Clarinet Tone Talk: Sound test with piano in two halls for recording in May

first community church clarinet acoustic testThe Highlands church clarinet acoustic test

I like both of these acoustics, though I prefer one to the other for several reasons. But I’ll let you listen and comment before I divulge my choice.

We played the excerpts in different order at each church. I cut and pasted the clips roughly to match these two samples . Ignore the bloops, please.

Also, the clarinet and mouthpiece (wood) had not yet warmed up and my pitch is a bit under. Please ignore that if you can. And of course, the pianos are not in tune. We literally walked in, set up the microphone, played for 10 minutes and left to go to the other church, where we did the same.

Church acoustic 1-

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Church acoustic 2-

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12 comments for “Clarinet Tone Talk: Sound test with piano in two halls for recording in May

  1. John Peacock
    March 22, 2011 at

    I’d vote for no. 1 as well. You need some reverberation, and no. 2 is just too dead. You can sometimes have too much echo, of course, especially in churches, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    • March 25, 2011 at

      Thanks John. Some reverb can be added if need be, but I hear a harshness in 1 which I don’t hear in 2. What do you think?

      • March 25, 2011 at

        Hi David. I see what you mean: the clarinet tone does seem brighter in no. 1, and maybe some artificial echo in no. 2 might make a better overall effect. But I thought you were asking more about just the acoustic. Even without changing that, I bet slight differences in microphone position will change the sound: when I’ve heard recordings of my own concerts, I’ve always been surprised at the variety in tone that comes over even when I thought I was playing much the same, and when the equipment was unchanged. I think it may be in part do do with whether you get sound reflecting off the floor.

      • March 28, 2011 at

        We may put a rug under the area I play in hall 1, and position the mike a bit differently. But I haven’t abandoned hall 2 yet. I’ve insisted my engineer visit it with me to listen. I told him the sound I want, and I seek his input as to which will require the least amount of manipulation of the recording. Hall 2 may sound more resonant if the mike were farther away from me. And I like something about the intimacy, a feeling I wish to convey with my playing in this first recording, as if I could whisper and be heard.

  2. March 22, 2011 at

    #1 is a bit more colorful and punchy. The reverb is present but not excessive in the mid range, yet it dissappears in higher range, where it the sound then gets thinner than on #2.
    #2 is a warmer sound, but (to me) not as radiant. The best aspect of #2 is that it remains pleasant in altissimo, maybe moreso than #1
    Summary…I like #1 better midrange, and #2 in upper frequencies, but #1 wins overall.

  3. March 22, 2011 at

    Another commenter wrote to me by email- “I suppose it won’t help if I said- somewhere in between the two?!

    I like the clarity of #2 because I hear the instruments better. In #1, I am a little distracted by the distant feel of it. I hear more of the room and less of the music.

    I might prefer #1 with a little less of the room sound or #2 with a little more ambience. It may be possible to do with some tweaking of mic placement.”

  4. March 21, 2011 at

    Nice Blog!

    #1 has a nicer natural reverb.

    Mauricio
    http://www.mauriciosalguero.com

    • March 21, 2011 at

      Thank you Mauricio. #1 seems to be the winner.

  5. Gretchen Roper
    March 21, 2011 at

    a HUGE vote for #1

    • March 21, 2011 at

      Thanks Gretchen. I take all votes seriously. Yours is much appreciated.

  6. March 21, 2011 at

    I like #1 better.

Comments are closed.