It’s always surprising to see where some phone calls lead. We like to answer every “Can you…” or “Do you guys…” question about production audio with a “Yes” or at least a “We’ll find a way”. And though there are some limitations as to what we can achieve in different scenarios, the best results come with good communication and a little planning.
We recently got a call from Odato Marketing to do a location recording project for The American Orff-Schulwerk Association and MMB Music. They were looking to create a video piece to showcase the Orff-Schulwerk “active music making” methodology used to teach instrumental music to children. The challenge was to record an arrangement in a classroom using:
1x Contrabass Xylophone
2x Bass Xylophones
5x Alto Xylophones
6x Soprano Xylophones (didn’t know they existed…)
4x Alto Glockenspiels
2x Soprano Glockenspiels
1x posse of musically-inclined elementary school kids
Recording over 20 tracks in all in an acoustically “wild” classroom with plenty of ventilation noise is no simple task. But let us worry about that…
Odato Marketing has offices in Sarasota and Pittsburgh, so a face-to-face meeting or survey of the site where we would be doing the production wasn’t possible. But even with states between us, we had technology on our side and communicating ideas and planning for the production beforehand allowed us to hit the ground running and get the best audio possible.
Here it is:
The idea of pre-production meetings may seem simple, but talking over the challenges and expectations of a project in advance is essential to getting it right the first time. It can help us decide on a plan of action including the choice of microphones and recording strategies, the selection of any extra gear that might be needed, and the overall logistics of getting things done right – on time and under budget.
So if you have any outside-the-box ideas for audio and just aren’t sure how to realize them, we’re certainly up for the challenge and would be happy to talk them through.
Thanks to Rich, Bruce, Becca, Jim, Michelle, Marjie, Sharon and all the kids for their help with a great project from start to finish.
“To be prepared is half the Victory.”
– Miguel de Cervantes