Bob Olhsson wrote:
> I got hired around ten years ago to record a woman who turned out to have
> played flute in both the NBC Symphony and the New York Philharmonic where
> she met her husband who played clarinet. Before leaving, we sat down with
> the couple and had a conversation about the recording and broadcasting of
> those orchestras. After some wonderful anecdotes about Toscanini and
> Stokowski, I was shocked to hear them say they believed "recordings improved
> so much after the modern technique of using lots of microphones instead of
> only one started to be used."
What else would a flautist say? That is, she would probably have been
unable to hear herself in the ensemble with only one or two mikes. When
she has one all to herself - or to the winds as a group - she would
perceive her contribution more easily. Whether that microscopic view and
the resulting clarity of inner voices aids the overall effect is up to
producer, conductor and engineers (in no particular order).
Note, too, that musicians may be poor judges of recorded sound; in
general, they are not looking for the same things that make a recording
effective to the home listener. In addition, they do not know what the
orchestra sounds like when they hear it from within the group.
I have had very good results with limited experience recording with a
pair of cardioid electrets crossed and mounted somewhat above the stage,
one-third back and horizontally centered in a small hall. But whether
that would satisfy the performers I cannot guess; it may have sounded
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