[Music] Finally finished mixes for a big band concert

Hi folks,

I had done a live big band recording awhile back. Sidetracked with a few things the last few months but finally got back to it and finished the last of the mixdowns. A really good band that has a great time playing together and a lot of fun to work with.

One of the final tracks I particularly like is Blue Skies. Enjoy… :slight_smile:




on a bed of


and a side-salad of


I very much enjoyed this, Karl. There’s so much ‘position’ for those instruments and section … they each have body and three dimensionality. Actually … just like the ‘good things’ I didn’t say about that other song … same solidity of parts. Here, they are cooking together. The band is a real … ‘entity’.

You’ll have to help me on this next bit: I’m reckoning that I’m hearing a ‘non hyped’ sound. Bass is no louder or softer than it would be in a hall. More I listen to this, the more hats I am finding to take off to you. Sounded dang REAL.

Satin Doll and ‘It don’t mean a Thing’ also engaged me fully … plenty of times in competiton, those were the very songs and tempos Harriet and I were dancing to.

Well done, again.
Best wishes

The recordings are decent and realistic – well done.

The vocalists are all quite good.

The band however, is just average – IMHO.

I’m comparing them to 3 – yes 3 – incredible bands right here in my town: the MacArthur HS jazz band, which dominates the Midwest Jazz festivals and has won the prestigious DownBeat magazine “Best Band in the Country” award something like 25 years in a row now; and the Millikin University Jazz Band, the hallmark of a program that attracts some of the best players in the country; and the Decatur Big Band – a reading band that consists of Millikin faculty, former students who are now pro’s, and various other seasoned players and plays on average once a month during the school year

I should point out that this was the first time I had ever recorded a big band. All of these tracks were recorded at a live performance in a ballroom environment with folks dancing out in front of the stage. It was something like 14 tracks…if you look on my web site, there’s a page on the site I call “Session bLogs” where I do writeups re…the technical setups used in some productions. Details about this recording are in there…worth mentioning is that, for the main stereo pair of mic’s, I used a setup based on whats called the “SRA” or “Stereo Recording Angle”. This is based on a research paper presented to the AES in 1984 I believe. It provides a method of calculating ideal mic angles and seperations for x/y mic pairs that provides realistic spatial placement when heard through speakers setup in a normal equilateral triangle. Specifics are in my session bLog for this recording (it’s a darn clever, but very straightforward way of determining a mic setup for a band/choir or orchestra recording).

Glyn, I tried to get these to sound very non-hyped. probably 90% of the sound is from the stereo pair out front. This is augmented with a ribb mic on the double bass as well as a DI from the double bass, several close mic’s on the drum kit and some horn “section mic’s”. Lastly, I got split’s from the voc mic’s.

Twilightsong…I’m familiar with the Macarthur HS jazz band…saw a special about them on Public TV awhile back. Blew me away! Absolutely incredible sound! You’re very lucky to have so many great bands there! The Junction City Big Band is something of a hybrid. The players are all either pro, or semi pro players and none of them play in this band regularly. They’re drawn from several other bands in the area and they get together 6 or 7 times a year. They just show up, get some charts from the band leader, and have at it. They’re best recollection is that they last “practiced” at some point in 2009??? The vocalists are husband and wife (the male vocalist is also in the trombone section)…the drummer is the head of the percussion department at Weber State University.

I’m always interested in reading about new techniques and stuff – I’ll definitely check that out

Here’s a link to the paper…


Fairly short, well written and understandable. It provides a straight forward approach to determining mic angles and spacing for ideal spatial playback based on just a few considerations.

I carry it around in my mobile rig case all the time. There’s a web site out there…I think it’s something like “singpeil” or something like that that has a pretty neat web browser application that lets you plug in various mic angles and spacing and such and it’ll show you the stereo recording angle that will be produced. Makes more sense once you’ve read the paper and see the web site. I’ll try to find that link again…been awhile since I used it but it’s pretty cool.

BTW…I should correct myself on one thing, I said that this lets you calculate a setup for an x/y pair. More accurately, it’s more of a hybrid of a near coincident pair in an x/y configuration.

Here’s a link to a good (though very technical) web site that discusses it. It also has links to the site I was referring to… look for the links to “Image assistant 2.0” and “Hauptmikrofon.de” just into the first page.

All the best,