Equipment and Recording Techniques

Audio is captured using a pair of Shure KSM 141 condenser microphones and converted with a Focusrite Scarlett USB interface (either the 2i2 or the 18i8).  Video is captured using an Ablue camera.  720p, 30fps.  Working on upgrading the video, but the high-quality audio is what counts!

I use the ORFT technique: 17cm between the diaphragms of the two mics, and an angle of anywhere between 110 and 137 degrees, depending on instrumentation/volume/hall acoustics.  It takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to set up, depending on the space – usually only 15 – 25 minutes.  Most of this time is spent getting the mics at the correct angle.  Once it is set up, I need about five minutes to adjust the gains on the mics, so I’ll need you to play at your softest volume and at a full dynamic.  Just a few measures will do for each.  If you have a colleague in your studio you really trust, they may have great input for this.
A wider mic angle or a larger distance from the mic will catch more harmonic overtones and therefore a fuller sound, and a narrower mic angle or a smaller distance from the mic will catch more clarity of articulation and dynamics.  I tend to stay close to 120 degrees for a good balance.

Brass Players in Galvin:

I find that conical bore instruments work best with the mics in front of the 1st or 2nd row of seats.  Cylindrical bore instruments would probably benefit from having the mics in front of the 3rd or 4th row of seats and wider mic angle.

Brass Players in MCR:

I find that conical bore instruments work best with the mics in front of the 2nd or 3rd row of seats and a slightly narrower mic angle.  Cylindrical bore instruments work best with the mics in front of the 4th or 5th row of seats and a slightly wider mic angle.

(As I record more recitals, I’ll update this to include more info about my “default” set-ups.)

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