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Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:12 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:But tell these chaps Blumlein and Gerzon the next time you see them that it ain't real stereo!

I'm hoping that won't be for quite a while yet, but it's a conversation I'd very much look forward to having... :angel: :lol:

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:25 pm

Crazy thought re: marimba
Why not use soft mallets? Or those mallets with rubber bands around the striking area?

Although depending on how low the piece goes they might bring out more bottom end.
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby The Elf » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:39 pm

M/S is pants????!!!?!?!?!?! :shock:

How dare you diss my favourite mic technique! :round1:
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:10 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Whereabouts are you based? If you're not a million miles away I'll come along and see if I can be any help!
Hitch a ride with Arpangel - he's been here before! So he would be a repeat offender!

The Elf wrote:How dare you diss my favourite mic technique! :round1:
I even have four dedicated M/S 'decoding' (if that's the right word) channels on the desk - but I never use them.

I am now having similar arguments with people working in film and their insistence on using CGI for anything (e.g. rain when real water is far better or using day-for-night software instead of waiting until it gets dark) or software LUTs (look-up tables) to simulate types of film, instead of just getting it right in the camera.

I'm a Philistine who likes simplicity!
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:22 pm

:thumbup: Philistine Club :thumbup:
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:58 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Whereabouts are you based? If you're not a million miles away I'll come along and see if I can be any help!

We're in Ashford Kent Sam.
Things sound "OK" I've added compression to the Marimba using ReaComp, it makes it sound very hi-fI, very cliched but nice.
But all that's not the issue, it's me freaking out and not concentrating enough on the music.
True, I've been to Mr Bladders place and I can vouch for its stupendous capability in the face of adversity regarding creatives and their ability to, shall we say...."freak out" This is due to large amounts of single malt being administered by local neighbours Mr Glenn Fiddich and Mr Johnny Walker. But, as much as I'd like to take up your offer it's a bit of a way to lug a 6ft Marimba, it's certainly not hand luggage. But as you once suggested Mr Bladder, it could be a way of attempting a world record, two men and a Marimba conquer Scotland in a TVR!
If you're near Sam, feel free to pop in, we're well equipped, plus we have Hugh's favourite biscuits, HobNobs, Tunnocks chocolate wafers, Digestives etc, what more could any engineer want.
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:23 pm

Arpangel wrote:But as you once suggested Mr Bladder, it could be a way of attempting a world record, two men and a Marimba conquer Scotland in a TVR!

The intense Parkinson's syndrome that a 650-mile journey in a TVR would induce, could help with those tricky marimba double-hits!

ManFromGlass wrote::thumbup: Philistine Club :thumbup:

Quite!

I still remember the pin-head engineer who was hired by some band and he put 17, yes 17 bloody mics up on a perfectly normal drumkit. Snare top, snare bottom, tom-top, tom-bottom, kick-inside, kick-beater, earhole-mic, nostril-mic, you name it and he put one there! The result was predictably a complete and utter mess!

And of course nobody wants to make any decisions until the last minute, so you end up with 197 tracks of nonsense. We did a musical that had over 200 tracks - a completely unmanageable mess (until we had a delete/delete/delete session!)

Movies are now the same - footage is going into post as RAW 6K logarithmic files, so that every decision about framing or type of film and even bloody lighting can be made AFTER the whole scene was shot. Five useable takes of a scene - all five get layered onto the time-line, so the director can change his tiny mind about anything. Every scened ADR'ed - we don't want to fix vocal delivery during the shoot! Madness!

It's not the 'greats' that work like that. People like Spielberg, Hall or Deakins either use real film or commit to a look on set.
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:45 pm

Well, as it happens, I do have a reason to come to Sussex quite soon, so a diversion via Ashford might be feasible. When's the next session planned?
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:42 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:Well, as it happens, I do have a reason to come to Sussex quite soon, so a diversion via Ashford might be feasible. When's the next session planned?

Sam, that's really kind, I had a mail from my friend yesterday, I asked him to contact me regarding another session, I'm waiting for a reply. He's busy, day job etc.
I'll keep you posted and send you a pm.

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:49 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
Arpangel wrote:But as you once suggested Mr Bladder, it could be a way of attempting a world record, two men and a Marimba conquer Scotland in a TVR!

The intense Parkinson's syndrome that a 650-mile journey in a TVR would induce, could help with those tricky marimba double-hits

No, that would use up over a half of my 2,000 mile limited insurance, return trip, and cost me about 15 mpg, work that out from Ashford to North Scotland. Probably cheaper to hire a Leer Jet!
This is the world of free improvisation, we have to keep things in perspective...

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:54 pm

Arpangel wrote:No, that would use up over a quarter my 2,000 mile limited insurance, and cost me about 15 mpg...

If you're getting 15mpg from your TVR you're not driving it right! I don't think I ever got much better than 12mpg out of mine! :lol: ...but almost unlimited smiles-per-mile!

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:08 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:No, that would use up over a quarter my 2,000 mile limited insurance, and cost me about 15 mpg...

If you're getting 15mpg from your TVR you're not driving it right! I don't think I ever got much better than 12mpg out of mine! :lol: ...but almost unlimited smiles-per-mile!

H

Hugh, you're right, and I really haven't took it anywhere near its limits much, but...
I put £60 in and went to Dungeness from Ashford, along the coast to Folkestone, and back to Ashford, I had a quarter of a tank left, but those gauges aern't that accurate, I never let mine fall below a quarter full.
I have a Griff 500, I think you had a Chimera 4.0 last time we spoke. Probably not that much difference in consumption, but who knows. Smiles per mile? I haven't run out yet!
But driving it to Scotland for recording is a strictly solo job, my partner can only manage a trip to the local Tesco's in it!
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:25 pm

Arpangel wrote:...I had a quarter of a tank left, but those gauges aern't that accurate, I never let mine fall below a quarter full.

:lol: Yes, I was the same. Had a very nervous drive through mid-Wales once desperate to find a petrol station, with the gauge telling me quarter full but the engine coughing on the hills!

I have a Griff 500, I think you had a Chimera 4.0 last time we spoke.

How very dare you! :bouncy: It was a (chipped) 4.5...Lovely car, but gone now. Sold while the chassis still had some metal in it. Only car I've ever owned that I sold for the same as I paid for it (fourteen years later)!

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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:07 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Arpangel wrote:...I had a quarter of a tank left, but those gauges aern't that accurate, I never let mine fall below a quarter full.

:lol: Yes, I was the same. Had a very nervous drive through mid-Wales once desperate to find a petrol station, with the gauge telling me quarter full but the engine coughing on the hills!

I have a Griff 500, I think you had a Chimera 4.0 last time we spoke.

How very dare you! :bouncy: It was a (chipped) 4.5...Lovely car, but gone now. Sold while the chassis still had some metal in it. Only car I've ever owned that I sold for the same as I paid for it (fourteen years later)!

H

Yes, they do hold their value, one of, but not the only reason I bought mine.
It's had a complete rebuild, new outriggers, chassis, top end done.
It's great, I can't imagine being without it that's the problem, if truth was known I'm downsizing my studio to keep it on the road. Even though it's in excellent condition, things do go wrong now and then, new head gaskets recently, wiring and loom replacement.
Makes recording look positively cheap.
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:49 pm

Arpangel wrote: I have a Griff 500,

One of my favourite, most lusted after cars, ever.

Best I could manage was a 1990 Mazda MX5, had it for 19 years and shed real tears when I sold it.
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:39 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
Arpangel wrote: I have a Griff 500,

One of my favourite, most lusted after cars, ever.

Best I could manage was a 1990 Mazda MX5, had it for 19 years and shed real tears when I sold it.

Yes, it is beautiful, thee most beautiful car ever made IMO Friends say what would you have if money was no object, I always say "it's in the garage" And, it still is a hell of a lot of car, for relatively little money, compared to a lot of other stuff.
I'm lucky to have it, I never thought I would ever be in a position to do that, but life is strange.
I had part ownership in a Griffith wreck about 20 years ago, it got sold as a restoration project, I had no money, and I never owned another car until I got this one, which I've had for a year.
Still, let's not turn this thread into a branch of Piston Heads!
But can't help wondering why you sold your Chimera Hugh? and what do you have now?
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby The Elf » Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:42 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Best I could manage was a 1990 Mazda MX5, had it for 19 years and shed real tears when I sold it.
I bought a 2.0 MX5 a couple of years ago. It's easily up there with the very best sports cars I've owned - and I've had some good uns...
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:05 pm

The Elf wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Best I could manage was a 1990 Mazda MX5, had it for 19 years and shed real tears when I sold it.
I bought a 2.0 MX5 a couple of years ago. It's easily up there with the very best sports cars I've owned - and I've had some good uns...

You may know, there's a company based near the Shuttleworth Collection who specialise in MX5's, you can buy a complete body shell from them. Can't say I've ever lusted after one, but, the latest one looks very nice, like a mini Ferrari, definitely a future classic.
Anyway, I'm trying to segue this in with Marimba's and failing miserably!
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby joeleach » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:04 pm

Hi
If you're adding medium hall to your recording, and you're a purist, it suggests you're feeling a medium hall ambience. Ideally you should find a small church or reasonable hall and try there.

If you are dead set on the small room you are accepting that it's response is probably quite lumpy, and often too reflective to record professionally. Moving mics further away or pointing them off axis usually makes things worse. As you are in stereo one side is always off axis to one instrument. This is allowing the room to smear the perceived placement. By far the best approach is to work with the physics, as Hugh said.

So put the piano at the bright side of the room. Make the other side darker (put the marimba near the sofa, stand sofa up on it's end and use it as a corner trap, hang up duvets etc)

Then dampen the Marimba:
-use softer beaters (this will cause a dramatic drop in level if the player is down with it)
-put the marimba on a deep pile mat or get a duvet under it
-put absorbing panels on three sides of the marimba (I often make these out of mic stands in a 'T' with duvets hung over them)

I'd be surprised if you can't drop the level of the marimba by 15dB prob more using this approach.

As for the width, narrow the angle. A couple of ribbons would be ideal for the job, even at 20 degrees you will get good stereo without dramatic panning. Or condensers on fig 8. Although you may want to put an absorber above them, again, dependent on the room.

Or get Sam Inglis along!

Good luck
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Re: Recording Marimba and piano in a small room.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:41 am

Arpangel wrote:But can't help wondering why you sold your Chimera Hugh? and what do you have now?

I sold it because I just wasn't using it enough to justify the cost of insuring and servicing it every year. Added to which was the inevitable looming overhead of needing a new chassis within a few years. That's a very big outlay on something that was only doing a couple of thousand miles a year, so I figured better to sell it while it was still strong and let someone else invest in it for their enjoyment instead. I'd had my fun with it and while I'd loved it enormously over 14 years I think it was time to move on to something a little bit more practical.

So I'm currently driving a Merc SL400 which is an absolutely fabulous alternative (apart from missing two cylinders, obviously -- although that option is available given deeper pockets and even less interest in the planet...). The SL genuinely gives me all the open-top sporty B-road fun, performance and chuckable handling of the Trev when that's what I want (with a nice soundtrack too, even if not a v8), but combines that with spacious, comfortable, quiet, easy A-road and motorway driving when required with all the mod cons. It has an impressively capacious boot, much better fuel economy and emissions, is cheaper to maintain and insure, and is very much less likely to kill me should the worst happen which makes Mrs R much happier. It's also a very attractive car, both with the lid on and off -- which isn't true of many convertibles -- and just watching the utter genius of that folding metal roof in action puts a TVR-sized smile on my face every time!

But never mind all that... Joe has posted lots of relevant and good recording advice... :-D
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