So. I got the Gullfoss plugin
. Lemme start with the problem that's been stressing me out in much my live audio life: the harshness at 2.6kHz.
|This is a prototype of my new Zoom F8 portable rack. The idea is to hold and protect the F-Control faders and to hold batteries and the like.|
- Nobilified. Hand-painted versions of you as royalty.
|The Zoom F8 can also speak directly to a computer as an audio interface. But that does mean the F-Control won't work with it. |
Russian Chamber Chorus of New York and the Nikolai Kachanov Singers, under the brilliant direction of Nikolai Kachanov, performed a concert at St. John the Divine's at 112th and Amsterdam.
We did three pieces -- the world premiere of Efrem Podgaits' Morning Birds
, Nikolai Kachanov's Benevolence, A Choral Cycle
, and Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel.
has flute and cello. Benevolence
was just choir. Rothko Chapel
has viola, celesta, and pretty substantial percussion (with a couple tympani, concert bass drum, tenor drum, woodblock, gong, temple block, and vibraphone.)
|Russian Chamber Chorus setup at St. John the Divine's. |
So, typically St. John's is just an acoustical nightmare. It has something between 6 to 8 seconds of reverb time. It's huge. Nigh almost 600 feet long. I'd only heard concerts in the chapel and in what is called the "cross."
|The inside of St. John's, with my notes. I think the cross or "crossing" is wider than pictured here.|
The reverb in that space is no joke. And there in the cross it's just crazytown. So I was a bit stressed about how this concert was going to sound.
But we weren't in the cross. We were way up in the choir. And the acoustics there are radically different. So different, in fact, that I thought I might have gone insane. But up in the choir the sound is tight, focused, and sounds almost exactly the same all through the choir section.
Plus, you still get that very long reverb -- but it's really attenuated. So you get all the tightness and focus of the choir, but then almost like a ducked reverb, you get this beautiful bloom after every musical cutoff.
I mean seriously, it's like somebody is raising the reverb prefade send at the end of each piece or section. It's beautiful. Honestly I don't understand how the long reverb back in the cross doesn't mess up the sound, it's like it suddenly appears for the last note. It's basically magic.
So I put up 7 mics. A stereo X/Y pair of Schoeps in the back, a middle-center AEA 84 (with a Cloudlifter), a center Blue active ribbon in the front center, a pair of Oktavas spaced left and right about at the edge of the chorus (which is hard to see in these pictures because the full chorus isn't shown and a number of rows of chairs got removed) and a single Rode NT1 in front of the percussion (which was amusing but not that useful.)
The thing is, the X/Y pair is really the whole of the sound. They sound both very close and detailed, and full of lush reverb.