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On Location Recording Techniques

Book Description

Dividing classical and popular music recording into two distinct sections, this book focuses on the special techniques used for recording outside the confines of the studio and shows readers how to interface with sound reinforcement equipment in the hall or club.



Recent developments in portable digital multitrack recorders and high-quality mixers have made on-location recording feasible for all recording engineers. Many bands want to be recorded in concert because they feel that is when they play their best music. The engineer's job is to capture that performance on tape and bring it back live and there's only one chance to get it right.
This book covers all aspects of live recording, with a special section on miking techniques for surround sound. Pre-session procedures, such as power and grounding practice, pre-production meetings, and site surveys are fully examined. On Location Recording Techniques also describes the paperwork required to plan a live recording session. A study of surround miking techniques for both classical and popular music, and of the components needed to build a quality remote recording truck complete this book.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. Trademarks
  10. Part 1: Popular Music Recording
    1. 1. Equipment for Remote Recording of Popular Music
      1. The Recording Chain
      2. Microphones
      3. Mic Technique Basics
      4. Multitrack Recorders
      5. Mixing Console
        1. Console Connections
        2. More on Insert Jacks
        3. Assign Buttons
    2. 2. Recording Techniques from Simple to Complex
      1. Two Mics out Front
        1. Equipment
        2. Mic Placement for a Band Using a PA System
        3. Mic Placement for a Band Not Using a PA System
        4. Recording
      2. Recording from the PA Mixer
        1. Drawbacks
      3. Taping with a Four-Tracker
      4. Recording from the PA Mixer Aux Outputs
      5. Feed the PA Mixer Insert Sends to a Modular Digital Multitrack
        1. Connections
        2. Monitor Mix
        3. Setting Levels
      6. Feed the PA Mixer Direct Outs or Insert Jacks to a Recording Mixer
      7. Splitting the Microphones
        1. Splitters in Use
      8. Multitrack Recording in a Truck
    3. 3. Before the Session: Planning
      1. Preproduction Meeting
      2. Site Survey
      3. Mic List
      4. Track Sheet
      5. Block Diagram
      6. Equipment List
      7. Preparing for Easier Setup
        1. Put It on Wheels
        2. Mic Mounts
        3. Snakes and Cables
        4. Rack Wiring
        5. Other Tips
    4. 4. At the Session: Setup and Recording
      1. Power and Grounding Practice
        1. Power Distribution System
        2. Power Source
        3. Interconnecting Multiple Sound Systems
      2. Connections
      3. Running Cables
      4. Recording-Console Setup
      5. Mic Techniques
        1. Electric Guitar Grounding
        2. Audience Microphones
      6. Setting Levels and Submixes
      7. Recording
      8. Teardown
    5. 5. After the Session: Mixing and Editing
      1. Overdubs
      2. Mixdown
        1. Mixing for Surround Sound
      3. Editing a Gig Demo Tape
        1. Copy Your DAT to Your Hard Disk
        2. Define Songs
        3. Create a Playlist
        4. Add Fades and EQ
        5. Editing a Full-Length Gig Tape
    6. 6. Tips on Building a Recording Truck
      1. Remote Truck Acoustics
        1. How to Attenuate the Outside Noises
        2. How to Treat the Interior Acoustics
      2. Monitoring
      3. Other Tips
      4. The Record Plant Truck
        1. Construction
        2. Areas in the Truck
        3. Control Room Equipment
        4. Machine Room Equipment
        5. Electrical System
      5. The Effanel Recording Truck
        1. Equipment List
        2. Comments
      6. References
  11. Part 2: Classical Music Recording and Stereo Microphone Techniques
    1. 7. Microphone Polar Patterns and Other Specifications
      1. Polar Patterns
        1. Advantages of Each Pattern
        2. Other Polar Pattern Considerations
      2. Transducer Type
      3. Maximum Sound Pressure Level
      4. Sensitivity
      5. Self-Noise
      6. Signal-to-Noise (S/N) Ratio
      7. Microphone Types
        1. Free-Field Microphone
        2. Boundary Microphone
        3. Stereo Microphone
        4. Shotgun Microphone
        5. Parabolic Microphone
      8. Microphone Accessories
        1. Stands and Booms
        2. Stereo Microphone Adapter
        3. Shock Mount
        4. Phantom Power Supply
        5. Junction Box and Snake
        6. Splitter
      9. Reference
    2. 8. Overview of Stereo Microphone Techniques
      1. Why Record in Stereo?
      2. Other Applications for Stereo Miking
      3. Goals of Stereo Miking
      4. Types of Stereo Microphone Techniques
        1. Coincident Pair
        2. Spaced Pair
        3. Near-Coincident Pair
      5. Comparing the Three Stereo Miking Techniques
      6. Mounting Hardware
      7. Microphone Requirements
      8. References
    3. 9. Stereo Imaging Theory
      1. Definitions
      2. How We Localize Real Sound Sources
      3. How We Localize Images Between Speakers
      4. Requirements for Natural Imaging over Loudspeakers
      5. Currently Used Image-Localization Mechanisms
        1. Localization by Amplitude Differences
        2. Localization by Time Differences
        3. Localization by Amplitude and Time Differences
        4. Summary
      6. Predicting Image Locations
      7. Choosing Angling and Spacing
      8. Spaciousness and Spatial Equalization
      9. References
    4. 10. Specific Free-Field Stereo Microphone Techniques
      1. Localization Accuracy
      2. Examples of Coincident-Pair Techniques
        1. Coincident Cardioids Angled 180° Apart
        2. Coincident Cardioids Angled 120–135° Apart
        3. Coincident Cardioids Angled 90° Apart
        4. Blumlein or Stereosonic Technique (Coincident Bidirectionals Angled 90° Apart)
        5. Hypercardioids Angled 110° Apart
        6. XY Shotgun Microphones
      3. Examples of Near-Coincident-Pair Techniques
        1. The ORTF System: Cardioids Angled 110° Apart and Spaced 17 cm (6.7 inches) Horizontally
        2. The NOS System: Cardioids Angled 90° Apart and Spaced 30 cm (12 inches) Horizontally
        3. The OSS (Optimal Stereo Signal) or Jecklin Disk
      4. Examples of Spaced-Pair Techniques
        1. Omnis Spaced 3 Feet Apart
        2. Omnis Spaced 10 Feet Apart
        3. Three Omnis Spaced 5 Feet Apart (10 Feet End to End)
        4. Decca Tree
      5. Other Coincident-Pair Techniques
        1. MS (Mid-Side)
        2. SoundField Microphone
        3. Coincident Systems with Spatial Equalization (Shuffler Circuit)
      6. Other Near-Coincident-Pair Techniques
        1. Stereo 180 System
        2. Faulkner Phased-Array System
        3. Near-Coincident Systems with Spatial Equalization
        4. Near-Coincident/Spaced-Pair Hybrid
      7. Comparisons of Various Techniques
        1. Michael Williams, “Unified Theory of Microphone Systems for Stereophonic Sound Recording” (1987)
        2. Carl Ceoen, “Comparative Stereophonic Listening Tests” (1972)
        3. Benjamin Bernfeld and Bennett Smith, “Computer-Aided Model of Stereophonic Systems” (1978)
        4. C. Huggonet and J. Jouhaneau, “Comparative Spatial Transfer Function of Six Different Stereophonic Systems” (1987)
        5. M. Hibbing, “XY and MS Microphone Techniques in Comparison” (1989)
        6. Wieslaw Woszcyk, “A New Method for Spatial Enhancement in Stereo and Surround Recording” (1990)
      8. Summary
      9. References
    5. 11. Stereo Boundary-Microphone Arrays
      1. Techniques Using Floor-Mounted Mics
        1. Floor-Mounted Boundary Microphones Spaced 4 Feet Apart
        2. Floor-Mounted Directional Boundary Microphones
        3. L2 (Lamm-Lehmann) Floor Array
        4. OSS Boundary-Microphone Floor Array
        5. Floor-Mounted Boundary Microphones Configured for MS
      2. Techniques Using Raised-Boundary Mics
        1. PZM Wedge
        2. L2 Array
        3. Pillon PZM Stereo Shotgun Array
        4. The Stereo Ambient Sampling System
        5. Sphere Microphones
      3. References
    6. 12. Binaural and Transaural Techniques
      1. Binaural Recording and the Artificial Head
        1. How It Works
        2. In-Head Localization
        3. Artificial-Head Equalization
        4. Artificial-Head Imaging with Loudspeakers
      2. Transaural Stereo
        1. How It Works
        2. History of Transaural Stereo
        3. Cooper and Bauck’s Crosstalk Canceler
        4. VMAx
        5. Lexicon’s Transaural Processor
        6. Other Two-Speaker Surround-Sound Systems
      3. References
    7. 13. Surround-Sound Techniques, DVD, and Super Audio CD
      1. Surround-Sound Speaker Arrangement
      2. Surround-Sound Mic Techniques
        1. SoundField 5.1 Microphone System
        2. Delos VR2 Surround-Sound Miking Method
        3. NHK Method
        4. The KFM 360 Surround-Sound System
        5. Five-Channel Microphone Array with a Binaural Head
        6. DMP Method
        7. Woszcyk Technique (PZM Wedge Plus Opposite-Polarity, 180° Coincident-Cardioid Surround-Sound Mics)
      3. Surround-Sound Media
      4. The Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)
        1. DVD Compatibility
        2. DVD Capacity
        3. DVD Players
        4. DVD-Audio Disks
        5. Audio on DVD-Video Disks
        6. Data Rate
        7. DVD Premastering Formats
        8. Dolby Units for DVD Mastering
      5. Super Audio CD
      6. References
    8. 14. Stereo Recording Procedures
      1. Equipment
      2. Choosing the Recording Site
      3. Session Setup
      4. Monitoring
      5. Microphone Placement
        1. Miking Distance
        2. Stereo-Spread Control
        3. Soloist Pickup and Spot Microphones
        4. Setting Levels
      6. Multitrack Recording
      7. Stereo Miking for Pop Music
      8. Troubleshooting Stereo Sound
        1. Distortion in the Microphone Signal
        2. Too Dead (Insufficient Ambience, Hall Reverberation, or Room Acoustics)
        3. Too Detailed, Too Close, Too Edgy
        4. Too Distant (Too Much Reverberation)
        5. Narrow Stereo Spread
        6. Excessive Separation, Hole in the Middle, or Excessive Motion of a Soloist
        7. Poorly Focused Images
        8. Images Shifted to One Side (Left-Right Balance Is Faulty)
        9. Lacks Depth (Lacks a Sense of Nearness and Farness of Various Instruments)
        10. Lacks Spaciousness
        11. Early Reflections Too Loud
        12. Bad Balance (Some Instruments Too Loud or Too Soft)
        13. Muddy Bass
        14. Rumble from Air Conditioning, Trucks, and So On
        15. Bad Tonal Balance (Too Dull, Too Bright, Colored)
      9. References
    9. 15. Broadcast, Film and Video, Sound Effects, and Sampling
      1. Stereo Television
        1. Imaging Considerations
        2. Mono-Compatibility
        3. Monitoring
        4. Electronic News Gathering
        5. Audience Reaction
        6. Parades
        7. Sports
      2. Stereo Radio
        1. Radio Group Discussions
        2. Radio Plays
      3. Film and Video
        1. Feature Films
        2. Documentaries and Industrial Productions
      4. Sound Effects
      5. Sampling
      6. References
    10. 16. Stereo Microphones and Accessories
      1. Stereo Microphones
      2. Dummy Heads
      3. Stereo Microphone Adapters (Stereo Bars)
      4. MS Matrix Decoders
      5. Company Addresses
  12. Glossary
  13. Index