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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Arenas

Recording Symphonic Orchestras

During 5 years I worked at the CASPM (National Center of Social Action per Music) in Caracas. Almost every day we recorded concerts, from symphonic orchestras to ensembles that made my life in the building and "El Sistema". The best part of the job was to listen music almost 24/7.

At the beginning of the week you get a schedule for the concerts that will take place during the next days. In the Audio department, for each concert, there is a music producer, a recording engineer, a recording assistant and one or two people on stage. All this workflow and tips were taught to us thanks to continuous training with the Tonmeister Thorsten Weigelt and special recordings with Deutche Grammophon.

The music producer must attend to a previous rehearsal with the music score to be aware of the instrumentation, principal instruments, solos during the piece and placement of the instruments during the concert. Then together with the recording engineer they decide the mic types and mic placements, input list and necessary details for the recording.

The same day of the concert a general rehearse takes place in the hall. That is when the audio team rehearse the recording and even people on stage rehearse their movements during the show.

During the concert the music producer guides the recording engineer through the piece of music to achieve all the musical intentions needed for a perfect recording and also writes down any changes that need to be made during post productions. This recording is usually made live together with video and it's archived for future access or broadcasted on national tv. Just in special occasions music editing or postproduction is made. It will depend on the musicians requirements. If that's the case. The music producer and the musician work together with the music score to edit what is necessary and then the musical producer and the recording engineer make those change happen.

Almost all the audio staff rotated positions during concerts making the learning experience essential for all the people involved. During those 5 years I had the chance to work with amazing people and live amazing experiences that I will never forget and that I miss every day. I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to be part of that team.

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