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Recording Big Band to Stereo?

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Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:01:12 AM

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

In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track stereo...very
reverberant chapel.

Question: Better to use a pair of KSM 32's as a spaced pair..or otherwise..or a
Rode NT4?
Any experiences welcome.
Thanks


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:01:13 AM

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

Blind Joni <blindjoni@aol.com> wrote:
>In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track stereo...very
>reverberant chapel.
>
>Question: Better to use a pair of KSM 32's as a spaced pair..or otherwise..or a
>Rode NT4?

Given those two mikes, I would probably pick the KSM32s as an ORTF pair first
off.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 3:01:13 AM

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

Blind Joni wrote:
> In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track stereo...
> very reverberant chapel.

Any chance of using Blumlein?
Related resources
Anonymous
February 1, 2005 4:07:39 AM

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

Will this be in concert, or will you have some control over the setup?


I have recorded our big band in a pretty reverberant church. The key
was getting everyon as close to the mics as possible - arranged in a U
aound the mics, the closes people 4-5 five feet from the mic. That
just let in enough reverb to be pleasant without washing everything
out. In the traditional big band set up, saxes in front of bones in
front of trumpets, rhythm secion to the side, I put and X-Y or ORTF
pair almost right above the saxes, 7-8 feet up, pointed between the
bones and trumpets.

In this situation, the positioning has a bigger effect than the choice
of mic.


On 01 Feb 2005 00:01:12 GMT, blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:

>In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track stereo...very
>reverberant chapel.
>
>Question: Better to use a pair of KSM 32's as a spaced pair..or otherwise..or a
>Rode NT4?
>Any experiences welcome.
>Thanks
>
>
>John A. Chiara
>SOS Recording Studio
>Live Sound Inc.
>Albany, NY
>www.sosrecording.net
>518-449-1637

Willie K. Yee, M.D. http://users.bestweb.net/~wkyee
Developer of Problem Knowledge Couplers for Psychiatry http://www.pkc.com
Webmaster and Guitarist for the Big Blue Big Band http://www.bigbluebigband.org
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 2:16:43 AM

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

Blind Joni wrote:
> In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track
stereo...very
> reverberant chapel.
>
> Question: Better to use a pair of KSM 32's as a spaced pair..or
otherwise..or a
> Rode NT4?
> Any experiences welcome.
> Thanks

I'd think it would really help to have a few spot mics,
particularly in a reverberant space. Minimal micing like hanging a
single drum overhead, something like that in addition to your main
pair. Big Bands are kinda like Rock Bands these days I think.

You could also treat the group somewhat like spotting a choir,
hanging a mid distant mic per section. I have had to use my overhead
audience mics on choirs on occasion (AT835's, cardiods), and even at
the 20'+ distance they sounded pretty close.

Of course if the bass player won't turn down it'll all be mush
anyway.

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Staff Audio / Fox News Channel / M-AES
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 6:04:03 AM

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

> as a spaced pair..or otherwise

I have found that NOS is a nice setup for big band jazz,
does not have the same front / back soundstage as ORTF but
has better left / right then spaced pair.

positioning it is important
and of course, if you can control the staging ( put everyone in the
right space for the recording)
this works better then spot mic'ing, imho.

dale
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 11:41:07 AM

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

Besides a nice pair of front of house mics, spot mics would help deal
with the reverberation during post mixing. I would cover my ass by
using a pair in front of the saxes, another right behind for the bones
and trumpets. This really helps during solos as the player can be
brought up in the mix. A spot on acousic bass is necessary. Attempt to
convince the bassist to not use an amp. A spot pair over the piano and
one on the guitar amp helps. Watch for cymbal leakage into the piano
and bass mics, sometimes a dynamic mic will help with cymbal bleed. A
stero pair over the drums and say an RE-20 on the kick should do it.
This way, it the room gives trouble, you have everything to work with.
Also, the dynamics of the drummer is very important as they crash and
pound this will leak everywhere. Try to space the piano and bass
somewhat away from the drums. Mic angles can help reduce leakage. Try
to have extra time for set up and request the band arrive early to help
situate everyone. This comes from 35 years of recording big bands in
various situations. Rule # 1 = cover your ass!
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 5:42:18 PM

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

if you are limited to two mics, i would also recommend NOS over ORTF,
and get that pair in as close as you can get it. it is far too easy to
get WAY too much reverb in a big hall.
Anonymous
February 2, 2005 8:50:27 PM

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

>Besides a nice pair of front of house mics, spot mics would help deal
>with the reverberation during post mixing. I would cover my ass by
>using a pair in front of the saxes, another right behind for the bones
>and trumpets

I realize this but..the budget is very small and I HAVE to do 2 track stereo to
my laptop..it is for archeival purposes rather than a release..it is for a
songwriter who wants a record of his arrangements. I did a ballroom dance play
soundtrack for him last year ..multitrack..but this is a quickie setup and
record. I will have a soundcheck so I will play with mic placement for as long
as I can..thanks.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
February 3, 2005 3:33:28 PM

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

On 01 Feb 2005 00:01:12 GMT, blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:

>In a few weeks I need to record a 24 piece band..2 track stereo...very
>reverberant chapel.
>
>Question: Better to use a pair of KSM 32's as a spaced pair..or otherwise..or a
>Rode NT4?

Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
them in how important this is.

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
February 3, 2005 4:08:25 PM

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

don't go to high either, seems sax's sound rises and the horns project.
there is a balance point, in close and adjust height to balance.

dale
Anonymous
February 3, 2005 11:22:55 PM

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

>Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
>room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
>them in how important this is.
>

I'm thinking closer is the key..as I stated this is for archieving not
release..the composer is a professor at the college where the show is taking
place.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 4:19:06 PM

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

On 03 Feb 2005 20:22:55 GMT, blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:

>>Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
>>room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
>>them in how important this is.
>>
>
>I'm thinking closer is the key..as I stated this is for archieving not
>release..the composer is a professor at the college where the show is taking
>place.

OK. But you're still asking how to get it good. If quality doesn't
matter, put a Walkman on a stool :-)

If quality DOES matter, hasn't this college got other rooms? If I
had to choose a room to record a big band, I think a reverberant
chapel would come pretty near bottom of my list :-)

CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
"Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 4:19:07 PM

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

Laurence Payne <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>On 03 Feb 2005 20:22:55 GMT, blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:
>
>>>Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
>>>room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
>>>them in how important this is.
>>>
>>
>>I'm thinking closer is the key..as I stated this is for archieving not
>>release..the composer is a professor at the college where the show is taking
>>place.
>
>OK. But you're still asking how to get it good. If quality doesn't
>matter, put a Walkman on a stool :-)
>
>If quality DOES matter, hasn't this college got other rooms? If I
>had to choose a room to record a big band, I think a reverberant
>chapel would come pretty near bottom of my list :-)

Good point. And that room may turn out to be the Physics department
auditorium or the steps in the lobby of the English department. There
are a lot of good possible acoustic spaces around a typical campus.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 8:29:54 PM

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

>OK. But you're still asking how to get it good. If quality doesn't
>matter, put a Walkman on a stool :-)
>
>If quality DOES matter, hasn't this college got other rooms? If I
>had to choose a room to record a big band, I think a reverberant
>chapel would come pretty near bottom of my list :-)

It is a show..in a performance space. I have mixed in this room before and it's
a nightmare..chapel with a large altar area..all reflective surfaces..I'm just
gonna get as close as I can.


John A. Chiara
SOS Recording Studio
Live Sound Inc.
Albany, NY
www.sosrecording.net
518-449-1637
Anonymous
February 4, 2005 8:29:55 PM

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

Blind Joni wrote:
>
>> hasn't this college got other rooms? If I had to
>> choose a room to record a big band, I think a reverberant
>> chapel would come pretty near bottom of my list :-)
>
>
> It is a show..in a performance space. I have mixed in this room before and it's
> a nightmare..chapel with a large altar area..all reflective surfaces.

Can you drape any of the reflective surfaces (particularly the ones close to the band)? Maybe throw something over the altar?
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 6:27:43 PM

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

if you read the liner notes they staged the recording session, placing
the performers
around the mic different for each song. used great electronics and
avoided the tape machine in the original direct to disc recordings.

this recording is my inspiration!!!

dale
Anonymous
February 5, 2005 6:38:58 PM

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

On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 13:19:06 +0000, Laurence Payne wrote:

> On 03 Feb 2005 20:22:55 GMT, blindjoni@aol.com (Blind Joni) wrote:
>
>>>Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
>>>room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
>>>them in how important this is.
>>>
>>
>>I'm thinking closer is the key..as I stated this is for archieving not
>>release..the composer is a professor at the college where the show is taking
>>place.
>
> OK. But you're still asking how to get it good. If quality doesn't
> matter, put a Walkman on a stool :-)
>
> If quality DOES matter, hasn't this college got other rooms? If I
> had to choose a room to record a big band, I think a reverberant
> chapel would come pretty near bottom of my list :-)
>
> CubaseFAQ www.laurencepayne.co.uk/CubaseFAQ.htm
> "Possibly the world's least impressive web site": George Perfect


One of the best Big Band recordings IMHO are the Sheffield Lab recordings
of the Harry James Band.

The King James Version in particular is very good.

I believe these were done with a single stereo AKG C-24 and the results
are very impressive.
Of course this is a band that knows how to play and blend and the balance
is perfect if not better :) 

IMHO this is the standard for Big Band recordings.


--
Sven Lossman
"Freedom of choice is humanities most basic right.
Take it away and the result will be
anarchy"
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 3:58:25 AM

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

A friend of mine, now the leader of his own big band, Pat Longo, played alto
on those sessions. Yes, one mic...and a lot of takes to positiion the mic to
get the proper balance. They musicians went nuts and were afraid they would
burn out before the actual recording occurred. Finally, the engineer was
ready and they recorded each side as a single take with silent pauses
between tunes. Pat just told me about it last week.

"Uncle Russ" Reinberg

WESTLAKE PUBLISHING COMPANY
www.finescalerr.com
WESTLAKE RECORDS
www.westlakerecords.com

> One of the best Big Band recordings IMHO are the Sheffield Lab recordings
> of the Harry James Band.
>
> The King James Version in particular is very good.
>
> I believe these were done with a single stereo AKG C-24 and the results
> are very impressive.
> Of course this is a band that knows how to play and blend and the balance
> is perfect if not better :) 
>
> IMHO this is the standard for Big Band recordings.
>
>
> --
> Sven Lossman
> "Freedom of choice is humanities most basic right.
> Take it away and the result will be
> anarchy"
>
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 10:26:39 AM

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

I'm a newbie on this forum but have been recording mostly jazz
(non-professionally) for 30 yrs. When I say non-pro I mean that wasn't
my profession. We (in Chicago area) were high-end hobbyists. We
happened to have access to venues and recorded some with permission and
some without. Got all the big bands and many stars and smaller groups.
Only pro musicians and artists. Never junk. Never rock. Harry James
mentioned above. We did Harry several times, including just for the
fun of it a video taping (only one camera). We considered the C24 in
MS stereo as our "insurance policy" besides being a warm, realistic
sounding mic. Had a matrix. Fed the two center channels (i.3. #s 2&3)
of our Crown CX844s. Some of us used dbx, some not. Piano usually
mic'd w stereo pr of C451s. Saxes w 414's, maybe two, placed
accordingly. Brass: put up several Neuman's behind the heads of the
saxes, and up high enough to blend the brass.
I know on the tonite show everybody was mic'd and it sounded very good.
We did it with fewer. Oh....drums: usually one mic, strategically
placed to get the tom-snare-bass.
Cymbals bled everywhere so we didn't worry about them. When the bass
player would allow us (usually no problem unless it was a clandestine
recording) we put a AKG dynamic in the bridge, carefully-under his
watchful eyes-wedged in foam. That way, we always got him on tape no
matter in what direction he turned. Mic was always right there.
So we recorded in 4ch. Some of us had a mixer, some not. The Crowns
had 2 inputs per channel. We did pretty well, though the best control
was still with mixer when we could use it. BTW: never bootlegged. And
it's interesting that Basie and Kenton knew they were always being
recorded. Never said much, though. Those of us with sufficient room
in our homes listen still with 4ch in-line and the imaging is amazing.
And this, without 5.1 etc.!!!!!

Now the tapes are starting to die. Ampex 407 turned out to be a
disaster and has to be baked. We're scattered across the country
now....years later. Tapes here and there.
Some of us have the DTRS format and have done some analog-dtrs xfer. No
big deal.
However the Hi-8 supply will dry up and the machines will need service,
so we are working on making xfers to optical. Whether dts, SACD or
whatever, we don't yet know.
Several of our friends tried transfers using various AD/DA converters.
I'm learning that problems exist of format compatablity, as in TDIF,
S/PDIF, AES/EBU etc.

Seems a large learning curve, but we gotta do it to preserve this
precious material.
Enough rambling. I appreciate knowing about this forum and reading the
posts. I am sure I will learn a lot. Doubt that I'll be able to
contribute to the extent that you folks can.
Thanks.
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 7:00:41 PM

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

On Sat, 05 Feb 2005 15:27:43 -0800, dale wrote:

> if you read the liner notes they staged the recording session, placing
> the performers
> around the mic different for each song. used great electronics and
> avoided the tape machine in the original direct to disc recordings.

Actually since they were doing direct to disk, they did one side at a
time. But I know what you mean :) 


> this recording is my inspiration!!!
>
> dale

Me too.
First time I heard it was at an audio show in NYC back in the late 70's,
or early 80's and I thought they had a real band playing. When I finally
tracked down the source of the music they were playing Harry on some Linn
turntable through hi end electronics and a pair of Infinity (Kappa?)
speakers that were about 6 feet tall.

The sound was fantastic and like I said, it sounded like a live band
playing.


--
Sven Lossman
"Freedom of choice is humanities most basic right.
Take it away and the result will be
anarchy"
Anonymous
February 6, 2005 7:47:15 PM

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

You're going to hate this, but Decca Tree out about the farthest space you
can have before the room starts screwing with the sound. Get a tall ladder
and go up and listen during any rehersals (hopefully you'll have access).
Put one finger in your ear and find the sweet spot! <g> Sorry, old Scott
joke.

If you can find that correct spot far enough back and high enough up, you'll
eliminate a lot of the room problems. I would suggest that in most any room
with a big band and a large enough room, one might find the spot maybe 12 to
15' up and somewhere between 20 to 50 feet back. It's a lot to check, and
the distances may make it impossible to do during a performance, but if you
go up and listen, you'll find the space. As you move up and down the ladder
for different distances, mentally take note of where it sounds "OK" and keep
that in mind. It will give you an angle to work with. Also realize that in
most rooms as you work back you work into the "cone", and so need to
constantly adjust. Otherwise you stray into the reverberant fields and
things sound differently than you'd expect.

The problem with making it as close as you can is that you no longer have
any control over depth of field nor the stereo image. If you need to EQ or
edit, things could go haywire for a little bit.

The opposing view would be move it back and above head space for the
audience and just let it rip. The worst you'd hear is what someone in the
crowd heard.

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio

"Blind Joni" <blindjoni@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20050203152255.13342.00000251@mb-m27.aol.com...
> >Well, whatever you use, get them close. The real answer is a better
> >room. If they want a good recording, you might be able to educate
> >them in how important this is.
> >
>
> I'm thinking closer is the key..as I stated this is for archieving not
> release..the composer is a professor at the college where the show is
taking
> place.
>
>
> John A. Chiara
> SOS Recording Studio
> Live Sound Inc.
> Albany, NY
> www.sosrecording.net
> 518-449-1637
!