Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
handsoff

King's College, Cambridge Tonight

Recommended Posts

Always a pleasure to hear organ music on R3 and the opening Willcocks arrangement of Widor V was something I hadn't heard before.

 

Unfortunately the experience was spoilt by poor sound engineering. I find it hard to believe that Stephen Cleobury and the assembled forces of Kings could be out of synch with the organ, but the BBC made them sound so. Such a pity that sound engineers feel they have to use multiple microphones and re-engineer the acoustic - they should try recording from a single point and let the radio audience hear what someone in the chapel would hear and get the benefit of the wonderful acoustic that the building has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always a pleasure to hear organ music on R3 and the opening Willcocks arrangement of Widor V was something I hadn't heard before.

 

Unfortunately the experience was spoilt by poor sound engineering. I find it hard to believe that Stephen Cleobury and the assembled forces of Kings could be out of synch with the organ, but the BBC made them sound so. Such a pity that sound engineers feel they have to use multiple microphones and re-engineer the acoustic - they should try recording from a single point and let the radio audience hear what someone in the chapel would hear and get the benefit of the wonderful acoustic that the building has.

 

You are so right and I absolutely agree. Apart from anything else, multi-micing always introduces phase interference effects when the multiple tracks are electronically mixed down to stereo. This means certain frequencies will be attenuated or reinforced quite artificially. It produces exactly the same unfortunate effects experienced with many electronic organs, which have too many stops whose signals are forced through an inadequate number of amplifiers and speakers. Only a few CDs are recorded using a single stereo pair as Choir_Man recommends. But this argument (multiple vs single point mics) has raged since the dawn of electrical recording in the 1920s, so it's not going to be resolved at a stroke here, I regret to say.

 

There are some demo sound clips of the awful consequences which can happen to electronic organs with insufficient independent audio channels on my website at:

 

http://www.pykett.org.uk/EndOfPipeOrgan.htm#MixingDemo

 

The physics of the multiple-micing scenario is no different. This article, too, continues to cause controversy some years after it was first written I might add. But everything it says is true because it's only simple physics at the end of the day.

 

CEP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only a few CDs are recorded using a single stereo pair as Choir_Man recommends. But this argument (multiple vs single point mics) has raged since the dawn of electrical recording in the 1920s, so it's not going to be resolved at a stroke here, I regret to say.

 

That's because it's difficult to do well. I record using a a single-point mic; here's an example of what I consider a reasonable balance of choir and two organs:

https://pwh-recordings.s3.amazonaws.com/Aspects_of_Christ/09_Vierne-Agnus_Dei_(Messe_solonnelle).mp3

(The original of that is a surround recording made using ambisonic technology.)

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately the experience was spoilt by poor sound engineering.

In a much more general sense I believe that, although there have been enormous technical improvements in sound recording and mixing over the years, the professionalism of some of the technicians has deteriorated.

I have lost count of the number of comments I have read about recent television programmes being spoilt by 'background' music becoming, in effect, distinctly 'foreground' music, sometimes to the extent that the dialogue cannot be heard properly.

 

I think that some people are becoming too clever for their own good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...