Updated: Oct 5, 2019
We recently had a show reel request from a percussionist called Jenny to showcase her talents on camera! It will provide her with a great video of snippets of 4-5 songs to highlight her skills and give potential employers an example of her performing.
The day started with myself and in-house Photographer/Videographer Paul Whiteley (https://www.facebook.com/paulwhiteleyphoto/) deciding the layout for the session. Since both cameras and microphones are being used I didn't want to get in the way of Paul's shots!
I knew straight away I wanted to capture the whole ensemble of percussion instruments that Jenny would be bringing. I went with the matched AKG C414 microphone for their nice flat response, which are also great for cymbals and high transient content due to them being condenser microphones. With them being a match pair also lessens issues such as phasing between the two microphones.
The picture above shows the final placement of the C414's in a spaced AB configuration wide cardioid polar pattern and also the 80Hz high-pass filter being activated.
Using our heavy duty stand we could get the right placement above Jenny's crash cymbals, but more importantly, getting out of frame from Paul's camera setup!
Jenny brought with her two cymbals and a pair of Congas and Timbales. I used the following microphones on each;
High - SM 57
Low - SM 57
High - SM 57
Low - SM 57 Beta
To get the most separation between the cymbals and other percussion elements I took advantage of the null point of the microphones. Seen on the picture above, the 57's are facing away where the backs are pointing to the cymbals. The null point on microphones are the best for rejecting the most external noise.
Setup and ready to roll...
Once we had all the microphones and cameras in place my job thereon was to make sure I captured and labelled the recordings correctly. It involved mostly keeping an eye on any clipping due to the dynamic range of the percussion elements. This was resolved after a couple of takes, the main issues that I noted down were the occasional smacks from a drum stick on our poor SM57s! (Luckily they are built to withstand a couple of knocks, not recommended however).
Below shows a few of my notes of each take, anything to note about it or any clipping on certain instruments. This helped later on to pick the appropriate samples of the performance as to not include any nasty mic hits or clipping.
Overall, we achieved lots of great takes from the day and Jenny enjoyed the experience!
We are looking forward to showcasing the video and getting Jenny more jobs to show off her percussion skills. We always enjoy these days as the whole team gets together from both audio and video worlds to make a great video. If you have an idea for a video or want your band to look as well as sound good, then come no further! Always happy to help at Vibes HQ!
Check out the finish video below!
Till next time!
Cheers, Dan AKA Morgs.
Jenny Pearson-Walinetski - Percussionist / Performer - email@example.com
Paul Whiteley - Videograpghy - https://www.facebook.com/paulwhiteleyphoto/
Stephen Keane - Audio & Visual Assistant
Check out my personal Instagram page for general studio day to day life and below average photography of studio gear - @dandrinksribena