Role of a Recording Engineer

 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1274
Registered: Jul-07
I thought this was very interesting.

http://www.ultraaudio.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95:the-ro le-of-the-recording-engineer&catid=31:general&Itemid=46
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16005
Registered: May-04
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Dr. Keith Johnson's comments regarding the Meyerson here in Dallas are quite interesting. It was designed as a ... ahem! ... "world class symphony hall". When I was doing my theatrical work here in Dallas I had the opportunity to redesign two existing theatres and build both a new theater's sound/electrical system and a new recording studio from scratch. During that time I had the chance to spend some time with the archetectural acousticians who consulted on the construction and final tuning of the Meyerson.

I've long considered Johnson's Reference Recordings to be coming from the finest, most natural sounding studio in existence. For the better part of the last two decades, the DSO has contracted with Dorian Recordings - another high quality audiophile approved studio. And the last dozen or so years the DSO has been under the baton of Andrew Litton who came here after a stay in St. Louis with their symphony playing in Powell Hall. The acoustics, potential and limitations of the Meyerson and Powell couldn't be further apart. Recently the DSO appointed van Zweden as the master conductor and all reports are that he has raised the level of performance from the players and is truly expoliting the Meyerson's sound potential.

I've not heard any of Johnson's recordings from the Meyerson through anything more than headphones. In the past I've always felt most recordings missed some of what is very special about the Meyerson's sound. It is very open yet maintains tremendous projection and dynamics. A solo violin is clear at any volume in any location with great intensity and vitality being heard even at the rear of the upper balcony. There really isn't a bad seat in the hall. IMO the Dorian recordings tended more towards a very slightly tilted high frequency content that is not truly a part of what I hear in that hall. I give Johnson's recordings a try and would recommend anyone interested in high quality recordings to check out his webpage; http://www.referencerecordings.com/choraleorgan.asp




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Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4689
Registered: Feb-07
Interesting article Chris. I've spent some time in recording studios and I'd always found that its the engineer on the board that has a huge effect on the outcome of the recording.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1279
Registered: Jul-07
I have a few of the reference recordings Jan. Very good indeed.

One instrument that RR does a better job (IMO) than most of recording is the piano. I find that the presentation of a piano on many recordings just doesn't do the instrument justice. It seems to me that most engineers use multiple microphones, and have the microphones so close to the sounding board that the venue is lost in the recording. I also find it unrealistic when the right hand of the piano is to my right, and the left hand to my left. It makes it appear as if I'm sitting behind the piano player. I don't know why they would mix the recording like that, with the different mikes on the same instrument in different channels. I prefer to have the piano in one area, and be able to hear the venue the piano is in.....yet still sense the percussive nature of it.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16019
Registered: May-04
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The choice of microphones - how many and where - is often dictated by the producer of the event. The enegineer and the artist have some say but the guy paying the bills is the one with the most influence.

Close mic'ing a piano gives an "immediacy" to the sound that is more difficult to capture when the mic is placed further from the soundboard. It also tends to minimize any extraneous noises coming from the fingernails of the artists striking the keys or from a wouldbe Glenn Gould humming along. I can't think of any recordings I own where there hasn't also been additional mic's placed away from the piano to allow for a slightly more wet or dry final mix. Even Johnson does his recordings in this fashion. But, the idea of a "clean, clear" sound is often what is desired and a piano which extends across the soundstage is no different than a drum kit with a dozen mics on it stretching from wall to wall and having particular drums or cymbals being highlighted within a solo.

Unfortunately, audiophiles can hope for recordings that suit their ideas of how a performance should sound but audiophiles have consitently occupied such a tiny portion (1-2%) of the music buying audience that they don't hold much sway with the desire to have a clean recording on the first take or to have multiple channels of information from which to manipulate the final mixdown.


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Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16044
Registered: May-04
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The role of a "non-audiophile" engineer ... http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/Features/Jay-Messina-0321-2011/#
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 16048
Registered: May-04
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http://digital.premierguitar.com/premierguitar/201104_1#pg49
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