[MUSIC] Moon River (See Note)

Note: I realize that this falls under the realm of copyrighted material, and so if the admins want to remove the thread they can.
Yesterday, my oldest daughter - as part of a larger choral ensemble (about 50 strong) - sang a midday mini-concert. The last piece they did was Moon River, which I recorded on my iPhone 6 and then processed in Cubase 8.5 Pro.

The song was performed in a professionally designed, acoustically treated room. The singers were lined against all four walls, and I sat in the middle. I used the built-in Voice Memos iOS application to record the song while holding the phone in the middle of the aisle about 3 1/2 feet off of the ground and the bottom of the phone pointing upward at about a 30 degree angle. Directly in front of me, and behind the sopranos, was a 9 foot Steinway.

Since the original audio had several challenges - mono recording on an iPhone (!!!), Voice Memos saving the audio as an MP4 Audio file, and having to convert it to MP3 (192-bit) to import it into Cubase - I decided to go off of the reservation a bit to get to the finished result.

I sent the audio, pre-fader, to 3 separate FX channels (Center, Left and Right) and pulled the fader all the way down.

  1. Center - EQ had a HPF at about 90 Hz with a slow rolloff; a significant cut at 500 Hz with a low Q (I think I used 1); and a high frequency shelf at about 3500 Hz. This was intended to allow the piano to come through while making space for the vocals.

  2. Left - EQ had a HPF at about 120 Hz with a slightly sharper rolloff; significant cuts at 300 Hz and 900 Hz but with a Q of 2.4; and a shelf at 3000 Hz. This was panned left (L64).

  3. Right - EQ had the same HPF and shelf as Left, but the cuts were at 400 Hz and 1200 Hz. This was panned right (R64).

All EQs were linear phase to avoid issues.

All 3 channels were then sent to 4 sends for reverb processing (early reflections near / far; and reverb tail near / far), which were then sent to a group channel called Reverb that allowed me to control how much was in the mix (so that I could find the spot where it added depth while not significantly reducing clarity of the original sound).

The original 3 sends were sent to a group channel as well called Final which had the stock Stereo Enhancer plug-in.

The Final and Reverb group channels had a VCA fader assigned to them so that I could control volume (ended up using it for fade-in and out at the beginning / end only…meh).

Finally, on the master buss I added mastering compression (FabFilter Pro-C2), M/S EQ (FabFilter Pro-Q2), Variety of Sound’s SlickHDR to add some higher-end warmth, saturation (FabFilter Saturn using the 6 band warmth preset), and finally a brickwall limiter (FabFilter Pro-L).

The result is better than I could have hoped for. Although I would have preferred the stereo field to be wider, beggars can’t be choosers since I only had an iPhone.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Moon River as performed by The Lawrentians.

very good indeed ,great version, some great chords in there and done with voices very impressive .well done for capturing it ,i`ve downloaded it just in case it gets taken off . i love this kinda stuff .

Sounds good. The last 2 or three revisions of iOs, the AGC and the hardware (whatever is in there for a mic) actually sounds very useable in many situations. Can’t complain about that for a quick and dirty tool.

Nice work Larry.

As a teacher, I always get to hear school choirs.
I felt like I was literally right there with your recording.

This is a classic song and it’s a very good version too.

I once recorded a Jackson Browne concert. :astonished:
Smuggled in the battery-powered cassette recorder
and nursed the mini condenser mics on my lap. Sorry JB.
But I promise no bootlegs were made. :laughing:

Nothing like the quality of this. :wink:

We have come a long way.

Thanks for the comments, Jet. I am but the humble messenger. The real credit goes to the kids who sang this, their teachers, and the accompanist who did a great job on the piano. I simply tried to capture it as I heard it, but in spite of the compliments the recording pales in comparison to the very pleasant audio assault on my ears from having a full 360 degree wall of sound coming at me.

Very nice. Great arrangement and beautifully sung.

I enjoyed this enormously - it sent a shiver up my spine at one point. I love music that does that.

I hope you are well Larry. :slight_smile:


Long time no see, and yes I am extremely well.

I agree with the “shiver” comment. The ending phrase in the song does this to me, too. That’s when I knew I had to post it.

You need to start posting new music ASAP. :smiley: