Department of Music

Music 3056

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MUS 3056 syllabus

Recording project details

Here are the details for the project discussed in class:

You are to experiment with several different microphones, placements, and stereo techniques to produce a multi-microphone piano recording including one ambisonics (B-Format) recording suitable for additional post-processing to stereo similarly. Experiment and listen first, and once you have narrowed your ideas to a few final candidates for capturing a natural and balanced sound for the instrument, record three takes per technique (using the take feature in Logic), with each take representing a variation in microphone placement for that technique. For example, if one of your techniques is a spaced pair of 414s over the hammers, the first take might be as omnis at 12" inches away, the second of cardioids at 18", the third using another distance, pattern, or microphone. I would strongly encourage you to compare at least three other microphones, do not simply repeat what was done during class. Additionally, the Soundfield stereo track should contain a take that is captured AFTER the recording session by listening to and experimenting with the many BF -> ST options provided by this microphone system using the Soundfield plugin.

This assignment will be graded on the quality of sound captured. Lastly, you are to include a written evaluation of your takes describing your impressions of the sound achieved for each, which of the variations you feel is best and why, and similar notes for your Soundfield capture. The tracks and takes (in the project) should be named appropriately (be descriptive!) and there should be sufficiently-detailed documentation supporting the recording so that the captured sound of each take could be reproduced based on the documentation alone. (including the SoundField processing settings)

There are four primary goals for this project:

  1. demonstrate proficiency in the planning, setup, and use of the studio for a complete, structured "exploratory" piano recording session (25%)
  2. experiment with and evaluate the use of multiple microphones for capturing a natural and balanced piano recording in our space (25%)
  3. experiment with and evaluate the use of the Soundfield as a variable pattern, variable coincident-stereo studio microphone (25%)
  4. detailed setup notes and a written evaluation of all techniques explored, with your impression of the sonic characteristics for each as appropriate to capturing the instrument (25%)

The Logic project should be structured as:

  1. track one - a stereo track of stereo technique #1
  2. track two - a stereo track of stereo technique #2
  3. track three - a stereo track from the Soundfield
  4. track 4 (or 4-7) - B-Format tracks from the Soundfield
  5. optional track(s) for accent mic(s)
  6. MIO Console file in the project folder, fully-configured to support comparative playback along with your documentation of the project by simply opening the files (as such, you should use the SurroundZone plugin rather than the Mk-V for your BF->ST conversion)

This may be done individually or in groups of no more that two people. The Logic project and all other documentation (as PDF files) should be zipped and placed in the '3065_piano" folder in "Performance Recordings" on the NAS as "" no later than noon on Wed, May 7.