Compared to recording other genres of music, classical music is performed as a finished composition and the musicians have rehearsed the work arriving at a concept of how to play (interpret) the music. Therefore, a recording is basically an aural snapshot of a performance of the composition, either in its entirety as in a concert, or in parts during recording sessions.
The tonal colors of the instruments or singers, the dynamic range from pianissimo to fortissimo, the balance of the instruments to each other has been already established by the musicians and should be truthfully recorded. The acoustical environment in which the music is performed – being part of the first impression of a recording – needs to be captured in order to deliver a sense of “listening to a concert”.
Therefore, during the entire signal/production chain – from microphones through recording media, editing and mastering phase to the final consumer format – the artist’s vision of timbre and balance has to be attained and preserved. This postulate requires utilizing only the best available technology and finest equipment. It is not quantity (number of channels or quantity of gear), but rather quality (superb microphones, microphone preamplifiers, clean analog-to-digital conversion, etc.) which should be achieved.
Beyond high quality equipment, only a thorough understanding and experience of how to set up microphones, how to use the equipment correctly and efficiently, how to edit the music, will guaranty truly pleasing, professional results from a technical point of view.
When recording for CD release, the producer’s role is to have a vision of the finished recording and guiding the artists through the project: this might begin with selecting an appropriate venue and end with the delivery of the replication master. An experienced producer knows the suitable recording spaces without outside noises or disturbances from heating/air-conditioning, organizes the logistics for the recording days and works with the recording engineer and artist towards finding the sound which is appropriate for the style of music. The producer will oversee the editing and will require the artists to participate in and approve the final edited version for release.
Too give you an easy introduction on how to prepare for recording, we created a series of introductory videos which you may watch in the video section of this website and be well prepared for your recording project…