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Dept of Red Faces

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Dept of Red Faces

Postby Brian M Rose » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:18 am

Oh well - one lives and learns....
I was recording a head and tail for an interview I recorded for our local Hospital/Community radio station yesterday, in my home studio.
I couldn't quite make out why my voice sounded a little thin and that the gain was down, but well, it was sort of OK.
It was only when I checked that I realised I had the wrong fader up, using a mic that was about 3m away rather than the Beyer 201 right in front of me! The remarkable thing was that it was actually quite usable :-)
Be warned about the blindingly obvious....
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby MOF » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:18 pm

A little tap on the mic’ will determine if it’s the correct one.
Mistakes a non technical mate of mine has made are singing into the back of a cardioid mic’ and leaving the speakers faded up while singing.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:25 pm

I was recording dobro a few days ago with 2 mics. The sound was ok, not what I was hoping for. A day later I looked at the ribbon mic and saw that the label was facing away from the instrument. I liked the sound better with the label facing the instrument.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Wonks » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:28 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:I was recording dobro a few days ago with 2 mics. The sound was ok, not what I was hoping for. A day later I looked at the ribbon mic and saw that the label was facing away from the instrument. I liked the sound better with the label facing the instrument.

Simply put a label on both sides of the mic and your problem's solved! :D
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:28 pm

Most of us think of ribbon mics as having a fig-8 polar pattern -- and most do -- and assume both sides sound the same... But a large number of modern ribbons sound quite different front and back -- and intentionally so, usually. So it's always worth checking which side works best for each specific application.

H
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby forumuser840717 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:23 pm

On the subject of using the right side of thing, if anyone should have red faces, it's the people responsible for the linked content in the marketing email I received last week from the lovely folks at Focusrite!

https://focusrite.com/news/recording-hill-quartet-clarett-4pre-usb?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-98B5x7sHNX7ySXPAbLM63qdauS20YbwTH7iNtG_vPsAITci-qE2JgT6qhTWziHGpIz5ZngM7n8SPh8El6I_ENWs9ajng&_hsmi=80308100

There is so much fundamentally wrong with the setup in their recording that it's unreal - both sadly depressing and vaguely irritating in its ineptitude, especially when people who don't know any better will see this and could take it as an example of good practice - and sadly everything that one would expect from such a bunch of basic errors is manifest in the recording.

The video element isn't bad; pity about the sound. A shame really as the product itself is probably ok and the quartet definitely deserved better! Focusrite - what were you thinking?! :protest:
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Dec 07, 2019 5:37 pm

Certainly an unusual decision to place the 'tree' behind the quartet! :?
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Ariosto » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:20 pm

I thought the noise floor was rather high due probably to the tube and traffic noise as mentioned. However that was not the best way to record a quartet in my opinion. The Dukes Hall certainly has not the best sound in London, and I've played there many times in orchestras, chamber music and solo. As a student in student orchestras and also in prof orchestra rehearsing there.

Using different mics and closer miking (in front of the quartet) would have helped as well and may have got a richer sound as well as reducing the noise level. In the end the sound they achieved was in my opinion rather muddy, and I would have liked Webern to have had more clarity and separation. There are excellent recordings of Webern's quartets to listen to, and you might have thought they could have done some reasonable research before having a go themselves?
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby jimjazzdad » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:36 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Certainly an unusual decision to place the 'tree' behind the quartet! :?
Agreed that the tree behind the quartet is unusual - no doubt dictated by the video director -
but I find the sound is satisfactory, in as much as one can judge from a YouTube feed. I certainly don't see as much "fundamentally wrong" as forumuser840717 does. The Decca tree of AGK 414 ULS wouldn't be my 'go to' array; I would have reached for some SDC omnis in AB. But the end result for a Focusrite advertisement probably satisfied the people paying the bills! (and, apparently, at least one of the quartet)
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Aural Reject » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:57 pm

I suspect, given that forumuser840717 is rather renowned for his recording skills in this area, his fundamental knowledge is rather more extensive than most.

I listened to it. Don’t like it. If they want a sound that’s unlike pretty all commercial string quartet recordings of any note perhaps people would like to try this.

But hey ho, I’m just a bloke on the Internet so what do I know? :headbang:
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby James Perrett » Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:58 pm

forumuser840717 wrote:On the subject of using the right side of thing, if anyone should have red faces, it's the people responsible for the linked content in the marketing email I received last week from the lovely folks at Focusrite!

They're not the only British manufacturer to link to some dodgy content in their marketing emails - I won't name names but their guide to setting up a commercial studio left too much out to be useful.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:11 pm

I wonder how he'll answer if I say Hello 717 next week when I see him ?

;)

I'll probably forget to say it knowing my memory these days


I'm probably going to be persona non grata in some quarters after the email I sent earlier..... as a result of some texts I've had concerning this subject... from several sources....

hey ho...
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Dec 09, 2019 8:38 am

Perhaps the fundamental error was assuming that there is a "sweet spot" (balance between performers and venue reverb) the judging of which is obvious and that one can easily make that decision for everyone else for all time, and right at the time of recording, with no chance to change it in post - except perhaps to pile on even more room reverb. That's some self-confidence/ presumption.

Why not defer those judgements until after the performance? Record the performance, and the venue's reverb, on separate tracks. Then later, let the performers as well as other people experienced specifically in production, listen to the playback and offer their opinions on the balance. First rate musicianship and tenth rate audio recording. A shame.

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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:26 am

I hardly describe it as a 'tenth rate' recording. That seems unnecessarily harsh.

It has its flaws, certainly -- mostly in terms of stereo imaging, instrumental balance, and tonality (ignoring the intrusive background noises) -- but, to be fair, I've heard far worse on commercially released records before now!

As for recording the performance and reverb separately... it is certainly an option in some situations, but not in others. Post-production time is not always available... ;)

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with a straight-to-stereo approach for a high-quality quartet in a reasonable room like that. It's probably what I would have done in this situation given a decent monitoring room. However, it appears that the recording was only being monitored in headphones at the time. Personally, I would be reluctant to commit to a straight-to-stereo balance using only headphones -- although it can be done given sufficient experience and confidence.

Still... at least Focusrite's primary aim of drawing attention to their product has been successful... :lol:
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Zukan » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:26 am

forumuser840717 wrote:On the subject of using the right side of thing, if anyone should have red faces, it's the people responsible for the linked content in the marketing email I received last week from the lovely folks at Focusrite!

https://focusrite.com/news/recording-hill-quartet-clarett-4pre-usb?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-98B5x7sHNX7ySXPAbLM63qdauS20YbwTH7iNtG_vPsAITci-qE2JgT6qhTWziHGpIz5ZngM7n8SPh8El6I_ENWs9ajng&_hsmi=80308100

There is so much fundamentally wrong with the setup in their recording that it's unreal - both sadly depressing and vaguely irritating in its ineptitude, especially when people who don't know any better will see this and could take it as an example of good practice - and sadly everything that one would expect from such a bunch of basic errors is manifest in the recording.

The video element isn't bad; pity about the sound. A shame really as the product itself is probably ok and the quartet definitely deserved better! Focusrite - what were you thinking?! :protest:

That link sends me to a page with the following:

You are not authorised to view this page.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Aural Reject » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:31 am

Zukan wrote:That link sends me to a page with the following:

You are not authorised to view this page.

Yep me too.

They've taken it down. Possibly due to Mr 717 and Max's comments....or otherwise....
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:50 am

Also not sure if they were like this before today but the two new clips on YT are "unlisted". I can only access them through my YT viewing history.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:57 pm

Max has a long and close relationship with the nice people at Focusrite, as well as with Mr 717 and, as he explained above, he's had a word with them about it directly. So I suspect they've decided to remove the videos to avoid further denigration.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby The Bunk » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:56 pm

On the subject of Red Faces / Mics, I once read, or browsed more specifically, in an "essential guide to home recording" book from a well-renowned source (no-one to do with SOS I should add), that one highly recommended mic was a, quote, Rodent 1a. Natch I smelt a rat, ho ho ho, and didn't proceed with purchasing said book.
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Re: Dept of Red Faces

Postby MOF » Mon Dec 09, 2019 4:08 pm

I have seen other promotional videos over the years from companies, that should know better, where they’ve used the sound from the camera mic’.
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