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Ohio University School of Music

OU School of Music

Welcome to my page of OU School of Music audio projects! Below you will find some examples of my work, as well as some info about the projects. Most items are youtube-embedded, but one or two are direct links to videos and audio. As this is a self-hosted site, be patient with load times for some of those.

Want to skip the reading and get right to the content? Click here for a list of even more videos than I included here and even more audio content!

Below you will find some examples of some of the live streams that I have done for the Ohio University School of Music. Because not 100% of the youtube channel is recordings that I have done, I have curated some of my favorite recordings with some notes about mic placement and what the performance.

Some notes on technical aspects: All these recordings are livestreamed with OBS. The typical setup uses an ATEM mini pro for video switching when there are multiple cameras, a PTZ controller to control cameras, and then an external audio interface to manage levels. When I do on-site recordings (outdoors, in chapels, etc) I tend to use only two mics, however in our recital hall, I sometimes opt for three or four mic setups, depending on the situation. OBS also has this wonderful problem of only being able to take input from the first two channels of an interface (unless you define a 5.1 setup which is stupid in itself), so I've had to use some creative workarounds. I have previously routed audio physically through the interface's I/O and then used the interface controller to "mix", although this is clunky and not ideal at all. I have since started using a Mac application called "sounddesk" which acts as a virtual sound board layer, allowing you to grab audio from it as a virtual interface and mix audio from the interface inputs. This also allows me to apply some EQ and compression, althogh my mileage has varied in terms of latency, especially with compression. These days I tend to stick to a lowcut and maybe some dips in the 200 region and call it good, otherwise OBS and sounddesk get a little angry. All these performances are also recorded simultaneously on audition, and then edited and archived on a local university-specific SMB server. Also note -- most performances have a little ad/Ohio University logo card at the beginning, this is a School of Music requirement so you may want to skip about five minutes in for the actual performance.

String and Piano Chamber Music Recital

I'm including this first because strings are my true love when it comes to recording. I find that strings bring out the sound of a space more than any other instrument -- something that is very important to me. Of course, this recording is also piano, and so kind of served as an experiment in micing multiple kinds of instruments in the same space with one microphone configuration. I tend to default to ORTF setups due to the depth of sound and field that it creates, but this can also pose problems with some piano works in that space. Judge for yourself how it sounds!


Symphony Orchestra performing Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 1

Ah! Yet another ORTF setup. Different space though, and much different placement. As there is no real concert hall at Ohio University, most orchestral performances are done in our 1930s theater, for better or for worse. This creates some problems sometimes with projection -- with no shell, and a really high ceiling above the stage, sound tends to get lost in the nooks and crannies of the space. However, a decent sound can be achieved by placing the mics about 15 feet from the stage. Too close, like by the conductor, and you start getting all kinds of nasty reflections from the back wall, and too far and you just end up with an empty sound. This particular performance posed the extra problem of being a piano concerto, and so getting the balance right was a challenge. Oh, and excuse the ground hum -- someone ran away with the ground lifts that day...


Visiting Artist Henry Kramer

Quick disclaimer: OBS crashed at the beginning of this performance, so there is a little chunk missing of the first Beethoven sonata. Hopefully nobody will hold that against me... Crappy software aside, I'm including this here because I opted for such a different sound than normal. I would normally set up mics at a distance in this hall, maybe 10 feet or so, capture more room, and less attack. However, I thought Henry's attack asked for something much more aggressive and tight, and so I opted to place a 414 under the hood. This was then mixed with some room sound from permanently installed X-Y earthworks microphones about 15 feet back. The result is interesting, and reminds me a lot of Glenn Goulds 1980s recording of the Goldbergs, albeit not quite as rich. It is also an interesting study to see how it works for different pieces. I have mixed thoughts on how good it sounds for the Beethoven Sonata, but think it works great on the Ravel (c.a. 1h11m45s in the video). I am also including the audio wav recordings for more direct comparison, as I had more time to fix some EQ things in post (some of those highs are rather harsh... thanks youtube compression...) and get the balance right than I did in the livestream. As always, feel free to download.

Audio:

Beethoven Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101 - Mvt. I
Ravel, Le Tombeau de Couperin - Mvt. I Prelude

Fall Jazz Concert

This is the fall jazz concert, featuring performances by the percussion ensemble and Jazz big bands I and II. There's not much to say here really -- standard ORTF setup with a board mix coming through a PA. I was worried about phasing due to the PA but generally it turned out fine. Again, there is more room for some fun camerawork in this space.


Donor Stream

I'm including this less because of recording techniques, and more because of the technical aspects that were required to make this possible. The School of Music had a donor appreciation event this fall of 2021, and wanted this event to be livestreamed. It would consist of various types of performance and presentations -- music, dance, visual art, technical theater, and film were all represented. Because of this, there was a need for a variety of streaming techniques to be employed in order for the event to make sense online. All videos were played back simultaneously on the projector locally and also streamed from their source files through OBS. I used a two camera setup in order to make use of the installed PTZ camera's pan, tilt, and zoom features without being too disruptive, and was able to transition pretty smoothly between the live camera feeds and local source content. As this event's only technical coordinator, this put me in the position of being lighting op, live sound op, streaming op, camera op, and stage manager. This space is not set up for this kind of event, but it was a good challenge to try to pull off something that really should have been in a real event space with a PA and sound booth, rather than a recital hall with an isolated studio booth.


Double Reed Society Oboe Concert

I wasn't sure what to name this, so here's a little background. Summer of 2021, I recorded, mixed, and edited a video performance of four pieces performed by Dr. Fiala at Ohio University. This performance went on to be a feature at the International Double Reed Society conference that same summer.

These pieces were recorded with two AKG414s spaced relatively far apart -- perhaps farther than was good in retrospect. This stereo image was mixed with an X-Y pair of earthworks SDC mics hung from the ceiling. I don't tend to do this anymore, and if I do, I have a single mono mic with the earthworks as stereo room sound. However, I do like the way the 414s sound on the strings, especially in a stereo configuration. Since then I have purchased a pair of Neumann km184s that I normally might use on strings, but I also think the presence of the Harpsichord made the 414s a good choice in this case. I would be curious to try the same project again using the Neumanns, but it seems unlikely that the same conditions would arise. Who knows though? I will post a comparison soon using the Neumanns on a string ensemble, and then another comparison of using the 414s on the same ensemble a year earlier.

You may notice that some of the pieces have no video work -- these were recorded at a separate time by someone who was not me. I take no responsibility for their quality or lack thereof -- I'm guessing they were done on a phone.

Technicalities aside, here is the final work! Feel free to download as you wish.