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6 thoughts on “A High-Resolution Session In Mainz

  • October 30, 2015 at 12:01 am
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    Hi Mark, I really like to thank you for taking the time and sending these posts. I’ve been reading them every night since I’ve subscribed to you, keep up the good work.

    • October 30, 2015 at 3:35 am
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      Thanks Ron…more to come.

  • October 30, 2015 at 12:38 am
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    I am neither a musician nor a sound engineer.

    But I know when I listen to some recordings (esp recordings of classical orchestral pieces) I sometimes feel the sound is lost some where inside the speakers. Volume increases do not help. It is like hearing an open-air concert a block away. I have read that some sound engineers thought a single mike hung from the ceiling at the back of the theatre is good. Personally I have strong suspicicions that that sort of philosophy is what has produced these “lost orchestra” recordings.

    In other recordings, all the instruments seem spread across the space between my speakers. In some surround recordings sometimes some of the music even seems to be coming down frrom my ceiling!!!

    I have some stereo recordings that even sound like that, even when played just through my front left and right speakers.

    I have some Aix and Tacet surround recordings that sound even more like that. Total immersion in the music.

    And with no knowledge or experience whatsoever, I am convinced that your multiple mikes, and close-up placement of mikes, is what results in “Presence” for the listener at the other end of the process.

    Putting, nay – demonstrating – these concepts to a group of sound engineering students seems to me the best way of ensuring that future recordings succeed in bringing that “in the room presence” to us, the listeners.

    Great work!!

    • October 30, 2015 at 3:37 am
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      Thanks…the feedback from the group in Mainz was very positive. I simply wanted them to see and experience a slightly different way to record. I like the sound of close up…others prefer far away.

  • October 30, 2015 at 7:36 am
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    Mark,
    It’s good to know there’s people like you who are so generous sharing your vast experience and knowledge with future generations of audio engineers. I’ve always been of the school of thought that an EQ is overused in consumer audio equipment. Typically if you need an EQ, something is wrong, all they’re doing is adding another source of unwanted noise. Most sound guys in small venues the EQ is a necessity here, but more often than sound is over attenuated rather than cut. I’ve learned a lot from your posts and it’s opened my mind up to new and far better mic techniques. I’m not sure why, but most of the venues I’m referring to the signal usually is way too hot especially in the 1-2 KHz range. I’m assume they’re trying to “fatten up” the vocals. The biggest challenge is trying to point it out to whom ever is running the board without offending them. I have to wonder if they’ve suffered hearing damage from listening too loud for too long. Do you, or any fellow readers, have any suggestions for broaching this subject? It’s even been a problem when I’m playing-the last thing I need is to sound worse!

    Steely Dan used zero EQ on their 2nd album, opting to spend their money on the best microphones and the best studio they could find. There’s a big lesson there. For larger concerts I always try to get seats close to the board, it seems to be the sweet spot. I lucked out for the last two concerts, Alan Parsons & Steely Dan getting those seats at both. The sound engineer at Steely Dan had a dummy tablet set up showing a unrealistically flat RTA discouraging any audience input which I found hilarious. I’d never question anyone Fagan & Becker would hire (unless it’s after the show and they’re willing to answer questions that’d enhance my knowledge)!
    I don’t care who’s performing, I’m not risking my hearing due to someone who chooses loudness over quality.

  • October 30, 2015 at 9:46 am
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    The more I read of the Dr’s blogs, the more awed I am by what goes into producing a finished, first rate AIX recording. It’s no wonder so few companies are doing them. I didn’t recall reading the meaning of ORTF so did some research… just enough to not be ignorant but not enough to get in trouble. Here’s a link for those interested: http://www.harmonycentral.com/articles/ortf-stereo-microphone-technique.

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