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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #1
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Recorded yesterday

https://files.me.com/jimandrada/0mrj3a.mp3

Haven't put up any recordings to be "shot at" in a while:-) Here's a short piece from a band concert yesterday.

Only issue we had was that I couldn't place the stand just behind the conductor as there wasn't enough space between her and the edge of the stage so I set the stand down on the floor of the hall. Fortunately I brought a tall light stand with a horizontal extension arm so I could get the mics up about 15 feet from the floor - seemed to work pretty well.

Comments?

By the way, Izotope really earns its keep

Compare this clip at about 30 to 32 seconds to the above

Pushy https://files.me.com/jimandrada/94q3fk.mp3

It just seemed to me that there was too much "push" in the euphonium part so I played around with it for a while and was able to soften it a trifle.

Last edited by Jim Andrada; October 19th, 2010 at 04:51 AM.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #2
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Hello Jim,

Did you mix this with another set of mics farther back in the hall (perhaps a camera mounted mic)?

The ensemble sounds very center-heavy (and distant) in comparison to the trumpet and euphonium solos, and it sounds like I'm hearing a mix of near and far mics that aren't quite fitting together, especially if the far mic was XY or mono. The effect is especially clear at 1:00 - 1:11.

Were the soloists out in front of the ensemble? Or still in their sections?

Very excited to hear a wind / brass band sample, by the way. For some great reference recordings, check out offerings from the UNLV Wind Orchestra.

Cheers.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #3
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Hi Christian

No, just a single M/S pair a couple of feet away from the lip of the stage and a few feet above the director.

Interesting that you should pick up on the separation. It's a really nice hall BUT the stage is quite deep and there were heavy black curtains very close to the back of the group (about middle of the stage front to back so a nice (?) big empty space behind the curtains), as well as overhead curtains which sucked up a lot of the sound - I play in the back row (tuba) and after listening to the recording myself I think we need to get the back benchers to project more when we play the hall again. Or try to get everybody further forward and close up the band front to back. It's a bit pricey to rent the hall so we don't get a rehearsal in the hall itself.

If I hunt around a bit I'll find another recording I made in the same hall a couple of years ago with the same group and setup that WAS recorded from the camera position about halfway back in the hall - not the same piece though.

And the soloist(s) was/were right up front.

Thanks for the comments - it's great to get another pair of intelligent ears working on it
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Old October 19th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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Hi Jim, some very nice playing in there. I find it's almost impossible to get a studio sound in these multipurpose halls which have to host such wide a variety of events. In the UK, these venues will take away some or all of the curtains for a big occasion like a whole weekend of Brass Band contests but for a one night stand kind of concert they will want some serious extra money to customise the stage area. I think Christian is right that it may well sound more balanced from further back but at the risk of it all losing some of the intimacy from soloists. Would be handy have both options available though.

Overall, I think that's a reasonably good result in a situation where the recording of the performance was always going to be a lower priority to the live concert performance. Not quite the same scene as a studio recording with a live audience.

On another topic you may be interested in this - I'm going to try and post some extracts from the Bellahouston (Glasgow) Papal Mass broadcast footage which I recorded from the BBC coverage. The brass band playing was recruited from Croy and Shotts Brass Bands and I played Bass trombone. I did quite a lot of filming on the day during the rehearsals but not during the actual event for obvious reasons. It was very interesting to be involved again in such a big event.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the info! Was this in a high school? Many of the high schools in Virginia have the exact same set-up you described -- a stage that is too deep and no architectural consideration given towards projection through panels or open stage designs. What happens is that everything in the back rows (brass and percussion) goes straight up into the rafters, curtains, and lights. This makes the mix very front-heavy for band concerts, chorus concerts, musicals, etc. Getting high can help some (but only for the recording). A better idea is to get a shell to surround the group. The panels help the backline project forward. If it is possible to move the back line forward, do it. I haven't experienced the narrowing that I heard in your sample, but maybe that was how the group was positioned?

I'd be very curious to hear the sample reposted with the SIDE channel boosted 3-6db.

If you are really trying to compensate for spaces like this, you can actually place an extra mic pair or recorder in the back of the ensemble! I did this for a huge wind band performance (~115 members) in a high school in September and it saved the recording.

Cheers.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #6
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Hi Christian

Good thought re spreading the image - I haven't gotten to that point yet but I will in the next couple of days. First pass is more fixing coughs and sneezes and an occasional fluffed note - I think I lucked out in being able to tone down a bit of overenthusiasm on the part of the solo euphonium - it just came across as too pushy in the original.

I will post the center of hall recording from a couple of years back I have everything, just need to get around to doing it! I thought it sounded fairly good but as expected I had to spend a lot of time taking out coughs and such. I really came to think Izotope was my friend (I once fixed up a trio recording where the cellist had bumped the chair with the cello - horrible noise but I got it out!)

I was also thinking of going higher with the mics - I can get them up about 16 - 18 feet with the tall light stand and a counterweighted arm at the top if I can put the stand on stage - I just have to get the director to stop worrying about stepping back and hitting the stand. I'm thinking that higher and aimed down a fair amount would help even out the front to back spread. I wasn't able to get the hall to let me get up above the stage to hang mics.

Hello again Colin - if you ever get to Tucson you're always welcome to sit in. Can't have too much low brass! Weather is really nice right now.

I was also thinking of micing from two locations, but the more complicated the setup gets, the harder it is to do it and also play in the group - to say nothing of the $$$ involved in duplicating my gear.

The hall is the Berger Performing Arts Center at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind and it's really quite nice, although as you pointed out not optimized for anything like a band. Hall seats a few hundred folks. Fortunately we don't come close to filling it! I say fortunately only because it makes for less audience racket. On the other hand, this being Tucson the average age of the folks in the audience sort of helps hold down the noise level as well! Average age in the band is up there as well!

Thanks for the constructive input!

Last edited by Jim Andrada; October 19th, 2010 at 08:36 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 10:00 PM   #7
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One more

For no particular reason except that I think the low brass part in this arrangement is quite nice so as a low brass guy I thought I'd post it.

https://files.me.com/jimandrada/6bkr4l.mp3
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