Miking instruments in open-air settings like amphitheaters can be complicated, as the weather can always be unpredictable and factors like the wind can ruin your sound. For the purposes of miking orchestral instruments in these settings, REMIC Microphones has created new mics that feature built-in shields to prevent any wind noise from being picked up. This past summer, Front of House Engineer Taketo Gohara went on with legendary Italian singer-songwriter Vinicio Capossela, and was tasked with running sound for two orchestras. When miking the Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini and the Orchestra Teatro Massimo in open-air settings, Gohara opted to use the REMIC LB (Live) microphones featuring built-in windscreens. Read our conversation below with Taketo Gohara to learn how these new Remic Microphones with windshield proved to be extremely helpful when miking instruments in a windy, open-air amphitheater. Most of the concerts on this tour took place in open-air theatres, which is very common in Italy. What are the main challenges with miking instruments at open-air concerts? The biggest challenge in open-air venues is to recreate an orchestra sound that is well mixed and reverberated, as if you were in a traditional theatre. Were there distinct challenges in terms of sound production in the different venues? Absolutely, as some of them were amphitheaters, others were forums. Some stages were solid, while others were hollow underneath. The setting changed from time to time, so did the response in terms of sound quality. How do you usually go about handling wind noise on the instruments’ microphones at open-air concerts? By putting pop filters on each microphone. During the tour you made use of REMIC MICROPHONES with built-in windshield. How did the built-in shields help in these settings? They were striking! Also in very windy venues, like the amphitheater in Taormina, there was no noise disturbance due to the wind whatsoever. How did you use REMICs on the strings of the orchestras? I have used them for the prime sessions. We had 10 first violins, eight second violins, six violas, five cello and four double basses. At least half of them in each section had the REMICs on their instruments. What was the artists’ general take on the REMICs? The musicians immediately found themselves at ease with the mics. They are easy to fit and the cotton-lined cable does not damage the instrument. At the end of the tour, they asked me where they could buy them. What was your overall impression of the REMIC microphones and their performance? I was very pleased to use the REMICs. I was very happy with the sound. I enjoyed great sound presence and the sound stayed faithful to the instruments. Matched with a good reverberation, it was like being in a concert hall. Very little noise disturbance.
Paul Johnson If you’re interested in learning more about Remic Microphones and how they can help your live sound set-up, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 888.653.1184.
Photographer: @FPiscopo Courtesy of: Fondazione Toscanini/Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini