I realize that I never properly gave a run-down of the January 27 concert.
I must say that I’m very pleased with how the concert turned out. I think that Marc and I gave a very good performance of all of the works on the program; and the audience was sizable and enthusiastic. Since I was the one performing, I can’t very well review the program, though I can say that I’m very, very happy with the turnout and the performance.
There are two things that I’m, unfortunately, not happy with.
1) The quality of the audio recording that we got isn’t very good. Normally, we hire a friend, Robert Bullington, to record our concerts, and his recording philosophy for concert music is to make it sounds as if the listener were in the front row. Hence, his recording company is called Front Row Seat Productions. I’m consistently thrilled with the quality of Robert’s recordings. He will absolutely be recording our next program.
This time, we decided to go with the in-house recording service in order to scale back on costs, which was a mistake. The sound tech did a fantastic job of miking me and Marc for the room, but I think that she didn’t process the mix at all before burning it to CD. Consequrently, the piano (which, it turns out was rather out of tune – something we didn’t notice at the time since we were in performance mode) sounds tinny, distant, and far too quiet; and I sound like I’m swallowing the microphone, which has absolutely no reverb, so every tiny flaw is made screamingly present. Although I promised the recording to all of the composers on the program, I’m frankly too embarrassed to send it to them. Instead, Marc and I will re-record the entire program in March.
2) Someone (or, rather, several someones) who sat near the video camera talked regularly throughout the concert. Now, I don’t mind that people chit-chat while I perform – it’s a cabaret theatre, and there’s drinking going on. But I should hope that the people sitting right in front of a big piece of recording equipment could manage to keep their voices low enough to avoid being overheard. I got an email from the booking manager at The Duplex a few days after the concert letting me know what had happened with the video. The video engineer has apparently taken bits of the audio recording and synched it up with the video. I’m picking up the DVD this evening, when I’ll be able to judge the overall quality for myself. But I’m not optimistic since the audio recording that I sincerely don’t like is being used for some – if not all – of the video. My hope, after hearing the audio recording, was that we could pull the audio track from the DVD and use that as the recording, but no such luck.
Now I have to figure out where, when, and how to go about doing the re-recording next month. Bah.
We still love the space – everyone raved about the atmosphere and how wonderful it was! – but we’ll probably avoid the in-house audio service next time. It’s ideal for recordings of poppier things, but alas, not for recording what we do. Live and learn!