Quick Audio-related Post – Surround Recording from December

As part of an Audio Production Project, I and one of my coursemates made a series of live music recordings, most of them at a local church. The idea was to capture the ambiance of the building as much as the musicians themselves, as the recordings were specifically made to be mixed into 5.1.

I’ll be making another post tomorrow explaining the microphone set-up, but I thought I would create a quick post for this track. We were recording an instrumental trio in the church (clarinet, acoustic guitar and violin) but the church (St. Joseph’s,Stockport) has a lovely church organ to go with it’s lovely acoustics. Of course, I am biased towards the organ since it’s the one I learned to play on. We decided to quickly reposition the mics so I could go and perform a few pieces as a bonus bit of recording, and here is part of the result (which has been mixed down to stereo, obviously, though the number of microphones needed to create the surround mean all of the wonderful building tone got captured.)

The recording is slightly muddy due to the nature of the church, it has rather old, noisy central heating, and clearly Manchester Airport was busy that day as there seemed to be planes going over constantly as well as various other outside noises. Still, you can really hear how the organ reverberates – and I wasn’t even using half of it’s volume – but then you shouldn’t for this piece. I love playing Gabriel’s Oboe on the organ, it really works well, and it’s reflective and slow enough to use as incidental music on the odd times I’m asked to fill in for church services. Better than the semi-improvised version of Bach’s Toccata in D Minor which we also recorded, but that isn’t going up here! (Unless you like really, really discordant stuff.)

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3 thoughts on “Quick Audio-related Post – Surround Recording from December

  1. Great stuff, looking forward to read about the microphones configuration, especially since we’ve been doing the same thing last year and it will be very interesting to compare the methodologies. Our attempt to record an ambience in the cathedral though has ended up with a complaint from the cathedral’s administration. But that’s a whole another story…

  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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