Remote recording.......Storytelling.......advice?

Aloha guys,

Backstory:
A couple of weeks ago I did a solo house party/warming
gig of about 50 people/kids/birds/horses/‘dogs and cats living together’ etc etc.

Many different types of entertainment. Hula dancing,
magician, fire knife, puppet show, music (me) and ‘STORYTELLING’

I have never actually been around someone who has
for many years been a ‘real’ storyteller and I was fascinated.

She was about 70-80 years old, she sat in a chair and I put my SM58 (on a boom stand)
in front of her and off we went. I remember thinking during her performance
that she must have some CDs or DVDs etc and that I would try to buy one.

As I was ‘packing up’ she came to thank me for use of the mic and
that’s when I discovered that she had no CDs or DVDs or tapes etc of her storys
and she had in fact suffered two strokes in recent years and wanted desperately
to get these storys recorded before she ………… well you know.

‘Well’ I said. (like Superman) "that’s my ‘job’!

The Plan:
First there is no $$$ involved. This will be from the heart.
We are planning on having about 15-20 people
for the recording. Outside evening.

The Gear:
I rarely take my good mics on location but this time

1-I am thinking about using two U87’s going into
a stereo Joe Meek SC4 for the audience/background sounds.
(The Meek has ‘AES/EBU’ digital connections
but I won’t be using that feature on this trip).

2-I plan on using two gold cup AKG 414s each going into
a Manley Voxbox for main vox.

3-All four mics then go into a Yamaha n12 then Firewire to my Macbook.
Oh yeah and C7. :slight_smile:

I have never done any recording like this and at first glance one would think, O’ ‘this is a piece of cake’.
But I have learned over the years that ‘simple/easy’ is often the the same ‘cake’ that Murphy eats.

So any advice would be welcomed guys .
Recording is in about six weeks.
(I’m hoping she will still be with us).

A MAJOR TIA (thanks in advance)
And sending much Aloha.
{’-’}

What is the atmosphere you want to capture with the recording?

2 omnis in the audience.
Spaced cardioid for the speaker if there is no p.a. You don’t want a close Mic on the speaker since they will have no idea how close or far to be from the Mic without hearing themselves and it would add a ton of editing that can be avoided. Spaced cardioid will give freedom to the speaker to move and generate a stereo image that would sit with the spaced omnis from the getgo. Natural and organic.

few ideas:
shotgun Mic with a blimp or lapel Mic for the speaker if it is a noisy environment.
Wind screens / muffs a must!
I would pass on the voxbox and choose something cleaner and better suited to dialogue.
Sand bags or water whoopies to stabilize your tripod Mic stands. Don’t bring weighted base.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1997_articles/jan97/spokenword.html
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/1994_articles/jun94/spokenword.html

Do a test recording first a few days in advance so you have the time to fetch stuff you’ve overlooked, change something that surprised you and just about anything that can go wrong. Murphy you, know! :wink:
You don’t really need the lady her self to do the testing, just someone you instruct to sound somewhat like her. But this could possibly save you some headache! :sunglasses:

Gee whiz Curteye,

I have no technical words of wisdom BUT on the other hand, that is terrific. Years back I used to work with seniors when I was about 25. I am now one of them but used to speak with them during the course of their visits for a few hours cumulatively. These people were around during the turn of the 20thcentury and had stories to tell about the most interesting stuff.

One man was an apprentice in Thomas Edison’s lab, they called Edison " chew tobacco Ed". Stories of the town I live in when the Main Street was a dirt road were very cool, in Vermont I was told stories of real farm life in the 1900’s and WW1. One man told me of racing motorcycles in 1912 on wooden velodromes, Indians of course.

I applaud your great efforts and of course, if these ever go into public domain, would happily enjoy listening . This may be a life changing moment for both of you. It certainly helps your head.

Very best of luck. Al

NPR and The Smithsonian might be interested in your finished recording and may even offer advice. No specific contact information from me though.

It sounds like an interesting experiment. Maybe you could share some of the results?

No technical advice from me. I’ve never tried to capture any “live” spoken word type of recordings.

Good luck. :sunglasses:

Perhaps you are simply too self-centered to be a good listener, and need to have conversations focused upon you?

Since this is a societal disease, there’s no need to rebut.