Meeting Topic: Reality is Not a Recording - A Recording is Not Reality
Moderator Name: Steven Liddle
Speaker Name: Jim Anderson, FAES
Other business or activities at the meeting: Rounding up for the summer break and invitation for everyone to sign up for the newsletter!
Meeting Location: KTH University, Stockholm
Past AES President, Jim Anderson, was invited to speak to the Swedish section and share his extensive knowledge of the recording process.
The title of Jim's talk describes the goal of the recording engineer - to create a sound that seems authentic through the use of technology and experience, but not to let the listener know that the recording has been modified.
Jim gave those present a full run down of the techniques and tools available to recording engineers and music producers. He skilfully guided us through a masterclass in the recording process from setting out musicians in the recording space to adding special and unique effects.
The evening was punctuated with specially selected recordings which demonstrated the differences between microphones, microphone placement, room acoustics, recording mediums, special effects and more.
The section was kindly loaned a pair of ATC reference monitors by local supplier, Arva Trading. The recordings really came to life and through these loudspeakers allowing the sometimes subtle differences between microphones to be clearly audible.
The startling differences between the polished results and the 'air' recordings gave an insight to the musician's experience of the recording process.
Jim also described a method of capturing a unique reverb effect. It is often possible for a professional listener to be able to determine the brand of reverb or effect that is used in a recording. One way of differentiating his recordings was to use a large concrete stairwell as a 'live chamber'. This technique employs a microphone that picks up the recording played back over a loudspeaker in a reverberant environment. This is then mixed with the 'dry' signal to obtain a unique effect.
Jim chatted with members and guests after the presentation before getting ready to jet off to Helsinki the next morning to meet with the Finnish section.
Written By: Steven Liddle