Thursday, April 25, 2013

Russian Recording

So, recording Russian Chamber Chorus of New York. Here are my notes.
I discovered the one instance where I might want reading glasses and distance glasses in one pair of progressive bifocals. That's recording where I have a machine close by and then have to look in the distance at the subjects.
SD 702. Remember that you need external power if you're going to be using an external portable FireWire drive.
But you know what? Not really. Because the recorder (and faders, on a mixer) are really at the 22" computer distance rather than book-reading distance. So if I do end up with progressive bifocals one day they likely won't be reading/distance but rather computer/distance.
I used the Oktava 012 mics. Russian made and from The Sound Room. They sound great.
The Oktava mics are a bit further apart on this X/Y bar than I've been having them. Is that good? Bad? I don't know.
We did some back-and-forth about how far away the mics should be. Personally I'd put them either right behind the conductor or way up in the balcony. I feel like on the floor I get too much of the crinkling sounds the audience makes, but if I'm fairly close I get nice articulation off the voices and instruments. The further back I go, the better the "blend" in the room. Up in the balcony there's much less articulation but the audience is quieter.
These look higher up than they really are. They're only up as high as my AKG tripod mic stand will put them. 
So it's all a compromise.
What I did was set up in the back of the room, but then just before the performance I pushed the mic stand about 12 feet closer to the chorus. This was at Holy Trinity on 82nd Street. The shape of the space is interesting with a huge domed ceiling.
See? I'm cheating. I'm using the marks that are already on the floor for my mic positions. This will make it easier to replicate (or avoid) in the future.
Listening to the recordings last night I was pretty happy with them. But I am far from a neutral listener and after an evening of recording I have no critical distance anymore. I did, however, have some smoked mozzarella cheese and strawberries dipped in chocolate. But that has nothing to do with these recordings.

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