Mozart Oboe Concerto Recorded Yesterday

In the past I have referred to enjoying the characteristic sounds of an oboe when listening to an acoustic recording - the sounds of the pads, the player’s breathing, the key mechanism. To me, this makes a recording real. Some have also asked about my recordings.

This is a bit over a minute of the third movement cadenza added by the soloist performing the Mozart oboe concerto in C major. I recorded the performance yesterday (96/24).

It illustrates the sound of an oboe from approximately 15 feet away. One can nicely hear the sound of a spectacular oboe player, the pads, the sharp exhale/inhale of the musician, etc. (Oboe takes relatively little air to play. The player runs out of oxygen before he runs out of air. Thus, he often exhales first before inhaling to expel CO2 and to take in more oxygen.)

There is a bit of audience noise as it was a live performance. Annoyingly, people can never sit quietly and rattle programs, etc. The sharp clicks are not recording flaws, but the sound of a crisp program being handled. I have given up removing them as it damages the underlying sound too much. There is also the sound of the musicians’ chairs, etc.

I hope at least a few of you are amused.

Thanks elk! I love the real thing.

Possible to purchase the complete performance?

Unbelievable … something as simple as a zip file and the trouble it took to hear it. I use an ipad most of the time, but ipad’s don’t natively support zip files, you need an app. I didn’t want to download another app so I tried the PC. Found the thread but the attached file wasn’t there. Ugggh. Went back to ipad, downloaded a free app, the app unzipped the file, but didn’t support a FLAC file so it wouldn’t play. Tried everything I could think of (actually that’s not much) and couldn’t get it to play, so I sent it to myself. Supposedly the mail app would open it, except the the mail never came … sigh. So I went back to the PC, realized I might need to be signed it to see attachments, aha! There it is. The file didn’t seem to want to unzip in the usual way, but got it to show up as FLAC, but it wouldn’t play. So dragged and dropped into music and got it to play over the computer speakers (AudioEngine). Sounded Ok but the hard drive is buzzing away next to me so I couldn’t hear the subtleties. It was in JRiver at this point so I can go downstairs and listen on the stereo … not. It showed up in JRiver on JRemote but would not play. God I love computers. angry_gif What I could hear sounded very nice, perhaps I’ll get my you know what together better next time and will hear it properly!

As for your comments about audience noises, I can’t believe how many people cough during the quiet moments and don’t even bother to cover their mouth to suppress it even a little … arrggghhh.

Wow, that’s dedication.

I did not know Macs do not natively support zip. Bother. I zipped it only because zip is one of the forum’s allowed attachments (the forum does not allow any audio file types but for MP3 - trick it by zipping the FLAC file).

I am curios as to what people think of the sound. I do not like overly close mic’d instruments as the sound needs to bloom. But I also want to hear detail, such as pad noise, as this is what I hear when I play in an orchestra, sit in the first couple of rows at concerts, or record.

Unfortunately, I cannot make the entire recording available. Too many people need to sign off on it yet, etc.

Macs unzip just fine. pmotz was using an iPad, then a PC. Took me a couple minutes to download and tag it (so I could find it in my JRMC library) and copy it to my server. All on Macs. Sounds very nice.

Cool. I am glad you like the sound. The performance is bordering on the unreal. Incredible musician.

So it is only iPads that do not include zip?

Elk, I believe iPhones don’t have it either, but who listens to music on their phone? 65_gif The other thing I found out is the iPad/iPhone don’t support FLAC, you need an app or conversion to MP3 or ALAC to listen. Those Apple folks really know how to irritate sometimes.

Apple is not fond of FLAC because it wants people to use ALAC. iTunes still does not support FLAC on any platform. It’s actually very annoying. Macs themselves have no problem with FLAC files. You just have to use third-party software.

pmotz said Elk, I believe iPhones don't have it either, but who listens to music on their phone?

It’s a miracle! I found the track in JRiver and was able to play it through the stereo. Very nicely recorded, and, yes the playing is excellent too. There is a lot of low level background noise, but not unusual for a solo. Nice job Elk! More please!

The good news/bad news for me is through this process of trying to find the track I discovered where all my “missing” music was in JRiver. There is a file called “Unassigned”, not sure why it gave that designation, but that is where all the missing music is. I was shocked when I found there are over 10,000 tracks in this file! cant-believe-my-eyes-smiley-emoticon_gifpulling-hair_gif There are some duplicates from my moving astuff around to let JRiver “find” it, but just the same I have one BIG project to straighten this out.

Thank you for the feedback. I will be able to diminish the background noise, but some will remain. Recording live concerts can be a challenge. Of course, when you attend a live concert you do not hear most of the noise - it is just part of the experience. But on a recording it can drive you nuts.

Congrats on finding your music! It will be a lot of work to get it right, but satisfying.

Elk, what equipment did you use to make the recording?

Primary mics are a pair of small diaphragm condensers into an Avalon AD2022 recorded by a Tascam DA-3000 at 96/24.

The TASCAM looks like a nice little recorder for a very reasonable price (a quick google found it at around $1k). Judging by the Oboe snippet the sound quality is excellent.

The DA-3000, and the DV-RA1000 before it, are superb units. They are professional mastering recorders sold as loss leaders (Tascam is Teac’s pro line, Esoteric is home audio). Michael Fremer uses them when he records the sound of his turntable setups. He has written about this in Stereophile and his own blog. John Marks also thinks highly of them.

As an aside, I have a lightly used DV-RA1000 I would be pleased to pass on to a new home, DSD and up to 192kHz/24-bit. Many great reviews in addition to Stereophile, e.g., Pro Studio Review and Sound on Sound Review

Just saw this post. Loving my DA-3000 and I’m hoping to try some live DSD recording with it this fall and winter. I’m on the road so I can’t listen to your oboe with any quality equipment so I’ll have to waitcry. In the meantime, which condensers did you use and what alignment? How high above the floor?

(Are we there yet? Will there be candy? Why is the sky blue? Do birds get airsick?..surprised-011_gif)

Modified MK-012 MSP2, roughly 15’ off of the floor, and roughly 15’ behind the conductor. The oboist is almost center, very slightly to the left.

The mics were at 110 degrees, but instead of the capsules separated as in an ORTF configuration, the mics cross and the capsules are perhaps two inches apart. (Think ORTF but moving the mics towards and eventually over each other until the front ends almost line up.)

DSD also sounds good, but needs to be converted to PCM for editing and very few can play a DSD file in any event. Thus, I record everything in PCM.

Thanks, Elk. DSD is just something that I want to play with. A little compression, a little limiting and we’ll see what I get.