Natural Classical Orchestral records...

Discussion in 'Acoustic & Orchestral instruments' started by hdsmile, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. josephspirits

    josephspirits Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    If you can't make it in person, I would suggest checking out the BSO broadcasts from one of the greatest Halls in the world;

    Seems like you may only be able to listen to the current week's program live Saturday and Monday evenings at 8pm at the moment, due to ongoing negotiations, but I believe they normally would have programs archived as well, so maybe check back later if you can't tune in then.
  2. jbuhler

    jbuhler Senior Member

    Jun 19, 2016
    I agree, and I adore those recordings—which I agree remain excellent specimens of the recorded orchestra/singers. It's just that the "realism" is constructed, and the recordings were put together with the idea of playback on a hi-fi stereo system. So the focus is not on the promicrophonic sound (the sound in the theater/studio before it enters the recording system) but managing every aspect of the production for the sound that will come out of the hi-fi system. And that's one reason I think these recordings make better exemplars for whatever it is that we do than do trips to the local symphony or live broadcasts. I mean, I like a good live orchestra concert as well as the next person, but the difference between that and the best two channel (or even surround sound) recording is vast. But I would say that recordings open up quite new possibilities, as there are things you can do with them that you can't in a theater (like send Alberich's voice spinning around the stereo field), and hearing the Ring in a movie theater at one of those live streaming things only reinforced to me how different the spatial treatment of the cinematic orchestra is (even using the same reproducing equipment), and I really wanted to hear my Wagner wallowing in glorious cinematic surround sound, rather than the more or less planar stereo field that the Met insisted on using.
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  3. Beat Kaufmann

    Beat Kaufmann Active Member

    Why do so many of you believe that classical music would sound best when the instruments not are treated with effects? Anyone who has already recorded an orchestra knows how unspectacular everything sounds without any more "action". Incidentally, the more microphones have been involved, the more this "effect" occurs, because everything also compensates each other more or les as well.

    So only with a good mix, with correct used EQs, compressors for solos and over the whole and a pinch of reverb the sound of an orchestra "wakes up". Only then does it sound the way we are used to it.

    Example 1
    Passage with tenor from the Requiem by Verdi final Mix
    Passage with tenor from the Requiem by Verdi without any effect, just as recorded
    The live recording was in a church. The people who later hear the CD want to hear the sound of a church. and the tenor should not disappear in the orchestra sound with his quiet parts ... especially if customers hear the CD while driving a car...

    Example 2
    Soloviolin with Orchestra (final mix)
    Soloviolin with Orchestra (just as recorded)
    Soloviolin with Orchestra (just as recorded and some Viny-Noises)

    When you hear this last example, it actually sounds like the vinyl records from the 60ties. In the past, EQ and compression were mainly used to optimally fulfill the "tight" conditions of the vinyl record and not to make the solo violin more clear.

    Maybe somebody mentions now: "There where definitely bad microphones used, otherwise the sound would be better." Because these are my recordings, I know that I only used microphones from Schoeps and Neumann...

    By the way these where the effects I used for the Violin in the final mix:

    The examples show as well that today mixing should give a kind of illusion. The illusion of the real concert house feeling and, in addition, even clearer sound conditions than we have in the concert hall. You do not really want the sound of row 12 at home. Just like the concerts are never filmed only from the row 12...No the soloist's nose hairs are filmed ;)

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019 at 3:59 PM
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  4. Parsifal666

    Parsifal666 I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.

    Sep 7, 2015
    E. YeeHaw, Indiana
    This might sound both strange and dubious, but I markedly prefer the dry recording now.
  5. sinkd

    sinkd Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Western North Carolina
    Very interesting discussion. And thanks for the comparative examples, Beat.

    I agree that the Verdi is greatly improved with your excellent mix, but also think that the dry recording of the solo violin is really very nice without anything! It all depends somewhat on the taste of the client and what they are expecting. Spot mic mixing levels also come in to play. I have had to deliver mixes based on client's wishes that were much more processed than what I would have done if it were just up to me.
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  6. SergeD

    SergeD Active Member

    Nov 16, 2006
    On the cd booklet: No reverberation has been added.

  7. Beat Kaufmann

    Beat Kaufmann Active Member

    The without any effect is obviously your favourite. But...
    My situation is that I have to go with the times and I can not produce a recording à la 1965. My customers do not want that. I have to look for current recordings.

    See, e.g. Listen to "Ingemisco".

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019 at 4:58 PM
  8. Beat Kaufmann

    Beat Kaufmann Active Member

    To be honest, I listen to such a recording for a minute and that's it. It's not a pleasure for me (in terms of quality). I prefer the digital technology, including reverb effect.

    Today's classical recordings suffer because far too many microphones are used. At the same time 1000 music snippets are taken. Then everything is patched together into a "dead" whole. Every life is missing, there are no real musical bows, etc. This synthetic and artificiality did not have the old recordings. Therefore, many people find the music of old vinyl records better than today's recordings. Thus, it is not the vinyl record itself, but the nature of the natural recording of that time.
    That's why I specialized in live recordings. They combine the sound recording of the past (no cuts, few microphones) with today's technology:
    >>> If you want to hear to some of those results, it is up to you.
    I claim that you like to hear such recordings more than once, because you always discover new things - because human errors and noises are not cut out.

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  9. miket

    miket Senior Member

    May 17, 2016
    New York
    I love the naturalistic sound of certain classical lables like Telarc. A few well placed mic's, capturing the right balance of detail and space. If the acoustics are generous, there's no need to lay on more digitally.

    Sure, you can produce anything, subtly or otherwise, and make it more "ideal," but sometimes it's great not to.
  10. SergeD

    SergeD Active Member

    Nov 16, 2006

    It was just an answer to hdsmile looking for recordings without effects, this one has been done in year 1926 :)

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