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Author Topic: Acoustic tracks for a theater production, anybody done these?  (Read 794 times)
jpmist
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« on: October 30, 2013, 06:27:43 PM »

I have an exciting opportunity to record some acoustic tracks to be used as scene change music for a show called "Almost Maine" The play features 9 short serious and comic romantic vignettes so there are lots of short 20 -30 second scene changes for me to fill.

I have a pretty good back catalogue of fingerstyle guitar riffs I can use, but I just wondered if anyone other there has experience in this and can give me a heads up on what to keep in mind.

My concerns are that the room is acoustically muted, with a wooden arched roof and cinderblock walls. I'm using Line6 to work the mic and EQ and GarageBand to record the tracks. I think I can pull this off, but just wondered if anyone out there had some tips.

Below is a sample of what I'd be offering. If I'm way off on my EQ please let me know. Thanks!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BymYXVHsaiLvSThuN1FBaDBfdVk/edit?usp=sharing
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CJ
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 06:45:18 PM »

Dropped it in Audition and Har-Bal - EQ looks / sounds fine. Nice recording. Bit of a peak at 200hz and 420hz - otherwise a very typical/nice EQ curve per Har-Bal analysis.

About recorded music between scenes ... I wouldn't know how to do that - if only because the number of times I played in pit bands during a theater production, the passing music was played by the piano only and always with an eye to the stage so as to adjust the length of the snips to what the stage crew and performers needed. Fixed length snips can always be faded, but never lengthened if they need more time.

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jpmist
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 08:54:36 PM »

Thanks very much, CJ, for looking at the track for me. Gives me some peace of mind that I'm on the right track. My hearing isn't good so I always worry about overdoing the mids and highs, which you mention I'm on the verge of doing. Seeing that the room is kinda dead, I'll leave it there for now. We have a tech rehearsal next Monday so I'll know more then.

The scene changes are very simple, a bench or table here and there in a black box set. I imagine half the scenes will get applause so that will eat up 10 seconds and I kinda feel that any track much over 25 seconds may test the audience's patience - they didn't come for a concert after all. I'd hate the clips to be faded as the compositions are fairly complete melodies so I have to edit pretty tight.

All GarageBand gives me as far as EQ is the graphic below. I see you have a OO-50 so I imagine you've experienced the challenge of recording a guitar with so much low end. Hope my settings seem reasonable to you. A trick I use is to double the track with one far left and the other far right and then offset the second track a fraction of a second. Seems to add a lot of depth and presence. I assume that's a common technique. . .

One question I have is use of the noise gate. I'm aware that it can subtract the guitar tone as well as the background noise. I've tried the slider as high as -20db which quieted the track completely without noticing any effect on the guitar. Is that a reasonable amount of correction? Or since it's a quiet room, would it even matter if I didn't use it at all?

Thanks!
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Larrivee OO-05
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Taylor 322ce
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CJ
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2013, 02:27:31 AM »

I've used the track doubling trick as well. About noise, not sure I know what you mean. If you mean room noises before you start playing, I've always just opened the WAV (?) file in my sound editor and deleted that portion of the sound clip before the first note. When I used to record with a Roland VS-840, sometimes recordings would even capture pressing the record button. ;) That's easily trimmed with a sound editor. If you're referring to the noise floor (hiss), I don't hear enough of it to even worry about. Remember you're playing it for an audience who will be clapping, shifting in their seats between scenes, fanning with play bills, etc. They won't hear a noise floor.
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