Recording the QWO at The Old Museum | Week 1

The opportunity to record great musicians doesn't come around as often as you would think (Just joking, geez calm down all bands I've ever recorded!). Anyway, the chance was given to me last night by audio mentor and man with the coolest teaching methods in town, Adrian Carrol as I went down to record the Queensland Wind Orchestra rehearsal at The Old Museum with Yasmin, Kevin and Jackson. 

This was not your average recording for me. It was very fast, almost like live sound. We had to be quiet and needed to stay out of the way. The best thing was, that this was a rehearsal, so no one really minded that we didn't know exactly what we were doing, but learning a heap none the less.

Things I Worked On

I knew going into this project that speed and listening were going to be important, so I tried to make sure my microphone set-up and DAW set-up were done as quickly as possible. The one mistake we made that was something everyone had a good laugh at was getting the multi-core the wrong way around, then having to reverse it. Let me tell you, reversing a 50 metre multi-core in a cathedral space is challenging. so next time we'll nail it.

When Adrian was showing us the microphone set-up, he was very systematic with placement and gain structure, making sure things were not only pointed in the right direction and height, but that there was enough head room for the mix. This will be hugely important later, as too much level could risk us clipping in the DAW and ruining the entire recording (After all, we only get one shot at it). As you can see by this example video below, there is so much sound to be captured in one space, that creativity with mic selection and placement is crucial. I was impressed with the results we achieved with only 8 microphones, but i'd definitely like to work towards recording an orchestra of this scale.  

The Set-Up

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  • Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre I/O
  • IEC Lead for interface
  •  Mac Pro Laptop
  • 2 X DPA 4011As  
  • 2 X KM184s
  • 1 X Behringer B-2
  • 8 X Long Leads
  • 8 Channel Multicore
  • 240 V Extension
  • 240 V Power-board
  • Thunderbolt interface lead
  • AVID ProTools iLok
  • Headphones
  • Hard Drive
  • Electrical Tape
  • Masking tape and marker
  • One Manfrotto lighting stands for the main mic array
  • 1 X ORTIF stereo mic cradle
  • 5 X stands for outriggers

Mic Placement

  1. 2 x 4011 (Conductor in ORTIF Config)

  2. 2 x KM184 (Either side of the stage)

  3. 3 x NT1 in (L-M-R Pattern along the back of the orchestra)

  4. 1 x Behringer B-2 (in the audience)

 

Why Do I Care About This Project?

I'm really interested in pursuing projects like this, because my career goals require some basic knowledge of how to record something like this. If I haven't spoken about it before, I would like to intern at Skywalker Ranch. An ambitious goal for a Redcliffe boy, but something I have been working towards and this is part of it. I'm hoping to be involved in more projects like this, and would love to record an orchestra in a studio as well. 

What's Next?

Next Monday we have our second rehearsal with the band, and we have a pretty good idea of what to do and how to do it. I'm going to aim to write a list of notes that will help me next time, because although it is simple, there is a lot to remember (Little things anyway). Here's a short video of my view from the control room... See you next time in the next part of this blog series. 

References

(2018). Retrieved from https://www.dpamicrophones.com/pencil-microphones#cardioid-mics

Back to the Future with the NEW RØDE NT1 microphone. (2018). Retrieved from http://en.rode.com/nt1

Behringer B-2 PRO Large Dual-Diaphragm Condenser Mic | Condenser Microphones - Store DJ. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.storedj.com.au/behringer-b-2-pro-large-dual-diaphragm-condenser-mic

Kolsimcha and London Symphony Orchestra recording Autostrada at Abbey Road Studio 1. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rcznot5shhY

Neumann KM 184 Small-diaphragm Cardioid Microphone - Matte Black. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/KM184--neumann-km-184-small-diaphragm-cardioid-microphone-matte-black