Meeting Topic: Music in Sound Recording with Martha and Marcela
Moderator Name: Luis Ortiz
Speaker Name: Martha de Francisco (Tonmeister), Marcela Zorro (Master of Music in Sound Recording and AES Uniandes founding member)
Meeting Location: AES University of the Andes section, vía ZOOM
We start on time. Luis welcomes our guests; he introduces both engineers to the section and relates some of their career path. We learn Marcela was Martha's student.
Martha makes a point to divide neatly the topics that are about to be discussed: aesthetic principles of sound, experience forethoughts and some anecdotes on their professional life as renowned engineers to the classical music industry.
There are items that make classical music stand out among other musical genres: The place where instruments are to be recorded matters, the exact tempo of the theme does not.
This genre works altogether with the depth of sound The main goal of classical music sound recording is to seize the sound and the place surrounding it in accuracy, through both direct and reflective soundwaves; hence the complexity of sound.
However, not everything is all rosy in this art; if a performer gets it wrong, the recording is to be started from scratch. By extension, mixing becomes quite complicated since none of the instruments can be processed separately. Henceforth, the importance of choosing optimum facilities to carry out the recording.
It might better be measured by the next factors:
- Type of ensemble
- Number of performers (required room size)
- Kind of reverberation in the facility (Ej: Teldex Studio Berlin)
- Complete silence or continuous low noise facilities.
- Composer's usual style (ej: Debussy=more reverb/Mozart=less reverb)
Another main item is miking. To seize a good portrait of sound, a technique explained by Martha describes four barriers/categories of miking:
-The first one surrounds the instrument (an harp, in this case) to get direct sound
-The second one is higher and a bit distanced, getting a different shade of sound.
-The third one is even further away and catches the interaction of the instrument within it's context,
-The last barrier of miking consists of inverted microphones designated to get the reflective soundwaves.
Once again, natural reverberation plays a major role in recording. In case of it's absence due to a small room and not enough resources, a plugin recommended by the engineers is Altiverb; just a last resource to consider.
Finally we get some anecdotes on how getting through circumstances forges this respected engineers. We are also given advice on choosing the best equipment we can get from starters, training our ears, listen to lots of music and daring to experiment with it.
Written By: Written by Carolina Arias — AES Uniandes Newsletter editor.