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Old 2nd November 2006, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default Any interest in field RECORDING of music on location?

It just seems there should be a forum here on RECORDING. You could title it where the analog and the digital fans could feel at home. Microphones, placement, technique with certain musical instrument,etc. Thanks for your input. Ray Hughes:cannotbe:
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Old 2nd November 2006, 09:44 PM   #2
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default Any Interest in Field Recording....

Hi Ray

I know nix about this, although I know a guy who plays the balalaika who has a couple of friends who also play stringed instruments. Stone chapels are around...

I have a Nagra 4.2 and a pair of low-fi, ancient Shure mics but I'm not even "shure" where to stick 'em in (NO corny comments, pse)!

I've always fancied myself setting-up a crossed pair a la my hero Alan Dower Blumlein...

Interesting post!

bulgin
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Old 3rd November 2006, 05:34 AM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I agree. A recording forum would be nice. That's REAL diy Audio.

Got Nagra? Get out there and record! Use the Shures to start, then look around for something better. Doesn't have to be fancy to get good results. Two mics in an XY, ORTF or Blumlein configuration can be wonderful. Local school bands and orchestras are a good place to start location recording.

I used to do a lot of recording - it was great fun. Once used a Sony Walkman Pro cassette and stereo mic to record my grandparents. Wow, listening to those tapes was just like being there. Much better than video.

A big topic, for sure. Studio and location recording. Great fun!
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Old 6th November 2006, 06:24 PM   #4
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Oh sure. Been there, done that, got…well, got lots and lots of T-shirts out of it actually. Festivals, concerts, multitrack, multimic, purist; symphonic, chamber, jazz, folk. rock, musique contemporaine, opera. It's been my job and my life for the last fourty years (all right, thirty-eight) I'm mainly studio now, but I was doing things like the live recording on the Montreux jazz festival in the seventies, mobile trucks, location film recording.
Oh, and if you want to get optimum results from the Blumlein, you need figure eight microphones, and most of the good dirt cheap… excuse me, reasonably priced microphones (and they can be very good) tend to be cardioids.
Seriously, decent quality recording gear (not the absolute top of the range stuff, which still costs as much as your car, but still reliable, and better sound than almost anything you could buy in the sixties; back then, anything a little bit special, you built it yourself, or chatted up a BBC technician) is so widely available, and priced so nicely, anyone can get into it.
A Nagra 4, with phantom powering and you're using moving coil mics? For music recording your primary problem (apart from getting the tape the machine's lined up to) is going to be the shortness of the reels. If you haven't got the large reel adaptor (heavy, clumsy and 'spensive) so you can use ten and a half inch reels you'll be on five minute takes (or quarter hour with the lid open) Very limiting. Still, the machine can sound very good indeed.
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Old 8th November 2006, 03:50 AM   #5
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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I've done some, I guess. I recorded punk concerts in the early '80s onto cassette using a semi-pro Technics stereo portable, using a JVC single-point stereo mic. It sounded pretty good through headphones or over very directional speakers (like ESLs). Some shows I recorded in mono with an omni mic which seemed to capture more of the room sound. One of my roundtoits is to transfer those tapes to digital and let them loose someplace like punktorrents.

More recently, doing sound for raves and similar events, I recorded most of them to VHS HiFi. One little problem with those recordings is that levels wander all over the place, though generally upward since DJs always want it louder. Maybe if i can record with enough bits they can be normalized in software.

My setup for analog capture will be an external S/PDIF ADC (Behringer SRC-2496) to an Audigy 2 set for that bit-accurate (no resampling) S/PDIF input mode. Record at 24/48 if the hardware will let me, normalize, then save as Flac or wav.
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Old 14th November 2006, 11:07 AM   #6
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Being on the other side of the mirror(people pay me to record them) I've been associated with the muscular gentlemen with wire clippers who go around persuading people not to do freelance recordings; not only does the forest of microphone supports rising out of the crowds spoit the enjoyment of the other punters (excuse me, "those members of the audience who are there to enjoy the concert"), the group doesn't really want it known how bad it actually sounds FOH.
If you're going to record a concert, ask the group or their manager beforehand - a fair number of them are flattered, and frequently request a copy. Otherwise, you're on fairly shaky legal ground, and can have your gear confiscated (also holds for cameras)
Acoustic sets generally work better than heavily electric, and stringing microphones rather than waving them around is not only less tiring, it's visually less annoying and gives a stabler stereo image.
It is well worth using balanced microphones, cabling and inputs whenever apreciable lengths of wire are involved, particularly if there are lights. Miniature electret mics (which, for their price, can give amazing quality) tend to overload very early in high-noise enviroments; this isn't (generally) the capsule, but the head amp. Externally powering them, with a higher voltage, increases the signal handling significantly (frequently 20dB) and, with a balancing circuit/transformer built into the ex-battery compartement…
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Old 14th November 2006, 08:34 PM   #7
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Does anyone happen to know what equipment Alan Lomax used for his "Southern Journey" recordings? As reissued by Rounder records, the recording quality continues to amaze.
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