Recording Beethoven: Symphony no. 9

I’ve just had the opportunity to record the “Oxford Studio Orchestra” and “Oxford and Bonn Anniversary Chorus”  performing Beethoven’s 9th at Oxford Town Hall. I enlisted Andy Fell (a very experienced orchestral sound engineer!) to help out with this large-scale recording.

Beethoven 1

We arrived expecting to be able to set up our control room in the green room behind the stage and run multicore cable through to the hall. However, the staging had been set up in such a way that this was no longer possible, so we had to set up to the side of the stage, right behind the horns! This made monitoring a little tricky… Closed-back headphones helped, but it wasn’t ideal. The advantage was that we could survey the orchestra and quickly make adjustments during rehearsal.

 

Beethoven 2

We setup ORTF pairs in front of the choir (Neumann KM184’s) and orchestra (AKG C414’s) and additional omni-directional outriggers. Spot mics were set up to capture the woodwind (Coles 4038’s), timpani, brass, basses and soloists resulting in 13 channels of recorded audio.

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