Rachmaninov Second Symphony

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything but I’ve been carrying on recording concerts and Ardour is just perfect. The usual setup, Zoom L-20 into Linux laptop via USB in class-compliant mode. It all works a treat.

This time however, the orchestra themselves have posted my recording, which is great :slight_smile:

Not Ardour specific but the microphone layout is:

  • A pair of AKG P170 in “Gerzon Array” configuration - 5cm apart and 120 degree angle above the conductors head, about 3 meters off the ground, pointing at the wind section. The Gerzon Array
  • alongside and on either side of those, a pair of Oktava MK-012 with Omni capsules about 80cm apart.
  • Another Gerzon pair of P170s in front of the woodwinds about 2.5 meters up and pointing at the second row of clarinets and bassoons. This also picks up the brass and percussion.
  • A Microphone Parts RK47 behind the French Horns as a spot mic
  • A Microphone Parts RK12 on the Timpani
  • A Sontronics STC10 over the glockenspiel and picking up (a bit too much) percussion.

The mix is nearly all from the main Gerzon pair, the Omni pair is about 3dB lower and helps to bring out the “space” and “ambience” and widens the stereo a bit. The wind pair is just enough to bring out the articulation of the back half of the orchestra. The timpani mic is hardly there at all and the horn mic a little bit to bring out some detail. Similarly the glock microphone just brings out a little bit of detail.

I know these AKG P170s are supposedly “cheap” or “budget” microphones, but they perform fantastically well in this situation, I can’t say anything bad about them :slight_smile:

I can grumble a bit about the concert venue however. It’s a church in Holborn, London, and every few minutes you can hear a London Underground train rumbling away underneath in the quiet sections. And also, there’s a background pink noise from the air conditioning fans…

But it came out pretty well nonetheless :smiley:


I really appreciate such detailed information. I am looking forward to give it a listen in this week.

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I just gave it a short ear for five minutes, but I will look forward listening the whole piece.
I don’t know the « Orchestra Of The City », but it seems to be a professional team.
The recording is on par, to my ears, with what we hear in France on the national radio, specialized in classical music, which is labeled « France-Musique », and the guys are solidly good… And so you are.
Thanks a lot for sharing.

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yeah this sounds most excellent. really well done.

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Thanks all for nice comments :slight_smile: