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Re: Live recording

On Sat, 29 Jul 2017, at 07:16, Rodolfo Medina wrote:

> What I want to do is recording live piano: I'd like to use two mics for
> that,
> one on the grave and the other one on the high notes.  Besides, some
> times I
> will need to add human voice: this requires, in my idea, a third
> microphone...

Suppose you were standing next to someone playing the piano.  You'd
think what you were hearing sounded great... and you wouldn't have 
one ear at each end of the piano.

If the piano's in any normal room (ie NOT a sound-deadened area in a
recording studio) part of what you want to hear is also the way the
sound reverberates around in that space.   Add a voice?  Nothing

There's many a classical music concert recorded with just one pair of
mics.  The performers balance the sound (so eg the pianist doesn't
drown out a singer) anyway - they have to, for the audience to hear 
a good result.   In a good sounding room or hall (which is something
that most concert or recital rooms are) a decent pair of mics put in the
right place is all you need.

In a crappy room, with background noise, players who can't judge their
own relative volumes, and mics that can't be put in the appropriate 
place... its harder to get a decent result.

The same can be true of an orchestral concert.  Modern tendency though
is often to put a huge number of mics in place, both close to each set
instruments in the orchestra, and eg over areas of it, as well as mics
behind the conductor and further away.  And yet... the conductor's job
partly to choose how loud each instrument group should be compared 
with the others at each part of the piece that's being played, and to
that as the performance takes place.  The audience depend on that, as
of them will hear whatever is being mixed by the people in the truck
the hall.  I don't really understand why people do it that way.

I've recorded choirs, orchestras, opera etc for maybe 35 years now.  I
used multiple mics, but not huge numbers of them.  It's useful eg in a
where a relatively unskilled orchestra and choir are performing
together. More
than likely the choir won't be able to sing loudly enough to be heard
over the
orchestra.  Mics between orchestra and choir help one sort that out -
not for 
the audience - but for a recording produced afterwards.  It can be
useful to 
'spot mic' an instrument that's got to play a solo especially if you
think the
performer might have an attack of nerves and not play loudly enough -
you can make them seem a bit louder than they really were. It's useful
to mic
solo singers (singing in front of an orchestra) - partly to catch more
detail of 
the words they're singing... and also to help 'fix' them in the stereo

Concerts in churches (in the UK) often have a U-shaped balcony that
around the sides and rear of the church.  The sound that a singer
forward from the performance area bounces off the front edge of the
Singers sometimes turn their heads as they sing, and that can cause
voices to move from side to side in the stereo image... which - once you 
realise what's going on - can sound very peculiar.  A spot mic on a
can let you - say - add just a little of their voice in a fixed (eg just
to the left
or right of centre) part of the stereo image.

Jeremy Nicoll - my opinions are my own.