Solo flute recording project. Classical music

This thread continues what I began in this one,


in which I was already exceeding the limits of the subject to treat.

Solo flute recording project. Classical music.

This thread continues what I began in this one, in which I was already exceeding the limits of the subject to treat.

I recently bought some sE8 microphones, which I think are much better than the ones I had (a Sennheiser M80 and an AT2020).

The position of the micros is AB spaced pair. I tried ORTF but the place where I’m recording is very small and sounds worse in that position, picking up the bounce from the walls.

These recordings have been simply a test.

I hope to start the project from scratch in a few days.

This work by Román Alís, composed in Seville in 1963, will be the first time it has been recorded.

Here’s what I did with the other microphones, if you want to hear it:

Any advice is welcome :slight_smile:

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Before anyone jumps in and colors how you hear, I think a good starting point is to ask what you think! What have you noticed with the recordings using the sE8 pair compared with the old ones?

As an aside, it would be useful to know if you used the same kind of spacing/distance with the old and new pairs…

The differences I find are not enormous but important:

  • They are more sensitive. The knob on my Audient is now at 45-50%, previously it was between 65-70%.
  • The sound is cleaner, with fewer parasites and distortion.
  • It’s a little bright at the high end but it doesn’t bother, on the contrary, I think it brings harmonics.
  • Now it’s easier to get a stereo than before.
  • I think it sounds more professional…

Yes, the position and distance is the same: AB spaced around a meter and a half and almost two meters from the flute, a little higher than the position of the head.

I tried ORTF but in this space it doesn’t work, it should be a much bigger room.

The volume take was -12dBs for the strongest note of the album. Then +8dBs with the trim on the flute channel. Reverb convolution Vienna.

I agree that the sound is cleaner with less distortion. There wasn’t much distortion in the previous recordings that I could hear, but I did hear it in a few places here and there. These recordings are clean.

Seconded. The musicianship is what drives these recordings (similar to @vasakq’s recent new topic).

Being critical (I hate to be!), there is something a little unnatural and I’d put money on the recording space as the culprit. Let’s make something clear: These would make truly excellent demo tracks for you as a musician (if you even need them!). For improvement, I would honestly find a lovely church or hall that you might use at little to no cost combined with your portable rig. If it is anything like here in the PNW, approaching a church will often result in a free recording space or in exchange for a small donation to their building project or charity of their choice. If you are a likeable person (sounds like you are from all our interactions!) it can go along way. The other option, of course, is offering to play a selection of your pieces as part of one of their services. Or, put on a solo concert (or combined with friends) and use the concert plus rehearsals to patch together workable tracks for an album. I’d hope that you wouldn’t need to break the bank to record in a decent acoustic. You just need a bigger space so that you can experiment with a near-coincident pair. Down the road with a nice enough acoustic you’d try omni spaced pairs. Your use of impulse response is really natural-sounding but it won’t truly hide recording in a sub-optimal space. How high are your ceilings?

Anyhow, the main thing is make an album and enjoy doing it with whatever limitations are placed on it. Your quickly accumulating engineer knowledge combined with your awesome musicianship is already a winning product :slight_smile:

@bachstudies, you’re right one more time.
I’ve been thinking about the same thing for a few days, to find a good church and to do some tests.
Although I’ve changed the microphones, improving the sound, I still hear strange the sound of my flute. And to do something worse than what I already have is not good business… I’m determined to record at home for comfort but the result is not good. The space is very small, the ceilings are also very low, and there are some frequencies with unpleasant bounces.

There are many churches here, the problem I see is acoustic insulation. They are usually quite open to the outside and traffic noise often comes in. I would have to look for a church quite far away from the traffic and that is not so easy.

The sE8 are cardioid, I don’t have any omnidirectional microphones… :frowning:

Thank you! You are also a very nice person, as well as a very kind person and an excellent musician. :slight_smile:

Please don’t feel pressure to buy an omni pair at this stage! In a good space you can achieve truly excellent results with the sE8 pair in one of the near-coincident arrays. Just thinking about a long time in the future if you enjoy doing this sort of thing…

Furthermore it is going to be impossible for the moment, today my car had a major breakdown… :frowning:

So what configuration would you use in a church for a flute? XY? ORTF? Spaced pair?

So sorry to hear about your car :frowning:

As for configuration, it is impossible to really know without visiting the space. That said, there are some arrays that will give excellent results even if the results are not the absolute best possible (and thankfully nobody can compare after the fact!). ORTF will serve you well. You are probably aiming to fill the center 1/3 of the stereo field with your direct instrument sound with the outer portions having either the natural room ambience or any enhancements from reverb plugins. All of this is personal preference but listening to your favorite flute cds will give you the best idea of what is “normal”. Unfortunately I don’t record flute too often so there are better people around to advise if center 1/3 of stereo field is good. It certainly works for piano, guitar/lute etc. For chamber (more intimate), I use full stereo width.

You can experiment with DIN, NOS, EBS etc as well as spaced pairs of omnis. This is even before thinking about whether the flute could use a close spot as we discussed on the other classical thread.

It is very open-ended, there’s no one right answer and as stated, without experiencing the room, any judgment is meaningless. I can just give you a starting point (and others please jump in).

Ideally you have another flautist play while you walk around the space to find the “sweet spot”: a good mix of direct and ambient sound and make adjustments backwards/forwards/vertically up and down from there.