2nd Edition

Recording Orchestra and Other Classical Music Ensembles

By Richard King Copyright 2025
    278 Pages 116 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    278 Pages 116 B/W Illustrations
    by Focal Press

    Recording Orchestra and Other Classical Music Ensembles explores techniques and methodologies specific to recording classical music. Whether the reader is a newcomer or a seasoned engineer looking to refine their skills, this book speaks to all levels of expertise and covers every aspect of recording symphonic and concerto repertoire, opera, chamber music and solo piano.

    With a focus on the orchestra as an instrument and sound source, Recording Orchestra and Other Classical Music Ensembles features sections on how to listen, understanding microphones, concert halls, orchestra seating arrangements, how to set up the monitoring environment and how to approach recording each section of the orchestra. Offering concise information on preparing for a recording session, the role of the producer and mixing techniques, whilst a "quick-start" reference guide with suggested setups also helps to introduce the reader to the recording process. Online Instructor and Student Resources, featuring audio and video examples of various techniques, further reinforces the concepts discussed throughout the book.

    This new edition has updated and expanded material, including new chapters on classical crossover projects, film score recording and immersive/3D recording and mixing, as well as a number of new case studies, making this an essential guide for students, researchers and professionals recording classical music.

    Part 1: Getting Started  1. Introduction  2. How to Listen: Loudspeakers, Headphones, Listening Rooms  3. Understanding Microphones  Part 2: Recording Orchestra  4. The Orchestra and Its Various Iterations  5. The Hall, as a Recording Venue  6. The Main Microphones  7. Recording Strings  8. Recording Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion  9. Recording Harp, Piano, Celeste and Organ  Part 3: Variations on a Theme  10. Recording Chorus  11. Recording Concertos  12. Recording Solo Voice and Orchestra  Part 4: The Recording Session  13. The Role of the Producer in Classical Music Recording  14. How to Carry Out a Successful Recording Session  15. Live Concerts, Live Opera and Productions with Video  Part 5: Other Classical Music Ensembles  16. Recording Wind Symphony and Brass Band  17. Recording Chamber Orchestra  18. Recording String Quartet  19. Recording Woodwind and Brass Quintet  20. Recording Piano with Other Instruments  21. Recording Solo Piano  22. Recording Classical Crossover Projects  Part 6: Post Production  23. Editing  24. Mixing  25. Final Assembly and Mastering  Part 7: Multichannel Recording and Mixing  26. How to Listen in Surround Sound  27. Recording and Mixing for 5.1 Surround Sound  28. Recording and Mixing for Immersive/3D Content  29. Film Score Recording and Mixing  Part 8: Case Studies  30. Recording Orchestra - Case Studies  31. Recording Chamber Music - Case Studies


    Richard King is a multi-Grammy Award winner who specializes in recording classical, jazz and film score music. He is Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal, where he teaches in the Sound Recording area. A long-standing member and Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society, Richard is a regular convention presenter and panelist, and he is frequently invited to speak at various university-level recording programs around the world.

    “King’s Recording Orchestra is nothing short of indispensable for anyone interested in the art of ensemble recording (…) it’s probably the finest book on recording technique I’ve read in a decade.”

    Mike Senior, Sound On Sound Magazine on the 1st Edition