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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #16
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #17
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

A live show like this in an arena stadium has no relation to how this would be mic'd in the studio.

In a studio, a scoring orchestra is almost always mic'd with a decca tree in the center, flanking mics and then a ton of spots in the orchestra. The patch list for a studio session will be 24-32 channels at the low end usually and can easily hit 90 on the really complex modern scores (think a Danny Elfman type thing with lots of percussion and lots of synth playback). In the mix, multiple digital reverbs are used to create an ambience that just doesn't exist in real life. There are a couple rooms in the world where they will use real room ambience- Air Lyndhurst in England is a commonly used room with a good ambience and occasionally a concert hall will be used for a recording. Royce Hall at UCLA here in LA has been rented for a couple of John Williams scores that Shawn Murphy has recorded and they use the natural ambience in there.

The original video link, though, is not a studio... In the live sound world, everything needs a microphone on it and overhead area mics are a luxury that is rarely given to the sound crew. In live sound, it is all about trying to get a direct sound out into the venue. In a stadium, this is not usually possible with a lot of distant micing. If you look carefully, there are mics everywhere- in almost every shot. The most distant microphones on the string section are a set of Schoeps (most likely MK4) on colette active stands. You'll see them at the front of each section clearly. There is a small capsule and a "knuckle" of sorts right behind it where the capsule is turned at 90 degrees.

There is a tremendous amount of digital reverb used... If you use multiple reverbs and good quality reverbs, you can get a very convincing sound on the group. I personally will use Lexicon 960, TC 6000 or Bricasti when I'm working with groups like this. A minimum of 2 reverbs is used on a mix- one is shorter and one is longer to generate a real sounding ambience. Careful EQ and use of the predelay on each reverb is crucial. These aren't easy mixes when you aren't used to doing them, but they aren't that bad once you have practice with it. And while overhead mics are nice, they aren't always needed to get a recording of this quality. Obviously, the crew that produced this is experienced and did a good job.

--Ben
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Old January 16th, 2013, 02:15 AM   #18
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

Once upon a time, I read somewhere that the "easy way out" in terms of recording an orchestra (studio , at least) was using a couple of PZM's. Could anyone please elaborate on this?
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:02 AM   #19
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

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Originally Posted by Arne Barnard View Post
Once upon a time, I read somewhere that the "easy way out" in terms of recording an orchestra (studio , at least) was using a couple of PZM's. Could anyone please elaborate on this?
You can do that but it will sound like an orchestra recorded with a couple of PZM's and we have progressed since those days, my personal quick way of recording any ensemble is to use a single stereo M/S mic such as the sony ECM-MS957.

Actually there is also a well known simple three omni mic array still in use today and it is called a Decca tree: Decca tree - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That will still give a good result but the addition of some spot mics will help improve things a great deal.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:09 AM   #20
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

Looking at the size of the venue, I would imagine there must be several speakers dotted about in order for the audience to hear all the instruments. Violins will not carry that far in such a large space, although given that there seems to be 101 desks of 1st violins and 98 desks of 2nd violins I am sure people at the back of the hall should hear something.

I wonder just how many mikes were used for the recording and how many for the live performance, I was surprised to see mikes on the violins, especially at the back of the bridge, generally this space is reserved for sliding mutes, a mike in this location could pick up many unwanted buzzes. I wasn't there but it does sound like they knew what they were doing.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #21
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

You would be amazed how loud a full concert orchestra is and a proper acoustic venue such as the festival hall, the albert hall or the symphony hall and you will not need any PA re-inforcement or speakers in the auditorium as they would also colour any recording being done!

The natural dynamics of an orchestra are a joy to hear and even the solo violins will be heard clearly as it is all down to the dynamics of the score and the skill of the conductor!
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:30 AM   #22
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

As a former professional violinist who has played at all the venues you mention and more, I totally agree with you, but I think the hall in this production is more like the Olympic stadium.

Looking at this video (not all of it as yet) I think it does sound like it was both a live performance and the recording of a sound track for the animated film. When recording sound tracks for movies we also had the movie playing in the background during the actual session. Given that this production involved such a large orchestra and chorus, it would make sense to combine a performance with the recording, hence the close mikes (cuts out the audience noises) and allows for a re-mix at a later stage. the give away shot is the fact that the conductor also has a monitor showing the film.

Just my two pence worth.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #23
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

The problem is that it ends up with the tail chasing the dog, you need PA so the audience can hear things and then you have to tight mic everything to get rid of the PA colouration! ;0)
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Old January 16th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #24
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

Why not just get rid of the audience? ;-)
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Old January 16th, 2013, 06:03 PM   #25
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Why not just get rid of the audience? ;-)
Too right, I did a lovely live broadcast for the anniversary of the tsunami in japan last year with Taro Hakase at the caddogan hall in London, we had two dpa lavs on the steinway grand and a radio dpa lav on Taro' s violin, the ensemble was covered with two akg 414' s with a bit of reverb from the yamaha dm 1000 desk in the sat truck.

Great sound with no audience or PA to worry about!
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Old January 17th, 2013, 02:07 AM   #26
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Re: How is this orchestral concert miked?

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Originally Posted by Greg Miller View Post
Why not just get rid of the audience? ;-)
The audience covered the cost of producing this film score, which no doubt would have not been financially possible without them. A clever accountant must have been involved with this.

I personally hate audiences in concerts, theaters and cinemas, there is always a person with a cough who lets go in a ppp section of the music, or in the case of cinemas I hate the smell of pop corn - why do people have to stuff themselves with food with noisy wrappers. I have now become a recluse with my collection DVDs and CDs,

Humbug, humbug, humbug
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