How I Record Steelpan and Why I Use this Technique


Making a good recording depends on a lot more than putting a couple of microphones near the band and recording what they pick up.  You may be lucky and get a decent or even good recording, but often this technique will lead to disappointment.

The technique I use for almost all my recordings is referred to as "orchestral recording", as opposed to "close miking".   There are a number of orchestral recording techniques, each with advantages and disadvantages.  Most depend, at the core, on using two (one for mono) microphones located so as to pick up the sound of the entire orchestra with proper balance and presence.  Under certain circumstances the recordist may add "spot microphones" to record, often on a multi-track recorder, parts of the orchestra that do not present themselves properly into the main stereo pair of microphones.  There are also variations of some of the stereo orchestral recording techniques which add extra microphones to enhance the recording under some circumstances.

Many of my recordings are of steel orchestras with a few to over 100 musicians.  Occasionally I will record a solo or a duet.  Most of the recordings are of a live performance or a public rehearsal  with an audience present.

Prev Next »