Monthly Archives: September 2015

Radio Shenanigans

Today we had a load in for The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra for their concert to take place Saturday evening. Since I don’t have to do anything for the load in; I’m sitting at my desk reading about SSL consoles and Nuage control surfaces. I get a call over radio from our electrician. He asks me if I want to come up on stage and talk to the symphony’s production manager about hanging mics and recording the show.

“Umm…sure. I’ll be right there.”

Last year I recorded, mixed and mastered all of the symphony’s performances for broadcast on the local public radio station. But this year, no one had contacted me about hiring me to do the mix and master AND they did not mention recording in their preproduction info (I usually get an extra audio hand to help me run and check mics during load in). I was kind of bummed because I thought they either didn’t like my work and found someone else, or they cut the recording out of the budget this year. Either way I thought I had lost the contract and the fees that go with it, which is a nice little bit of extra income.

So I walk on stage and the PM for the symphony says they are recording all of their concerts for broadcast again this year and would like me to do it. (This is two hours AFTER the load in had started mind you).

“Sure, I would love to. When do you want to hang the mics?” Thinking to myself, rehearsal starts in three hours, and your piano soloist and conductor are going to be here in an hour…

“Can we do it now? We’ve got the guys for a four hour call and still have two hours left,” he says.

“Ok, let me go down stairs and pull the mics and cables.”

Long story short, it took me a little less than an hour and a half to hang and patch seven mics plus the solo mic for the piano which is on a short stand in front of the piano.

The mic set up is my, now standard, ten-mic orchestra set up:

  • two Neumann TLM-170s as a main pair over and slightly down stage of the conductor
  • two Neumann KM-184s 15 feet off center over the cellos and first violins
  • three Neumann KM-184s about fifteen feet upstage at: center over the woodwind section and fifteen feet either side of center to catch the harp/timpani/percussion on stage right and the end of the low basses and brass on stage left
  • an Audio-Technica AT-4050 on a short stand about five feet in front of the piano for the soloist
  • And a pair of Neumann KM-184s hung from our lighting cove position about thirty-five feet into the house and thirty feet above the floor.

Everything runs into the house Yamaha RIO3224D I/O racks on our CL5, and recording is done via Dante Virtual Sound Card into Protools 10 on the house Mac Pro. I’ll do the mixing and mastering on my personal laptop and Protools 11 system with my Focusrite Scarlet 18i20 either at home or at Advanced Recording Concepts in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

The symphony is doing more shows this year than they did last year. They are adding a pops mini series and I think I’m going to get to record one or two of those shows also, so it’ll be a bit of a change from the standard classical symphony and soloist routine.