Recording Classical Music presents the fundamental principles of digitally recording and editing acoustic music in ambient spaces, focusing on stereo microphone techniques that will help musicians understand how to translate "live" environments into recorded sound.
The book covers theory and the technical aspects of recording from sound source to delivery: the nature of soundwaves and their behavior in rooms, microphone types and the techniques of recording in stereo, proximity and phase, file types, tracking and critical listening, loudness, meters, and the post-production processes of EQ, control of dynamic range (compressors, limiters, dynamic EQ, de-essers), and reverberation (both digital reflection simulation and convolution), with some discussion of commercially available digital plugins. The final part of the book applies this knowledge to common recording situations, showcasing not only strategies for recording soloists and small ensembles, along with case studies of several recordings, but also studio techniques that can enhance or replace the capture of performances in ambient spaces, such as close miking and the addition of artificial reverberation.
Recording Classical Music provides the tools necessary for anyone interested in classical music production to track, mix, and deliver audio recordings themselves or to supervise the work of others.
Table of Contents
Part 1, Fundamental Principles
2 Audio Chain from Sound Source to Listener
Integrity within an Audio Chain
Basic Concepts and Terminology
Part 2, Production
3 Microphone Types
The Behavior of a Pure Diaphragm
Dynamic and Ribbon Microphones
4 Microphone Characteristics
Directional (Polar) Patterns
Random Energy Efficiency
5 Stereo Microphone Techniques
Part 3, Post-Production
7 EQ – Frequency Balance
8 Control of Dynamic Range
Digital Reflection Simulation
Loudness and Meters
Part 4, Common Recording Strategies
11 Solo Piano
Recording in Stereo
Unfavorable Room Acoustics
12 Soloists with Piano Accompaniment
13 Small Ensembles
Double Bass and Piano
15 Studio Techniques: Re-Creating the Aural Sense of Historic Spaces
Robert Toft teaches in the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, Canada. His interests revolve around the notion of research informing practice, and he specializes in both recording practices and the history of singing. He has written five books on historically informed vocal performance and has given master classes at leading conservatories and universities in Australia, Austria, Britain, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the USA. Robert’s production company, Talbot Records, released its first recording in 2017. Inspired by the intensely dramatic performing styles of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, its main series, Radically Hip, connects modern audiences to the impassioned eloquence of the past.
"This book is packed with informed and useful information. If you need to know about how sound works, and read tons of information about how classical music is recorded in the real world, then you must read this book. Perfect for anyone interested in classical music." - Paul Baily - classical recording and post production, Re:Sound