Cello with piano accompany in Church

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Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Tj001 »

Trying to record a cello audition in church, with a grand piano accompany. It is a medium size catholic church with high arc ceiling. There will be no audience so I can place mic and camera anywhere I like. As a beginner, I only have a sE8 omni pair to use, connected to ZOOM F6. Any suggestion on how to place this mic pair? Greatly appreciated.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by MOF »

If you want a stereo recording then use the microphones as spaced omnis and have the cellist positioned centrally in front of the piano soundboard. Hopefully they will self balance for levels.
You’ll have to experiment with how close the microphones are to the performers to balance with the amount of reverb in the room.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Tj001 »

is there a rule of thumb for the space between omni mics? I have seen AB 30. Is 30 cm enough to create a good stereo image? Will 1-2 meters be better?
For cello distance, what is the range to try? Is 1 to 2 meters a good start?
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by MOF »

I’ve never used spaced omnis so I can’t comment, I’m just suggesting what I’ve read. I think spacing them a meter apart could give you that ‘hole in the middle’ effect and might not be very Mono compatible, I think that’s where the Decca tree comes in with the third centrally positioned microphone.
I suggested the cellist being centrally positioned but you might want the cello to be slightly left or right.
The distance from performers to microphones is something to decide on while setting up/rehearsing as it depends on the amount of reverberation in the room.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Bob Bickerton »

I’d use around 30cm spacing and focus on placement to get the best balance of cello versus piano versus room, bearing in mind if it’s for a cello audition you may give a little more emphasis to the cello so the adjudicators can make their assessment.

I’d probably also use the omnis 90 degrees off axis to attenuate any HF lift they may have on axis.

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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by tacitus »

Nailed it, Bob! I can’t better any of your suggestions, not that I’m that clever, but I recorded with spaced omnis quite a bit when I wanted full, even bass for organs, etc. usually 30-60cm spacing.

I’d be looking to get the cello sufficiently nearer to the mikes than the piano that both players can play comfortably without the piano drowning the cello. That should help give the cello the extra focus Bob mentions.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Arpangel »

Everything has been said, I would just add cooperative players, who are prepared to move around, plenty of rehearsal time, and a decent control room space that’s isolated from the performance area, and this is what my job used to be, mic monkey, moving the mics so the engineer didn’t have to keep running backwards and forwards, and this is where talkback comes in handy.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Before you do anything else, listen to the ensemble in the room. Once that is in your brain you will know what to capture. We're assuming it's a grand piano... is it?

A very tall mic stand is needed since the best part of the sound projects upwards. I've had success with a regular boom mic stand at almost full extension for a string quartet in a similar space. As well as the room reverb, you'll need to think about how close the mics are to the audience. People can make a lot of noise when they're not clapping. But you also want to capture a lively and enthusiastic sounding response.

Listen listen listen to the mic output with good isolated headphones and playbacks. Do not rush this part. Judge the mic width by ear and use a meter such as Izotope imager, you want it to mostly be between 0 and +1. IIRC I went to something like 33cm the last time. It depends on the room reverb mainly, but I don't usually analyse it that much I go by feel. With that quartet I was also trying to ensure that the second violin was clear because the soloist was often a bit on the loud side. Getting the mic stand to full height extension achieved that.

So much for my views. Here are some relevant articles from the magazine:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ion-part-1
https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advi ... cord-choir
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Arpangel »

Monitoring on phones in the space isn’t ideal, it can work if you have absolutely no choice, but a separate control room with small high quality monitors is always preferable.
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Gentlemen, best to read the op before commenting. It’s a grand piano, no audience and a recording for audition………. Best to keep it simple with focus on the cello to enable adjudicators to assess. Just checked out the frequency plot of SE8s - yes, I’d angle them 90 degrees off axis as suggested!

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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by ceejay »

... without wishing to "rain on your parade" so as to speak, a few years ago I was called upon to record the national finals of the Young Virtuoso Awards which was a similar set-up of soloists in a church ... the preliminary heats had been recorded with a stereo pair much has been suggested here, in this case with a couple of Rode NT1000, but I opted to add two NT5 spot mics as well and record on a Roland R-44 ... just as well as it poured with rain throughout with the result that the stereo pair was almost useless and the spot mikes saved the day ... worth bearing in mind if there is no possibility of retakes ...
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Re: Cello with piano accompany in Church

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

Bob Bickerton wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:57 am Gentlemen, best to read the op before commenting. It’s a grand piano, no audience and a recording for audition………. Best to keep it simple with focus on the cello to enable adjudicators to assess. Just checked out the frequency plot of SE8s - yes, I’d angle them 90 degrees off axis as suggested!

Bob

Good call :) Why 90 degrees though?
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