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Topic: Style v. micing position

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  1. #1

    Style v. micing position

    Hi all

    I think I\'m beginning to get my head around the close/distant micing theory, but I\'d appreciate your input ...

    To my ears, distantly miced gigasamples (Steinway B, Post Setinway D) seem to be most suited to producing RECORDED classical/orchestral arrangements, e.g for film or television. Listening to a sequence of a distantly miced gigasample is not dissimilar to listening to a well-recorded classical CD.

    Close micing, on the other hand, produces a much more direct sound, perhaps too present/direct for recordings. Although less noise is captured, some of the subtle resonances are lost. I find close micing to be most suited to jazz, and in particular LIVE performance. When a close miced piano sample comes out of my speakers on a gig it has a venue in which to disperce and resonate around. In this way, the close miced gigasample and the way it travels around the venue naturally produces a similar effect to what the distant miced gigasample is trying to acheive in the sample alone.

    Is this making any sense ?!

    Steve

    [This message has been edited by sjduck (edited 01-25-2002).]

  2. #2

    Re: Style v. micing position

    Hello Steve,

    Your assumption is valid, that a close mic\'ed sampled piano in a live venue traveling around the room would have more of the sound of a distant mic\'ed sampled piano.

    Regarding your second question, closed mic\'ed sampled pianos in a recording can be processed to sound very much more like a distant mic\'ed sampled piano, with quality performance hall emulation such as Altiverb or a Sony DRES777. For such a comparison, you can listen to both \"Scherzo\" MP3 demos on my web site. Both of these Scherzo demos are of the same original source audio recording. One is totally dry and unprocessed, while the other one is processed with Altiverb, achieving performance hall emulation.

    Kip
    Bardstown Audio
    www.bardstownaudio.com



  3. #3
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: Style v. micing position

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sjduck:
    Hi all

    I think I\'m beginning to get my head around the close/distant micing theory, but I\'d appreciate your input ...

    To my ears, distantly miced gigasamples (Steinway B, Post Setinway D) seem to be most suited to producing RECORDED classical/orchestral arrangements, e.g for film or television. Listening to a sequence of a distantly miced gigasample is not dissimilar to listening to a well-recorded classical CD.

    Close micing, on the other hand, produces a much more direct sound, perhaps too present/direct for recordings. Although less noise is captured, some of the subtle resonances are lost. I find close micing to be most suited to jazz, and in particular LIVE performance. When a close miced piano sample comes out of my speakers on a gig it has a venue in which to disperce and resonate around. In this way, the close miced gigasample and the way it travels around the venue naturally produces a similar effect to what the distant miced gigasample is trying to acheive in the sample alone.

    Is this making any sense ?!

    Steve

    [This message has been edited by sjduck (edited 01-25-2002).]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Steve,

    Yes and no. Yes, in that the addition of intervening air between performer and audience in a live situation does indeed work as you describe. If, for instance, your amp/speaker system on the gig is moving approximately the same amount of air as a piano would, then you do have a situation where the illusion of reality would be very pervasive.

    On the other hand, consider a situation where you\'re playing a large venue with gigantic PA support. In this instance, if you\'re running direct, you can also end up with a GIGANTIC piano, much larger than natural.

    It\'s all relative to surroundings, both live and in the studio. For instance, on a tune where you\'ve got a vocal and guitars mic\'ed at distances of 8-12 inches, a piano mic\'ed at a two foot distance might sound distant in comparison. Yet, a piano is so physically large that soloed, a mic distance of two feet gives an almost microscopic perspective...one which you\'d never hear unless you were standing with your head in the lid.

    There are so many variations and critical factors in the music production process, that almost any distance of mic\'ing will be usable for some things and not for others.

    As Kip mentioned, quality reverb and room convolution can emulate a more distant perspective quite well. The flipside of that coin is that in other ways, the tonal imprint of the microphones is somewhat permanent. A piano mic\'ed at a distance of 1-2 feet and placed in a room simulator after the fact will have a very different sound than a piano recorded at 10 feet dry, because overtones are being recorded closeby that don\'t survive the distance. In short, a closer mic\'ed instrument will have more sustain, more overtones flying around. Decay of the strings sounds very different at different distances, and this factors into the equation as well. These are identifiable sonic imprints.

    I guess the short version is this: There is no short version. Each mix and each instrument will dictate the effect of mic distance, and relative to almost innumerable factors it\'s pretty much a crapshoot what will work in what situation.

    But, in general, you\'re on the right track. I\'m glad you said close and distant mic\'ing rather than studio or hall. Studio gets used like a dirty word around here sometimes, haha, but one can definitely achieve distant mic\'ing while enjoying the benefits of rooms designed for recording.


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