The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches

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dB Cooper

The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« on: 21 Aug 2017, 10:12 am »
Been getting  more into classical/orchestral/acoustic instumental music lately and have been learning about composers, orchestras and whatnot. One thing I have been learning about is recording approaches. I am aware that Telarc is/was renowned for minimalist miking, and apparently did most, if not all, of their recordings using a simple two-mic setup. All the way at the other end of the approach spectrum appears to be Deutsche Grammophon, who is apparently equally well known for using elaborate multi-mic setups.

I seem to find the Telarc approach more natural-sounding and to have a more convincing representation of the venue acoustics, and to have a better delineation of individual instruments (perhaps counter-intuitively, because you might expect multiple close mics to excel at that).

I'm wondering what others think about these questions and are there other labels besides Telarc that are also known for minimalist miking. Obviously the performance is the most important thing, but SQ can have a big influence on the overall experience. Thoughts?


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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #1 on: 21 Aug 2017, 11:53 am »
I'm not by any means a classical music buff, I have maybe 30 or 40 recordings, but I agree that minimalist micing techniques work best.  When spot mics are employed you can almost always hear them.  Old CBS recordings seem to reliably sound great.  More experienced listeners can certainly offer better advice than I.

S Clark

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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #2 on: 21 Aug 2017, 12:37 pm »
RCA and Mercury used a three mike system during their "golden years".  The London Phase 4 recordings put mike over key soloist or impact instruments for greater dynamics for key players- many audiophiles thought it odd sounding, but it did create impact.
This is an interesting topic.  Eager to hear if anyone can add info on Columbia, Phillips, EMI, Decca, etc. 


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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #3 on: 21 Aug 2017, 12:50 pm »
RCA Living Stereo classical recordings were typically made with three spaced Omni's for the stereo mic setup.  London Decca classical were Blumlein stereo mics.  Mercury Living Presence classical also had simple stereo mic setups as well.  Those were the '50-'60s recordings that have been popular.


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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #4 on: 21 Aug 2017, 01:27 pm »
I tend to prefer the minimalist mic approach.  Telarc generally did a good job (I have quite a few of their recordings).


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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #5 on: 21 Aug 2017, 02:58 pm »
Another vote for simple mic setups: Decca/London, Mercury, RCA Living Stereo.  Telarc recordings always seem to be missing something.  To me, they lack low level detail and ambience.  They have the bombastic dynamics, but are unsatisfying.


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Re: The 'Telarc Sound' / Miking approaches
« Reply #6 on: 21 Aug 2017, 03:02 pm »
Jack Renner at Telarc used a 3 mike system with sometimes 2 more out in the auditorium for ambience.  Bob Woods used 3 or sometimes 2 and again, sometimes 2 out in the hall.  And yet on other recordings, particularly the jazz they used spot mikes.  Sometimes when recording classical with individual singing, these individuals were also spot miked.  On many of the Kunzel pieces which had sound effects, these effects were recorded separately by Mike Bishop and added in.  It all just depended on the sound they were after.