Recording flute, horn, cello and contrabassoon

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
Hunchentoot X
audio school
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:00 am
Contact:

Recording flute, horn, cello and contrabassoon

Post by Hunchentoot X » Fri Jul 07, 2006 6:15 am

Next Thursday I'll be recording an ensemble made of flute, horn, cello, and contrabassoon in my living room. I won't have a chance to hear what this group sounds like in a room, much less my room, before they come over to record. I would like to record everyone all at once without any overdubs, and was considering individually micing each instrument and also recording in stereo with an XY pattern using two NADY SCM 900s. I'm hoping that the stereo recording would come out fine, but with a channel for each instrument I presume I could add a little more of one or the other if needed, if there aren't substantial phase problems.

I'm wondering if the horn will overpower everything and/or sound horrible with a mic close to it.

I am very excited at the prospect of a contrabassoon being brought into my house. I am tempted to use the kick drum mic on it to capture as much bass as possible, but I also don't think my kick drum mic is that good, so it may be a waste of time.

Anyhow, I tend to keep things in the computer and much less often record real vibrating air molecules, so please offer any approach even if it disposes of this one entirely.

Here's the music to be performed as arranged for fake instruments (here for flute, viola, cello, and brass-thing): http://www.unibrows.com/audio/Gm.mp3

Equipment:
Logic Pro
iMac G5 2.1GHz
MOTU 896
Audix drum mics:
*Two overhead condensers
*Three dynamic drum mics
*One dynamic kick mic
2 Shure SM57s
2 NADY SCM 900s

UXB
steve albini likes it
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:56 am

Post by UXB » Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:42 am

Just an aside on the bassoon-I have a bit of experience recording these wonderful instruments. Their range is amazing, and different frequency ranges emanate from different areas on the bassoon. If you have the option of borrowing some good low noise omnis, you may find them to capture the breadth of the instrument.

Also, look out for the sounds coming from the bassoonist when circular breathing!

Are you tracking live, or in separate passes?

Best,
H

Hunchentoot X
audio school
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:00 am
Contact:

Post by Hunchentoot X » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:56 am

This is a CONTRAbassoon, so even lower than a regular-ol-bassoon. I recorded a regular bassoon once before and that, too was a thrill, but the personality of the bassoonist was not.

I had been wanting to record everything in one pass on multiple tracks, but since the contrabassoon just sort of rudely butts in at the end I want it to be somewhat tremendous, and if there's time maybe I'll do an all-at-once take as well as a take without the contrabassoon and an overdub of that instrument.

UXB
steve albini likes it
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:56 am

Post by UXB » Fri Jul 07, 2006 4:53 pm

I thought it might have been a Sandanista. Thanks for pointing that out. Completely changes everything.

Try this if you have a decent room.
Setup a jecklin disc setup and some good omnis. You can fake the disc with a small pillow. Arrange the musicians so the imaging is what you want reflected in the final mix. Leave a space where the sandanistassoonist will later be placed. Without moving the mics, you can record the sanda later while preserving the placement.

Spot mics can also be used for control of individual focus of each instrument.

Don't be afraid to rent some good gear if it's an important hit that day. The small expense will pay dividends in the mix.

-H

User avatar
@?,*???&?
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5804
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 4:36 pm
Location: Just left on the FM dial
Contact:

Re: Recording flute, horn, cello and contrabassoon

Post by @?,*???&? » Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:09 am

Hunchentoot X wrote:Next Thursday I'll be recording an ensemble made of flute, horn, cello, and contrabassoon in my living room. I won't have a chance to hear what this group sounds like in a room, much less my room, before they come over to record. I would like to record everyone all at once without any overdubs, and was considering individually micing each instrument and also recording in stereo with an XY pattern using two NADY SCM 900s. I'm hoping that the stereo recording would come out fine, but with a channel for each instrument I presume I could add a little more of one or the other if needed, if there aren't substantial phase problems.

I'm wondering if the horn will overpower everything and/or sound horrible with a mic close to it.

I am very excited at the prospect of a contrabassoon being brought into my house. I am tempted to use the kick drum mic on it to capture as much bass as possible, but I also don't think my kick drum mic is that good, so it may be a waste of time.

Anyhow, I tend to keep things in the computer and much less often record real vibrating air molecules, so please offer any approach even if it disposes of this one entirely.

Here's the music to be performed as arranged for fake instruments (here for flute, viola, cello, and brass-thing): http://www.unibrows.com/audio/Gm.mp3

Equipment:
Logic Pro
iMac G5 2.1GHz
MOTU 896
Audix drum mics:
*Two overhead condensers
*Three dynamic drum mics
*One dynamic kick mic
2 Shure SM57s
2 NADY SCM 900s
3 things to consider:

Close mic'ing vs Distant mic'ing and the benefits of either

Accent mic'ing

Critical distance and what that means for what you're trying to achieve

Stephen B.
gettin' sounds
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:39 am

Re: Recording flute, horn, cello and contrabassoon

Post by Stephen B. » Tue Jul 11, 2006 1:57 pm

Hunchentoot X wrote: I'm wondering if the horn will overpower everything and/or sound horrible with a mic close to it.
If the horn player is not really good, it will be difficult for him/her to not overpower everything. Hopefully he/she has experience in this setup. Also, IMO, horn sounds horrible close miced.

I think overall, you will get the best result if you go for getting the sound with the stereo pair like you said. Be ruthless with the players regarding the balance that you need.
"Badness is only spoiled goodness."

C.S. Lewis

jajjguy
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 777
Joined: Mon May 12, 2003 11:26 am
Location: near Boston, MA, USA

Post by jajjguy » Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:24 am

The nice thing about horn is that all of the sound is directed behind the player. If you find that the horn player is playing too loud and can't adjust, you could try putting some kind of baffle behind the horn. A pillow on a chair with a blanket thrown over it, for example.

Unless you have a very large or very dead room, I don't think you'll get enough separation to make individual micing worthwhile. I'd set them up in a semi-circle, as if they were performing on a stage, and put a stereo pair a few feet out, about where a conductor would stand.

parlormusic
pushin' record
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 7:12 am
Location: Central New York

Post by parlormusic » Tue Aug 15, 2006 6:13 am

A ribbon mic along with an omni or cardioid in M/S setup would work wonderfully well. You can pick up an inexpensive Nady or SilverBox ribbon mic for $200-300 and they sound pretty darn good.
Knowledge is power...ONLY IF IT IS APPLIED!

Find the Lowest Prices on the NET & Get Paid to Shop!
www.grobux.com/register/11395

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests