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 produce your own individual multi-microphone piano recording using at least three different (simultaneous) stereo piano recording techniques (with additional accent mics if desired), including one ambisonics (B-Format) recording suitable for additional (later) processing to stereo similarly to how we have done in class. There should be no less than three takes per technique (using the take feature in Logic), with each take representing a variation in microphone placement for that technique and the active take (comping as discussed in class is not necessary for this- select complete takes) representing your preferred choice. 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 at another distance and pattern. Additionally, the Mk-V stereo track should contain a fourth 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 either the MK-V or Soundfield plugin. Additionally, channel automation should be present as necessary for the comparison on the techniques. Unlike some earlier assignments, this one will be graded on the quality of work produced. 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 planning documentation supporting the recording so that the captured sound of each take could be reproduced based on the documentation alone. (including the Mk-V 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 (which includes thorough planning, documentation, evaluation, and time accounting) (25%)
  2. experiment with and evaluate the use of multiple microphones for capturing a usable/good piano recording in our space (25%)
  3. experiment with and evaluate the use of the Soundfield as a variable pattern, variable coincident-stereo microphone (25%)
  4. produce a logic project with the necessary accompanying files demonstrating the "best" piano sound you are able to capture and your explanations/justifications. (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 of the ST-250 (Mk-V ST/MS outputs)
  4. tracks 4-7 - B-Format tracks from the soundfield
  5. track 8 - (optional) accent mic(s) for your techniques
  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 recording is to be your own work. All critical decisions regarding how the recording is to be conducted, such as the list of equipment necessary, performance-recording schedule, and microphone placement, as well as the recording and mastering of the recordings, are to be solely your work.