Recording questions and hybrid mixing

Hi Chris, I hope you are doing great!

I want to ask you a few questions mainly regarding the recording process behind this score:

  1. Could you explain the reason for having a few different mic positions for bass and horns (Bass 5/6, Bass 3/4, Bass 1/2 and Horns 7/8, Horns 5/6, Horns 3/4, Horns 1/2 back), and also how are these mics positioned in relation to the instruments?

  2. I noticed you have used risers for the trumpets and horns. Is this for improving the sound balance between instruments going into the Decca and room mics? I am quite a beginner when it comes to recording.

  3. Do the heights you use for the mics change a lot depending on the venue you are recording? For example, if the ceiling is lower, do you have to go lower accordingly?

  4. I just use plugins for mixing classical and film scores, but when you talked about the Overstayer MAS it got me quite interested as it seems to be made for a hybrid workflow. How often do you use the Overstayer MAS and what sort of material do you tend to use it on? Do you use it on the mix bus as well?

  5. Do you use the Overstayer Stereo field effect just as a compressor for individual instruments?

Sorry for the long list, but I am a fan of the work you’ve been doing as a recording engineer/score mixer, and learning opportunities like these don’t come very often!

Andre Gillon

Hi Andre,

Sorry for the late reply!

  1. The front pair of horn mics picks up the overall section. I take back mics so that in the event the horns have split parts, I can highlight one of the notes or reshape the balance between notes if needed. I take extra bass mics in case I need more weight, and sometimes when basses are on the right side of the room, I’ll cross-pan one of the bass spots to the other side.

  2. You got it. I don’t always put trumpets on risers, but when I do, that’s the reason why. Sometimes I’ll put trumpets in the center of the room on the floor, and sometimes I’ll swap trumpets and trombones and have the bones on risers behind the trumpets. It all depends on the material and the sound we’re going for.

  3. Heights change not just for the venue, but for the material that’s being recorded. Sometimes you want more distance, sometimes you want to be closer. There are multiple factors that determine mic height.

  4. I never use the Overstayers on the mix bus. I actually primarily use them for recording, but if I am using them in the mix, it will be mostly on non-orchestral material such as percussion or maybe basses, keys or guitars. The SFE really shines for drum parallel compression, and also on vocal busses. It kinda sounds good on everything.