lars


--
lars farm // http://www.farm.se
lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
Anonymous
January 2, 2005 8:23:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Well, you know, I guess it _is_ a shame that live stage plays are not
available
to watch decades later. Film is a good thing, but it's a different thing, and
it doesn't attempt to recreate the same experience (although early attempts of
course did). I would actually like to be able to play back stage plays of
a few decades ago with as close to the original experience as possible.>>

Advances in holography? That's the thing about live performance, it's
ephemeral. It happens, then it passes into memory.

<<If I had a screen large enough and resolution good enough that I _could_
actually see details with a single fixed camera, I think I would actually
prefer that. Check out the Vitaphone short of Mischa Elman, which just
has Elman playing in front of a black background with a fixed camera. I
think that does the most to present the music without the technology detracting
from the music and the performance.>>

Certainly the MTV inspired notion that one has to cut to a different camera
every 1.2 seconds is irritating as hell no matter what the genre. However, in
my living room, I would find the existence of other audience members even more
distracting.

<<I agree that reproduction does not do justice to the original performance,
but I disagree that trying to preserve the original performance as accurately
as possible is not a good goal.>>

I agree it's a really good goal, but I don't get overly upset that it's always
going to be different. Accepting that even the most rigorous purist approach
doesn't transport me to the original performance venue frees me up to do some
non-purist stuff like close miking & gain riding on pianississimo passages,
which, to my ears provides a pleasant music experience on loudspeakers.
Scott Fraser
Anonymous
January 2, 2005 10:36:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I don't understand. Could you present what you are trying to say in a
bit more straightforeward way?
Anonymous
January 3, 2005 8:34:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<inkexit@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I don't understand. Could you present what you are trying to say in a
> bit more straightforeward way?

How about: If the pianopassages are lifted to much then there is no room
left for the fortes.

We have different opinions, that's all... and that's OK:-)

The discussion came back to where it started and I marked that by
quoting from our initial messages. So I felt the (sub-)subject was
closed:-)

I'm not much into the "larger than life" ideal. I like live and
unamplified
  • music. I can enjoy barely audible passages in a piece as
    well as massive outbreaks, and all the levels in between. Not for their
    absolute SPL, but relative to other parts of the performance.

    I don't find loud something to strive for as an end in itself. Actually,
    I find it disturbing if it gets too loud. If the sound level is such
    that I need to protect my ears then that definitely takes away from the
    experience.

    YMMV as it obviously does. Maybe you're missing something by losing
    interest when it's not loud. Maybe I'm missing something by being put
    off by too much loudness.

    Lars

  • This has the added advantage that I know they play now and here -
    I'm not listening to a recording. Their ability to do that adds
    significantly to the experience.

    --
    lars farm // http://www.farm.se
    lars is also a mail-account on the server farm.se
    !