Young Bassoonist, Bianca Chambul, plays the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in A minor, RV. 499, in Walter Hall, University of Toronto. This was a live concert featuring students of bassoon master Nadina Mackie Jackson.
The setup needed to accommodate the small string orchestra plus a variety of bassoon players and duos. We used spot miking for most of the group. These included:
DPA4006 on the violins.
TLM193 on the cello and bass.
Schoeps MK21 on the harpsichord
Schoeps MK2 main pair
You’ll notice Bianca is quite an animated performer. While exciting to watch it makes recording a challenge. We opted for the A-B main pair as this allowed for an area of coverage while also providing an ambient stereo pickup that could be mixed with the spot mics. Because this was also the main pickup for the soloist the challenge was to have plenty of solo bassoon coverage in the main pair. If anything, airing on the side of too much so as to leave “room” for the spot mics to fill the rest.
Without placing too many restrictions we gave Bianca (and all soloists) an optimal area where we wanted her to play. This ensured we would have somewhat even SPL, even though you heard her drift L-R when she makes a drastic shift on the stage. To mitigate this effect we narrowed the main stereo field and used the spot mics to deliver a wide stereo picture in the final mix.