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Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

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Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby bragimike » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:23 am

Over the last few months I've asked a number of questions regarding recording my Wind Orchestra. I have now received the go ahead to purchase a recording set up, as hiring the equipment was expensive when you take into account that we would like the option to record more requently. We would like the option to record XY or ORTF.

With my limited knowledge of the options and the budget that has been agreed, I came up with the folowing equiment list:

ZoomF4
Matched Pair Mics Audio Line CM4s
Konig & Meyer Mic Stand + Stereo Bar
XLR Cables
SD Cards x 2

Does this seem like a sensible equipment list? Have I missed anything? I was considering Rode NT5s as an alternative to the CM4s.

I'm based in Nottingham and I'm looking for the best company to purchase the equipment off too if anyone has any views.

The replies to my previous posts and been extremely helpful, so thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:40 am

You just about have it covered, but you’ll also need a good set of headphones for monitoring. The microphone stand needs to be of the tall variety.

Then you also need to consider what you do with the audio once it is tracked, so you’ll need probably need a DAW for editing, so that’s a computer and interface as well as monitoring too.

I’d go with the CM4s over NT5s and would consider a future upgrade to be to add an Omni pair.

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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:44 am

I've used Pink Noise Systems for my Line Audio purchases....I've not had anything outside of the mics off them though....but always been very good.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby John Willett » Wed Oct 23, 2019 2:16 pm

Aural Reject wrote:I've used Pink Noise Systems for my Line Audio purchases....I've not had anything outside of the mics off them though....but always been very good.

:thumbup: Pink Noise are good.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby bragimike » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:03 pm

Sorry, I should have mentioned: I already have a suitable DAW and headphones, so they're taken care of.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:09 pm

While I remember, I use Rycote Invision shockmounts with my CM3s rather than the clips they come with...also from Pink Noise.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:09 pm

Ooh. My first ever double post! How exciting.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby MOF » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:05 pm

What are you going to use the recordings for, will you be re-recording any sections for editing in later?
If so then probably a separate recorder for playback to the conductor on headphones to get the timing right.
If that’s the case then it might be worth using a watch to record the time of each section on the score during rehearsals and then a notepad to note the start time of each recording so you can go to the relevant section for listening/playback.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby MOF » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:18 pm

A separate thought to convey to the performers, they must remain absolutely still after the final note to allow you to get the whole reverb tail and some room atmos’. Nothing worse than an abrupt fade out. :D
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:24 pm

If this is for recording public performances, I'd recommend the K&M 26009 round base, along with the 26007 pole which is listed at the bottom of this page:

https://www.k-m.de/en/products/mic-stan ... 0-56?c=179

It minimises any obstruction of sight lines and can be disassembled easily to pack away in a small space.

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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby MOF » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:59 pm

If so then probably a separate recorder for playback to the conductor on headphones to get the timing right.
It doesn’t have to be a good quality recorder, an iphone will do, good enough to provide a timing reference.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby forumuser840717 » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:18 pm

MOF wrote:
If so then probably a separate recorder for playback to the conductor on headphones to get the timing right.
It doesn’t have to be a good quality recorder, an iphone will do, good enough to provide a timing reference.

Or one could suggest that the conductor get a metronome! Or you could get one and play it down the talkback to him.

Though any conductor worthy of the name should be able to maintain a consistent enough tempo from take to take. Those who know they can be a bit wayward often carry a metronome of their own anyway. A separate playback device really shouldn't be necessary.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby MOF » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:33 pm

Or one could suggest that the conductor get a metronome! Or you could get one and play it down the talkback to him.

I think the budget is fairly tight, I don’t think there will be any talkback system.
I suggested an iphone (other brands are available) as they are readily available and yes you could download a metronome app’.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Arpangel » Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:46 am

Sounds like a decent list, but things don't always go as planned, spot mic's may be needed, and with the best intentions a stereo,pair doesn't always do the job, no matter how hard we try. So I would budget for a couple of extra mic's, in the future.
A talk-back needn't be expensive, a roll of cheap cable, and the cheapest of mic's, plugged into a spare mixer channel, the smallest Behringer will do, all you need then is a crappy active speaker. You can cobble this lot together for very little money.
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby MOF » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:56 pm

Hi bragimike, I was just wondering how things went with equipment purchases and recording?
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby bragimike » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:06 am

The equipment has been purchased and I tried it out at the weekend. I used an ORTF configuration at different distances from the orchestra to find the best placement. I may try XY this weekend to compare. This may be for another post: but is ORTF preferable over XY for an orchestra?

The equipment itself sounds great!
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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:21 am

I often use ORTF rather than X/Y for orchestras and ensembles, but I’ll also often use Omni outriggers as well. I find ORTF gives a good balance of definition and expansiveness whereas X/Y is a little clinical for my liking. It’s all related to the room and where you can place the microphones too of course.

The good news is that you can experiment and make up your own mind :thumbup:

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Re: Equipment List for recording an Orchestra

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:30 am

Preferable is entirely down to the kind of sound you're looking for (or the producer or conductor wants).

Coincident arrays like XY tend to give much more precise imaging at the expense of a reduced sense of 'spatiousness'... whereas near-spaced arrays like ORTF tend to give more of a sense of spatiousness at the expense of imaging precision.

But there are also other considerations, such as the sound of the room itself. An ORTF array needs to be quite a long way back from the orchestra because it has a relatively narrow stereo acceptance angle. That means it will capture a relatively large amount of the room sound which may or may not be desirable.

In contrast, XY cardioids typically need to be right above the conductor because it has such a wide stereo acceptance angle, and thus has a much smaller proportion of room sound...

So choosing and placing the mic array(s) is what audio engineering is all about... and there is as much artistic interpretation involved as their is engineering science.

Just remember that an XY array can have any desired mutual angle -- it doesn't have to be 90 degrees -- and that there are more near-spaced options than just the classic ORTF format!
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