Sweet Owen Sound provides audio and video recording services to Jacobs School of Music students entering International Competitions, auditioning for graduate schools and professional positions. I’ve made audition recordings for Jacobs School of Music, Julliard and the New York Philharmonic, to name a few.
Anyone interested in this kind of recording will know that editing of the musical performance is not allowed. The test is to see how well one can play a piece in a single take. Additionally JSoM allows the students to scheduled rooms for two hours, which means that there is very little time to waste. Each piece is usually played two or three times. For the musician this can be a very stressful undertaking, similar in many ways to giving a recital. This was take one of ten that were made of four different works in October of 2017.
For Sweet Owen Sound the challenge is to get into the room and be set up as quickly as possible. Experience and detailed planning allows me to get the job done without creating additional stress for the student. The audio in this example was recorded at 96K/24 bit on a Sound Devices 702 recorder. The microphones are AKG 414’s that were mounted on an eleven foot stand in ORTF, and set in figure of eight mode. Video was captured on a Nikon D800 36 megapixel camera and recorded on a Ninja Atamos II in ProRes 422 (1920x1080x30fps). I also brought a small Mole-Richardson fresnal lamp for fill light.
This recording captured a very live room sound. A more focused sound with less room reverberation is easily achieved by switching the microphones to cardioid or super-cardioid mode.
I appreciate the kind permission of the artist to allow me to post the video as an example of my on location recording capabilities.
Adam Cantor recently asked me what microphones were used in his recording Sceyence. Here is the recording chain including the microphones, premaps and digital converters used. Warning don’t try this at home or you will make an incredible recording of your refrigerator and every other machine running in your house and neighborhood, not to mention cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, chain saws, and airplanes nearby. For more information see my post Rationalizing priorities in choosing a room to record in .
There were 4 microphones used throughout the recording. AEA R84 ribbon microphone, a stereo pair of AKG414s and a DPA 4099G. The AKGs and the DPA are condenser microphones. An AEA TRP (The Ribbon Pre) preamplifier was used for the AEA R84. The stereo pair AKG 414’s and the DPA 4099G were using preamp channels in a Focusrite ISA428. Lynx Studio Technology converters were used for each microphone.
The three microphones that are heard on every track are the R84 and the AKGs. They were set up in a Decca Tree. The R84 was the center and the AKGS were wing mics. If you are recording in a great room this set up will give your recording lots of character. The fourth mic, the DPA 4099G is an equally incredible mic, which I often use as a single mic on a guitar. In this case it is only heard on a few songs where the register changes and the tunings did not generate even tonal performance. This mic was included in sections where the delicate nature of particular section of music and the register of the guitar needed different equalization.