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Home recording piano and flute advice please!

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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Aural Reject » Sat Aug 24, 2019 4:24 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I took it to mean recording fewer pieces. Seems like a sensible approach rather than trying to jam stuff in and compromise on the set up time.

This isn't your decision. You're recording, not producing. You set up your equipment, they play. When THEY are happy with the performance of one piece, move on to the next one. YOU don't get two goes at anything.

I’ve not checked the thread but do you categorically know that?

I’ve often come across people who expect feedback from the ‘engineer’, including production decisions.
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:52 pm

Aural Reject wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I took it to mean recording fewer pieces. Seems like a sensible approach rather than trying to jam stuff in and compromise on the set up time.

This isn't your decision. You're recording, not producing. You set up your equipment, they play. When THEY are happy with the performance of one piece, move on to the next one. YOU don't get two goes at anything.

I’ve not checked the thread but do you categorically know that?

I’ve often come across people who expect feedback from the ‘engineer’, including production decisions.

Quite
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:15 pm

As we’re all pretty green at this, I’m looking to manage expectations on what we will achieve. I fully expect a second day to be requested (based on experienced feedback here), but everyone involved needs to see that for themselves.
A copy of the days recordings on the day is a genius idea to put in perspective what we achieved. If they’re happy with the playing, we’re good. If not, we go again. We’re only doing this for our own fun, after all!
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Aug 25, 2019 1:17 am

Mike Stranks wrote:
Aural Reject wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:
blinddrew wrote:I took it to mean recording fewer pieces. Seems like a sensible approach rather than trying to jam stuff in and compromise on the set up time.

This isn't your decision. You're recording, not producing. You set up your equipment, they play. When THEY are happy with the performance of one piece, move on to the next one. YOU don't get two goes at anything.

I’ve not checked the thread but do you categorically know that?

I’ve often come across people who expect feedback from the ‘engineer’, including production decisions.

Quite

You could be right! Anyway, we'll know soon. Did you tell us when the session was?
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:51 am

Session is Wednesday.
Timetable so far is arrive and setup PC, mics at 9.
Pianist coming at 9 as he knows the family we're borrowing the piano from.
Stereo mic positioning, duvet hanging and trial recordings until 11 when Flautist arrives.
Additional spot mics, trial runs, mugs of tea until Lunch.
Then record until family return to their home and we get thrown out!!

New news is there are some solo flute pieces to do, but those can be done later at my place. Getting the piano pieces will be the focus of Wednesday.
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby John Willett » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:52 am

Siejen wrote:<dawning realisation I might actually have grown up, but just not noticed >

You can't be a musician then. ;) :D

Mummy, mummy, when I grow up I want to be a musician.
Sorry darling, you can't do both.

:bouncy:
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:04 pm

Moving on... it’s the night before and all the gear is packed. Good news is I’m sold on the dominant pair of mics. Discussion here and lots of listening and playing with multiple tracks says you’re all right, so thanks. Nearly failed at the first hurdle!
Now I’m worried by how far away an ORTF pair needs to be to capture the pair. In the room I’m going to be lucky to get 2m from the piano. Is there a recommended distance from source for ORTF? Does NOS allow me closer? (Narrower recording angle; been reading and listening )!
Experiments here favour ORTF over xy (too clinical)

I’m guessing this is normal nerves. Thanks for all the help so far. More tomorrow!!
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:26 pm

Question; does the ‘over’ cardioid response of the line Audio cm4 come into play here as well?
As they’re not strict cardioid, should I be closer to 27cm, 120degrees for a 96degree SRA?

Rabbit hole here I come :o
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:16 am

It sounds as though your research has been excellent but maybe, and others may disagree, my recommendation now will be to start with the CM4 ORTF pair and then focus your energy on listening.

Be aware of balance, width of the image and placement within the image. Be prepared to move musicians as well as mics. Assess the tonality of the elements and what impact the room is having on this.

And try to enjoy the experience!

Do report back and let us know how you got on.

Bob
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:09 am

Thanks Bob.
The car is so full of duvets, clips and things to hang them from I lost a little perspective :beamup:
Musicians, instruments and room are all above angle of mic separation in my head now
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Wed Aug 28, 2019 8:39 pm

Recording day done, and grateful thanks to all your wonderful advice. Day went well, spoilt only slightly by technical issues (not mine)!
Fuller report and samples tomorrow. It’s glass of wine o’clock!!
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:46 am

Gordon shares some practicalities & advice on how to record your playing, ... recording for posterity, you can often do so at home with reasonably basic ... I find it good to place my recorder on a chair next to the piano bench. . please mail them to your nearest Simply Music office inappropriate packaging:
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Sat Aug 31, 2019 3:59 pm

Days report, for those interested ;)
The room was really quite small, but such an unusual shape the normal room modes were just not the problem. The double height hall (as it was a hall) had almost no parallel walls, balconies on three sides and a domed roof!! Listening around the space, the piano sounded great wherever, which was the bit I was really worried about. The mics went up in various positions while the pair played, including over the balcony looking down which gave a nice balance. The best balance was mics 2m high behind the flute pointing down ish, almost the ideal flute position, and placing her in the curve of the piano the mics could 'see' the strings. This gave a central flute impression, with a broad piano that had no issues when collapsed to mono :) This height was at the bottom of the balcony, so I put duvet over the balconies behind the mics and the other side where they pointed, just to cut first reflections.

However, this close to the flautist key clicks became an issue. The pads of the flute were pretty worn, and we ended up using about a pack of cigarette papers under the keys and moving the mics around to almost behind her head just so the clicks weren't so direct.
At this point I ran secondary spot mics to the piano and flute, pointing 180degrees away from each other so one saw the piano strings and one looked at the flute headpiece (again, slightly away from the keys). The thought of this was if I could use a 'transient designer' plugin to reduce the 'attack' of the flute (i.e. the clicks) I could support the main pair and at least minimise the impression of clicks.

We then ran through the pieces (2 sonatas, 3 movements each), and I was so grateful that I could follow the score!! After the first couple of recordings (where I was so busy monitoring recording levels and making sure I wasn't in loop record(!!!) I wasn't able to do anything else) I was able to note the score as we went through and make sure the mistakes in the next take were in a different place :)

I spent yesterday comping the different takes together, just from the stereo pair. Good news is that the key clicks are a lot less obvious over speakers than on my headphones. I've not tried the spot mics yet, bar a quick listen which has done nothing but confuse me. The piano is about the same level in each of the mics (did I mention this was a diffuse environment!), and the flute is not to far off. Either that, or I have the worlds only omni SE1a mics....

Big thanks for all the advice here. Notes on the score were essential. Main pair and spots was exactly the way to go. A pre-run would have highlighted the flute key issue (the flautist left slightly ashen faced after playback on headphones), but I didn't have that luxury.
We didn't record any solo flute pieces, but have agreed to do those at my place once the flute is serviced.

Other things: next time I'll get a long headphone extension lead to listen to the mics as I place them (I could only do that in a limited point from the pc, but it was bloody useful for making the image central!), and when listening to recordings of different positions, remember to normalise them first. I spent half an hour fine tuning an over the balcony position that only really sounded better because of a level difference!!

Now, hopefully I'll see you on the mixing forum as I try not to over-cook some basically good recordings!! I will post some of the comped stuff 'dry' and after a bit of hall reverb, for comment. Cheers,
Iain
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby blinddrew » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:45 pm

Sounds like a pretty good first day, thanks for the update. :)
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:29 pm

Any results for us to hear yet?
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:41 pm

Anything for you, EW :)
Schubert Sonata in A Minor, except the first bit because Soundcloud has a copyright issue with it :(

https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert3
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert2
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert4
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert5

These are just the main pair (no spots yet), some eq and reverb.
All comments gratefully received

Iain
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Siejen » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:11 pm

Those lovely SoundCloud people have re-instated the first section, so you can hear it now complete :)
https://soundcloud.com/iain-suffield/mi ... -schubert1

And then to the Bach (with less reverb as befits the more chamber-y style)
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Re: Home recording piano and flute advice please!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:52 pm

Finally got round to listening!

Not bad at all. Were the performers pleased?
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